You’re all dying to know how things are coming with my Achilles injury, mileage building, and training plans for the new year. Right? Right?
[Insert cricket chirping noises]
Okay, I’ll try to keep it brief. Consider it this week’s dose of running-related navel-gazing.
Progress has been made in Operation Add Mileage Without Angering Crankle! Although my calves and Achilles (both of them) are generally still pretty stiff first thing in the morning, they feel totally fine while running. Yay!
Taking a very conservative approach has been successful here, I think. After taking a couple of weeks in early November totally off, I started back up with a couple of weeks in the teens, then worked my way through the 20s and now the 30s. No races, no speedwork. Planning to ease in to the 40s as 2010 ends. And then it’s time for…
Plans. As of January 1, I’ll have exactly 11 weeks to build up for the Shamrock Half on March 20. I’m not following a formal training plan, but I do have some loose training goals:
- Build up weekly mileage to mid-50s
- Two key workouts each week: one speed (5K pace work), one tempo (10K to half marathon pace work)
- Build long run up from 10 miles to 15-16
Simple enough, right? Eleven weeks isn’t a ton of time, but compared to a year ago, my fitness level is certainly better, so I’m hoping I can pull off a decent race in Virginia Beach!
Now, progressions. Thank you Garmin for allowing me to get geeky over this. I’ve noticed that many of my runs look like yesterday’s ten-miler:
The unintentional progression run. It was chilly yesterday and my watch was buried under my arm-warmers, out of view of my prying little eyes until I peeled back my sleeve a block from my apartment to see how far I’d gone. (I ended up adding a trip around the block to make it an even 10; I’m not that lucky.)
Anyway. I had sort of guessed that I was probably running an 8:30 or 8:40 pace for this run, but I never would have thought that there was so much variation between the pace at the beginning of the run and the pace at the end. They felt the same – or, if anything, even bass-ackwards of how they should have felt. Those last few miles felt awesome and easy-breezy.
- It takes me a while to warm up.
- I should cover my Garmin more often, because that was simply a lovely run.
- Wow, if I could manage to start off a little more conservatively in marathons, maybe I could cruise effortless sub-8s then too.
Yep. Fascinating. Right? Right?
[chirp, chirp, chirp….]
Today’s EAT: Yesterday’s blog post kinda bummed me out. I really appreciate all of your kind comments – each one made me smile. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in being weirdly emotional at this time of the year. I think A.J. said it perfectly: “It makes sense that this is hard…it means we have great families!” Word.
Anyway, eating? Oh yeah.
I decided to treat myself to my favorite black bean burger from the bar next door. It was delightful. I’ll be back tonight with a delicious recipe to share. Or a random collection of ingredients from my freezer, in the event that I’m too lazy to go to the store. (Likely.)
Today’s DRINK: I enjoyed a pint of Blue Point’s Hoptical Illusion with my burger:
I’ve come a long way in my relationship with IPAs. I used to avoid them entirely because they made me pucker up and smack my lips. “I can’t drink this very fast at all!” I used to complain.
Oh, how a few years change things.
Now that I’m no longer drinking my beer out of a red cup with a dirty ping-pong ball splashing around in it*, I can appreciate a good sipping beer for what it is: something that you drink slowly and enjoy. And I very much enjoyed this Hoptical Illusion. True to its name, it was very hoppy – but also citrusy, almost like a wheat beer. An odd combination for a snowy night, but it worked!
Today’s RUN: Plus ten for the day and I’m still only at thirteen for the week! I ended up taking Tuesday off because of a weird kink in my back. Instead of running, I reclined on the couch with a heating pad and felt old.
I’m a little annoyed that I had to burn my rest day so early in the week, but oh well. Part of getting old, I guess.
Today’s QUESTION: Are you an IPA fan? What’s your favorite beer?