Pace courting

Heeeeeey, Goal Half Marathon Pace!  How you doin?

Mind if I call you GHMP?  Kinda like… “guhmup.”  Not a very flattering sound, I guess.  Sorry.  Buy you a drink?

Well, here’s the thing.  You’re kind of an elusive beast, GMHP.  You’re faster than an easy pace and easier than a fast pace.  You’re like a weird pace purgatory.

We’re not particularly well-acquainted, you and I.  And seeing as we’re going to be spending 90+ minutes together next month in Virginia Beach, I think it’s time we got to know one another better.

So let’s do a work-out, GHMP.  Five miles, straight up.  I’m counting on you to kick me in the butt if I lag, and to rein me in if I push it too fast. ( In fact, you might notice that your bros 5KP and 10KP are specifically not invited.  Because I’ve already taken them home a time or two.  Ahem.)

Well.  I think we’re gonna get along just fine.

Seriously.

Just: YES.

This run felt so fantastic.  I was shocked at how easy it felt.  And I accomplished everything I set out to do: keep a fairly constant pace, run a tad fast without losing control and blowing in to 10K or 5K territory, and build confidence in that in-between GHMP zone.

I really have no idea what to expect out of this Shamrock thing next month: for as many times as I’ve run the distance, I’ve never really focused on a half as a goal race.  If I can hang at 7:20 pace for 13.1, I’ll be a happy camper.  And today’s workout was a huge boost in that direction.

Imaginary pace monsters for the win. Hey, whatever works, right?

Today’s EAT: The infamous Orange Chicken of Satan.  I picked up a bag a while back after seeing it on Marie’s blog, and also seeing the ridiculously optimistic signs that my local TJ’s plasters all around its little section of the freezer aisle.  “BEST SELLING ITEM!”  “STAFF FAVORITE!”  “TRY IT TODAY!”

(Can you image being the poor TJ’s “team member” whose job it is to come up with new and exciting magic marker signs about Orange Chicken day after day?)

Anyway.  I can confirm that the stuff is basically crack in a bag.

And green beans create an illusion of nutrition, right?  Even if I pour orange sauce all over them?

Today’s DRINK: Today’s spectacular pace run earned me a shower beer!

Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock.  This beer was delightfully mellow and light-bodied, but not in a bad or boring way.  Slightly sweet, not at all hoppy, very smooth.  It’s Sierra’s early-spring seasonal offering, and as such I think it’s perfect.  It’s like the tulip of beers: simple, delicate, and enjoyable for the brief period they’re around.

Today’s RUN: Double day!  In addition to the 7M I got out of the pace run, I did an easy 30-min shakeout at lunchtime.  10 miles and change for the day.  (Weird weather fact: it was 28* and snowing this morning and 50* and sunny by noon.  Schools were delayed – of course – and by the time the kids got there, it was springlike outside.)

Today’s QUESTION: Are you a Trader Joe’s shopper?  What’s your favorite thing to buy there?  Have you tried this damn Orange Chicken?? Because…damn, it’s good.

P.S. Thanks for all the well-wishes on the dental drama!  Thankfully, I did NOT need a root canal or even a crown – I got away with a patched filling.  (I will probably need a crown there someday, but hopefully that day will come at a time when my dental insurance situation is, ahem, more favorable.)

P.P.S. I am taking an exam of sorts tomorrow.  Wish me luck?  I haven’t taken a test since college.  Assuming I don’t fail, I’ll share the details….

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32 responses to “Pace courting

  1. Luck! I’ll do the guhumpahumpa dance for you to send good vibes.

    Yes. I’m a TJ’s shopper. But I do not get any of his “meals.” Too much sodium, too much money, and they’re never as good as I dream of them to be. I stick with the cereals, frozen vegetables/fruits, and vitamins.

  2. Nice job on your race pace run! You are going to kick ass at Shamrock!

    And I completely live at trader joe’s. I think probably 80% of the food I eat comes from there. They just have the best food at really good prices. Yum!

  3. Love the detail on your run and the GHMP; way to go on your 5 mile pace!! Glad the dental situation is a-okay. Happy test taking! Good luck, and hope you do great so you can tell us all about it 😀

  4. Good luck with your exam!

    I love Trader Joe’s, but I don’t get to go very often. Sucks to live in BFE.

  5. My Traders Joes crack is the box of chocolate chip cookie DOUGH balls. Stick them in the freezer, and enjoy them 1 (or 3 or 4) at a time. mmmmmm

  6. good luck with the exam.

    and pace monster?! genius idea. i hate doing pace runs, it doesn’t matter which distance the pace is supposed to be: i’m always at a different one!

  7. Good luck today!

    Way to smoke your GHMP 🙂 Sounds like you’re well on your way to reach your Shamrock goal!

    Trader Joes is about a 45 minute drive for us – we’ll go a few times a year – mainly for the peanut flour, the cheap(er) gourmet cheeses & cheaper champagne 🙂

  8. Good luck with your exam! I am a TJs shopper but have yet to try the orange chicken..must go soon

  9. Awesome run! I love those big confidence boosting workouts!

    Traders is our go-to everyday store. I mean there’s a good chance I couldn’t live without it. I buy just about everything there, literally, and a list would take up too much room in your blog comments. Haven’t tried the orange chicken though…maybe this weekend!

  10. I’ve never noticed that chicken but I will be picking it up next time! And I love the store; things I always have to buy are the frozen gnocchi sorrentino, the pesto/tomato flatbread pizza, white bean hummus, and oh god so much more. I never look at the sodium content….I don’t want to.

    Good luck!!!

  11. OCOS FTW.

    I have never really attempted a pace run like this. In the past I’ve focused strictly on mileage, but I think I’ve improved enough that I should start trying to add in some runs like this and see what happens.

    Congrats on the tooth thing, good luck on the exam, cheers to the beer.

  12. First time commenting on your blog, (which I LOVE, esp your MS Paint skills), but I can’t answer your Q as I live in the UK so no Trader Joes :-(.

    Could I ask you a question… What software do you use with your Garmin? Doesn’t look like the crappy (IMHO) Garmin “Training Centre” that I got with my Forerunner. Any advice gratefully received!

    Keep up the awesome work 🙂

  13. I think I need to make a trip to TJ’s this weekend. My one roomie got me the TJ’s cookbook for Christmas and I have yet to use it. Awesome run, I wish I was as fast as you guys, but I am not.

  14. HOLY CRAP does that look delicious. TJs? I’m going.

    sweet ride on the HMP workout. you’re killing it.

  15. I love Trader Joe’s! Some of my favorites are: hummus, orange chicken, and cat cookies!

    Thank you for being such an awesome encourager! I tagged you as “Stylish Blogger” on my blog.

  16. We don’t have TJ’s in Texas (sad face!) but since moving to Arizona I am ALL OVER TJ’s. The closest one is about an hour and a half away but you better believe I trek out there once every 2-3 weeks. I haven’t tried the Orange Chicken but I’ve been tempted. Maybe we’ll pick some up this weekend when we’re there.

  17. Hilarious! I love, love, love you analogy! Especially where you have already taken 5KP and 10KP home…nice touch! 😉

    And apparently your bonded quite well…looks like you had a great run!

  18. Hot tamale – you are FAST, sister!!! Way to rock.it.out.

  19. Good luck on the test!! I kind of want to know more about the pace monster based on these pictures. What is he drinking? What are you drinking? I like his shirt but it’s a pity about the unibrow…

  20. I love TJ’s. Obviously I don’t get the chicken, but they have some amazing marinated tofu and awesome hummus.

    Good luck on your test! I know the feeling…with that I return to studying.

  21. LOL – Please share your new boyfriend GHMP with me.

  22. I love Trader Joe’s and I LOVE the mandarin orange chicken. It tastes just like takeout but with less guilt. 🙂

  23. So freaky story: my dinner last night was TJ’s orange chicken + rice + long skinny green things (asparagus). But the kicker to this freaky story? I’m pretty sure you have the same china pattern as my mom! Blue moon?

  24. My favorite distance is the marathon, because it means I can run at a fairly comfortable pace. . . which is why the ghmp is actually “too fast” for my liking! I’m always worried I will run a half-marathon at pretty much the same pace as a marathon, because well, I don’t really love pain…

    Someone once forced the orange chicken upon me, telling me it was insanely good, and I was just meh about it. But TJ’s rocks my world in many other ways.

  25. The honey chevre/goat cheese is amazeballs. I’m also never out of their craisins, peanut butter, and Fiber-full Joe’s O’s. But their low-sodium soups just DON’T cut it-stay away!

  26. I like his unibrow. 🙂

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