Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My Progression Plan

Last Tuesday evening, Elizabeth and I went for a run. I decided we'd do our neighborhood loop twice, which is usually 4 miles. Because we walked the first part of it to warm up, it came to 3.8.
Matching for our belated birthday run!
Things went really well. We did 2::30 intervals the first half of the run and 2:1 intervals for the rest of it. We ran the last half mile or so uninterrupted.

Then I was thinking, how do I progress from here? How do I build mileage or time and eventually cut out walking? In the shower, I had a mini-epiphany. (Hooray, shower-thoughts.) I suddenly remembered how I'd built endurance last time I took an extended break from running.
This is an unrelated shower-thought but one I have frequently. Matt has actually had to tell me to stop referring to my teeth as my "outside skeleton".
My plan is to start tracking time, not distance. I am going to build up to 60 minutes of running (with walks). Once 60 minutes feels pretty good/normal, I am going start lengthening my run intervals, and then shortening the walks.

Of course, the next run I did after making this plan didn't go according to at all. I ran for 3-4 minutes at a time and took 30-60 second walk breaks when I felt like it. My paces were safely in the 9s and I ran my first sub-10 minute mile in ages. (But really, this is kind of cheating to count because I paused once in awhile to take pictures, too.)
My walk breaks were more sporadic but my running intervals didn't seem to suffer. This was also a shorter run than the one with Elizabeth, of course. I was racing the sunset.
Anyway, my original plan stands and I think it's a good one, but the truth is I'm already so bored with scheduled walk breaks and part of me wants to just go for a run and just...see what happens. I'm months into recovery now; surely it's safe to stop...playing it safe, right?



  1. Sounds like a great plan.Even when I am not injured, I take walk breaks. It depends on how I feel. Some days I feel great and others I walk several times during a mile.

  2. I have no clue when it's safe to stop playing it safe! One thing Susan always tells me is you can always run MORE, you can never take away the miles, you know what I mean? But then again, it seems like everything is going so well for you!!

  3. now I'm going to be thinking of washing my skeleton!!

    I love the matching outfits!!

    Good luck with the recovery! I say run what feels safe/ good to you, but don't push for the sake of meeting previous goals.

    1. This is very good advice...right now I am overthinking everything of course!

  4. I had the same sort of epiphany last night. Instead of having pre-set goals that push me harder than I should be going, I feel like I have pre-set goals that are holding me back because I'm so intent on "doing it right" and "easing back slowly." I've decided I'm just going to listen to my body. This obviously requires being totally honest with myself about how things feel, but I think I can do it. Having surgery really made me feel so much more in tune with my body (legs) than ever before. I know how they should look and how they should feel at rest, when running, when lifting, in the morning, at night... all the time.

    I'm not thinking about anything except the 5K next month, but I'm looking forward to seeing how you take the progression from here so I can follow you :) I like the idea of running by minutes instead of miles.

    1. OMG YES! I am SO in-tune with my legs these days. I was actually just telling Matt the other night how my scars change color at certain times of day, and I was explaining how different my left leg currently looks (the base of the calf muscle turns into the ankle VERY abruptly, there is almost a corner there, whereas the right leg has a smooth, gentle transition from calf to ankle). It's honeslty so strange to be this aware of my body!

      Anyway, yes, I need to be honest with how I feel and let running wisdom AND my own body make decisions going forward.