With a full 22 weeks of base building under my belt, it’s time for my gaze to shift forward. I still can’t believe I’ve made it this far. For a vast majority of runners, where I’m currently running and celebrating (rightfully so!) is where they might start after an injury. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year and half, it’s what my body can and cannot handle. I’m okay with the fact that it’s taken me 22 weeks to get to three runs per week and only ten miles, along with some CrossFit. You don’t realize it until you’re living it, but increasing just 10% each week along while remembering to never increase mileage and pace in the same week is a lengthy process! When you start from the bottom with 30 minutes of run/walking each week, increasing ten percent the next week wasn’t even half a mile.
So what’s next?
Well, progress, for one.
I never started training with a base. Both times I trained for true races was after a period of inactivity. Essentially, I woke up with a race in my head and just ran. I had no rhyme or reason to the workouts I was doing besides a long run on the weekend and I certainly didn’t pay attention to the mileage each week. Clearly, this is why I ended up where I did. Case and point, below. I often added 5 miles each week!
I’m pretty aware that I suck at sticking to a schedule. I love consistency, but I could run on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for two months and as soon as I put it on paper, that schedule will not work for me. It’s something I’m going to work on this upcoming twelve week cycle by writing a schedule in Running Ahead, but very loose on the workouts, which I’ll explain below.
Considering I’m still at a low mileage for training, even though in a better place than I ever was, I’m still working to increase during this phase. I’m starting off with adding a fourth run to the week because I finally feel ready to handle back to backs, then some speed on my own or at CrossFit Endurance classes. I’ve been adjusting to slight back to backs with running on Tuesday, followed by run specific higher impact drills on Wednesday at class. For the most part, my body has handled this surprisingly well. As far as speed sessions go, I still have no rhyme or reason to anything until after the Buffalo Half. I’ll be okay with flying by the seat of my pants so long as I’m smarter about my choices. No more random 11 mile tempo runs on a Thursday night just because I saw it in Runner’s World and it sounded like fun. I have to admit, that run still ranks up there are one of my favorites; I haven’t forgotten about it and I intend to do it again, just when I’m actually ready.
Now, Buffalo still isn’t a goal race for me, per say. I’ll probably try to go for my PR of 1:42 because if I can hit that kind of time on four months of spastic running (see the chart above), I should be close after eight months of carefully planned running. Then, we start the summer of 5k’s and an honest training program. I’m really excited. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: 2015 is the year!