Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Little Tempo Run

I awoke, yanked from my dreamy slumber, aware of two things: My twin tapping my shoulder complaining of hunger and the wind buffeting the house. It was 7:30 AM. My two best running buds, Rick and Travis, had already been running for an hour. Good for them. I'd just slept 9.5 hours straight. I was feeling lazy.

Today's run called for 2 mile warm-up, 5 miles between 7:45 and 7:50, and a 3 mile cool-down. Now, I have to admit a few things. While I might be "warm" after two miles, I am usually not ready to kick it into a decent pace quite yet. I also knew that the 5 miles at that pace was going to be a challenge to finish. Or, so I thought. And once I did finish, I was going to need a walk break to recover, and it was really the last three miles that were going to be hard. I knew I'd be excited and challenged enough to finish the "hard" part.

So, I considered two alternatives. One, flip the cool-down and warm-up miles (3 first and then 2), or two, run all 5 up front and when I was done with the workout, I was done. I decided to take it by feel. I ran my first mile especially slow, asking nothing of my body yet, 9:14. I then gradually worked the pace down, and by 3 miles was feeling good, but decided I'd feel even better if I just kept going. So, I finished the 5 easy, and was feeling great and ready to work.

I locked the next 5 miles in at 7:47 pace, and started counting backwards from 39:00 minutes. When I had 8 minutes to go, my mind was thinking maybe I was tired.. and I really did have to convince myself it would be worse to say I couldn't do the run; or didn't do the run than it would be to just hang in there. But, I found as I approached 4 minutes to go, I was getting so excited I'd nailed the run, that my energy surged, and I actually wanted to pick UP the pace.

I am quite pleased that I did well, and found the 7:47 surprisingly comfortable to hang at for awhile!

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