A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Heart Tempo Runs

Last night was my Wednesday tempo run. On the treadmill, of course. The plan was to do one mile of warm-up, four miles between a 9:30 and a 9:54 minute per mile pace, and one mile of cool-down for a total of six miles.

It wasn't the six miles I was worried about. I know I can run six miles. I even know I can run four of them at a 9:54 pace. However, doing a tempo run is sort of like running a race without all the crowd support or race-day adrenaline. Something about running alone, especially in your basement staring at the wall, does not really motivate you to run your hardest. At least, it doesn't motivate me.

But, I did it. I did my warm-up mile at a 5.2 MPH (11:32) pace. For my four miles I set the treadmill at 6.0. Now, this technically means I was running at a 10:00 minute pace but if my treadmill is truly at an incline then I was actually going faster than that. After awhile I did push it up to 6.1 MPH (9:50 pace) for a mile and a half or so.

It was hard. I wanted to walk. Except for a brief period between miles three and four when Madonna's "Vogue" came on my iPod. I have only good associations with that song (dancing around a friend's bedroom while waving flashlights, seeing my mom excited about the stereo quality in her new car) and I didn't want a hard run to ruin it. So, I forced a smile onto my face and thought of good things.

I ran the entire six miles. I did not take any walk breaks. And I ran all four of my "tempo" miles at either 6.0 or 6.1 MPH. Overall, the entire six miles took me just under 64:00 minutes.

I still hate tempo runs. But, I have to admit, they are getting easier. I believe this is the first tempo run I've done since I started training where I ran the entire thing with no walk breaks (warm up and cool down included) AND kept my pace during the tempo portion close to my training goal pace.

Afterward, though, I was exhausted. I felt kind of dizzy. I could barely get dinner from the plate to my mouth. And my quads were killing me. I'm not sore today, thank goodness. But I am tired.

Saturday is another seven mile run and I'm hoping to do it outside. Next week is a step-back week where my longest run is 4 miles. And no tempo runs!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the run. Good to hear that the soreness went away.

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