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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tempo Terrific


Last night was the first night of training for the Wisconsin Half Marathon on May 1st. What was on the schedule?

A tempo run!

Now, those of you that have been around for awhile may remember last year's hatred of the tempo run. Oh man, how I dreaded those nights at the beginning. I had many more failed tempo runs than successful ones both times I've trained for a half marathon.

But, with my new outlook on February (i.e. I'm going to kick butt), my hopes for a PR in this next race, and my super-speedy running group, I decided that tempo runs will be fun this time around.

I met up with the Monday night group at our usual time and place. As always, everyone practically sprinted out of the gate. I didn't even try to keep up with anyone for the first mile. I took my time warming up but did manage to keep the slightly less fast group in my sights. The goal for last night? 1 mile warm-up, 3 miles at 9:07 pace, 1.5 mile cool-down.

The problem with trying to do a tempo run in the dark is that I really had no idea what my pace was unless I managed to catch a glimpse of the Garmin while passing under a streetlight. I knew, though, that if I kept up with the slightly less fast group I would be running close to a 9:00 minute per mile pace. I figured that would work for me. So, after my first warm-up mile I made it my goal to catch up with the four people running ahead of me.

I never quite caught up, but just before mile 2.75 I noticed that one of that group was running back towards me.

"Erin!" She called. "I have to go to the bathroom! If I run up to the KFC will you wait for me?"

Not one to leave a fellow runner behind, I said yes. Plus, I admit I was struggling with these faster miles. A break would be welcome :-) And I knew that she would pull me through the last 1.25 of my faster miles. So, I took a brief break (probably about 5 minutes or so) and then on we went.

I expected to be on my own during my cool down mile and a half, but instead she stuck with me the whole time. Even when I ducked into the bank towards the end so I could hit up the ATM prior to our "run of the month" dinner and drinks festivities post-run (which is why that last half mile is SLOOOOW. I forgot to stop my watch while I withdrew money).

The only data I had from my Garmin was that my average pace for the run as a whole was 9:21. I figured that had to mean I hit my time goals. But, before I went home to upload my data I joined the running group at a local bar for a beer and a bowl of gumbo. And once I had my data uploaded? Spectacular results! I blew my goals out of the water. In the end, it turned out to be a GREAT run followed by a good time. I think this is a wonderful start to my training!

In other news....

Click to see full size

It's done. I did it. I'm committed. Or, at least, my $135 is committed. Let's hope ALL my training goes as well as last night.


Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:02/01/10Up/Downhill: [+22/-22]
Time:06:35 PMDifficulty:2.7 / 5.0
 29 F temp; 68% humidity
 29 F heat index; winds E 7

Distance: 5.53 miles
Speed:6.4 mph
Pace:9' 21 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 38+0' 176.2-0.20 ft
28' 55-0' 266.7+0.3-6 ft
38' 57-0' 246.7+0.3+3 ft
48' 44-0' 376.9+0.5+7 ft
59' 59+0' 386.0-0.40 ft
end12' 30+3' 094.8-1.60 ft
Versus average of 9' 21 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com


Lacey said...

tempos are really intimidating!!!!!!!!!!! glad you ended up with a buddy, funny how it worked out, it is also really great to try to catch people... either of those would work for pace work :)

loved the charlotte's web reference, btw :)

you are signed up for the full? owwwza $135 no small fee. races are so expensive nowadays! (i sound so grandmotherly lol)

April said...

Good job on your run!! Sounds like you have a great group to run with. I just started my training schedule for a Half too and just did my first tempo run EVER, today. Maybe I will learn to love them someday....

kilax said...

Great tempo run! You are totally going to PR! I realized if you touch the bezel in two spots it will turn on the backlight... but be careful you don't become obsessed with checking it

And as you know... SO EXCITED YOU REGISTERED FOR CHICAGO!!! :) It's going to be a busy summer!

Bayjb said...

OMG I can't believe you registered for Chicago!!! You will run right by my house, I'll be out with a sign to cheer you on.

kristen said...

You need to get a headlamp! A must for winter running. I got mine from REI. Petzle.

That's kinda funny you stopped mid run to take out money! :) Congratualtions on Chicago. Exciting!

Kelly said...

Ah! Chicago! Congrats, happy training! It's going to be amazing! (did you get my email I sent you?)

Running Through Life said...

Congratulations for signing up for the Chicago Marathon! Good luck with your training.

I just signed up for the Wisconsin 1/2 myself. I am using it as a training run for the Madison Marathon.

Anonymous said...

That is SO exciting about Chicago! If I could do just one more marathon, that would be it. It's supposed to be one of the best!

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