Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sometimes running rocks

After crashing and burning for the last long run, my coach gave me a 7-mile-long “Tempo Mile Repeats” workout, commenting “This workout is designed to be HARD. I’m not gonna sugar coat this shit for you. It’s not pleasant.” (“Tempo” means faster than comfortable. “Mile repeats” is exactly what it sounds like.)

So I got up about 5 a.m., braced myself for the weather, and went to work out. After my warmup, I had five one-mile repeats with a short rest between each. My assigned goal was 11:30-11:45 for each.

I started the first still feeling sluggish and sleepy. I checked my timer after the first and second laps on the quarter-mile track and was certain I couldn't possibly make the time. But I finished the first mile in 11:22. And that was my slowest one of the day.

As it turns out, I may not be very good at pacing, but I really benefitted from the 38-40°F weather that morning. My second and third repeats were each faster than the previous, the fourth the same as the third, and I finished the fifth in 10:33! I wasn’t exactly killing myself to do it, either, but going by similar perceived effort each time (except for the final 200 m), and the pacing just fell out like that.

Physically, I felt pretty good when I finished and throughout the day. Mentally, seeing those numbers was a HUGE boost for me after the previous workouts’ emotional toll. I definitely needed that.

I had a shorter run later that week and then a 7-mile “long” run over the weekend, which felt like a breeze.

I’m still freaking out about the impending marathon, but having some good workouts in the meantime at least helps my mood.

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