Alternative title: Hammer that fucking shit home. More on that later.
First: Thanks so much everyone for your kind and encouraging and insightful words. As I mentioned I’ve been torn between what I think my body is okay with and what other people think my body is okay with. And your advice was spot on to just keep doing what I’m doing and ignore the haters
So back to today. It had been a few days since I last did a lifting session. And I really don’t want to get back in that habit of pushing off lifting because I really do feel that lifting is wicked important. Unfortunately I also wanted to get a tempo run in and wasn’t sure how compatible the two goals were. I ended up deciding to set an alarm and hit the gym early for (what is becoming) my usual routine with the idea of doing the tempo later on and bagging it if need be to do tomorrow.
I hit the gym early and there was NO ONE there. I was seriously by myself for the first half hour. I kind of liked it because I didn’t have to wait for weights or worry about people staring (because I hate it when people stare for any reason. IT makes me feel funny). I was semi-efficient. I definitely hit it hard but there was a bit of dilly-dallying in there too. But I did it. That’s the important thing.
I got back home and ate some breakfast, checked email, blah blah blah. During this time it had started to snow! And not the light stuff that the weather people predicted. It was quite heavy actually. But I still was going to forge on because that’s what I do.
As today is December 31st I wanted to send 2009 out on a bang so I was pretty set on this tempo idea and going hard. Unfortunately the last time I did a tempo outside it was an epic fail. Not only was I nervous about doing a tempo after lifting I had doubts about the tempo itself because I had a not-so-successful one prior. But yet again, I was going to do this come hell or high water. I chose to do a longer warm up today because I think that my body just needs a longer warm up, doubly so in the cold. I usually tend to be chomping at the bit to go and start the “real” workout so today I made sure to focus on properly warming up.
Then I was off. I had a 5.1 mile route ready for me to go and mile 1 sucked. It had pretty nasty rolling hills. I can handle going uphill but I hate going downhill with a passion (oh hello Boston? How are you!) But mile 1 of any tempo sucks so I started chanting — in my head at this point — “Hammer it” I think it sort of helped? By mile 2 or 3 though it became “Hammer it home” because I was ready for it to be over. Heh, not so good when you’re only about half way there. And although the chant changed the super uncomfy feeling of mile 1 was gone and now it was the usual tempo push.
I have no idea what my paces were during the run itself but my lungs were feeling it and my legs were definitely feeling pushed. I don’t really know how to put it in words but it felt like I was going at a pace appropriate for a tempo. I had no idea whether or not it was the pace that I wanted but my body was giving me signs that the pace I was doing was going to do the job. That said I’m pretty sure I did do a fair share of slowing down and speeding up which directly followed how closely I was keeping my focus on the run or not.
At this point then (around mile 3 or 4) the chant became “Hammer this shit home” because it was becoming an effort to keep up the pace I wanted and keep my focus on the task at hand. I think the weather played a role here because the snow coming down was blowing into my eyes and creating nice icicles on my eyelashes. My eyelashes are wicked long so this was annoying and they got so heavy that I couldn’t see at points. Heh.
The last half mile or so was when the chant became “Hammer this fucking shit home” and I don’t think this was said in my head only. Or even under my breath. It was more of a shout really. My legs burned but I knew I was almost there. I let out a cry of relief when the route was over and I came in with a 7:20 pace! Hooooollllllleeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr.
I am over the moon with this pace and this run. [And although I've been complaining about the effort and whatnot it did feel like a true tempo effort -- like I could do another mile but was incredibly thankful I didn't have to]I’m ecstatic that I was able to keep my pace where it ended up because because it means that I was able to keep focused on what I needed to do. It tasted so sweet to see that time/pace/everything. The snow, the hills, the everything. I poured so much into this and it was a very nice redemption from the last outdoor tempo I did.
It’s like I know I can do these runs but they are sooo hard for me. Which obviously makes it that much better when you hit it out of the park (yes wrong sport I know!). Total confidence booster today and so I finished off the workout with a semi-long warm down. Which probably was faster than it should be. But I’ve found that to be the case with most warm downs because my body is primed to keep going fast. And I was still riding high from the knowledge that I had just laid the tempo out there.
But what a way to end 2009 right? It’s been such a great year for me that this was a wicked stellar way to go out. I’m in the process of tallying up all my monthly miles to put together a month-by-month summary with a few highlights. So look for that in the next day or so. Of course it will also have my yearly total which doesn’t yet have the past few days into it yet but I’m pretty excited about it so far! (Yes I’m such a tease haha)
I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your guys’ 2009 recaps, 2010 goals etc. It’s really been so inspiring and motivational to see how beastly and bamf you all are. Have a really fun (and SAFE) New Year’s Eve!