Against the better advice from VeganFritz as well as my friends at RWOL I decided to re-do my tempo run this morning. I definitely had a bee in my bonnet all day over the failed tempo and had a compulsion to set it right.
And boy am I glad I did.
I warmed up with my typical 1 mile/ 1 lap around my campus and then set off. I chopped down the projected tempo distance to 4.5 and made sure that my *mental focus* was present at all times. I think part of the problem yesterday was that I let my thoughts wander. Which is okay when doing an easy or recovery run (or even a tempo on the TM) but NOT okay when you’re trying to push a pace outside, on your own.
This morning I decided to not ease into the pace I wanted (although being garmin-less I really had no way of knowing how on or off I was / am) and I set off at a pretty tough pace. Now I purposely chose to feel the hurt early on. If I take one thing away from my running it’s that the first mile of a tempo is going to hurt and then the body adjusts. Well actually that might not be the one thing I’d want to take away from running; maybe something along the lines of “Have fun” but I digress.
The first few miles were incredibly tough. I was sweating disgustingly (and in a slight aside: I would say sweating like a pig but I have recently come to find out that this expression means that you’re NOT sweating. Which, upon reflection, makes sense because pigs have no sweat glands and therefore cannot sweat) and my legs were on fire. But I told myself to suck it up and that this was a pace I could hold for the whole time.
To which I did. In fact I was so pumped seeing my time (and, yes, MENTALLY calculating my pace — maybe that’s why I don’t have a Garmin, I like to challenge my brain cells haha :P) that I tacked on an extra half mile before the mile warm down. The overall pace for the whole 7 miles was good but the 5 miles of the tempo were fantastical! I actually ran those 5 miles almost 15 seconds (in reality 12) faster per mile than necessary. Definitely a confidence boost and assertion that I am not, in fact, a bad runner.
It never ceases to amaze me how much external factors (such as food and sleep and weather) play such a huge role in the way a run goes as well as mental. Theoretically it should just be simple: RUN. But I was able to eat really well (and regularly) yesterday, sleep for 8.5 hours last night (I was so exhausted I fell asleep in my half chair while reading a good book!) and the weather being cool and cloudy (like usual I guess) but additionally there was about 10% LESS humidity in the air. Plus this morning I was able to keep focused on doing what I needed to do: tempo it up.
This afternoon after my incredibly long and frustrating meetings I pulled my first double in a looooong time. It ended up being a 3.8 mile run that was wayyy faster than I anticipated. I headed out around 1630 and I was just flying. It only took me 30 mins! Methinks this was way to fast for a recovery / shakeout run. We’ll see tmrw but I find it so interesting that my body thinks running is easiest in the late afternoon but my mind wants it done first thing!