MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 30, 2009

Tempo and Turtle Hearts

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:56

Oh before I forget Christina has a great giveaway.  And I will say what I always say when I link to giveaways: I don’t really want you to enter so that I have better odds of winning.  Heh.

Seeing as how I am a person that thrives on being busy and staying alert my lackluster-ness I wrote about yesterday annoys me.  I know intellectually that I totally was semi-burnt out by all the mental and physical activity I did over the weekend and my whole psyche needed a day or two to chill the eff out. So…how did I decide to change it up?

By tempo-ing it up.  One bad thing about fall arriving is that the sun rises earlier and earlier.  Now, normally I feel totally fine running in a little bit of dark knowing that the pre-dawn glow is coming and with it sunrise.  This morning I got up knowing that I wasn’t doing core before my run so there was no way to eat up that time.  And I found myself facing at least 40 minutes in pitch-black.

I sucked it up and went to the TM.  Totally mentally berated myself for doing so even though I had totally valid reasons: the dark and the fact that my mind isn’t where it normally is (because of all the stress etc) and I wanted to be able to hit paces without concentrating on going fast.  I think because I’m so independent it’s really hard for me to use something like the TM because it does some of the work (pacing) for you.  Oh well.

Leary of what I could accomplish because my past few runs have sucked hardcore in terms of pace I started to warm up. And my first thought was “No eff-ing way can I do a tempo when this warm up is having me suck wind”.   And my next thought was “Jeez, suck it up man”. Heh.

Slowly but surely I eased up and my lungs decided to actually deliver oxygen to my blood which gave it to my muscles.  I definitely would have liked that process to go faster but oh well.  It happened at least, right? And despite my warm up being horrendously hard, my first mile at tempo pace felt really good and a little on the easy side.  So I turned the tempo into a progressive tempo and increased my speed after each mile.  Here are the splits:

  1. 7:30
  2. 7:24
  3. 7:19
  4. 7:08
  5. 7:03
  6. 6:53

That last mile was a few seconds UNDER my overall 5k pace from a few weeks ago.  Makes me think that I have some untapped speed in me for the Tufts 10k I want to run in a little under two weeks. Note to Lacey, I still haven’t registered but trust me: I will be there.

This was originally a straight up 5 mile tempo.  Clearly I let myself get competitive with myself (and show off for the massive amount of ppl in the gym that early heh) because 5 became 6 and I skipped some .1 increases to make sure I hit a sub-7 mile by the end.  C’est la vie.

But the run felt AWESOME.  Not quite the same thrill as an outdoor tempo (of which I have completed very few) but I felt like I had done a very good workout and redeemed myself in the lack-of-motivation department. Plus all of this was done by 0730.  Great way to kick off the day.

My radio didn’t want to follow suit and I haven’t been able to get a SINGLE station the past few days.  I think it’s because the weather is all over the place – crazy changing and what not. Or it could be that my school is evil and, not only deprives us of cable, but wants all music to cease too. Bah! But my run went well so I’m surprisingly not annoyed.

Another highlight of my day? The lab I just came from.  We studied turtle heart and the beating signals and all that.  We had to dissect ’em and measure the force of the ventricular contractions under different conditions (with various neutrotransmitters, temperatures etc.) and it was SO COOL.  I won’t go into great detail because I don’t know how squeamish any of you are (and I will refrain from posting my camera-phone pics) but I loved it.  And the lab worked the way it was suppose to which is always a bonus.  Another plus? My prof canceled the  formal lab write up that went along with it.  Saaaaa-weeet! Now if I could only make myself edit the last formal lab write up from 2 weeks ago and study for his exam on Friday.  Maybe not so sweet.

But I’m sitting on a great tempo run and a decent day of education. I think that will trump my upcoming stress, right? Heh maybe for now 😉



  1. You don’t have cable at your school? WTF?

    How come you don’t run in the dark? Do you feel it isn’t safe?

    Comment by Matt — September 30, 2009 @ 18:56

    • my mind just plays tricks on me and i get waaaaay paranoid about every little sound. it’s not that bad when i know that it’s going to be light soon-ish but with the bulk of the run in the dark i would freak out a bit. although in hindsight it wouldve made for one helluva tempo haha

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 30, 2009 @ 19:15

  2. excellent workout! those are some great splits. i’m glad you had a good run. sometimes i resort to the treadmill during the fall & winter, too – no big deal. it’s not really safe where i live to run in the dark so i kind of see the treadmill as a necessary evil if i want to be able to run in the early mornings.

    Comment by emily — September 30, 2009 @ 19:51

  3. Those are awesome stats for your tempo. The treadmill can be kinda eh, but sounds like you ran that thing into the ground.

    Comment by Liz — October 1, 2009 @ 09:23

  4. Tempo, tempo…timing is always exactly perfect. When our minds get in the way of stepping fully into the pace of things, we commander freedom. You are strong!

    Comment by specialkphd — October 1, 2009 @ 11:06

  5. LOL. note to YOU: REGISTER!!! you’ll save $10 if you pre-register, so do it!! 🙂

    hey HEYyyY with the tempo that is a LONG A$$ tempo! way to work it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you did awesome. i think TMs are good for keeping a constant eye on your pace so they def work for pace work. i wonder what your “best” or “ideal” distance is for maximum fastness? you have speed but you also have endurance and most of your runs are closer to 10 miles than to 3, right?

    Comment by Lacey — October 1, 2009 @ 13:12

  6. Thanks so much for the sweet comment!! you are so great!! Awesome workout!! So glad you had a great run!!

    Comment by natalie ( — October 1, 2009 @ 13:42

  7. Nice tempo run. Treadmills suck, but at least they help keep a pace.

    Comment by runjess — October 1, 2009 @ 14:25

  8. The turtle heart experiment sounds totally awesome. I loved doing dissections in middle and high school.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — October 1, 2009 @ 14:51

  9. Great work on the TM. Sometimes it pays to switch it up. Not a big fan of running in the dark either!

    Comment by a marathoner — October 1, 2009 @ 16:21

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