MarathonMaiden's Blog

January 21, 2010

Yay Tempo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:57

I really think that my body is starting to like tempo runs.  My mind? Well not so much.  Ever since moving the tempo from the TM to the streets my mentality has been that I can’t do it.  Of course that fuels me to prove that I can but I get wayyyy nervous in the moments leading up to them.

I woke up this morning to absolutely no foot pain (another reason I don’t think it’s PF) and I think I can credit that to my insane stretching I did yesterday: 3 X 20 minutes (one after my run, one after my lift, one before bed).  It makes me wonder why I was so lazy to include stretching before in my routine but then again I’m not in the grind of the semester yet so it’ll be interesting to see if I keep it up then.  And thanks for all the advice/concern about it: while these aches might seem new to you they’re really not.  I’m just more comfortable saying it “aloud” and more intent on being aware of my body: Boston is HUGE to me and I want to do well so I’m focused on “buying into” stuff than I have been in the past. So previous aches and pains mean much more to me now than in any other training cycle.

So back to today.  According to my plan I actually didn’t have a tempo on tap, it was a middle long run (MLR) and this weeks tempo is on Saturday.  Now I’ve changed the plan to be LR Saturdays but haven’t bumped the rest of the days back so I had some decisions to make.  Plus this weekend I’m running my LR with Lacey on Sat (and have made other weekend plans) so switching things around, while I’m sure she’d understand, it would just make things stressful.  Because change of any kind stresses me out. The conclusion I came to was this:

  • Monday = Easy + Lift
  • Tuesday = Interval
  • Wednesday = Recovery + Lift
  • Thursday = Tempo
  • Friday = Recovery + Lift
  • Saturday = LR
  • Sunday = Recovery

Now there isn’t that much change from the actual plan but I like having certain workouts be on certain days. I figure that I’m doing so many MLR already that I don’t need a specific way to incorporate it. There really isn’t any explanation as to why the tempo switches some weeks to the day before the LR and if anyone has some great insight as to why I *shouldn’t* do it my way please let me know! I definitely value all of your opinions.

Ok so before I get side-tracked again (because I planned to put my stats first thing in this post) here they are:

  • 3.5 mile warm up @ 9:28 pace
  • 6.5 mile tempo @ 7:19
  • 3.5 mile warm down @ 8:46

A most excellent tempo.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to start or finish this workout.  Like I mentioned earlier in the post (as well as for every freaking tempo post) so much of it is mental and I tend to psych myself out quite a bit.  I know that a missed tempo pace run isn’t the end of the world (and part of me welcomes it as a learning experience even though it would suck hardcore). The other part of it is tight muscles.  Yes I’ve been stretching a lot but my legs and arms still have a little bit of tightness that makes a hard effort, well, hard.

I even told myself that I’d be happy with a goal marathon pace (GMP) run rather than a tempo.  I’m not sure if that helped me carry a blistering pace (ok so the pace wasn’t *that* fast but I like the word blistering haha).  In fact not only had I been willing to be okay with a slower pace but I was willing to shorten the tempo portion if need be.  Obviously that didn’t happen and I ended up tacking on an extra mile (which was at 6:54 pace!! Ummmmm that’s my 5k pace. What?!) Maybe allowing myself those thoughts made it easier to go above and beyond and attack the run with gusto?

The thing that gets me the most happy about the run is that my body just did it.  Like I opened the post with: I think my body is finally getting the hang of doing tempo runs on its own which is AWESOME.  The funny thing is that I didn’t feel like I was going as fast as I was.  Clearly my body knew what to do and was used to it and was able to take over.  My mind did keep wandering, thinking of everything and yet nothing at the same time.  Which is another reason why the fast pace was surprising because usually little mental focus = slooow.  That’s not to say that I was in la-la land for the whole time but I wasn’t as diligent at pulling my thoughts back to my body and the run today.

I will say that I watched this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser before heading out and man that show never ceases to inspire me.  Sure some contestants are there to play the game and some just bother the hell out of me BUT there are so many inspiring people that make me want to just be my best.  I definitely had the show’s theme song stuck in my head.  For those of you unfamiliar some of the lyrics are “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”.  Motivation for sure!

I’m heading over to the gym when it reopens at 1600 (stupid January hours for less than a week though) to do some catch up with a friend like we did last Thursday.  I foresee some elliptical to get some blood moving and to get the legs in motion and then another loooooooooong stretch.  Because I’m going to wrap this up so I can get a good stretch in before going.

Happy Thursday y’all 🙂


  1. YAY tempo!! i have a hard time with them mentally too before hand but once i am done with them they are such big confidence boosters! well if you nail them 🙂 haha great job girl!

    Comment by aron — January 21, 2010 @ 16:25

  2. I actually have the hardest time getting psyched up for long runs. Don’t know why because I’ve never had a truly bad experience, but I have the dreads every Friday night before one. But yeah, once you’re done, you feel awesome.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — January 21, 2010 @ 17:00

  3. Wow 6:54 is mighty speedy, good job!

    Comment by Ada — January 21, 2010 @ 17:15

  4. Another great run! I actually have the Biggest Loser theme song on my iPod haha! It can usually give me a little extra push to get it done.

    Comment by Jenny — January 21, 2010 @ 17:46

  5. ya ya ya FAB tempo run!!! i’m sooo glad your foot isn’t troubling u! i’m so glad to read that you’re stretching its sooooooooo good for u! Have fun at the gym…I can see you not liking the elliptical 🙂

    Comment by Lizzy — January 21, 2010 @ 19:41

  6. DO you like the elliptical? Props to ya for doing it. I absolutely loathe that thing, so I never do it. Great job tempoing!

    Comment by EE — January 21, 2010 @ 20:44

  7. Awesome run! Sounds like you’re ready to demolish that 5k PR after Boston.

    Comment by Nick — January 21, 2010 @ 23:52

    • I sure hope so! I want redemption from my one (and only) 5k this past fall

      Comment by marathonmaiden — January 22, 2010 @ 21:45

  8. That’s awesome that your body is getting used to tempo pace on the roads. What a confidence boost! And btw, Biggest Loser is pretty darn inspiring!

    Comment by Liz — January 21, 2010 @ 23:59

  9. It’s aerobic base building to increase your cardiac output, I’m trying to lower my resting HR and build up some endurance. Hopefully for my boxing it will mean that I can fight using my aerobic system for longer and have more stamina. Good tempo run I haven’t done any of those yet but there are some in the training plan I’m going to be starting at the end of Feb.. I’m totally adicted to the biggest loser too have to get it online as soon as i can on Weds hehe

    Comment by Laura — January 22, 2010 @ 05:41

  10. Nice plan girl. I just “called you out” on my blog about your passion for running!! Haha – I knew you wouldn’t fail me – I come here and it’s an awesome plan and tempo run 🙂

    Comment by eatmovelove — January 22, 2010 @ 07:48

  11. Good job taking the time to stretch! I always find it’s so hard to fit it in and when life gets busy it’s the first to go.

    Comment by BostonRunner — January 22, 2010 @ 09:26

  12. you are such a rockstar! sheesh, that’s a fast tempo run! I love it when you don’t feel fast and then realize that you’re running an awesome pace. Such a nice surprise!

    Comment by runningfiance — January 22, 2010 @ 11:37

  13. Gosh you are so fast! You know, I know you didn’t want to post your stats for awhile to avoid people comparing, but as a slowpoke, I like having things to aspire to.

    Oh and I am glad you are enjoying reading my recipes! I can’t believe you just tried spinach for the first time!!!

    Comment by Katerina — January 22, 2010 @ 12:36

  14. Great job on the impromptu tempo run!!

    Comment by hogeruns — January 22, 2010 @ 13:43

  15. Nice job. It’s very positive that your body can adjust so easily to the change in run types.

    Comment by a marathoner — January 22, 2010 @ 17:54

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