MarathonMaiden's Blog

January 28, 2010

Tempo Thursday. Like Usual.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:20

Yeah, so thanks to those who called me out about me being a drama queen about my schedule yesterday 😉  You guys were a bit too polite to put it like that though haha. I know my schedule is not really bad and this is the best it’s ever been (I’m taking a normal course load rather than an expanded one for once) but change always stresses me out and trying to figure out what my routine is going to be this semester is stressful for me.  So while I had “free time” yesterday I was still on the go the whole time so it didn’t feel that way.  If that makes sense. And at the end of the day, I didn’t feel as frazzled at all like I usually do first day back.  So I think my relaxing semester will, in fact, be one. *knocksonwood*

And I’m slowly making progress on figuring out a plan for my gap year between graduation and medical school. I still have NO idea what I’ll be doing but currently I’m going about things proactively so that I don’t feel so helpless.  Sending lots of emails and trying to network a bit.  Fingers crossed for me.

Another good / not stressful thing is that the dining hall is opened.  Well I mean it *was* open during the break but our meal plan wasn’t in action so I would have had to pay for the iffy food there. I guess I do pay for it in my room/board or tuition or whatever.  And I would try to get off it except that it’s VERY hard to opt out. Plus our school has a “carte blanche” meal plan so I can go in whenever, numerous times a day, eat as much as I want.  Very good for the overall grocery budget as I really only have to get stuff like yogurt and certain cereals which aren’t in the dining halls.  Because I take anything that isn’t nailed down! I came back from dinner last night with 12 pears, 6 apples and 3 bananas.  And two loafs of bread.  Okay so not the most impressive selection but I stock up.  The sad thing is that most of that will be gone by the weekend.  Don’t judge 🙂

Just like I am trying to not judge my tempo run this morning.  I had a mid-morning meeting and I despise doing afternoon workouts so I just got up beforehand.  Nothing extra early or anything but I think recovery early runs are totally different than tempo early runs.  Here are the stats before I go any further in my bitching and moaning:

  • 3.2 mile warm up @ 9:51
  • 6.6 mile tempo @ 7:43
  • 4.4 mile warm down @ 8:33

Total time: 120 minutes even
Total distance: 14.2 miles ( I think that technically it was 14.3 but when I add up my routes I tend to round down. ie) 4.67 becomes 4.6 or 3.53 becomes 3.5 in the log book. So when I add them I get 8.1 but it’s really 8.2. I’m sure that I’m usually understating the distances.)
Average pace: 8:27

So my average pace on the tempo (7:43) was much slower than I wanted.  Granted it was much faster than it felt.  I actually thought that it was going to be a goal marathon pace (GMP) run rather than a tempo going into it.  When I got up I had only gotten 7 or so hours of sleep when I *need* 9 to feel refreshed (damn you book I am reading for keeping me up late!) and my eyes felt bloodshot and I couldn’t really see straight and they felt puffy too.  Not exactly conditions to set myself up for a good hard tempo.

Additionally the early morning runs are sans breakfast.  I’ve probably said it before but I hate eating with food in my stomach.  I have to wait 2-3 hours after a meal before I can run or else I will vomit.  Pleasant I know.  And this usually isn’t a problem with recovery runs because they’re easy and pace doesn’t matter.  Well, pace does matter on a tempo run.

So the combination of exhaustion (because in addition to lack of sleep last night I’ve been plain tired lately) and a 12 hour-ish fast made a blistering pace practically impossible.  I’m sure that if I really put my mind to the task I could have gone faster but eh.  I couldn’t focus at all.  I tried to tell myself that me and Lacey went faster at the end of our great LR this past weekend but to no avail.  My mind would just wander for long stretches which has always been my downfall when it comes to tempo runs. So I ended up with a good pace but wasn’t feeling it.  Kind of felt like it was phoned in as my intervals were this week.  In a way it’s likely good that my body isn’t being constantly pushed to extreme week after week but it’s tough for my ego to handle it.

That said I should be happy with this run and deep down, under the disappointment, I am.  My pace was within the McMillian range (7:34-7:54 based on my previous marathon time) and even within my accepted range (7:15-7:45).  Given my *excuses* above (and man do I hate excuses) I have to say that today’s tempo was a success.  McMillian talks about how the slower end of the range really does do the same work as the faster end of the range.  Wait, what? He goes on to say that day-to-day fluctuations in life impact our running lives.  So what a tempo pace might be on a really well rested, stars-are-aligned day would obviously be faster than an exhausted morning tempo pace.  But anything within the range is training “optimally”. With that in mind I am refraining from judging. Or trying too.  It’s so hard.

And I know I keep harping on the “don’t judge” mantra but the surest way to change a mentality default setting is through repetition, no? So bare with me while I adjust 🙂

I also got in a quick ellipit arc trainer (what’s the difference between the two??) – slash- abs session after my meeting with a friend to play some catch-up. While I hate XT-ing it up it’s so nice to be able to do this kind of catch-up rather than a meal because exercise is a great bonding thing, at least in my experience.  Plus I was able to get the blood moving and keep my muscles from tightening up even more than they are and those nagging aches are starting to crop up again (because I still haven’t stretched yet! Must. Do. Today.)

And since this post is already essay length I’m going to go pick up my packages from the post office.  I know one of them is my Quantum Physics book and I think the other is my Harry Potter 4 en francais and HP7 en espanol.  I’m a dork I know.  And then (dun-dun-dun) first Thursday of the semester! Hollllleeeeerrrrrr 🙂


  1. Karyn!!! No need to make excuses. You had a great run!!!! My runs are baby runs compared to yours. haha. I haven’t gone on my tempo run yet considering I just got out of work and I would have had to wake up at 5:45 to get it in. Running in the dark in philadelphia just doesn’t feel safe to me. So I’m hoping to get off my butt and do it soon. I’m not really quite sure how to approach it though because according to Hal Higdon he defines tempos at going a little slower than 10k pace for 3-5 minutes. I feel as if that is not long enough though and I’d rather approach it mile-wise. Not quite sure.

    Comment by Mary (Food Fit & Fun) — January 28, 2010 @ 15:44

  2. OOOH I know the difference between arc trainer and elliptical- arc trainier you can control the range of motion that moves your legs up and down. Just sayin. And Happy Thirsty Thursday to you tooo!

    Comment by kathleennnn — January 28, 2010 @ 16:14

  3. Nice run! I ran about the same distance today on my tempo run 🙂

    Comment by Matt — January 28, 2010 @ 16:16

  4. Sounds like a great run!!!

    Comment by Heather — January 28, 2010 @ 16:49

  5. You still had a very good run. Not every run can be beastly … otherwise they wouldn’t mean as much! Keep going.

    Comment by a marathoner — January 28, 2010 @ 19:14

  6. harry potter in double languages?! hehehe. gosh. i can’t even imagine. what book are you reading right now that’s keeping you up??????? this ALWAYS happens to me (darn it).

    i could NEVER do a tempo in the early AM. my body just does not work in the speed department before 10am. tho i should man up and just try at some point. but i feel old and stiff when i wake up 🙂

    GO STRETCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    and nice tempo. don’t judge. just beat yourself next time 🙂

    Comment by Lacey — January 28, 2010 @ 21:14

  7. Nice tempo work on a thursday! I think you’re being hard on yourself. You’re doing amazingly great!

    Comment by The Laminator — January 29, 2010 @ 01:53

  8. Have to admit…never read Harry Potter past the first one…am I missing something big? I sometimes wonder? What is YOUR favorite book? When I was in school, I read only for pleasure on trips, now I read 3 books a month. LOVE it!

    Comment by specialkphd — January 29, 2010 @ 02:37

  9. Still had a great tempo run but I say you’re gonna have an even better long run this weekend! Hopefully you got more sleep so you’ll feel refreshed and your legs will be ready to run 🙂

    Comment by Jenny — January 29, 2010 @ 07:01

  10. Dude, how on Earth do you take quantum physics??? I seriously admire you for that! You totally did not seem like a drama queen for posting your schedule, I do that all the time because visualizing it helps reduce stress;)

    Comment by Ada — January 29, 2010 @ 07:51

  11. I’m absoultely the same about not running on a full stomach, or boxing on one for that matter, I’m extrememly picky about what I eat and when I eat before a workout cause my stomach seems to be so sensitive if I get it slightly wrong.

    Also, I agree with the person above, not drama queeny at all, it helps to keep on track when you write stuff down I find, I’m a big fan of lists and schedules haha

    Comment by Laura — January 29, 2010 @ 08:28

  12. You were being a drama queen? I didn’t notice. No worries, fair maiden.

    Agree with the above poster that lists make life worthwhile. 😉

    Comment by EE — January 29, 2010 @ 09:05

  13. Do you have to do languages for school or is it a personal interest thing? I guess it’s good to know Spanish if you want to be a doc…

    Comment by EarlyRunner — January 29, 2010 @ 14:50

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