MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 4, 2010

Tempo. Not Too Shabby.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:36

It’s Thursday. Ergo: TEMPO THURSDAYS.

I had a really fitful night of sleep last night.  I was so keyed up over my physics classes that I couldn’t power down.  That and my nose was so congested (and I couldn’t blow it!) so I definitely had a hard time getting up this morning.  I ended up sleeping with two pillows (which I don’t do because having my head at an angle bugs the heck out of me) so it was a rough night and morning.  I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror before heading out on my run and it was not pretty.  I have pretty low standards of how I need to look in the morning so the fact that I thought I looked like hell is telling.  Oh well.

I also woke up feeling like my right knee had been hit with a sledgehammer. OUCH.  It doesn’t hurt when I walk or move at all (well stairs a bit) but touching it makes me think I slammed it into something without realizing it because it’s painful when I poke and prod it (note: don’t poke and prod bruises).  It definitely feels bruised and I don’t think it’s a running- related pain.  Just a I’m-incredibly-clumsy pain.  Unless knee injuries feel like a bruise? Guess I need to pay attention to where I walk. Funny because I don’t remember banging into anything.

Regardless of the weird knee thing I decided to do my tempo workout first thing (like last week) for a couple of reasons

  • I have soooo much work to do so I wanted to have my workout under my belt before getting lost in the world of Quantum Mechanics (Sorry EarlyRunner I doubt I’ll do a post on it unless it’s really requested because I don’t understand most of it myself! haha.  Maybe at the end of the semester when hopefully I’ll have learned something)
  • I really like running first thing.  It sets a tone for the rest of my day.
  • Tempo running in the morning, sans TM, sans breakfast is hard.  I really like a challenge and I think that if I can conquer tempoing correctly as an early bird than I’m in excellent shape.

As much as I complain about tempo running on my own (because let’s face it I do contemplate the tm for these runs every darn week) I really love it.  Of course if you were to ask me during the tempo portion I’d hate it and likely want to hurt you.  But at the end it’s all good.  I always feel the good exhaustion at the end of a tempo because I’ve been running hard.  And a hard effort is most excellent.

Which is exactly what I got. Given that my sleeping hasn’t been all that great lately I was worried about what I could do today.  Early morning quality workouts are completely different from early morning recovery runs — duh and I think I wrote the same thing last week. Oops. I figured that if I could just keep the pace the same or equal to last week (7:44) then I’d be good.  Not going to lie: the first few miles were tough.  But I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves

  • 3.8 mile warm up @ 9:45
  • 7 mile tempo @ 7:35
  • 3.8 mile warm down @ 8:55

Total time: 124 minutes
Total distance 14.6 miles

I wasn’t planning on going for 7 tempo miles this morning but when I finished the 5.5 mile loop that I was going to do I miscalculated my pace.  I figured that I was going at a longer tempo pace so I kept it up for another 1.5 miles.  Mmmmm yeah wasn’t the case and I’m sure today was a progression tempo as the last 1.5 was at 6:58 pace. So clearly I was beasting this tempo.

It didn’t feel like it though and, like usual, I tend to doubt my abilities to run tempos on my own.  I always think I’m going MUCH slower than I am and I always wonder how I’m going to complete the workout.  It’s silly because in the past 6 weeks of training I’ve never once failed at a tempo run (*knockonwood*!!) but the lingering doubt is still there.  I guess in some ways it’s good because it drives me to run faster and harder — one of the thoughts that goes through my head is “imagine how disappointed you’ll feel if you’re 5 seconds off pace” — but still I wish I was more confident with it.  Hopefully that’s something that will evolve over time.

But from my perspective after the run: I’m extremely happy with how it all worked out and think I was crazy for the worrying.  Especially because with my rounding system I think I’m under counting the run by about a quarter mile, with .1 of it in the tempo portion.  (My system means that 1.77 + 1.24 =/= 2.01.  It really equals 1.9 because I don’t use the hundredths place decimal).   That means I’m faster (not by much but faster nonetheless) than I’ve calculated.  Not too shabby indeed.

Hopefully I can channel some of that awesomeness into finishing up my Quantum problem set now. I don’t have that much to left to do (I was actually pretty productive after my run)it’s just that the math is very messy and I don’t want to.  Then I get to play with lasers for my Experimental physics lab.  At least the lab is exciting because writing up of the lab report won’t be.

Happy Thursday all!



  1. Awesome tempo! Like you said to me yesterday, maybe you’re faster than you think 🙂

    I’m the same way about not wanting to be off pace. Even though I usually run faster than tempo pace, I still worry about being slow.

    Comment by Nick — February 4, 2010 @ 16:50

  2. Great tempo and especially holding the pace for so long!!! WTG! I do the exact same thing right before my tempo’s … contemplating w/ a bit of fear attached. Be careful around your room … mystery bumps and bruises are never fun.

    Comment by A Marathoner — February 4, 2010 @ 17:45

  3. Re: hot water bath w/ salt. I have not tried it yet. It was recommended by Josh Cox as an alternative to ice baths. FWIW – my grandmother swore by them, but she wasn’t a marathoner. 😉

    Comment by A Marathoner — February 4, 2010 @ 18:16

  4. Awesome job! I love speedwork (intervals or tempo) for the same reason – that perfectly satisfied awesome feeling you get at the end of them. You rock!

    Comment by runningfiance — February 4, 2010 @ 19:38

  5. Tempo is also just fun to say emphatically. Tempo! Tempo! Great job.

    Comment by EE — February 4, 2010 @ 20:18

  6. Quantum=not fun!…Tempo=Fun!! running fast is wayyyyy more fun than slower oaced recovery runs! You did do a beastly job on this run chica…ya ya ya goooo girl! 7miles@tempo=awesome! i hope quantum hw isn’t too terrible tonight! and get some GOOD SLEEP tonight chica, you need that rest! keep on rockin’ those runs! xoxo!

    Comment by Lizzy — February 4, 2010 @ 23:30

  7. Nice job!! I finally watched LOST! SO Good. Makes me really excited about the next couple months! I may have to make it a habit to watch it the next day instead of losing sleep though!

    Comment by Running on Faith — February 5, 2010 @ 01:05

  8. I hope you don’t take offense to this, but in so many ways you remind of my younger self. The way you run, your candid honesty, it makes me laugh. The bruise- yep, been there, done that. Heck, I have more NON running injuries from crazy accidents than I do running injuries. Go figure. Ice it a bit, if you need to. I’m sure it will be fine in a day or two. Great workouts, as usual!!!!

    Comment by Rebecca — February 5, 2010 @ 07:10

    • OMG that is one of the BEST compliments everrrrrrrrr. I read that this morning and it put some pep in my step. Thanks a million!!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 5, 2010 @ 16:44

  9. Holy moly chica! 14.6 mile run+quantum mechanics= one kick booty girlie:)

    Comment by Ada — February 5, 2010 @ 07:53

  10. Awesome, awesome job! You are going to BEAST Boston! Re: the salt bath – I have a review on my blog about something called Endurasoak that is awesome. A runner on the RW forums makes it – and gave some to Josh Cox, Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall! Look it up on Facebook – she’s got pics and everything!

    Comment by runsinthefamily — February 5, 2010 @ 08:01

  11. Great workout! I had so much trouble with my first tempo run on Weds, don’t know how you do it so fast and for so long! Hope you’re feeling better soon, take some echinacea it’s supposed to boost your immune system – I’m not sure exactly how well it works but I always take it when I’m poorly.

    Comment by Laura — February 5, 2010 @ 09:52

  12. Great job on the run! I feel like I always bang my knee and I can never remember how I did it! So annoying. Hope it feels better!

    Comment by BostonRunner — February 5, 2010 @ 14:15

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