MarathonMaiden's Blog

February 25, 2010

Setting Yourself Up For Success

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 19:28

Not that failure is a terribly bad thing. I 100% believe that good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment (ie failure at something).

With that said, I’ve been having some bad luck and tough times with my tempo runs as of late.  Yes, they have taught me stuff and sure I know there have been mitigating circumstances (crappy weather, lack of sleep). But it’s still never really nice to have to rationalize or justify (not quite the words I want but close enough) things. Especially when you have my mind set.

So I decided that my tempo today was going to be a success.  Given the crappy, rainy and cold weather that awaited me this morning I knew that it was going to be a TM day.  And since this whole training cycle I have yet to do a tempo on the TM I figured that I was okay.  1 session inside wasn’t going to ruin or take away from the 8 I’ve put in outside.  6 of which were stellar, 1 was great given the conditions and 1 was truly “eh”.  Not bad stats at all.

Basically by switching to the TM I was able to avoid the weather and give my mind a break from having to think and have a chance to doubt myself.  Because, let’s face it, unless you’re doing intervals on the TM (or going from workout to warm down) it’s kind of embarrassing to have to lower the speed.  At least that’s the case for me. So I knew that when I  plugged in my tempo speed, that was that.  No changes. And I didn’t deviate at all from my prescribed workout.

Well maybe I did.  The plan I’m following always has me doing 2 or 3 by XX minutes with some rest in between.  But to me that’s not a tempo.  To me tempo is a continuous effort for 40-60 minutes at a hard pace.  So this is how it went down:

  • 3.5 mile warm up @ 8:34
  • 7 mile tempo (6@ 7:19, 1@ 708)
  • 3.5 mile warm down @ 8:34

Total time: 111 minutes even
Total distance: 14 miles
Average pace: 7:55

My gripe with the TM is that I ALWAYS run my warm up/down faster than I should. I mean outside I would have been warming up roughly a minute slower than inside.  I think my warm down pace is typically around an 8:30 pace or so, just because after running so fast for so long this feels creeping.  But the warm-up today was wicked fast.  Not that it felt uncomfortable at all but it’s just weird that I can run the same effort but a faster pace on the tm.  I’ve been told that it’s usually the other way around for most people and running outside is faster.

But the faster warm up coupled with a FAST tempo made the overall pace drop which is going to be huge when I calculate the weekly pace.  And I can’t say that upsets me. 😛

But the run itself was great.  I threw a towel over the console so I wouldn’t be caught counting down the time until it was over.  I did peak around minute 17 which was about 2.5 miles in or so and then decided not to look again.  Heh.  I made it to 4.6 or so but by then I knew I was more than halfway there and it was all good.

Like usual the first mile or so SUCKED.  It’s just so hard to go from easy to really pushing and, while my body isn’t exactly rebelling, my mind sure is.  But since I was on the TM there was no way in hell I was adjusting my pace.Even though there was maybe 2 other people there with me. Haha.

As a note on the pace: I chose to run today VERY aggressively (and if sweat is any indication then it was VERY times . And no, no pictures.  I thought about it butttttt no. Haha. I figured that I didn’t want to ruin the image you guys have of me because today was much sweatier than Tuesday.  Like I was drenched a mile into the tempo.  I should have brought a change of clothes to the gym heh)  Partly because the past two tempos have been under-performed.  But mostly because I wanted to prove to myself that this was something I was capable of.  The first 6 miles were just off of 10k pace and the last mile was under my 10k pace.  I think this says to me that I have some speed and need to settle a score with the 10k.  I do have a tentative one set up over my spring break but we’ll see if it’s feasible for me to travel there.

But despite the pushed pace I never felt like it was too much.  I’m not sure if I could have gone faster (or at least changed the ratio of 7:19 to 7:08) or longer (well maybe a half mile or so but not much beyond that).  Total signs that I did this tempo correctly.  I wasn’t being bull-headed by going out so strong.  Always a good thing and with me I never know if that’s the case: am I being stupid and trying to just show off or am I running smart.  Looks like today was a smart one.

And being the smart cookie I am, I acted immediately on calling the Sports Med Dept at Children’s Hospital this morning (even though it’s a children’s hospital about half the patients in the sports med dept are adults because all the doctors are have other specialties and are board certified for adults and children).  Just to reiterate because I think this is getting lost with some people: my ankle/shin is NOT AN INJURY.  I’m doing this solely precautionary.  Which is why I’m waiting until my spring break (2 weeks eeeek!) rather than getting in earlier.  That and I can’t take a day off of school unless my foot is actually falling off.  That said, I’m glad that all of you guys think it’s a good choice to see someone.

Speaking of it though, this morning I woke up with very little stiffness/achey-ness.  I suppose some of the credit should be that I started an NSAID routine yesterday and that helped the healing process of my body.  I’m sure that my stretching and alphabets have helped too.  The only thing that hurt when I got up was my calf: it felt like I had gotten a charlie horse overnight! I’m positive I didn’t because I totally would have woken up but it felt amazing to stretch out today.  And as I type this up it feels back to normal.

Oh and another thing that I loved about moving my run to the TM was that I got to put on the History Channel while running.  I normally don’t like putting on the TV while running. For one thing the screen is *way* too close to me and another is that I don’t feel like a “real runner”.  Silly? Yes. But hey, I am a minimalist at heart.  Either way I got to watch a really cool special on the pyramids of Giza.  It was SO . COOL.  Part of me thinks that I should have taken more (read: ANY) history classes while here at school buttttt I don’t think I would have liked being “forced” to learn it.  I like doing it this way 🙂

Another way to success 🙂

And to keep a semi-theme of success I need to hit up the physics and Spanish work so that I can pass my classes? Yes that would be a good thing.  Plus if I get done at a reasonable hour I can drink tonight.  And there’s nothing like drinking and dancing to get a chica motivated to do her work.  Success? I’m getting there 🙂



  1. sounds like you are experiencing a lot of success! You are a real runners…even if you watch the history channel when running! haha. I sometimes watch the food network. hahaha Do you set your treadmill for any incline during tempos?:

    Comment by Mary (Food Fit & Fun) — February 25, 2010 @ 19:44

    • Yes, I set it to .5% although I’ve been told that 1% better accurately mimics outside. I like .5% just because it’s still an incline but it’s not bad at all

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:14

  2. Oh how I miss having going out for the night as motivation to get my work done 🙂

    Comment by Heather — February 25, 2010 @ 19:46

  3. Great run! You are getting really fast 🙂

    Comment by Matt — February 25, 2010 @ 20:12

  4. NICE tempo! you’ll knock your 10K pr out of the park the next time you race one if you can run that fast in a workout! i’m actually the opposite of you – whatever pace i’m running on the TM always feels harder than the same pace would outside. weird right?

    haha i can totally relate to the sweat thing…i feel like a disgusting beast whenever i leave the gym after a hard workout. the people on the other TMs must be so grossed out by people like us 😛

    i agree, drinking + dancing = great motivation! 🙂

    Comment by HurdlingHam — February 25, 2010 @ 20:22

    • I like to think they’re in awe of how hard we’re working haha. And I think that I’m the weird one regarding tm and outdoor speeds. Everyone I know is like you!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:15

  5. So bizarre. I just got out of a tempo run indoors and the pace felt so much harder on the T. M. than outside!! How crazy. Congrats on the kickass workout!

    Comment by Running on Faith — February 25, 2010 @ 21:31

  6. I love history. Oh, to be a student forever…

    Hope you have fun whatever you do tonight, even if that’s staying in.

    Comment by EE — February 25, 2010 @ 22:01

  7. Awesome tempo! I hope my tempo tomorrow is that good.

    Comment by Nick — February 25, 2010 @ 22:09

  8. Great tempo run, do you get to choose the channel on the treadmill at your gym? That’s cool, at my old uni gym it was always jeremy kyle or loose women, which you probably won’t have heard of cause they’re English shows but they are AWFUL, especially loose women haha!

    Comment by Laura — February 26, 2010 @ 05:03

    • Yeah, the TMs have their own tvs on them. But limited channels. Interestingly no ABC, CBS or NBC (which are the big basic networks here in the states (don’t know how the system is set up across the pond). And I’ve actually heard of loose women, it’s like the view (a show here). But the only reason I know about it is because Kathy Griffin doesn’t like them and bashed them on her reality show. Haha. So I watch the History Channel AND Kathy Griffin hahahahah

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:18

  9. I have so much more trouble running hard on the treddy…but I think that’s also because there are people there watching me and I get self conscious about my beet red face and my buckets of sweat.

    I hope the doctor can help out with your ankle/shin! I’ve found a lot of help in using KT Tape…and cross training to reduce my daily running. I even got faster when I reduced my running from 5-6 /week to 3-4…

    Comment by pen — February 26, 2010 @ 07:29

  10. This is my first time saying hi here, but your training is just incredible. And I LOVE how you detail the workouts…I can spend 20 minutes describing my running to a (very disinterested) audience. Long tempos are super tough, so well done on gutting it through.

    Comment by sarah — February 26, 2010 @ 10:30

  11. I only know what’s going on in the world because I watch CNN while I run on the treadmill. I wish there was better stuff on TV at 6am… it’s all infomercials. Way to go on the tempo run and being proactive about preventing injuries.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — February 26, 2010 @ 10:38

    • I used to watch CNN but I feel like all the news is just the same old stuff! You should check out the history channel if you get it because they have some great documentaries and shows. And I think at 6am too!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:20

  12. Ya Ya Ya I hope you got to go out and get your DANCE on!! I bet those hardworkin legs loved the switch up in movement…especially after a BALLIN tempo run 😉 when I run the Treadymill I always bring vocab words to study on sheets of paper and cover the screen on the machine…it helps the miles go by sooo much faster! reading + running=a bit of a challenge though! I hope you have a great friday my gorgeous girlie!! xoxo!

    Comment by Lizzy — February 26, 2010 @ 11:09

    • I am in AWE of those who can read and run. I can’t even read and bike haha 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:20

  13. I work for the History Channel! Glad to know that people are watching us. 🙂 Working out while watching TV is one of the most efficient ways to multi-task!

    Comment by Ameena — February 26, 2010 @ 11:27

  14. I have issues with the tvs attached to the treadmills. Maybe I’m just not as smooth of a runner as some, but I can’t concentrate on the picture! Awful…

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — February 26, 2010 @ 11:35

    • I usually do too but I put it on mostly just to zone out at and only for really hard workouts where I know it’s going to be painful haha. I think they put the tvs too close to the tm and that’s why I have trouble.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — February 26, 2010 @ 21:22

  15. WAY TO GO!!! rocking pace, you must be so happy 🙂 7 miles with hard effort like that is superb!

    Comment by Lacey — February 26, 2010 @ 12:49

  16. See I am the opposite of you – the treadmill and I do not agree on the fast paces. i always warm up and cool down at a minute slower than I normally would if I was outside. Well I guess I really don’t know that because I dont have a garmin or anything BUT i am pretty sure I dont run 10 minute miles to warm up outside!

    anyway! Glad the run went well on the TM!

    Comment by J — February 26, 2010 @ 13:09

  17. The mental aspect is so underestimated. Hanging tough psychologically is the key. You went in with the mindset of having a solid tempo and that’s exactly what you accomplished. Very good indeed.

    Comment by A Marathoner — February 26, 2010 @ 16:30

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