MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 16, 2010

Like, I Really REALLY Hate Tempos

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:47

Another Tuesday Tempo here! It was SO HARD to drag myself out of bed this morning knowing that A) I’m still sleep deprived from this weekend B) my covers were amazingly comfy and C) I really effing hate tempos.

But I drug my sorry butt out of bed for the tempo. What I wanted to get out of this was a controlled workout. Sure the pace matters but with WR being only…18(?!)…days left the work that I do now is mostly mental.  Essentially the “hay is in the barn” (anyone else HATE that phrase?! Any suggestions for what I can replace it with?!) and now it’s getting comfy with some miles that aren’t killer but are faster.  Ideally GMP but that’s been the ideal all along, no?


Sometimes it's like no matter how hard I try I can't hit the workouts how I want

The plan was to warm up for a couple miles, bang out ~5-6 miles at “tempo” pace (whatever that means at the moment) and then warm down for a couple miles + a few more (my warm downs are always longer than my ups).  I knew before I even stepped out of my door that this was going to be a challenging workout and to not expect paces around what I’d been running the past few weeks.  My hips felt a bit…tender? Not hurt or pain or injury.  More like “HEY I could use a massage NOW”

When all was said and done this was the result:

  • Warmup
  • 6.6 mile “tempo” @ 7:26 pace
  • Warm down

I don’t think this really tells the whole story though.

Essentially the tempo portion can be broken down into three 2.2 mile segments as that’s how I thought about it when as I ran it.  Now, looking at the overall pace the workout looks fine.  Maybe a little slow for true tempo pace based on where I’m at fitness wise, but still where a workout could/should be with ❤ weeks until marathon day.  Maybe even exactly where I need to be as my estimated GMP is ~7:30.

The breakdown of the tempo looks not so great:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:42
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:10
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:25

Oddly enough I was thinking about how to describe this workout and I thought: CONTROL.  Unlike last week, today I felt like I was moving how I was supposed to be.  I will admit that when I saw 16:56 as my first loop split I kind of freaked out because, while I knew it was ~7:45 (hizzah math) it was slower than GMP, let alone the tempo paces I’ve been running the past 3 weeks.

So I kicked it up a bit and, surprise surprise, it didn’t feel any harder than the first loop.  I know Flo talked a lot about this recently: that if I start out fast, I stay fast.  The trick now is to figure out what my pace is from the get-go.  Because, to be 100% honest here, my 9:42 warm up pace didn’t feel slower than my 7:42 first tempo loop nor did either of those feel different from my next 7:10 loop.

I mean, I can tell by the lactic acid that sort of accumulates and the burn that I feel but once I lock into a pace I can hold it.  I’d be VERY surprised if I deviated much from the average loop paces during the loops themselves. Which is why I felt like I was in control during the workout.

Mission accomplished then. I’m thinking that the feeling of control is more important than the splits themselves.  Or so I’m trying to tell the numbers junkie in me 😉

In the end I think that today’s workout was not a bad one by any means.  Once I got the initial “UGH I didn’t get the workout how I wanted it”  thoughts out of the way (because, let’s face it, they will always be there I have come to the following conclusion: Getting close to GMP is tricky and hard for me and this was a learning workout. Plus once I got that first 2.2 loop out of the way I was quite speedy.

Afterward I did W2D1 of my pushups and situps:

Pushups: 14, 14, 10, 10, 16

Situps: 21, 21, 15, 15, 25

I did discover when I was going my “strength” stuff that my legs are tight! I shamefully cannot touch my toes anymore.  I used to be really flexible but stretching was the first thing to go when my schedule got hectic this fall.  Don’t worry though: I plan on using my break to stretch today.  I want to get back to being really flexible.  Not for any real running reason per se (I’m not the biggest subscriber to stretching being *wicked* important.  It has it’s place but I don’t think it’s the be-all-to-end-all) but because I just feel better in life when my muscles aren’t like a rubber band. I feel like I stand straighter and am more confident. And that my muscles aren’t all cramped and I’m not all hunched in a ball, making me want to be on the couch all day.

Thanks google

Since I never stretch someone might have to use a torture device so I can hit that flexibility goal hahahhah

Have a lovely Tuesday y’all.  And Amy that means you too girl!

And check out this giveaway from Lesley (Racing it Off)



  1. Love love love that first cartoon… The second cartoon, well that looks like my amazon legs… well, if I don’t shave them for an entire year, maybe they’d look like that.

    Comment by Lesley @ — November 16, 2010 @ 15:26

  2. Your paces never cease to impress. and I know the mileage you put in so that makes it even more awesome!

    Get to stretching…even a little helps. I don’t do it like i used to but a little yoga and after run stretching makes me feel so much more graceful. Ok. I said, “feel.” I know I’m still anything but graceful!

    Comment by Shelly — November 16, 2010 @ 15:32

  3. Tehehehehe… no worries, I’m doing my best to make Tuesday not so sucky! 🙂

    And yeah- dragging my butt out of bed is getting harder and harder the colder it gets. I just want to stay all snuggly under the covers… ugh!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — November 16, 2010 @ 15:38

  4. Totally know what you mean about not being able to hit your workouts no matter how hard you try, I had a run like that this morning.. Just wasn’t happening!

    Comment by Laura @ box run eat — November 16, 2010 @ 18:26

  5. Um hello, you are speedy!! Stupid comfortable bed that tries to get you to stay in it all day:) I hate tempo runs too… but they must be done:) 18 days!! Wish I could come cheer you on….I will be at home waiting for the recap:) Great jobs on the push-ups, someday I will be able to do a real boy push-up!

    Comment by janae — November 16, 2010 @ 19:24

  6. “Hay in the barn” is not nearly as fun as “money in the baaaank.”

    Comment by sweatykid — November 16, 2010 @ 20:57

    • That reminds me of that song “Can I buy you a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaank” hahahah

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 17, 2010 @ 20:16

  7. i tried googling that but couldn’t come up with anything. sorry.

    i like tempos, but i guess we can still be friends. i always set a goal pace but then when i’m running i mostly go by effort. some days i’m with in my range and some days i’m not, but it felt hard so i take it as a victory. or maybe i’m just too accomodating with myself haha.

    Comment by lindsay — November 16, 2010 @ 21:09

    • I think I need to start thinking about workouts as effort rather than times. I think it’ll be so good for me mentally!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 17, 2010 @ 20:19

  8. Temps SUCK!! I get anxiety for 3 days prior to having to run one – I’m not sure I have ever hit a target either, but they must be done, or at least attempted. Good job, girlie!!! Now don’t forget to stretch tonight before you go to bed!!! 🙂

    Comment by Jill — November 16, 2010 @ 21:16

  9. “Money’s in the bank”!!! whoop whoop! ohhh my gosh it’s COMING!!! eeek! I wish it was this weekend, I’m so darn excited! celebrate another tempo run down and one run closer to the big bang! hehe!

    Comment by lizzyj1305 — November 17, 2010 @ 01:39

  10. Oh stretching. I do that every night and I never seem to be more flexible. Although i can almost tough my toes now while standing, but when sitting and trying to touch my toes that is a totally different story. Its just annoying. My hamstrings really hate me.

    Comment by J — November 17, 2010 @ 08:12

    • At least you can almost touch your toes while standing. All my muscle groups hate me when I’m trying to stretch.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 17, 2010 @ 20:23

  11. Nice, speedy run! I get super tight if I don’t stretch at least twice a day. Not really sure what’s up with that, but I think stretching is good for me. I do know of a lot of people that don’t stretch at all and never get injured. To each his own!

    Comment by mealsformiles — November 17, 2010 @ 08:19

  12. tempo runs are the bane of my existence. they hover over me all day (if i’m running at night) or keep me up all night (if i’m running in the morning). i don’t know why they bring out such a lack of self-confidence in me.

    but you nailed them girl! even though it wasn’t even from loop to loop they were strong and controlled. good work!

    Comment by the dawn — November 17, 2010 @ 11:15

  13. I know I am supposed to compare myself with myself, but WOW your tempo is like the fastest I’ve ever done EVER!

    Comment by specialkphd — November 17, 2010 @ 14:23

  14. Nice tempo run. Do you have a goal pace?

    Comment by Jess — November 17, 2010 @ 22:29

    • Thanks, I was pretty happy with it overall. I guess my goal pace for WR is 7:30 (which will give me a 3:16:30 time). I feel weird typing that out as it’s 45 seconds faster than my current PR! And I wish I hadn’t calculated out what time that pace would give me because I think the vomit reflex is going to kick in soon.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 18, 2010 @ 13:30

  15. I totally feel your pain on the hatered of tempos… But good job!

    Comment by Penny — November 18, 2010 @ 14:14

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