MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 23, 2010

Well Not Exactly A Tempo. But I’ve Come A Long Way.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:44

When I got to work on Monday I was crowned:

Silly camera phone being blurry

The eClinicalWorks Queen.  Or ECW (pronounced e-c-dubs) Because I am apparently the know-it-all with the program.  Did I mention I’m not staff here? Just a VISTA?

What a great way to start a Monday, no? I actually wore the silly thing alllll day.  And it’s going to be on my head all day today too.

The rest of my Monday was pretty good.  My legs have still been feeling tight and achy lately.  A result, I’m sure, of the foam rolling.  I think I may be using too much pressure, although to quote my friend “How can you use too much pressure? You’re not 400 lbs” Overall I think that the increase in rolling is a good thing.  It’s making more aware of my muscles and how they feel.

That said I was going to do my tempo yesterday (because I had time in the morning) but didn’t.  Partly because I wanted that extra day of ease. And partly because that would throw off the rest of my weekday schedule.  I hate juggling things around when I don’t have to.

And hey, alliteration is hot.

I kind of regret that decision as I woke up this morning coughing up phlegm and with my sinus clogged and eyes itchy.  Hello allergies.  I hate the fact that I never had allergies until I hit my 20s.  Booooo.  So I did what any sane runner would do and ever sane person would not: pop an allergy pill and go out and try to hit my Tempo Tuesday.  I did get 8.5 hours of sleep so I figured I could be good to go.

The weather was also cooperating, giving me a lovely 47* morning with plenty of sunshine.  It felt like early spring! Obviously winter hasn’t even begun yet but it was nice to be able to run in spandex and a wife beater top.  And take off my gloves midway through 8)

The plan:

  • Warm up
  • Hit tempo pace (according to McMillian 6:51-711) for ~4.4 miles (aka the loop path with a bit extra)
  • Then hit GMP (~7:30) for ~2-3 miles during my recovery route
  • Take the rest of the recovery route as recovery

The idea was to hit a tempo pace hard so that the 3 or so miles at GMP felt really really easy. Confidence boosting? Yes please!

The result:

  • Warm up at an obscenely slow pace that actually didn’t feel that slow
  • 6.6 miles @ 7:24
  • Warm down at what feels like an obscenely slow pace that actually wasn’t

The average for the tempo portion looked like this:

  • 2.2 miles @ 7:28
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:20
  • 2.2 miles @ 7:24

Not quite what I was going for.


After the first 2.2 miles I knew (from calculating it out beforehand) that I was just under GMP.  Since this has been the plan since, oh I don’t know, the past 4 weeks I made the decision to stick with that pace (or try to) for the remainder of the route.  And I was pretty successful.  Yes it was a little fast but it wasn’t all over the place and the average wasn’t too much faster than GMP anyway.

As I was running the warm down I was starting to beat myself up over not being faster today.  And then I stopped.  Not running (duh never!) but thinking like that.  In terms of pure running, I’ve come a long way since my last training cycle.  While I was running tempos around 7:20-7:40 it never felt “good”.  It always felt hard.  So the fact that the same pace can feel, well not EASY but EASIER is huge.  A feather to put in the cap (or my tiara) if you will.

So all in all: Success.  At this point (T-13 days!) in my training “cycle” (I still feel weird calling it a cycle when it’s only 5 weeks long!) this is the type of workout I need: consistent and at GMP (or I guess slightly under as the case may be today).

I know that I’m ALWAYS going to feel disappointment with these types of workouts just because they aren’t an all out effort. I finished the tempo portion, still standing, and finished the workout with a curt nod of my head.  I really wanted, however, to end the tempo portion bent over and trying to catch my breath.  But right now these workouts aren’t meant to be that way and I need to start facing that discomfort of not going “balls to the walls” sooner or later if I want to continue to run (and race) well.

Oops to get all reflective and pensive on this Tuesday of the short week.  But I think this workout was huge.  Not in running terms per se but it’s given me reason to be *mentally* ready for WR even if physically it wasn’t what I’m used to or always want to be at.

But of course I also did W3D1 of my pushups when I got back, as well as some foam rolling action.

Pushups: 14, 18, 14 ,14 , 21

Situps: 21, 27, 21, 21, 35

And, to brighten up your day, a giveaway from Marcia

Plus, with Thanksgiving being in TWO days, a funny comic. From Foxtrot.  Which is my favorite. Enjoy


  1. Great job! Oh, and the crown is fabulous!

    Comment by Terri — November 23, 2010 @ 13:15

  2. No worries! You look pretty! =)

    Comment by Julie @ Hotlegs Runner — November 23, 2010 @ 13:32

  3. Cute photo! You did great, and numbers lover or not it IS a good thing to have some workouts where you end feeling like you have something left in the tank. Especially right now.

    Meant to say this before but I’m postponing my pushups until after the marathon. Wasn’t the right time to introduce a new stressor for me. But I am AMAZED by how many you can do already.

    Comment by kristinschleicher — November 23, 2010 @ 13:46

    • I’m kind of thinking I should have waited until post-marathon too hahah. Oops. And I’m starting to agree with you about leaving something in the tank for certain workouts. It’s a weird feeling but I think it’ll make me a stronger runner in the end

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 24, 2010 @ 10:04

  4. cute pic! i think your run sounds great!

    Comment by Lindsay — November 23, 2010 @ 14:01

  5. I much prefer doing tempo and goal pace runs to all-out effort workouts. I am more displeased with my times on the hard intervals. Nice run!

    Comment by Jess — November 23, 2010 @ 14:04

    • I’m always going to be displeased so I’d rather be unhappy but gasping for breath 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 24, 2010 @ 10:05

  6. Nice run, Ms. Professional.

    Comment by Chelsea — November 23, 2010 @ 14:15

  7. I think that workout was perfect! You listened to your body and ran at a faster pace than you plan to for the marathon and it felt good which is awesome! Looking good girl!

    Comment by J — November 23, 2010 @ 14:23

  8. Foxtrot! Talk about blast from the past…

    I would have worn it all day, too. And clearly you’ll have to display it on your desk- like forever.

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — November 23, 2010 @ 14:32

    • Ummm no display. It’s going to be a functional piece of my wardrobe from now on.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 24, 2010 @ 10:05

  9. Hahah…cute comic.
    And look at you, cutie-petutie in that awesome crown! I say it should be a permanent fixture to your daily work wardrobe :).

    Happy Thanksgiving, girl!!!! 🙂

    Comment by Jill — November 23, 2010 @ 14:32

  10. Love the tiara! You are awesome! I will have to disagree again with the foam rolling thing. I believe you CAN overdo it. If you’ve ever been to a physical therapist, they give you time guidelines for those types of exercises. It is a tendon, so like any other tendon, it can become inflamed.

    Anyway… 7:30s sound like a great GMP for you! It’s all downhill from here!

    Comment by Rebecca — November 23, 2010 @ 14:51

    • You’re definitely right that it’s possible to overdo it. I just think my muscles are soooooo tight and gunk-y that any pressure is going to hurt. But it’s not vomit-inducing pain anymore. That’s a good thing 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 24, 2010 @ 10:07

  11. It’s worth it to be overworked and underpaid (er…”stipended”) if you get recognized with a fluffy tiara! Nice run!

    Comment by sweatykid — November 23, 2010 @ 15:15

  12. love the tiara! and good job on those splits. keeping it consistent and strong. just what you want to see as the marathon gets closer.

    Comment by the dawn — November 23, 2010 @ 16:48

  13. Love Foxtrot!! Great job on your successful run, I can’t get over how speedy you are! Love the picture gorgeous girl and glad you were crowned!

    Comment by janae — November 23, 2010 @ 16:50

  14. what a beautiful picture of you mm!!! 🙂 love the crown. nice work on a solid pace for a solid distance. SUPER SOLID 🙂 you are always solid and you always manage to bust out terrific runs. almost a holiday, hooooooray!!!!!! hope you have a wonderful one!

    Comment by Lacey — November 23, 2010 @ 17:24

  15. No wonder you found those push-ups hard those are some good numbers! Love the picture btw 🙂

    Comment by Laura @ box run eat — November 23, 2010 @ 17:57

  16. Awesome fun!! Great pushups, too. Impressive 🙂

    Comment by Jess — November 23, 2010 @ 19:05

  17. I agree with Rebecca above. I’ve definitely overdone it before on the foam roller. They’re wonderful and super helpful but sometimes I’ve done it to the point where I get a bruise and it’s worse instead of better the next day. Whoops. Now I spend maybe 5 minutes at a time on each leg per session.

    I think it’s really important that you’re beginning to come around on the realization that not every workout should end with you feeling like you are completely tapped out, especially tempos. Tempos are run comfortably hard, that’s the pace needed to tax the systems that tempos target. If you feel like you’re shot, it wasn’t really a tempo ha! This close to the race, it sounds like what you did was perfect for your goals. Bravo

    Comment by Mark — November 23, 2010 @ 19:21

  18. Girl, you better get off that disappointment thing asap. The object of workouts is NEVER to beat it, it’s to GET it: to get the splits you go out for. When you don’t, you’re doing a different workout!

    Jack Daniels, the ultimate Buddha of running says you need to always know the purpose of each of your workouts. This is important.

    A good workout is one where you know what you’re going to do, why you’re doing it and don’t veer much at all from split to split, only a few seconds at most. You got the closest so far today, I think, so yay for you. And the workout you did today is called a Marathon Pace run, not a tempo. They’re very important because you need to lock into what your marathon pace is. Never race a GMP run since that defeats the purpose entirely. To that end, you did well.

    But please think about what I’m saying for the rest of your workouts. It’s that “must go faster than I planned” thing that doesn’t help you, can possibly injure you and if nothing else, bums you out when it shouldn’t.

    Comment by Flo — November 23, 2010 @ 21:32

  19. dude i have had allergies my whole life. i live on allegra and zyrtec and claritin cocktails daily lol.

    hmm someone’s head got a lil’ larger with that crown… haha. i would not be brave enough to wear it that day or the next, but whatever floats your boat. and yes – quit beating yourself up over running! appreciate every step 🙂

    Comment by lindsay — November 23, 2010 @ 21:44

  20. Lol I love your crown, way better than mine 🙂

    Comment by Kelly — November 24, 2010 @ 06:46

  21. hehe, I love your crown. And nice workout – don’t feel disappointed. You’re ready to rock for WR. T-minus 13 days – can’t believe it!

    Comment by mealsformiles — November 24, 2010 @ 08:13

  22. I’m going to say, “What Flo said.” If you want to do workouts that leave you absolutely dead and gasping for air, train for 3Ks or 5Ks – I’m sure you remember as a sprinter, 300 meters is a LONG F-ING WAY when you are running all out. And then…you get to do it again! For tempos, you should finish feeling GOOD. Not dead.

    Comment by sarah — November 24, 2010 @ 09:54

    • Maybe “all out” was a bad way to put it…more like breathing really really hard? Which is never the case with any of my tempos. So I’m always going to be a bit disappointed with them. But it’s not changing the way I run them (or MP runs which I guess this ended up being) so I think I’m okay. Just a silly mind game 🙂

      And I’ll likely train for shorter races post-Boston. I’m not done with them yet.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 24, 2010 @ 10:10

  23. […] As far as running went today, well it didn’t. These allergies / this cold (I’m not sure which) is bothering me again. I think it’s allergies as I couldn’t sleep last night due to post-nasal drip and ONE sinus being congested.  And I have a cough that isn’t dry but I can’t seem to cough anything up.  Ah well.  I’m sure y’all really wanted to know all my sickly woes. Although when my alarm went off at 5am I (audibly I think) said “EFF THIS” and slept for a little more. Even if this isn’t a cold the few extra hours of sleep won’t be a bad thing especially after I got as close to a tempo/GMP run as ever yesterday […]

    Pingback by I Cook! Again! « MarathonMaiden's Blog — November 24, 2010 @ 11:14

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