Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Great Speed Experiment: Tempo Run

So I had an 8 miler scheduled for today and I took Debbie's advice from my last post and did this one as a kind of tempo run:  1 mile warmup, 6 miles at half marathon pace, 1 mile cooldown.  Or, well, that was the ideal...but I think I'm kind of terrible at staying on pace when I'm going faster than normal.  I set my garmin to beep if I was running slower than 10:25, thinking that my half marathon pace was somewhere around 10:15 or 10:10.  But whenever I set the garmin, I end up running way too fast out of a desire to keep the garmin from beeping.  Haha.  So what ended up happening was more like "run way too fast like 5k pace or faster for a mile--slow way down omg dying for 20 seconds--speed back up omg for another mile--slow way down again omg that was way too fast" etc etc.  Ok well it wasn't QUITE that dramatic, but I did have a few slower points during the 6 miles, and I was running way too fast (between 8:30 and 9:15) during much of it. Garmin data shows 5 drops in my heartrate during that 6 mile span where I was running slow or walking and having water for a second before continuing on.  Which isn't supposed to happen on a tempo run, obviously.

So this wasn't a total success as a tempo run, since tempo runs are supposed to help you run steadily at a faster pace.  The next time I do this I'm going to have to find a way to run slower and steadier instead of randomly sprinting along for a mile at a time.

BUT... I've never run that fast for that far before, even if there were a couple breaks.  I felt simultaneously awful and also badass.  My legs are very tired.  But honestly I didn't feel as awful as I expected I would at that pace, nor did I feel as bad as I did at the 5k, even.  Once I was at about mile 4 of the fast running I kind of hit my stride and felt pretty smooth and energized.  So even if it wasn't a perfect tempo run maybe all that fast running will count for SOMETHING in my training... after all, run faster to get faster, right?

A weird thing is happening where I keep getting a really runny nose during runs.  It first happened at the end of my 15 miler, then again at the end of my 18 miler, and now today on this run.  I don't particularly have allergies, either.  It's kind of weird that it never happened before and now is.

Some guy on a bike on the trail tonight was riding toward me and he gawked at me and said "Meeee-Owwww!" this an acceptable come-on line among men now?  Meow? Really?

Sam isn't here to do part of my 20 miler with me on Saturday like we normally do, so my choices are to go to the Cbus Pacers run in Dublin (not sure I want to get up that early, drive that far, run in an area I'm not familiar with, run with strangers when I'm not sure how my legs will do, etc) or run 10 miles alone and then meet D, who will be biking... and he said he would loop back now and then to make sure I'm still alive and moving along for the last 10.  I don't know how I feel about intermittent bike greetings vs. having people actually running along with me, but it's probably better than nothing.  We'll see.  I have to do something to break up the 20 mentally, though, or I'll never make it.


  1. Huh, that's so weird (about your runny nose). I know that happens to me sometimes too. Maybe it's partially because of the weather? that's something new. That's almost as odd as getting kissy noises in Cairo.

    Well, at least you survived the run! I hope you're feeling alright for tomorrow's group run. :) Maybe it wasn't tempo work per se, but at least you got some speed training in, right?

    I would say I'd be happy to run 10 with you on Saturday, but I think because the guy I'm seeing is going out of town on Monday, I'm moving my long run back to either Sunday or Monday. :( Cbus Pacers in Dublin is always an option! But I understand about not being sure, especially since it's the first 20 miler.

  2. Sounds like you did 6 x mile repeats there - just rename it! ;) And you will definitely see benefits from sessions like that. Not least as a confidence builder.

    You'll make the 20 this weekend. I'd go with the bike option I think, but then running somewhere different might also distract you from the miles. I read somewhere recently that runners who sightsee as they run maintain a more even pace.

    As for the meow guy. I wish I had pithy, cutting come backs for idiots like that. But all I ever manage is to gawp back open mouthed at the sheer audacity of their grossness. Ick.