The Connection Runners + [training]

Tempo Times

For the first time ever, I'm following a training schedule to the absolute T. Previously, I relied on the schedule only as a means to dictate my daily/weekly mileage. This time around, with a tight goal pace to hit, I'm following not only the miles, but the pace, hills, and speed drills, too.

Today's run was a five-mile tempo run: one mile warm up, three miles @ 8:54, one mile cool down. (disclaimer: I've never attempted such a run before. I was terrified of "8:54", even though I've run near to that in races before.)

Last night, before said run, I talked to the hubs about my fears getting my pace down so low. Often, when running solo, I tend to let my mind wander, form relax, and lungs settle... before I know it, I'm stopping, heaving on the side of the road. He gave me some good advice: "Attempt the pace, see what you can do. Run hard, train hard. If you get two miles into the hard pace, slow it down if needed. But at least try it."

So I did. I woke early today (6:30, yowza!! Early for this non-working, summer-breaking teacher), ate a quick breakfast and was one the road by 7:30. The warm up felt great but went by rather quickly, and I steadied myself knowing that I had to push it for three miles.

As soon as my watch hit "1.00", I took off. And I didn't stop! Though I didn't quite push it all the way to a consistent 8:54, I kept the pace in the very low 9's (9:04-9:10). Even though at times I wanted to hurl and just slow down, I didn't. And when I finally hit the cool down mile and, later, when I finally got to sit on my porch and let the sweat literally slop down my arms, legs, and head, I relished in the joy of getting out of my comfort zone for a bit. I felt strong, challenged, and most of all, able.

It was a good day today.

Today's Point Two: Another nod to one of my favorite running bloggers, Kristin Armstrong. Coincidentally, she wrote a post today about getting out of her comfort zone, too: http://milemarkers.runnersworld.com/2010/08/the-wrong-crowd.html. Check it out!