Friday, March 4, 2011

Tempo Run!

I was a little worried about today's run.

Part of it was the possibility of freezing rain, sure. But mostly it was because I was supposed to run for nine miles, five of which at a 7:30 pace.

It really shouldn't have worried me all that much; a 7:30 is probably right around my half marathon pace, or maybe a little faster. But over the past couple of weeks I've been doing some tempo runs, and they haven't been easy. 7:40s and 7:30s have made me work fairly hard.

So I figured I'd tempt fate by wearing shorts, just because I can.

Weather here is a mite unpredictable, but today it was in the high 30s with rain. That can be awfully chilly, but if I dress to be warm when doing a tempo run, it gets really easy to get *too* warm.

So. Shorts.

And so after work, I went off to Indian Springs, and started my run. It started off fine, although my heart rate was kind of jacked. I was in the 170s almost immediately, even at a 9 min pace. I figured it would settle after a while, and it'd be fine.

The first two miles went by easily, just like they should. When I dropped into my tempo pace, my watch started yelling at me because I was well into the sixes for the first minute or three. I know it wasn't something I could maintain, but it felt fairly natural and good to be there. But I followed my coach's advice and slowed down till I was in the 7:20s.

The next five miles went by fairly easily, all thing considered. Keeping my cadence in the 90s, I tried to push off a little more powerfully, and that worked. I kept my breathing comfortable, and tried to relax my neck and shoulders.

When I got to the end, I was pretty amazed by my average pace for the five: 7:19. I really felt like I was running at a 7:30 odd pace. 11 seconds per mile might not seem like a lot, but that's 4:40 faster during a marathon, which may mean the difference between registering for Boston and not.

So, it was a good run. Gave me some confidence, which is never a bad thing to have...

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