Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Tempo Run that Clicked

Even as a fairly avid runner, I never got into the whole "tempo" run or speed work or all these different types of runs. Until last night, that is. I have the Running Moms Rock 5K this Saturday, and last night was my last hard run before the race. Some say to keep my training schedule, but I've learned I need very fresh and rested legs before a race. Therefore, I wanted to make this run count, just as I was running the race already. I aimed for an 11:30 pace. It was realistic and doable, yet still shaving a minimum of 1:30 minutes off my regular, recent pace.

As I set out to run, I checked my mp3 player to glance at the time (8:02 p.m.). I also set my stopwatch on my phone and took off. I just ran. Actually I ran my usual 3+ miler course in reverse, and I know I'll be doing it again. But I meander off point. I knew I was running a faster pace, but I didn't care. All I wanted was to run consistently and beat a 45 minute time. Around the first mile marker, I checked my clock...only 11 minutes passed since my first step. Seeing that added wings to my feet. I kept my pace steady, enjoying the weather, even though humid, and the 'new route'. Just chugged away with only one 20-second stop to retie my shoe.

Soon enough, I realized I was approximately half a mile from my house. I ached to look at the clock, but I refused. One step after another, wind at my neck, sweat dripping down my face and back, loud rock music filling my ears, just running. If you ever read about any of my runs before, I end my runs uphill, yes, up an excruciating hill I do not even like to drive up. I looked at my clock (8:32 p.m.) and started to get discouraged. Ugh, almost 40 minutes, I felt faster than that. I decided I could still shoot for a PR. I sprinted up that hill like I was scrambling from zombies and crashed through my front door.

I checked my time. 8:34 p.m. Wait, that's 32:00 minutes. WHAT?!?!?! I swore I was pushing 40 minutes. Apparently, I looked at my clock wrong or can't do basic math functions while running and tried to make the worst better. I ended up making a PR on my 3.02 mile route at my college-age pace of 10:35 per mile. That means it's been 12, nearly 13, years since I've ran under a 11 minute mile. To top it off, I shaved 3:25 minutes off my pace! I'm so excited I'm still jumping out of my skin. I wish I could tell you what I did to improve so much: hydration, eating enough, weather, you name it. I can't. Everything just clicked for that particular run; it all fell in place, one step at a time.


  1. I am not a runner at all, but I really enjoy reading about your trials and triumphs with running. I can hear the excitement in your accomplishment. Great Job!


Your comment makes me smile!