Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tempo time

Friday was supposed to be a 3-mile tempo run or a 6-mile long run. Well, it was HOT HOT all day in Seattle and there was no way Baby F and I were going to get out in the sun for a long run.

Mr. F. got home from work around 7:15 pm as I was making yam-zucchini-corn meal fritters for the little guy, who had just gone to bed. It seemed to have cooled off so Mr. F took over the fritter-making business and I took off on a tempo run.

I used the USA T&F route mapping tool to mark out my warm-up/cool-down routes then an out & back 3-mile tempo route on the Chief Sealth Trail (see photo HERE). After I set out, I realized that I had forgotten to look at my mile marker points so all I had to check my pacing was my time at the mile 1.5 turn-around. THIS is why people use GPS, right?

Not having a good idea of what my 8:25 goal pace should feel like, I set out on a quick pace that seemed sustainable for 3 miles. My first 1.5 miles was close to my target, at about 8:35 pace. I was smiling to myself while running, it felt so good. As I passed a house with a bunch of fresh-faced youths (all boys) having an informal (seemingly unchaperoned) gathering, I imagined one of them yelling to me,

"HEY! Crazy lady! Why are you running on a nice Friday night?"

To which I would reply smartly, "BECAUSE I CAN!"

And then they would think I was pretty cool and would save a cold one for me for after the workout :) But that didn't happen. Their party does explain all the done-up girls I saw walking the trail, headed in their direction though.

My return 1.5 miles was another story. I was debating about whether I would confess, but I HAVE to. It's the point of this blog, right? I had to stop twice at the top of hills to catch my breath and rest. I think my initial pace was a bit fast for me right now, especially with the heat and hills, so my return trip was around 9:00 pace. Overall, I averaged 8:47 pace, which I'm still VERY satisfied with.

The only negative is that I had to walk a couple times to catch up with myself.

The positives are:

  • I made it out for a late evening workout when normally I'd be doing nothing (probably having a cold one while making toddler food to freeze & store for the upcoming week). 
  • It was a beautiful Seattle summer evening with lots of people on the trail. 
  • I came close to my goal pace, certainly went faster than my normal 10:00/mile pace.
  • It was FUN and I'm proud I did it.
Looking back in my training log, my last tempo run was on Tuesday, August 5, 2008 (about a month pre-conception and exactly two weeks pre-injury). I ran FOUR miles @ 7:46 pace. Frankly, I don't know how I did that and if I didn't know better, I would think I had checked someone else's training log. How did I used to run that fast? Will I get there again? 

Next up:

Today: XT or rest, preferably XT on the bike or swim
Sunday: Long run, 6 mi @ 10:00/mile pace


  1. You'll definitely get there again! It takes time and a little work, but if you want it of course you can do it!

  2. Dude, I love what you were thinking about those guys inviting you for a cold one. LOL! Cracked me up.