A little tempo for the sub-zero

It was really cold outside on Friday! A lot of people I say this to don’t understand what I mean: city cold is harder to tolerate than country cold, or even suburban cold. Maybe it’s because when I am in the city and it is below zero all the other things that make running in the city an often pain in the ass, become magnified. I can taste the car fumes more, I trip over more curbs, have more near misses with distracted drivers and cyclists, I make more wrong turns and myriad other things that never would happen if I had safe access to a trail in the woods.

My scheduled long run this week was only a 10-miler , which happens to , usually, be my favorite distance. It was -3 degrees out when my scheduled running time arrived. If I put off the run until later, well, there would just not be enough time, so I had to use the treadmill. Again.

Since I was stuck inside I figured I should make the time pass faster by making the run more challenging. There seem to be a lot of different definitions out there about what a tempo run is. For me, because I really have no clue what my lactate threshold is, and I do not have the financial means to hire a coach, a tempo run means that I:

1) Warm Up

2) Run at my goal pace for a while

3) Run at 15-45secs. faster than my goal pace for a while

4) Run easy to cool down/wind down/assess any damage done.

In this case that broke down to: 1 mile @ 8:34, 3 miles @ 8min/mi, 3 miles @ 7:40/mi, 1 mile @ 8:34.  Next time I do a ten miler I would like to shoot for the middle section to go 3 @ 7:45/mi and 3 @ 7:30. I ran a 10k last summer and my pace was about 6:55/mi, so really this should be no problem., except that if memory serves me right I was in a lot of pain after that race.

Which brings me to a thought I had this morning, a huge part of trying to train to a performance goal, or even to optimal fitness for it’s own sake is, in large part, a practice in injury management. More on that another day.

Well, I am a month into training for Boston. The first 2 weeks were really rough, I didn’t enjoy the workouts. The 3rd week I had the flu, but got all my miles in. This week, at the 1-month mark, I finally feel fit and confident, not just during running workouts but also in strength sessions. The next hurtle is to feel fit and confident BETWEEN workouts.

I haven’t mentioned it before but I also hope to lose weight by this Spring. It’s happening, but very, very slowly. I am averaging almost 1 pound of loss per week so far. I don’t feel any different. Except, as I said, while I am working out. To hit my goal I need to drop an additional 9 pounds. I have made some changes to how I was eating between the Portland marathon and now, but I will need to focus more and eat cleaner in order to have success here.

Cold, wet, injured, tired, and FINISHED!

Finally, this morning I got the digital copies of

Stopping my watch. Really finished.

photos from Portland, here are two from the finish. They really capture how I was feeling. In the first I was actually holding my breathe, afraid I would fall down before crossing the line. In the second shot I am about a millisecond from bursting into tears (I really did…3 times that morning).

Seeing these pictures reminded me of one of my goals for Boston: to finish in (far) less pain than I experienced in Portland

Session lesson for today (Sunday): know when to back off. I wanted to run 6 miles this morning after teaching my Spin and Body Blast classes. I ran a 1 mile warm up, then 3, 1 mile repeats @ 7:45. I wanted to do an additional pace mile and a mile to cool down, but my body started to hurt and my legs got really heavy. So I ran an easy mile and stopped at 5 miles total, stretched for a awhile and took a hot shower.

I have felt tired all day. I think if I had forced that additional fast mile, I may have risked injury. I also think I waited to long to eat after over 2 hrs of high intensity exercise, and then, really didn’t have any high quality food today. So, good sleep tonight and a good breakfast are on my to-do list!

-AB

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