A tempo and tempered lesson

There have been a lot of annoying misses, and rough workouts, and discomforts in this training cycle already and it’s only week 3.

I have started drafting no fewer than 5 blog posts in the past week. But deleted each one when I quickly got frustrated by my own whining.

I spent 90% of my day yesterday (Sunday) like this:

My dogs often seem to think they are cats. They show this by monopolizing my pillow.

Good thing the first stage of the Tour and 6 hours of Olympic Trials coverage was on the tube.

I have this weird scoliosis meets muscular imbalance meets repetitive use injury thing that flares up in my upper back every once in a while. When I woke up Sunday morning, my plans to ride my bike and swim in the lake were thwarted by an inability to move my head without searing pain between my shoulder blades.

In retrospect there were a few warning signs of my impending (temporary) doom during my handsomely-paced (by that I mean, by a hansom man, as well as respectably executed).

On friday night I was graciously paced through 4 miles of tempo running (sandwiched between a total of 4ish miles to warm up and cool down). In this case tempo-ing meant uncomfortable from the start.

The actual definition of a tempo run has alluded me for the past 2 years. There seem to be lots of slightly varying definitions.

I like my pacer-man’s operational definition.

Because it was tough, but not impossible. It felt a lot like racing. And I like racing. A lot.

I had three difficult but satisfying training runs last week (and 2 sloppy, infuriating ones). I don’t have the exact tempo splits because they’re on Mr. Speedie-Fast’s watch but I think they were something like 6:51, 6:52, 6:5?, and 6:48.

I am pretty sure I actually started wheezing during the last 800, pacer-dude’s heart-rate was probably at 125 max. He was kind enough to give me a high-five rather than offer to secure an oxygen mask.

…Apologies, I was talking about warning signs indicating my back was going “go out”.

  • I was having a hard time to breathe effectively while running
  • I got a side stitch that was covered enough area that I had to stop and stretch mid-tempo-ing…which I hope doesn’t DQ the effort.
  • My hip hurt to turn out when I made a half-assed attempt at stretching.
  • My right shoulder was clicking while I ran.

Those probably look like rather benign things, but they so consistently precede upper back pain (and chest pain…you know, things are connected) that I really should attend to them.

So anyway, I was really tight through my right side on Saturday by was so looking forward to my long run at Waterfall Glen with friends that I ignored it. I then complained through 9.35 very slow miles before bailing on my planned 18miler. The girlfriend I was running with was too kind when she shared over brunch that I only complained for 60% of our run.

I would have totally ditched me in the woods, if I were her.

The good news is that I ran this evening, sans Garmin, a cautious 8 miles. I think the 90 degree heat actually helped my back to loosen up.

Enough with the woe-is-me, because really things are good! My next run will be here:

Well, not actually IN the Port Clyde harbor. But in Thomaston Maine, with several of my cousins and other family members either running or heckling. And I am wicked excited!

I just hope my accent doesn’t come back.

I am not bringing any technology with me other than my phone. But I will update provided the WordPress app plays nice 😉

I fly out in less than about 8 hours, and I haven’t had dinner yet, or packed, and I should probably shower. And sleep.

So happy running, and happy 4th of July!


2 responses to “A tempo and tempered lesson

  1. There’s nothing wrong with a Maine Accent. It’s something to be proud of!!!


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