Tempo runs are always fun. Yesterday I had an 8-mile tempo run @ 7:20 planned. I am (perhaps not very wisely) training in warmer weather these days, trying to acclimate myself to the warmer summer runs and rides that I will be participating in. Yesterday I ran at 5pm. It was still quite warm out. I got moving and realized one mile into my workout that I was about 50 seconds faster than the projected pace. Not surprisingly, 6:30 was the pace I ran the triathlon in on Monday, so for me to get off to such a quick pace is understandable, but I should know better. I tried to correct my error and ran mile 2 in 7:13, still faster than pace; mile 3 in 7:16, getting closer, and mile 4 in 7:24. Now begins the breakdown...
I had drunk a lot of water before my run and expected to be able to run the full hour without stopping for a drink. Fortunately for me, at the 4-mile mark, the running store had Gatorade and water out for the runners. I stopped and drank about 8 ounces of Gatorade and a couple more of water, but then found myself unable (or unwilling) to resume running. The gremlin came back, trying to convince me that I could head straight home from there, having only run four miles. I toyed with the idea as I walked along the course. After about three minutes of walking I found my energy again. I started running, slower than pace, but it was running. I kept thinking about the gremlin in my head and a post that I read in Lana's blog, "Lana wins!" As I moved up the road, I controlled the gremlin and decided at that point to forget the pace and just run the distance. I ran the last four miles in increasingly faster times, finishing the last one in 8:00. It may have been a far cry from the 7:20 I had scheduled, but I won another battle against myself and my gremlin.
My total run workout yesterday--8.5 miles, total time (including walking) 1:09. Not quite pace, but not too far off either. Tomorrow I want to ride some hills on the bike and then put in 10 miles on foot.
Good luck to you racers this weekend!!!