Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Craptastic Tempo Run

2+ mile w/u
Target: 60 min. tempo starting @7:00 and cutting down
Actual: 52 mins; splits
7:18, 6:52, 6:31, 6:23, 6:22:, 6:19, 6:20, 5:08 for .81 miles (6:23 pace)
(courtesy of OK Runner blog)
2.5 mile c/d
Total: 12.5 miles

Welp, this pretty much sucked. Though I can't remember the last time I did an hour long tempo, both Jordan and Caitlin assured me that the first half would feel easy because we'd be starting at such a lackadaisical pace. That was the plan, but when it came to executing it I fell flat on my face (well, metaphorically; I feel like I have to clarify that since I did indeed fall flat on my face a few weeks ago).

We met before sunrise at McAlpine, both Jordan and I peering through the murky pre-dawn darkness until we spotted Caitlin's bobbing headlamp approaching from the distance. After a few miles warmup we settled into the uptempo portion of the run, hoping to start around 7 minutes. The cool air warmed me almost instantly as my effort level increased, and before long I was regretting the choice of gloves and multiple layers on top. Immediately I could tell that this was not going to be the relaxed, enjoyable romp I'd so naively envisioned in my head. Caitlin and Jordan chatted back and forth while I tucked in behind and attempted to will myself to relax. My spirits were further dashed when we came through the first mile exceedingly slower than planned; knowing that I felt this uncomfortable at a pace I normally maintain for "easy" runs wasn't exactly an impetus for success. As our splits dropped with the passing mile markers I was forced to mentally coach myself through each subsequent minute. I felt myself growing increasingly frustrated, discouraged and embarrassed as the run progressed, as memories of stellar workouts from last spring flitted through my mind like the taunts of a playground bully. At mile 5 I was convinced I'd drop out. At 6, I was definitely done. Mile 7 was for sure the last one I'd suffer through. Before I realized what was happening, Jordan and I were back at the Old Bell parking lot just short of 8 miles (Caitlin had peeled off to return to her car at 45 minutes), and mercifully he allowed me to cut the run short. Normally I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of hard workouts, a mixture of relief and satisfaction, but today I just felt tired and out of shape. It was not, to use the expression literally, my finest hour.

At this point you must be asking yourself when I plan on snapping out of my self-pity and closing up this post with some nice and tidy positive thoughts. Guess what kiddos, it ain't that kind of blog today. Sometimes training means acknowledging your shortcomings and accepting your inadequacies without wrapping them up in a neat, cheerful, Runner's World-esque sort of encouraging bow. Today wasn't my day, and I'm pissed. Nothing else to do but get back out there tomorrow and keep trucking.


Unknown said...

bad workout, good post. get out there trucking this week so you can whoop my butt when i get back from costa rica.

Mad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mad said...

I feel ya
hang in there

Anonymous said...

You just perfectly described about every other workout I run. And I always seem to have these workouts when I'm running with people that I really want to run well around. I seem to save my brilliant, smoking-fast runs for when I'm alone. Frustrating! But a little dip in fitness and some tough runs are to be expected after a significant layoff. You'll be back in top form in no time.