Today I attempted my first tempo run in about 5 weeks. After running easy for awhile I felt mentally and physically ready to tackle an actual workout. Normally I do my tempos in the 7:50 range so I figured I’d cut myself some slack and shoot for 8:05s. I’m working on being less dependent on my watch and running by feel so I made the decision early on that I’d look at my watch every half-mile and that’s it. No cheating.
I warmed up for two miles loosened up my hips and started running. After .5 miles I found myself at a 7:57 pace and feeling really good. Before I knew it the first tempo mile clicked by in 7:52. And I felt absolutely, positively fine. What?? So I kept running and was shocked to look down and see 7:45 for my second mile.
By the second mile my legs felt great but I was breathing really hard and had a sideache. I powered out the 3rd mile in 7:42 and found myself absolutely shocked. That would have been a great tempo run in the middle of a training session but to hit those kinds of numbers my first time back out is straight up shocking. And, it’s even more surprising because I wasn’t watching my watch at all. Just running by feel.
I think running faster is due to a few things. One, I’m rested. I’m sleeping a ton, eating right and not all beat up from weeks of training. Two, I’ve lost about 6 pounds since the last time I did a tempo run. In fact, I’m the lightest I’ve ever been for no particular reason at all. I actually think I’m lighter because I’m not stressed so my body is producing less of a chemical making you hang on to weight but anyway… I think that’s part of it. Third, my core is super strong right now and I’ve finally figured out how to use it while I’m running. And it’s become almost second nature- makes a HUGE difference.
So overall, I’m very happy about this. I’m not ready to make any big declarations about my race plans or training plans or what the heck I plan to do with myself in the future but I feel pretty good about the spot I’ll be starting to train at. 9 solid miles is SOLID! Woo hoo.
Uh oh, as I wrote this, Miss Aron talked me into a 5k. Oh dear. That is going to hurt.