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RUNNING SLOW IS HARD

Big Garmin on small person

 
Today we kicked off week one of training with our first official tempo run.  Looked easy enough to me:  Run easy 2 miles (10:19), Fast tempo 2 miles (8:44), Run easy 2 miles  (10:19).  We knock out 7.25 miles on this particular route weekly and our average pace usually hovers around 9:15s.  So, umm, yeah, no problem, right?  About half way through the run, I came to the conclusion that training is most definitely very different from running.  Training actually makes you think quite a bit.  When I run, I just listen to my body, if I feel like going faster I do, if I feel like slowing down I do that too.  Having to follow a prescribed pace makes for a very different run.  So here’s how we did:
 
Mile 1 – 9:46 (not too far off)
Mile 2 – 9:02 (ladies…that’s more than 1 minute faster than you are supposed to be running)
Mile 3 – 8:34 (not too far off)
Mile 4 – 8:34 (not too far off and very impressive that the tempo splits were dead even)
Mile 5 -9:45
Mile 6 – 9:54 (making a huge effort to slow down during this mile)
Average Pace: 9:16 (well, well, well, just like any other typical Thursday….)
 
I’ve gotta say, mile 5 was the hardest by far.  I knew I needed to slow down and my legs were fatigued enough from miles 3 and 4 that I kinda sorta wanted to walk.  Mile 4 is also basically up hill the whole way.  Going from relatively hard effort to active recovery is apparently an art form of which I have not yet mastered.  Alas, I did not walk. 
 
If you scroll down a bit you can read Kristi G’s post all about Gumby.  She writes about how I was her gumby in the pool yesterday morning.  Well, she was my gumby from behind this morning.  She kept having to remind me to slow down.  I needed a leash this morning – she could have yanked me back to proper pace.  You see running slow is hard for so many reasons:
 
1. As stated earlier the more I slow down the more I want to walk (yeah, there’s no walking in tempo training)
2. The slower you go, the longer it takes to get to your final destination (and that’s counterintuitive – at 6:45 in the morning, I just want to be done with my run and on my way to getting ready for work.)
3. Talking tends to speed me up (the slower I go the easier it is to talk but the more I talk the faster I go – vicious cycle)
 
Another lesson learned this week with 3 days of training under my belt.  I am training.  I am training for one particular performance: The Ann Arbor Marathon.  Each day of training is for that performance and it is all a process.  I need to get my mind in the game for each and every training session and have fun with it.
 
In in a final, unrelated note, did any one else in the Ann Arbor area have to drive through a mini blizzard to get to work this morning???
 
 
 
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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. When is the marathon? Maybe I’ll be there to cheer you on! Great post. Do you still go to the gym? I think I go maybe three times a year…still workout daily, tho!

    March 1, 2012
    • Christy P #

      Hey, thanks, Mandy! The marathon is June 17, 2012. Just 16 short weeks away! Would love to see you and meet Ian : )
      I do still go to the gym. I belong to the Y and I use it to lift weights, swim, and I walk a slow mile with my Mom 3 days a week.
      Great to hear from you.

      March 1, 2012

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