Stop and Go.

Today I had a tempo run scheduled. I go to the gym pretty much everyday Monday-Friday between 8:30am-10:30am, (before I had a baby and worked normal hours- I always said this would be my dream time to get a workout in. I remind myself of this almost everyday when I head to the gym… remember you always said this would be the perfect time) Anyway, on Wednesday’s Marshall has swimming lessons at 9:00 (which are over as of today), so that mean’t I needed to get my run in early. Glenn wanted to run this AM too, which landed me doing my tempo at 5:30am on our treadmill in the living room.

I prefer to do speed work on the treadmill, I think it’s a security thing. BUT, there is something about the treadmill in our living room that I’m not as good at doing speedwork on. I don’t know if it’s the size of the room and I feel closed in compared to the huge open room at the gym or the fact that my bed is right around the corner in the next room, but speedwork at the house is hard for me.

I do however like that I can rock the sports bra though and not care if the person behind me is judging my not so perfect love handles. Unless, Cadence judges the handles. I’m not insecure about running outside in the sports bra but something about being inside- I feel like more jiggle is detected inside.

Back to the run. It was pretty awful. I did take an easy week last week- I only took Thursday off from working out, but I didn’t do any two a days and all of my workouts were light. On Sunday, Glenn and I did 6 miles at 7:15 pace and finished fast. That’s not a super hard run for me, but it’s not a stroll in the park either. I don’t think it was what effected my run today, but it could have been a little factor. I think the hard biking that I did on Monday might have been the main reason. That and a poor mental game.

I was supposed to do 8 miles, with 5 at tempo (6:40-6:45 pace). I did not do that. I was happy to see that he only had me doing 5 at tempo. Usually it would be 6. And when I was in the heart of my Shamrock training, I was doing that pace for 7-8 miles of tempo runs. I can run that. But today, I wasn’t having it.

I warmed up around an 8:15 mile and as I hit mile 1, I started ramping the treadmill speed a little bit at a time. (best way to get started on tempos… slowly build up to your  speed… if I go from warm up straight to tempo, it’s bound to feel rough). The slow speed up was not feeling so hot though. Every time I hit “faster” my body was laughing at me.

The goal was to keep the treadmill at 8.9-9.0 speed for the five miles. I started off at 8.9 and half a mile in was not feeling it. I left the treadmill running, and put my feet to the sides and took a drink of water. I need to regroup and reevaluate. As I started running again, 5 seconds later, I debated stopping and fitting this in another time. There weren’t a lot of options time wise and I also had to get in a swim today. And honestly who wants a monster run like that hanging over their head all day? So I just slowed down but kept going.

I slowed it down to 8.5-8.7 for the next 3 miles. (6:54-7:04 pace). It didn’t feel awesome, but it felt a lot more manageable than when I was in the 6:40-6:44 zone. I know what I was running is still a nice pace, and a great workout for me nonetheless but I also know that I am a stronger runner than that right now. With 2 miles to go I was able to hold on and finish between 8.8-9.0 speed. I literally stopped and drank water every half mile to mile or so and let the treadmill run while I did so. I would tell myself “do not stop and drink until you get to at least the next mile and then I’d stop way before then anyway. It’s like I couldn’t stop myself from stopping. This is very out of character. So, I tacked on an extra half mile at the end to make up for any distance I lost when I did that. (which probably only equaled 1.5 total, but since I was wussing out on the speed I was supposed to run, I wasn’t going to wuss out on the distance too.)

I had my kindle out, which is usually a great distraction for me, but I couldn’t pay attention to the book and found myself looking at the time and distance every 2 minutes. It was one of those runs that just creeps by. I’d look down and it would say 2.81 miles and then I’d look down again and it would say 2.98 miles. Since the kindle wasn’t distracting, I tried to not read at all and just zone out. My mind wanted nothing to do with zoning  out, all my mind was focused on was that darn treadmill clock.

I know you aren’t “supposed” to stop during a tempo run. Which is the reason I used to hate tempo runs. No break from hard work. (Somehow I grew to kind of enjoy them during Shamrock training.. not sure what was wrong with me… haha)  But today I did stop because that’s how I was going to get it done. It was stop for 5 seconds and take a drink every so often or stop all together.

I was kind of pissed when I finished. I don’t like not being able to execute what I’m prescribed. It makes me feel like I’m not as good as I should be or I’m not willing to work as hard as I can. It also makes my head go crazy thinking it’s impossible that I could keep even close to that pace for an entire half marathon. But I can. On the right day, on the right legs, with the right mental game, I can.

Then Marshall woke up and I sat on the kitchen floor with him and played. And that’s where my heart really is. I can write and talk about running all day and night and it makes me happy and it’s a huge part of my life and yes I LOVE it. But the little boy who sleeps with the elephant tucked under his arm at night, who never stops moving and has the prettiest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. He can turn my disappointment in myself around in a matter of 30 seconds.

Not every hard workout, easy workout or race is what you want it to be. It’s just not. But you get up and walk away from it and move along, because does it really matter in your life if you have a bad run? There are far more important things to dwell on.

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