Tuesdays are becoming my favorite day of the week because they're the one day the Hansons have absolutely nothing scheduled lol After the mini break, however, comes the hardest run of the week for me - the tempo run! The goal of the tempo run is to run AT race pace for the whole time, not averaging race pace, but maintaining the exact pace. The pace stays constant, the perceived rate of exertion (PRE) does not...
This week was the hardest run I've done in a long long time. Since I've only been doing the tempo runs for a few weeks, I still do them on the treadmill so my pace is exact. Maintaining an exact pace isn't particularly a strength of mine, so I let the TM do it for me.
I drove 15 minutes to the gym, pulled my headphones out of my bag and realized my iPod was at home on the charger! Noooooo!!! The plan was 8 miles and the TMs shut off automatically after 60 minutes, so I planned to run 60 minutes and 24 minutes. I made sure to do the 24 first, because if I did the 60 then stopped to reset, I probably wouldn't do the 24.
I did the 24 without music. It was awful. The TMs do have headphone jacks to listen to the overhead TVs. I wasn't sure how I'd like being tethered to the machine like that, but it was worth a try. My headphone cord is sufficiently long so it was ok. Unfortunately there was nothing on tv! I alternated between TMZ and SportsCenter at NFL training camp. TMZ was mildly entertaining - I'd never seen it before.
The first few miles were easy enough, the last few were really difficult. I wanted so badly to slow down for a few minutes, knowing I could speed up at the end and still make the time. But that's not the purpose of the tempo run. No, I had to maintain the consistent pace. I wanted to quit after 6 miles but I got through it. It was just under 1/3 of a marathon and it was difficult. The actual race will be easier mentally because I'll have visual distraction and company.
When I use the TMs, I have definite favorites, generally those on the ends because I don't want people on either side of me. Most people observe the "courtesy rule" and leave an empty TM between runners, when available. I was in a mini row of 4 TMs so hopefully no one would be in my row, right? Not so much. An elderly man in jean shorts and khaki socks walked on the machine right next to mine! Grrrr After he finished walking, he turned to me and said "Good luck on your 10k." ????? "Thank you," I replied.