This Thursday I'm super stoked about what I'm calling my "accidental" tempo run yesterday!
Here's how it went down:
Woke up bright and early with the goal of doing a short and easy run (it's February and this is my recovery month before starting to train for Seattle Marathon) only to discover it's 42-freaking-degrees and windy outside! Ok, ok, I know I have no right to complain, especially after reading blogs like Running Spike's race recap from last weekend, but seriously.... seriously!?! This is Florida! I like it hot folks! I'll take 90 degrees and 100 percent humidity any day over this 42-degree-crap with a strong north wind. So I decided to call off the run, take a shower and go to work with the justification that perhaps I'll workout this afternoon.
Just before getting into the shower I sit down on my morning throne, you know... that regular thing you do everyday, ideally before you start to run? I see a Runner's World magazine and very briefly look at it. My mood suddenly changes and I develop a bit of an attitude toward the cold weather. You know what? Screw you cold weather; I'm going to run anyways!
I don't have any morning appointments so it's not a big deal if I'm a little late getting to work. I throw on some warm running clothes, strap on my iPod and lace up my Brooks Adrenalines.
To get warmed up I do a series of squats, jumps and lunges that is a killer workout I found in an old Men's Health magazine a while back. I'm doing it each week this month to try and strengthen my legs. It all adds up to about 55 reps in less than 5 minutes. I haven't had breakfast yet so I gobble down a handful of almonds, a dark chocolate square and slam full glass of ice water.
Not 10 steps out of my door and after having my breath sucked out of me from the shock of coldness I waste no time and start running. The plan is an easy 5k route that I've probably run 100 times. At least it's sunny, but I run fast to try and get warm fast (probably not super smart, but I hate the cold and this is a short run).
At the 1-mile mark I look at my watch for the first time. It reads 7:15.
"Holy Sh*t," I yell between gasps for air!
An old lady tending to her yard gives me a bad look.
I knew I was running fast, but not that fast.
I'm feeling good so screw the original plan. I keep running at a whatever feels good pace.
The wind is at my back and when I turn around it takes vengeance upon me. It's hard to even breath and it's surely slowing me down so I alter my route and cut back a block inland from the river where there are more trees and homes to block the wind. Less sun, but no wind. I compromise.
I feel myself slowing down at the middle point of the run and my legs feel heavy due to all those speed squats and lunges. After a bit of a slower pace I pick it back up for the last half mile or so not allowing myself to see my watch (we can't have anymore belligerent outbursts).
As I finish I feel good, really good. There's a bit of pain in my lungs from the cold air so I hack up some spit and walk it off. It's now that I look at my watch. It reads 21:50.
Realizing I altered my route, I go home and log out the diverted route on Mapmyrun.com. The result?
An even 3 miles... just shy of that 5k. The average pace: 7:16.
And that my friends was my accidental tempo run!