Tempo Run Triumph
There are few things in the running world that scare me more than my tempo runs. I can’t really explain why they freak me out so much, but they do. The night before a tempo run I go to bed feeling anxious. When my alarm rings the next morning I automatically feel my stomach fill with dread, certain that I’ll never be able to run as fast as I need to for as long as I’m supposed to. I try to talk myself out of talking myself out of going for a run, a dialogue that continues through my warm up mile. As I approach the mile marker that signals the beginning of the workout, I can’t help but wonder what I’m getting myself into.
Of course, the answer is almost always nothing bad. Sure, I have the occasional tempo run where my legs are heavy and I can’t meet my goal pace. But far more frequently I actually wind up surprising myself with how fast I can be.
Yesterday fell into that second category, and it was awesome.
My goal pace for tempo runs is about 8:25 minutes per mile. Instead, I ran 2 consecutive sub-8 minute miles. I’ve never done that before! I felt so amazingly accomplished when I looked down at my watch and saw “15:52” on its face (I forgot to press the split button between miles 3 and 4). For the rest of the day, I could do anything.
This is the great thing about tempo runs! Yes they’re hard and yes they’re scary, but they’re also a concrete achievement, a weekly measure of how far you’ve come. When these runs go well, I feel like I’m on top of the world. I feel accomplished. It’s an awesome experience, and I should embrace it, not spend the preceding 24 hours dreading it. I don’t really know how to do that, but I’m going to try.
Not much exciting has been happening in the non-running world. My life is filled to the brim with papers, finals, and newspaper production. I complain a lot about it (both here and in real life!) but I still love college. In spite of all the craziness and business, it’s an exciting place to be.
That’s all for now!