Battling the Beast
A long, long time ago, back when I was training for my second half marathon, I first made acquaintance with an awful, terrifying beast called the Tempo Run. Each week the beast would loom before me, focusing its steely, dreadful eyes upon me and making me quake with fear. It had power over my thoughts and convinced me to do terrible things, like doubt my ability to hit a certain pace or run a sub 2:00 hour half marathon.
Every week I would duel with that beast, and after a few early losses, I started to come out ahead of the Tempo Run. Paces that had initially seemed terrifying and unsustainable to me became a matter of habit. I was able to maintain a 8:30 minute pace for two miles, then three, then five. And when race day came, I blew my old half marathon PR out of the water, all thanks to my practice dealing with the Tempo Run Monster.
Sadly, in the
months year since I last did a real tempo workout, that monster has grown back as huge and terrible as it ever was. So on Wednesday morning I headed out for my first tempo of the MCM 2013 training cycle feeling anxious, doubtful, and already halfway ready to throw in the towel. “My runs have all been at 9:30-10:00 minute pace recently,” I thought. “I’ll never be able to churn out 8:15-minute miles.” Luckily, I am a great lover of plans, and if something is typed out in a fancy google doc, I have to follow through.
It would appear that all my fears were unfounded. Not only was I able to hit my tempo pace (8:15 minutes per mile) but I actually felt pretty good doing it! It was super satisfying to get back to my house that morning, my roommates just barely waking up, and know that I had already battled the Tempo Run Beast while they were still lying in bed.
Lets just hope I’ll remember this triumph when I face off with him again next week!