Friday, March 27, 2009

Irish Masters The Tempo Run (but loses some skin in the process)

Well, folks, I'm back to inventing new methods of cross-training!

Monday was laundry day, and I'm pretty sure that doing laundry in NYC--where you have to lug your clothing several blocks to the nearest laundromat and back; then fold the five tons of running clothes you used in the past three weeks and attempt to jam it all back into your shoebox-sized closet--should count as cross-training.

Tuesday, the closest I came to cross-training was spectating at another Rangers game at Madison Square Garden (my last of the season, sadly) and working on my finger strength by doing a lot of blackberry typing. After missing two goals and a fight while answering obnoxious work emails (why do these people get paid?!), I almost went for some extra credit points by chucking my blackberry towards center ice (it would make a very nice puck, no?). But I somehow managed to control myself . . . and the Rangers pulled off the victory. Hooray!

Wednesday, it was time to get back to training. As I knew this was going to be a pretty rough week for me work-wise, I figured it might be best to get the more difficult of my two mid-week key runs out of the way first. Thus, I took a break from working around 8:30 p.m. and headed over to the gym to tackle 1 mile easy + 5 miles long tempo pace (8:33) + 1 mile easy.

Now, going into this run, I was a bit petrified to tell you the truth. If you will recall, the last time I attempted a similar workout, I got my ass kicked. Oh, and that run? Was at a 9:02 pace (marathon pace). Yikes! On top of my built-in fear of tempo runs, I had the following things go wrong for me leading up to my run:

Sign of Impending Doom No. 1: I forgot to bring real, actual running clothes and thus, had just my "cross-training" clothes with me (i.e. soccer shorts and a cotton tee). Not exactly the best running attire.

Sign of Impending Doom No. 2: I left my ipod at the office, meaning I would have to listen to myself hyperventilating all run long.

Sign of Impending Doom No. 3: I also managed to leave my pack of gum at the office. In case you didn't know, I MUST have gum to chew while doing speed work and/or tempo runs (it gives me hope knowing that I might choke and die; thus giving me a killer excuse for not having completed the run--kidding! Or am I?).

Sign of Impending Doom No. 4: The only available treadmill was next to my gym stalker (long story; please just know this dude is CREEPY!)

Nonetheless, I reminded myself that some of my best runs have occurred under less than ideal circumstances, and I insisted that this WOULD be one of those times. And? Shock of the century here, but it really was! I kicked that tempo run's ASS, you guys! Now, that's not to say that I didn't want to quit somewhere around 4 miles into the run . . . because I did (a little). But I had no problem whatsoever telling that part of my brain to f*ck off because I AM DOING THIS! And so I did. And I even kicked the 'mill up a notch for about the last half-mile of the tempo portion because I'm that awesome (or because I Just. Wanted. To. Be. Done. Already. But whatever). This bumped my overall pace up to 8:30/mile.

When the 5 miles of tempo running was over, I wanted more than anything to lay down and die. But I didn't. Instead, I opted to do the final "easy" mile just as the schedule had instructed me. And I have to say, the more tempo runs I complete, the more I love how cake "easy" pace feels when you've just completed 5 miles at over a minute/mile faster. It's just awesome.

I celebrated this momentous run by heading to the locker room and checking out my battle scars . . . chafing all over my thighs, belly button and even my right butt cheek. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? Who knows . . .

Yesterday, I gave my legs a little break and tackled a quick 3-mile easy run at a 9:45 pace. Nothing exciting to report there.

Tonight I've got some speed intervals planned. Can't wait for that! No, really. It's going to be great. I can't wait to have sweat pouring into my eyes as I fly off the back of the treadmill for all of the ellipticallers to see. I kid, I kid (I hope!).

Happy Friday, everyone :)


Anonymous said...

Your awesome run goes to show that signes of impending doom are not always to be taken seriously.

The back of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has the words "Don't Panic" on them... I live by that motto.

Running and living said...

This is so funny! Congrats on letting your brain and body know who is in charge. A few things 1) I always chew gum when running (and I thought I was the only one), 2) Can't imagine running on the treadmil without music, 3)I still dislikes/am intimidated by tempo runs.
Great job with the run!

The Laminator said...

LOL! I'm always surprised by how many four letter words flow through my head whenever i'm doing speedwork. In normal everyday life, I'm a perfect gentleman (or at least try to be) but whenever I'm in the middle of a long tempo session, I'm motherf'ing this and sonnab' that. Last night, on my latest tempo adventure on the treadmill, i actually let one of these words slip and felt so embarrassed that I just stared at the display for the whole rest of the run....hahaha!

Great job, Irish. gum, no Ipod...5 tempo mills on the ' are turning into one hardcore runner!

Lisa said...

I am impressed. Seriously. I don't think I could run that far on a treadmill without music. I did it once and a regular run turned into a tempo run because I was just trying to get it over with.

Good for you for ignoring the signs of impending doom.

EmLit said...

a) are you sure those were signs of impending doom and not the four horsemen of the apocalypse? because the numbers definitely match up.
b) I'll be honest, I'm a little jealous of your running these days because you are so consistently flippin' AWESOME! WAY TO GO, girlie!! Keep it up :)

Spike said...

hilarious post, I love the part about being forced to listen to yourself hyperventilate without your ipod, occasionally there is a pause between songs on my ipod and I hear my breath and think “I sound so winded, I must be exhausted,” then music back on and the thought goes away.

Great job on all of your speed work, way to have a great workout despite bad omens.

aron said...

wooooo awesome job!!! i love the feeling after mastering tempo runs :) its the best!!!

sRod said...

That is a great run! I love when a suprise great run just pops up in the middle of training

Kita said...

HA!!! I stumbled on your blog from Runners Lounge and loved this post. You are very funny and I needed a laugh. Thanks

The Alien said...

I have been dreading tempo runs lately and I think I'm going to try the gum idea... it would be the best excuse to not finish 'one of those' run, and a great story to blog about!