An awesome Tempo run and a haircut

Good morning.  I’m a little late with my post here due to the fact that I was cooking breakfast.

you're kidding right

No, really, I was.  And it was very good too, if I do say so myself, and I do.

Remember a week or two ago when I said I needed a new hairstyle?  Well thanks to my friend Nicole, I have one.

I love  it!  She even used the Tyme iron and styled it for me but as awesome as she is at cutting hair she’s an even better makeup artist.  I’m gonna have her do my makeup next.

I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to style it myself because I’m not really good at that sort of thing on my own hair but I think I nailed it.

Tyme style

What do you think?  Did I nail it?

So, the new hairstyle was my big news for the weekend.  I also went to a few garage sales and worked on a project that I’m going to share with you later in the week.  The biggest news however was running.

I had a 10 mile mid-tempo run on my calendar for Saturday.  I’m not going to lie, I was worried.  I knew I could plow through 10 miles but I didn’t think I could hold a pace in the mid 9’s.

Saturday long run

I did it!  I was most proud of the fact that I kept a steady pace throughout the entire run because that’s what makes a tempo run so hard.

In a tempo run you have to run at a comfortably hard pace, or about 30 seconds slower than your race pace for the entire run.  Since my half marathon race pace is around 9 minutes a mile, I was shooting for a 10 mile run at a 9:30 pace and I finished with an average pace of 9:32.

Tempo runs help increase your lactate threshold but I love them because they help give me the confidence that I can hold a certain pace for a prolonged period of time and that confidence always comes in handy when race day comes!

After such an awesome run on Saturday, I took it easy on Sunday and ran 6 miles at a comfortable pace around the neighborhood.  I love feeling like I’m improving but what I’m really looking forward to is racing again….more on that soon.

Do you incorporate tempo runs into your training?

Do you have any races coming up?

When is the last time you changed your hairstyle?

Fartleks and strides and guess what, I love em!

I love running, obviously.  I also love training and running races.  Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that, at least without pain or the risk of injuring myself further.

Grunpy

I’m finally at a place where I can start to train again and I have been doing so for a few weeks but it’s been awhile and I’m not going to lie to you, you lose conditioning.  When you take a lot of time off, (I’m talking weeks here) you have to slowly build your endurance back up.   You can’t just go out and run all the miles, as in the same distance you ran 3 or 4 months ago, or you will risk injury.

Just to give you an idea of what this looks like for me, I average 3 to 4 miles most days and my long run is currently only 6 miles, which I ran on Sunday.  Six months ago I would run 10-12 miles every Saturday and another 20-25 during the week, so it’s a little disheartening but I found  a way to get over it.

doctors and runners

 

I am doing something a bit different this time.  First, I’m not stressing out because really, what would be the point in that.  Second, I’m slowly building my endurance by only ramping up my long run by 1 mile a week and staying mostly with 3 to 4 mile runs for three or four days during the week.

However, I’m a perfectionist and I need to see improvement and so this time, I’m working on speed while I slowly build my endurance by doing two interval workouts each week and I’ve already started to see an improvement.

The first thing is that old standard, the fartlek.  I do this when I don’t feel like being too structured and I don’t want to concentrate on any set distance.  I just look at say, a mailbox down the street and speed up until I get to it and then I jog in between until I find something else to speed up for, like the ice cream truck.  I kid, but you get the point.

Last Wednesday, this was a screen shot of the pace I was at while doing fartleks.

fartlek

The second thing I do is practicing strides. I start off running easy for 45 seconds and speeding up for 15 seconds.  As the run progresses I run longer strides and take longer recoveries.  When I first started doing this my farlek pace and stride pace was about the same but now I’m seeing improvement with every speed session.  This is what todays stride pace looked like on average,

Strides

I got a little faster toward the end and in the beginning I was a bit slower but do you see the improvement?  Interval training is also very good for your heart health.  I’m learning to love speed work and seeing improvement in my speed after running so many years is a big motivator too.

I’m shooting for an average 5K pace of 7:30 and I think I can get there this winter.  🙂

Do you work more towards endurance or speed? 

Do you enjoy training for races or are you content with your current speed and  endurance level?

Most importantly, do you believe runners can get better at any age?  I think it depends on the level they started at.

Thursday things

This morning I slept in a little bit but then I got really motivated and decided to do a progression run because, progress!

This was the overall result,

five mile runBut these were my splits,

running splits

And that my friends, is what a typical progression run looks like for me.  And it felt pretty good.

I came home and checked my email and while I was reading through the news I came across this picture and of course it caught my eye…

dog in yearbookNow, who can say they have ever had a yearbook photo that looked that good, ever?

Y’all, if you read anything today, click on this link to read the story about the heartwarming reason that the school decided to put this dog’s picture in the yearbook.  It’s a beautiful story.

How often do you run progression runs?