Tempo Tuesday Talk

Standard
Workout (back track to yesterday)

Run. 9 miles total. 3 mile warmup, 4 mile tempo, 2 mile c/d
Tempo miles:
6:40, 6:27, 6:30, 6:27
Misery. It was not a pleasant run. yes, for someone reason I thought this was going to be an easy breezy beautiful tempo run. and I also fart flowers. Sometimes I dont live in reality. since when is a tempo run supposed to be an easy run. If it were an easy run, it would say 9 mile easy run, in the plan. it definitely didn’t say that. I double checked.
It said lactate threshold run. that is even more frighteningly intimidating than a simple tempo run. but synonymous, nonetheless. as much as I dislike the word fartlek, it’s not a scary running word.  It sounds like something my 4 year old would say while sticking her butt out at me.  I’m thinking some of these other crazy named runs should be disguised and renamed so that they are a little more inviting and not so serious – perhaps froyo fast run run, so that when you have worked your little tucas off, you can treat yourself to a little delight. better yet, lulu run – sprint to the nearest lululemon and have at it. I’m in. but lactate threshold run kinda makes me want to either start nursing a baby or throw up before I start.  in the most, oh my good golly this is going to be so fun and hard and rewarding way possible. don’t let the name scare you. It’s really very simple. according to pfitzinger of Advanced Marathoning….

Lactate threshold runs are tempo runs in which you run for at least 20 minutes at your lactate threshold pace. This coincides closely with your current 15k to half marathon race pace….

Tempo runs provide a strong stimulus to improve your lactate threshold pace which leads to similar improvement in your marathon race pace…

…done after a 2-3 mile warmup and should be followed by a 10-15 minute cool down. 


These are actually some of my favorite runs because they are real work. you can track your improvement. they are like little mini races in the midst of training. they make you run all out for a definite period of time. according to pfitzinger, these are done at 82 – 91% of maximal heart rate.  wah wah wah. thats what I hear in those bold italics.  I don’t get all the maximal heart rate, heart rate reserve talk yet – but what that statement does mean to me is – run pretty darn fast, but not quite 100% all you’ve got. but close. for a period of time. all about the training.  and the body adapting.  eventually that time will get longer.
This combined with progression running are at the top of my favorite running activities list. and going to the track. but I prefer to do the tempos on the road because it makes it a tad more challenging with slightly changing elevation and I think it makes it more real for when it comes time to actually race.
What is not my favorite is running said tempo when my alarm is set for 4:55am. oh my.
what makes that worse is that I didn’t get to bed until almost 11pm. oh dear.
Even worse is that I couldn’t sleep last night. crazy dreams. tossing and turning. cruddy.
I knew this was going to be a hard run because I was running on very little sleep.  I was starving from the first step, but I don’t give myself enough time to eat anything before I have to get out the door.  and if it doesn’t seem like the world is crashing down on me yet, wait till you hear this lame sob story – the first three warmup miles, run at a reverse progression from 7:45 to 8 minute pace (I’m talented at the useless reverse progression, as well as positive splitting in races) were really hard. and I felt like I was really pushing it and not warming it.  but for some reason, in the back of my head, I’m thinking about my 4 mile race last week at 6:15 pace with hills and heat and god awful humidity and being ever so confident, makes me think I’ll breeze through four tempo miles today at 6:30 pace. killer. don’t bring an entire race experience with you into a run, a race, an anything. total set up for failure and just a difficult time. bring with you the knowledge that you are capable of doing a certain run – knowing that today’s legs could be very different from last weeks racing legs. and today’s body and mind are probably in a very different place from last weeks racing body and mind. on any given day, the running body is in a totally different place than it was at another stellar performance race or run. I made this mistake with my April marathon. could be called over-confident. I took the november marathon race with me as a whole and said I should be able to nail a PR at this race. Thoughts like, I was running with a super bum knee at that fall marathon and I’ve been training so much better now.  Its a given.  It’s not.  don’t do it. be confident in your abilities and your training.  remember those good training runs, but don’t put so much weight on them that you expect them to support you through every hard run and race you face.  my new running motto – run your best run, run your best race that you have in you at this given moment. and you may surprise yourself. I usually do.  I did today with a couple tired, sub 6:30 miles.


I wanted to quit this tempo run and call it a bad day. and move on. really, where does that get me?  And what about, I love tempo runs, they are so fun and fast and rewarding and oh my goodness lets just tempo all the time. yeah. let’s tempo. so I got back out of my mental case running head and took it one mile at a time. mile 2 was better than the first. mile 1 was hard. mile 3 I was getting into a groove and by mile 4 I felt like I was getting it. I was supposed to be in the 6:30 – 6:40 range, so I was happy with it in the end. I either was not recovered from the weekend running, I’m pushing it too hard on not hard days, I was not fueled properly, lack of sleep or a combo of all these things.  either way, I finished it with my run with what you’ve got today mentality, and it got me through. with that mentality, it didn’t matter in the end if I ended up doing 7 minute miles for the tempo, because I was running my best. It made me see that my body generally has more to give and is stronger than I think it is, even on a bad morning.
9 miles done and I was ready to be a functioning human being. a good mother. a nice wife. I even pulled myself together before we had to get out of the house for the camp run.
no, those are not red lululemon leggings. they are bona fide, forever 21 cheapo skinny jeans. 
When I got out of the bathroom I found my little monkey hanging out in the sink.
He doesn’t see a problem with this. I do. His feet weree dirty. or so he claims.
I can’t turn my back. he was just holding up the shelf. looked like it was about to collapse. 
I’m enjoying my one on one time with Luke, but I’m getting a little taste of what this coming fall will bring with my two little beauties at school all day – call me crazy, but I’m going to miss them terribly. I kind of lament, a lot, about how crazy life is right now, running here there and everywhere. Now full day school is upon us, and I’m not quite sure I’m ready. My 4 year old will be starting full day kindergarten and my 5 year old first grade.  my babies are on the very young side.  they are ready.  I’ll be ready in 6 weeks. I’ll start training now. Off to day camp we go!
Luke and I stopped off and got a little treat at the coffee shop. I let him pick out whatever he wanted. which is what he does anyway. he says jump, I say how high. Little stinker always picks out the messiest pastry there.
 He was quite disturbed by the amount of crumbs it produced. and couldn’t eat any more of it.
 I asked him for a little piece and this is all he gave me.
I think he picked it off his shirt.
We moved on to whole foods to pick up a couple things. try on a couple things.
Get it touch with his inner fashionista. or his inner elderly gentleman look.
And then this was waiting for me from ms. mail lady when I got home.
My absolute favorite water bottle. when I do carry water on runs, this is the best.
My hubs picked one up last summer and I wasn’t sure about it. The part you drink out of is really tough and you don’t get a ton of fluid out at one time. which turns out to be a good thing when you are running. with normal water bottles, the water ends up all over me and I usually end up choking on it and making a big mess.  The little spouty part tucks nicely away when you are not drinking it, keeping you mess free. maybe it’s not a water bottle I need but a lesson in how to make it through life in one piece.
And when it’s time to take a swig, you just pull it out and it doesn’t spill all over you. just perfectly designed. in my opinion. but it does take some getting used to.  It comes with a great handheld carrier that I can’t find from my first one. which is a big bummer because I’m afraid I might have gotten rid of it. Again, the design of the case makes it so that it stays snugly and comfortably on your hand and doesn’t loosen up.   well done Ultimate Direction.   



I got it on amazon and was convinced it was a Nathan bottle and couldn’t find it for the longest time. that’s because it’s not a Nathan water bottle. smarty.  this is the only water bottle I will bring with me on a run. If I don’t have it, I just don’t do water.
Thanks for all the dress comments – I think it’s a keeper
Now for the shoes…
The apron shirt is going back.  although, I could use a cute apron…
Now off to attempt 5 stroller miles with the boy. he did very nicely this am while I was on the treadmill.
I think the loud hum and the feet stomping kept him calm. and he might have been slightly delirious from no nap yesterday and a super early wake up. I know I was.  Off we go!
Do you have a favorite water bottle?  Please share:)




Do you ever compare your runs and races to past races or training runs?  Does it ever make it harder to just be in the run or workout you are trying to do?




How many hours of sleep a night do you need to function?  I can make due with 6, but then we start getting cranky and miserable and unable to function very well.
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About msfitrunner

I am a 29 year old stay at home, hardworking mom to my three little loves! My oldest little darling is 5, little sis is 4 and baby brother is almost 2. I have been married to my Mr. Wonderful for almost 7 years (ahhh!). My faith and my family is my rock, and I have a newfound LOVE for running. Maybe it's more of a necessity at this point - to maintain household peace and my own sanity, but whatever it is, it's working for me and I'm loving the racing. The vegan world has been calling my name, so I am testing out those waters as well! That's a tough one with three little picky eaters at home, but I am having fun coming up with new recipes and trying out new things. Follow along as I chronicle this crazy running life, and ALL the craziness that goes with it!

29 responses »

  1. Reading all of your posts makes me A: Feel normal about my crazy life. B: Desperately miss my speedwork (September is coming! September is coming!) and C: Smile. Keep it up!

  2. I like the hydration packs; Camelbak. that way, I don’t have to carry anything in my hands because It gets annoying very quickly.
    On runs, there are times I wonder if I’ll ever be able to run as fast as I did for some races because I have runs where I feel like the pace is slower than race pace…7:30s and I’m struggling at times. It could also be the warm weather but, at this point I just want to do the miles and I think the speed will come for the races.
    I was soooooo tired this morning, but I ran and it felt good! It looks like you had a great tempo run.

    • I often wonder the same about pace – often, race pace in training is VERY hard to hit, but somehow, if you are trained properly, it happens with much more ease in racing. funny thing.

  3. Love a good tempo run, but only after the madness stops. They always hurt and make the lungs burn a bit, but they are seriously the best workout for any runner. I try to avoid over using the lactic threshold term too much with the runners I coach because they all have the same thoughts, that it is going to be pure torture! I do track all my workouts in a spreadsheet to compare them, but don’t do this on a daily basis because I find that to be demotivating. Every month or so I go back and look at how all the work has progressed, not every workout will be a winner so I try to not make myself crazy about 1 off day.

    Glad to hear that you took the plunge and bought TDM dvd! Hope that it kicks your butt just as much as it does mine. Seriously my buns have never burned like that! It’s hard to figure out all the correct positions because they really aren’t exactly like a lot of common exercises, so hopefully they give a lot of direction and pointers.

    • I’ve thought about tracking the workouts like that, but not sure it would benefit me or stress me out. Maybe at some point I’ll get that organized:)
      Again, that DVD is crazy!!! So good. So hard. Very happy I got it!

  4. Could you give me your opinion on some shoes? I am pretty sure you have the Mizuno Musha and Elixir. I am debating between the two. What are your thoughts on these shoes and what would you recommend? I do triathlons, but only the Olympic distance. So I don’t put in crazy running miles, probably 30 a week max.

    PS. that little boy of yours is sure a cutie.

    • Between those two, the musha, hands down. If you don’t need a lot of support, they are an amazing, light shoe and so comfortable. I really like them. I wear a half. A size bigger in the musha, than my normal longer distance running shoes. I am normally a 10, but I had to get a 10.5 in the musha.

  5. I’m always grateful to read about your tough runs and what is going on mentally. It lets me know that you don’t just wake up and easily pull off sub-6:30’s, but that you have worked hard and continue to work at that pace! Thanks for this post, Katie!

  6. I don’t really compare runs beyond “last time I ran that route I did worse/better.” Glad you’re keeping the dress. And always love the pics of your little cutie, he is beyond adorable. I love reading your posts because they make me want to (try to) run faster!

  7. Your kiddo shares his food like mine does 🙂

    I can function [right now] on very little sleep. Funny things, those newborns. I really like my Amphipod; I’ve had it for years and it has yet to let me down. I always compare the present to the past [in reference to running] – I am definitely my own worst enemy!

    • That newborn sleep deprivation is pretty rough, but somehow we survive! My middle one was the best sleeper, I don’t know how I made it through the first and third ones, they were non sleepers!!

  8. I have never tried a Ultimate Direction bottle, but you have me intrigued. I have a Camelbak bottle and holder thingy but it is too bulky for my hands and drives me mental. Although, I do love the fact that it is insulated.
    I try to not compare past runs and just focus on the task at hand; but when a run doesn’t go well it’s hard to not to contrast different runs.
    I try to get at least seven hours sleep, but honestly if I wake up naturally with much less hours under my sleeping belt I tend to be okay (until about 2pm).

    • This thing really is the best, and I just found the case, so I will post a pic of it in the next post. I am one who hates clunky, annoying things when I run, I don’t even run with music for that reason, and this is nice and tight and perfect. This is not insulated, so on hot days, which is really only when I would use it, you’ve got warm water even if you put ice in it. That doesn’t bother me as much.

  9. I’ve been having a wee look at that book too, it’s great and got some excellent advice in it! I look forward to keeping up with how your training goes based on their advice and plans. All the best, you seem to be nailing it so far 🙂

  10. I definitely need a lot of sleep. 7 hours is the minimum for me to function without feeling groggy all day. That said, I need to go to bed now! It is 9pm and I have track tomorrow at 5am (and I have to warm-up before the mile repeats starting at 5). Remind me why I run again??

  11. That is some good advice there, missy! I did not realize how much your last race can mess with your head: but thinking back, that’s where I went wrong so often. Most bad races followed good races, and I would be thinking I could coast because I surely had improved so much since then blah blah. I’ll keep this in mind. No more of that!

    • Thanks! It kind of just dawned on me that this is a pattern of mine – dragging these good run experiences into other running and making it really difficult! One run at a time…

  12. Oh gosh, that little man. I would melt if he smiled at me like that, too. I need to get at least 7 hours of sleep. 7 1/2 preferably. What I’ve learned from kids (the boyfriend’s kids, that is), is that they are specific. You ask for a little piece, they give you a little piece. If you ask for a bite, they hold it out for you to bite… I don’t do much comparison and I don’t run with a bottle. I still can’t get over how stinkin’ fast you are!

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