Finding My TempoAugust 16, 2007 at 10:47 pm | Posted in Change, Marathon training, Tempo Runs | 8 Comments
Coach Mark’s instructions for my 6 mile tempo run were clear and concise. After a 1.5 to 2 mile warm-up, run 3 x 1 mile repeats at an 8:00 pace with a 1 minute recovery jog in between each repeat, cool down for 1 to 1.5 miles. Try to keep your mile repeats as close to an 8:00 pace as possible.
No problem, I thought! This run will be a snap (just snapped my fingers)! Well, I’m here to testify to the fact that this was not at all an easy thing to do. Of course, the warm-up and cool down were a piece of cake as it wasn’t necessary to keep a steady, even pace. But the tempo part? Whoa!!
You’re probably thinking, “What’s so hard about keeping an 8:00 pace?” Well, for me it’s keeping an even, steady speed that presents a challenge. Try as I might I just couldn’t stick to an even tempo (I know this because I watch my GPS); my tendency is to run much faster and in spurts. At one point during my second repeat, I looked at my GPS and saw that I was running a 6:45 pace! No wonder I was breathing hard! For each mile repeat I averaged 7:40, 7:25, and 7:50, respectively. Again, I didn’t follow my coach’s instructions!
Honestly, it’s damn hard to find your tempo when running; which got me thinking about the challenge of finding your tempo in life. (There’s always a metaphor, isn’t there?) I am currently at a crossroads in my life as my youngest child will leave the nest in 7 days and embark on a new chapter in his life: The College Years. My entire life has been devoted to my children and the children I teach. Oh yes, I’ve always been a runner, but I’ve always run when it didn’t interfere with anyone else’s schedule. (I was the mom who brought her running shoes to her children’s sports practices to sneak in a run.)
So, now I’m faced with the challenge of finding my own tempo, both in and out of my running shoes. Sounds like an easy task, but it’s really much more complicated than at first glance!