Tempo, Where Did You Go?

Yesterday, I ran with two different running friends from my usual group. One has been running about a year, is a couple years older than me, but seems to be a natural when it comes to running. She's faster and fitter than me with fewer weekly miles (go figure?) and having taken the summer off when I kept pounding the pavement. She makes running look pretty much effortless.

The other is training for Chicago and I would say a life-long athlete (and a P. E. teacher turned SAHM). She's super-fit (you know you are, Tammy!), and I would say that fitness is very important in her life. I literally saw her out running like 4 weeks after having a C-section. That's just hard core! She was pushing her two-year-old in a jogger when we ran yesterday. I know she's much faster than me running solo, but with a kid or two in the stroller, I thought it might even out. Hmmm, not so much.

I'm just glad running is an INDIVIDUAL SPORT, because often when I run with a group, I'm the one bringing up the rear and struggling to keep up. That's how it was yesterday. It was only a five-mile tempo run, but I'm so used to the long, slow distance with walk/recovery breaks, I had to (ashamedly) ask them to walk a few times. It's like my body can't switch gears to the tempo after so many of the long, slow runs. I can do speed intervals, but it's the MAINTAINING of a decent pace where I struggle.

It kind of made me question my overall fitness level regarding the half-marathon exactly one month from today. We were running 10 - 11 minute miles and it felt like I was out there trying to run 8:45 or 9 minute miles. It was one of those strange days where you feel like you're going fast, you're working hard, and you look down at your Garmin and it reads 11:15/pace. Man, I hate that!

Well, at least I still have a month....

Oh, and it had gotten so hot (still!) by 10:30, that I went to the Y and did my last two miles on the treadmill. At least there, I knew I was running at the assigned pace. So, I managed to get in my seven miler, but it wasn't pretty.


tamara said…
Girl, I haven't done seven miles of anything ever! You know that you will always have those days where it doesn't come as easy. It sounds to me like you are doing great!!