About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Tempo Set

It's time to begin the official race countdowns for my upcoming "biggies."

I'm 9 weeks out from the Lonestar Half-Ironman in Austin.
I'm 13 weeks out from the Tri 101 Race in the Woodlands, Texas.

Now that summer has officially arrived in Austin, it's time to ramp up the mileage and hours. I've been going to swim class and running, but I haven't really been keeping track of official hours, workouts, etc....until this week.

Today was the Benchmark Gazelle workout. It's the most anticipated workout and the most feared...the 4-mile Tempo run. I was in, but I couldn't get any of my regular running partners to join me. We did the workout differently today, which threw me off a bit. Instead of doing our usual two mile out and back route, we actually did the 7 mile loop: 3 miles warmup and then "drop the bomb" for the last 4 miles. I was a little agitated (it was my OCD kicking in)..."I've never done it this way..." "How can I compare to past efforts..." "Why the long warmup..." I even contemplated doing my own thing and just doing the usual tempo, but decided to just suck it up and run with the group.

The three mile warmup was a nice and easy 9:30ish overall pace. It was still dark afterall (not to mention hot and humid). I was up in the front pack with Rachel, Anne, Frank and Brian. After a water break and resetting of watches, it was time to kick in the tempo pace. I expected Frank and Ann to lead me, but from the get go, I was out front (and that never happens). The first mile passed quickly and I felt strong. The tempo run is more mental than physical. It's about holding on and digging deep. I put myself in "race mode" for the last three miles and pretended that I was in the run portion of a Sprint Triathlon. It really does help me battle the fatigue and searing pain in my lungs and legs that continued to build. By the final mile, I knew I was beginning to fade, but no one had passed me from behind. As usual, when I passed the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue, tried to pick it up or the final sprint. Damn, it hurt..Gilbert was there yelling, "Pick up your knees, quick steps." He could tell I had lengthened my stride for the final sprint. I hit the zero mile marker:

6:57 pace per mile
sweet...I broke the 28:00 barrier that has been plaguing me for a while.

It was hotter than usual and it was a new tempo route.
I'm definitely happy with the results and established a good starting point.


Shannon said...

hot damn!! you looked FAST when I saw you on the trail. Nice work!

greyhound said...

What an awesome run! It is damn hard to run fast in this Texas heat.

Mike said...

Wow! Great job! You dropped the bomb.

Siren said...

My jaw still drops when I read things like "nice and easy 9:30ish overall pace." Especially when it's in reference to a warm up!

Richard said...

Sweet run! I've only had one "good tempo" myself (and it wasn't near that good)... its great to be out front in a run that you're almost always chasing heels in.