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, November 14, 2007

Tempo Run Benchmark

Hell--to the--yes!!

Gazelle Workout: 4 Mile Temp run

It's been months...My goal? A sub 28:00

I thought it was a bad sign that I was feeling slightly woozy and dehydrated just doing the 2 mile warm up and drills. I haven't been diligent at all about my hydration the last few days and they've been doozies...the 50 mile bike ride on Saturday, the 20 mile run on Sunday, the 5 mile run/core class on Monday, hour swim and hour spin class on Tuesday...I should be drinking water like a horse at a troth, but instead I've been more "camel-esque." (That is so NOT a word.)

Gilbert was so excited about today, which only serves to make people even more nervous about the tempo run. In no time at all, we were off to the races. Fortunately, the sun was coming up, making the trail more visible than it usually is during the tempo runs. Dan and another dude immediately shot out first, followed by myself, Phil, Alicia and none other than Mr. Over-Achiever Topper Balls of Steel Runner Guy. (see post from a few days ago) Actually, the guy's name is Larry and he's an amazing runner! My whole post about him was a complete joke and meant to be in good taste so I hope he doesn't get offended if he ever reads it and says, "Wait--that's me!" I just thought it was funny that the guy I wrote about last week was now my rabbit for the tempo.

I confided to Rachel that I really wanted to "negative split" this run today. Usually, I end up going out too fast and just hanging on for dear life. Needless to say, I was a little nervous when my watch beeped at Mile 1 and we were running a 7:02. Honestly, that effort didn't feel so horrible, but I wasn't sure what the next three miles would be like, especially since I was running on some tired legs.

The crowds started breaking up at the turnaround point and the lead group started to separate. I was still neck and neck with Larry and continued to try to use him as my pacer. Mile 2: 7:04 Still a great pace, but now I was in the hole for trying to go sub 7:00s.

Larry and the two guys up front were quickly running out of my reach and I could hear Alicia's feet right behind me, which motivated me to not slow down even though I really wanted to. Of course, the trail was also pretty crowded at this point (about 7am) and I actually heard two walkers say, "Now, that's hauling it" as our Gazelle stampede came trampling by. I also saw Gazelle Alex who shouted some words of encouragement. The watched beeped for Mile 3: 6:59

Damn, was hoping it was faster. OK--time to drop the bomb. My heart rate was up there and I know my breathing was akin to a freight train--with asthma. I know the tempo runs really aren't supposed to be this brutal, but it's fun to push it with all of your might every now and again. I can say that since my heart rate is now back to normal. One last little hill and then I rounded the corner by the Stevie Ray Vaughn Statue...This is the last little stretch to kick it. I saw the three finishers up ahead bending over and catching their breath and couldn't wait to be one of them! I crossed the line and hit my watch. Mile 4: 6:37


Total time : 27:42

A new and very unexpected personal best for me. Hopefully, that means I could've done even better on some fresh legs. Unfortunately, I won't know what that feels like for a long, long time!!


Mike said...

wow, great job today! U rock.

lizzie lee said...


What a way to push yourself. Really, congratulations.

lizzie lee

Shannon said...

Damn, girl... Nice last mile!!! I'm never going to catch you now! I thought ironman training was supposed to make you slower.

Anonymous said...

Fresh legs? Whatever? You rock!


greyhound said...

ARRRRRGH! I want to run fast again, but every time I do, I break something.

Great run!

1HappyAthlete said...


enough said.....