Nailed It! (Puke Later)

This morning I set out for a tempo run with my running girlfriends.  It was on my training schedule, which YES, actually started again this week!  I pushed for this run and it was dreaded by all.  There were a lot of worried emails exchanged this week whether or not we’d be able to keep pace with each other, including emails from me!  I absolutely loathe tempo runs.  I don’t know why.  It’s just always gotten into my head and I struggle to convince myself that I can hold the pace, that I am strong enough to endure race pace for that distance.  Hmmmm…. I betcha that’s why I have yet to finish a marathon at race pace :).

Before I set out for the run, I read this quote from Runners World, which couldn’t have any more perfect for what I was setting out to do this morning: The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless.” -Dean Karnazes

Five of us met at Grays Lake at 5:30 this morning- Andrea C., Andrea J., Kate, Marzia, and me.  The plan was to run the first mile slow for a warm up, then speed up to an 8:20/mile pace for 2 miles, then hit 8:12/mile for a mile before heading into a mile cool down for a total of 5 miles.  The first mile, we took off.  Andrea J. finally spoke up and asked if we were supposed to speed up from this pace, because we were already hitting an 8:20 only a half mile in.  We slowed down, but this group was ready to go!  The ironic part is that, during our warmup, girls were fretting about holding this pace and eventually hitting the 8:12.  I’ll be honest, the negative talk going into the first mile of this run was getting to me, so I tried to stay positive and mentally tell myself I’ve got it.  By the time we hit mile 2, we had already been hitting our pace, so we just kept going.  Surprisingly, I felt good and it wasn’t a struggle to keep up!  I quietly wondered how long I would keep up.  Surprisingly also, we were still chatting!  Ok, I wasn’t.  But the other girls were and it gave me a distraction to listen to them and mentally comment to myself :).

We kept going, some girls were now at about a 7:50 pace.  I yelled to slow down, we were going way above our pace goal and I didn’t want to teeter out too soon because of it.  The girls, the same ones who were nervous about not keeping up, just exclaimed how great they were feeling!  This was definitely OUR run this morning and we were hitting our stride!

I knew around mile 3 1/2 we were going to hit a hill.  It’s not a big hill, mind you, but it’s a hill that you feel even when running this route on an easy pace day.  I moaned out loud and commented to Andrea C. that THE hill was coming up.  She came back with positive self talk telling it’s no big deal and not to worry.  So, when we hit it, I kept stride with her and began my mantra “push, push, push, push!”  About halfway up the hill, my mantra became confused with the word PUKE!, which was how I was starting to feel.  “Push, push, puke, puke, no wait- PUSH!”  Ugh! Finally, we made it to the top and only had .20 of a mile left before we could start our cool down.  I kept my mantra going (push, not puke 🙂 ) to get me through to mile 4.

As we started our cool down, I slowed my pace and Andrea J. (thank you!!) slowed down with me.  We started chatting (I could now finally get some words out in between heavy breaths) and when I looked at my watch, saw we were STILL running an 8:13/mile pace!  And the other 3 girls were well ahead of us!  I asked Andrea if we could slow down a bit more and she said absolutely!  (again, THANK YOU!)  Soon enough, the 5 miles were complete.  According to my watch, I averaged an 8:13 pace for the 5 miles.  I am a little smug in saying that this is the FIRST successful tempo run I’ve completed!  And I know I have the amazing girls who joined me this morning to thank for that.

Once we stopped, nausea overcame me.  I folded over to take in a few breaths and announced I wanted to puke.  Slowly, I stood up and joined the others and we walked back to our cars.  The nauseous feeling remained as I drove home.  I thought about how I needed to get some chocolate milk in me, but wondered how in the world that would stay down.  I thought about how I needed to still do my ab and arm strength exercises and wondered how in the world I would manage with a sour stomach.  Thankfully, the nauseous feeling subsided right before I got to my house.  They say, you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough until you puke.  Well, I can say that I started my day with a push that I haven’t had the drive to enforce before and it feels great!  I’m actually excited for next week’s tempo.

Cheers!

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