Honestly, I'm not sure what I heard first--the alarm or the rain. All I know is that I wanted a "legitimate" excuse not to do the tempo run. I convinced myself that it would be too wet or too dangerous. If it was still raining, Coach would cancel it anyway. I actually got up and then crawled back into bed and turned the snooze off. And then...I just laid there. The rain had stopped. I went through all of the scenarios. I could do the tempo in the afternoon. I could skip it all together. Damn....At 5:40am, I crawled back out of bed, put on my clothes and drove to Runtex. I'm glad I did...
I missed the warmup jog, but joined for most of the drills. We were, in fact, still doing the tempo run. And, by golly, there were plenty of people there. It was as if no one else went through the mental rollercoaster that I went through to get there.
Coach lined us up in "race formation" and told us to be careful and try for negative splits. OK, so here we go....
My goal for Miles 1 and 2 were to go out comfortably fast. It's never really "comfortable," but it's a tolerable pace as you wait for your lungs and legs to sync-up with each other. It was still incredibly dark and wet in some areas because of the rain. Proceed with caution. Mile one was a 7:15. It was actually a little slower than I wanted, but that was fine. This tempo was all about creating a new 2007 Benchmark. I need a good starting point. Mile 2 was spent watching the runners ahead of me pull away slightly. There are very distinct groups in the Tues/Thurs group. The super fast and the moderately fast. Shannon was about 10 yards ahead and that was fine with me. I heard my Garmin glitch during Mile2 indicating that it had a weak signal which invariably meant that my time for Mile 2 would be off. Oh well, I would still have my overall time at the end. Plus, it would keep me from staring at my watch. I would literally "run how I feel." It's amazing what goes through your mind during these incredibly tough runs. "Why am I pushing so hard?" "Push harder!" "If I slow down slightly for 5 seconds, it will help me." "Don't let anyone pass me from behind." With about 1.5 miles left, I caught up with Thon. OK--I didn't catch up with him at all. He had only run a little bit because he's been sick so he turned around to pace me back. It was a good mental lift. The last mile always seems to take so long. I picked it up during that last stretch and finished strong. (or as strong as I could)
28:25 (7:06 overall pace)
For someone who was in bed just 45 minutes before, I'm totally pleased with that effort. It's not my fastest ever, but it was a great start to a New Year.
The tempo run scares me less and less every time I do it. Well, sort of...Let's just say I love how I feel when I'm done. That energy and adrenaline literally carried me through the entire day yesterday.