The Tempo Run

I’ve gotta admit that I was pretty nervous about the tempo run this morning.  40 minutes seemed like a long time at 7 minute pace and I was running it with Richie, so that made it harder to wuss out.  We met in the gym parking lot and jogged for about a mile and a half until we got to a park.  Richie did a little stretching there and then we hit it…hard.

We started off at 6:45 pace.  After about a mile, I began to feel like I was in a 5K race at times.  We ran down a fairly deserted road through a local nature preserve.  After a while, Richie began to detect my labored breathing, so he took a quick left onto a dirt trail with the idea that this would force us to slow down.  As soon as we hit the trail, it started pouring rain.  I was dying, just trying to get my legs to move at a pace to keep up with him.  My head was down, looking for rocks and roots.  My glasses were covered with water.  The sky was dark and I was struggling to keep up.  It was all like a weird dream.  We’d go left, then right, then across a wooden bridge, through big puddles.  I had no idea where I was and I was just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

When we eventually emerged back on the road, it was supposed to get easier but I felt like I was at mile 2 of a 5K race.  We pounded the pavement for a little while more, Richie shouting encouragement at me the whole time.  Eventually, he took a pit stop at the side of the road to find the shirt he discarded on the way into the preserve.  I continued on ahead until I hit 4 miles, then took a brief walk break.  Richie caught me and pushed me for another half mile.

At the end, we took a few minutes to walk, then jogged for about a mile and finished off with jogging/walking back to the gym.  Of course, we both stopped at a Walgreens for a bathroom break.  It was my fault this time.  My intestines were twisted in knots from the effort.  Of course, when I came out of the men’s room, Richie was exiting the women’s room so I guess he needed it too.

In total, we did 8.25 miles.  The middle 4 miles were at an average pace of 7:02 minutes per mile.  After that was a walk/run for 0.4 miles at an average pace of 7:27.  Basically, it was 30 minutes at threshold pace.  Not the 40 I was shooting for, but still a pretty solid workout.  I’m defnitely feeling it.

Later in the afternoon, I did 200 m intervals with Alice for a total of 3 miles.  That will help flush me out I think.


  1. great job on the tempo run! They are hard but at least you had a buddy. Plus the 200s with alice must have made it a good workout day!

  2. i like how you call out your pals and their bathroom news. no shame 🙂

    nice job on the tempo! i can totally relate, feels a little tough for awhile but usually (or just sometimes) you can settle in. 30 minutes is solid, especially for your first (or one of the first?) tempo runs in awhile (right?)

  3. Wow, tough run. Good job sticking with that pace…that’s a hard pace to keep up for long periods of time. Tempos are mentally hard, too. So, good work!

    Annnd my hat is Headsweats. Fits perfectly and is very comfortable and light!

  4. Wow dude– That is awesome!

    I maintained a 7 minute pace for my last 5k– I can’t imagine holding that pace as long as you did– through the rain and the mud nonetheless!

    Did you use your regular running shoes or trail running shoes??
    How do you feel today?

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