Day 80: 4 mile #run in the cold & snow

Well, well, well – it’s just been one of those weeks (already) it feels draggy and hard to get through. It took every ounce (and I mean every ounce) of motivation and energy I could muster to get out this evening and run. I had a terrible sleep last night and had an extremely early morning. I did lots of running around with my son, errands and started organizing our house for Christmas – it was exhausting!

Anyway, at around 7 p.m. I decided that if I was going to run, I had to start by 8 p.m., or I had to stay in. And at 7:55, I jumped up, got ready and started out. To my surprise, the run wasn’t that bad at all. I knew it probably wouldn’t be because I had a rest day yesterday, but I had that nagging feeling of not really wanting to go that I couldn’t kick. It was a little slick out there because of the light snowfall and it was chilly (felt like -15). My time wasn’t amazing but I’m just glad I got out and finished it – and as they say, you never regret a workout you’ve completed.

I do have to make a small confession to make.

I was at a really busy intersection on my way back to our place and literally one-step from the crosswalk. This jerk sees me putting my foot out (we make eye contact; yes. I’m one of those people who confirms that you can see me before I step out) and he freaking hits the gas! But before I knew it, the third finger from my thumb was completely erect. Yes. I flipped him off. Truthfully, I am kind of ashamed. But not really, I was pretty choked.  There’s just no way I could have been more visible. A jacket with reflectors, a geeky running vest, white hat, sneakers with reflectors, running pants with reflectors. What a tool. Anyway, I feel better now that that’s off my chest. 🙂

Here is a picture post run. This is my first run of the season with a scarf and also the first time I’ve had to leave my mittens on for most of the run (except when flipping people off, of course). For anyone who is running in cold weather, do you know if there is any lip balm that will truly protect ones lips? Mine were frozen tonight even despite being covered by the scarf. P.S.: Look at out frickin’ bright that vest is – there’s no way to miss me!

Alright, enough ranting. It’s time to settle in and watch a movie. It’s snowing out and peaceful. But it would be tragic if it snowed too much tonight so that I wouldn’t be able to do hills. One can only hope…

Here are tonights stats:

  • Distance: 6.49km
  • Time: 39:01
  • Pace: 6:01
  • Best Pace: 4:50

 

Some day doesn’t exist and saying “I’ll start again next week” is rubbish.

I love this video.

Tempo running: the importance of pacing yourself

When I first started running, I didn’t give training much thought. Essentially, I popped my shoes on and ran; didn’t worry about form, time or anything else. To me, speed wasn’t the goal, it was to drop weight. I generally did the same run daily (for those of you tuning in from Cape Breton, I ran 8km along the Baddeck Bay Road.) I sometimes did hills and other routes. I didn’t consider myself a fair-weather runner either; I’d run through sun, heat, hail, wind, snow, rain – whatever! But if you asked me what tempo running was or what I paced myself at, I’d have no idea how to respond.

You see, this is my first real attempt at training. Yeah. I’ve done a few relays and long-distance races. And I did train in terms of making sure I could run certain distances. However, I never trained with the intention of getting the distance in AND doing it with a goal time in mind (under two hours for the half). Which means if I did my calculations correctly, I need to shave at least 30 seconds off my current pace per kilometre. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I cringe at the thought of having to speed up even more! In actuality, because my pace per kilometre isn’t incredibly fast, I’ve been encouraged that it won’t be too bad to take the time down; I beg to differ (but we’ll see!)

Don’t know what your pace is? Figure it out here.

So what is tempo running and how is it going to help me achieve this goal?

Tempo running is designed to help runners build speed and strength. Generally, you’ll start out with a fairly easy running pace (in my case, slow) for the first 5 – 10 minutes. Then taking it to about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. And finally, finishing with 5-10 minutes of a cool-down pace. A great tip from about.com is that for an easy-paced run you should have three footstrikes while breathing in and two footstrikes while breathing out. Alternatively, for tempo runs, you should be at two footstrikes while breathing in and one footstrike while breathing out. If you happen to be breathing more than that, your pace is too fast.

I wish I’d known about tempo running ages ago and maybe my last Cabot Trail Relay I would have made it in before they took the dang mat away! At any rate, apparently if I complete tempo runs once a week, I’ll see direct benefits and naturally, I’ll keep you posted with the progress or lack thereof.

If you want to learn more about pacing, click here.