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Friday, June 27, 2014

Sometimes, you really need to look at the Data.

Last night was supposed to be a 3-4 mile tempo run. I was supposed to run 3-4 mile repeats at Tempo pace. My target pace for tempo runs is between an 11:50 and 12:50 pace. I was worried about my pace, since my calves were bothering me before I even started running.

I headed to the canal for the nice flat terrain, started up my shiny new mapmyrun+ app, and headed out. My calves were an issue right from the start, and about half a mile in, I was struggling to maintain my speed. I had set the app to give me my pace ever 0.1 miles, but it was giving it to me in miles per hour. I had absolutely no idea what the speeds translated to.

I hit one mile, paused my workout, and took my walk break. I really felt like I needed it for the first time in a long time. The second mile was even rougher, I could feel my calves dragging me down. I felt like I was going really slowly, and had to keep pushing harder to maintain my pace. I took a walk break at my turn around point so I could refill my water bottle, and the sloged it out until the two mile mark.

At this point, I had serious doubts about my ability to finish out the workout. I was very cranky about it, I may or may not have been on the verge of tears during this walk break.

For mile three I basically gritted my teeth, and pushed through. I let my pace drop to what felt like a shuffle. I knew I was going to call it at three, even though I should have been pushing it to four. I was getting these little lancing sharp pains in my calves, and was starting to worry I was hurting myself. So I slowed down some more, feeling like I might go faster walking.

As soon as I hit mile three I paused the workout and gratefully dropped to a walk. My legs were totally spent. I was really sweaty and very very tired. I felt completely defeated by the run. My thought process was somewhere along the lines of "Why is this getting harder?! It was only three miles, and it was a slow three miles. I shouldn't be in this rough shape!"

I was dreading looking at my phone and seeing awful splits, so I put it off until I got to my car. I just took my half mile (ish) cool down walk of shame, and then did a little stretching.

I really should have looked at my phone.

Apparently I was running really fast (for me.) No wonder it felt rough.

Just look at those splits! My first mile was under 11 minutes! I'm still stunned I could run that fast at all, let alone for a whole mile. The second and third mile were well within (or above) my target tempo pace.

Framed with the data, that was a great run. Yeah the calf pain is worrying, but it subsided by this morning, and I still haven't managed to get my hands on bananas yet, so I have hope that the banana's will be my magic cure.

Today is a rest day, a very welcome one, before another long paced run saturday morning. I'm planning on running with the 13 min pace group this week, instead of the 12's, but it's a notoriously hilly course, so I know i'm going to be suffering.

Hills build character right?


  1. Holy crap you crushed that first mile! No wonder you were hurting.
    How stupid about the app announcing your pace in miles per hour. That's a terrible idea mapmyrun! I wonder if there's a way to change that.
    Is there any way you can see the pace? I know it shows up at the lower left corner of the screen. It's probably hard to do while actually running but you could attempt it. At least you would know to slow down or at least what pace matches up with the mph.