Eight Mile Tempo to Ride into the Marathon

First week of taper is almost over. I’m still smiling and haven’t gone crazy yet. I think a huge part of it is that I was still running every day and still had a few workouts to get in. So I haven’t had to run easy for consecutive days yet. Ask me again next week how I am feeling. And in case you are counting…we are down to 9 days. =)

Have you ever had a workout that when it was finished, you wanted to scream and just jump up and down with excitement? That kind of run that gives you a runner’s high that can last hours – or days? I have often found that the tougher the workout, the higher the runner’s high.

I had one of these runs on Tuesday. It was an eight mile tempo. Yup. EIGHT miles. At my half marathon PR pace (7:00). This sounds easy on paper but after a 71 mile week, no taper and no food/gel, it’s a different story. Almost an hour of hard, fast (for me) running.

I was terrified from the day I got the week’s plan from my coach. My first thought was that there was no way I could sustain that pace for 8 miles. I thought back to my first tempo workout of this training cycle. 5 miles at 7:10->7:05. And I barely survived. I think I was almost dry heaving by the end. Then I recalled the two-6 mile tempos I did 5 and 6 weeks ago – at just under a 7 min pace. One was tough, the other was a good day. But the idea of doing two more miles on tired legs seemed daunting to me.

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    Strengthening Your Mind



    Last Day to Enter the PRO Compression Giveaway here!


    This past weekend was my son’s Baptism. It was a perfect day –  wonderful ceremony, good food, and our family and neighbors to share the day with us.  I’m extremely sentimental and wanted my boys to wear the same christening outfit – just like my sisters and I did when we were all baptized. We had a small party at our home afterwards catered from a yummy place on Staten Island.

    All dressed up for a change!

    I love little boy clothes:

    My mom and sisters:


    This is one of my favorite mantras to say to myself during a tough run:

    I have many moments of doubt and even more moments of wanting to just quit when I’m doing during tempo and speed workouts.

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      How to Become a Better Runner



      It’s a known fact that you can often become a better runner by increasing your mileage and incorporating speed, tempo, and long runs into your training.

      But, perhaps the best way to become a better runner is simply by learning.  Learning from your own experiences in races and training as well as from friends and acquaintances who run.  And I always find that I learn MORE from the mistakes I have made.  Yes, it sucks to make mistakes (especially during races). Often they result in poor times, a painful end to the race, and the sadness of not performing well.

      After running for over 10 years, I still consider myself a student of the sport.  I’m constantly learning.  I learn from mistakes I’ve made, success I have had, published articles, and successful runners’ blogs.

      Yesterday’s run is a great example of learning from a past mistake. My plan was to run 10 miles at Marathon Pace (MP).  (Note: My goal is to start incorporating 6-10 miles at MP during my long runs.  I wanted to practice running at this pace for an extended period of time before I include it in my long runs.)

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        Sometimes getting out of bed is the hardest part of my run

        Ever have a day when you just don’t want to run?  Either too tired from being up late, or legs are sore from a few days of hard running? Or you just aren’t in the mood to run?

        I’m not embarrassed to admit that I have days like that.  I like to think that I wake up every morning eager to go on my run, but there are definitely many mornings when I need to push myself to leave.  This morning was one of those days.  My alarm went off and I rolled out of bed with ZERO desire to head out the door.  My legs were a little sore from not taking any time off after Sunday’s 16 miler and I just felt exhausted!

        It didn’t help that it was pouring rain out.  Usually a good excuse for me to crawl back into bed.  But knowing that the marathon is only 17 days away (but who’s counting?) and that my first ultra is just 30 days away, I forced myself to get out the door.

        It’s funny what some wind and rain will do to what was supposed to an “easy” 8 miler that was on the schedule.  My easy runs are typically between an 8:35-8:50 pace (after my 1st mile warm-up).
        On mornings when I need a little extra motivation to push myself, I often turn the easy run into a progression run – once I complete a mile, I have to run the next mile faster then the last.  It’s much easier  to convince myself that I need to only run faster than the last mile, then to tell myself I’m going to run at an 8:00 pace for 8 miles.

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