The only thing that drug my butt out of bed finally at 8:10 was a reminder that this was a workout for me, and I could stop at any point and walk or just decide to enjoy a stroll along the way if I wanted to. My workout was 8 miles with either 10k or 5k at lactate threshold (tempo) effort. I chose the 10k distance thinking I would have an easier time keeping myself at LT effort due to the longer distance. I laced up my trainers and left my racing flats at home, just to be clear with myself that this was not a race I was about to run.
Traffic was miserable, so we just parked a mile from the starting line and ran in. I ended up nearly stripping down while running to the start, throwing my bag of clothes to The Genius (who incidentally PR'd in the 5k today!) while I scaled the steep grassy cliff next to the road in an attempt to get as close to the starting mat as possible. I got to the line as the last words of the National Anthem were being sung. Luckily, the race started a couple of minutes late.
I started the 10k with a couple of runners that had told me they were going to be running what I thought my workout pace might be. We all got sucked out way too fast. When I looked at my Garmin in the first 1/4 mile, we were somewhere around 5:40 pace. We slowed to 6:05 pace by mile 1. When my group noticed how fast they were going, they started to slow down. I looked at my Garmin and saw 6:23 pace, and I took off around them. I finally settled into a steady 6:15 or so pace by mile 3 and hung there for the rest of the race. My stomach felt okay, but I was glad I wasn't racing or I would have gotten a major side stitch, I'm quite certain.
A young girl with a blond ponytail and headphones popped up next to me around mile 3 and asked if I was on a team, and if I ran in college, and if it was okay if she ran with me, and what my name was, and... I told her I was doing a tempo run, and she said, "great! I haven't done a tempo run in a long time!" Hmmm. Not sure she knew what a tempo run was. Anyway, she dutifully stuck with me for the rest of the race, and every time I got a step behind, she encouraged me to keep going. Very cute.
As we turned for home, I let her take off since there was really no point in me starting a sprint a half mile from the finish, but she wouldn't have it. She said, "Come on, Jaymee, keep going. We're almost there." I looked at her and very nicely said, "You go ahead. I'm just doing a workout here." She finally got it and sped off to finish 6 or so seconds ahead of me.
This workout was supposed to be a heartrate max test for me too, but that didn't really work out. While my heart rate got up to 192 within the first 1/4 mile, my coach and I think that may have been an anomaly. After that brief spike, it settled down, and then kept going down as I settled into my LT pace. My last 1/4 mile was at 5:46 pace and my HR averaged 174, the lowest average for any of my race splits. Go figure. And, I thought I was pushing it.
After my rant on effort-based running, I believe I hit it today. And, I did it in a race no less! My Garmin said I ran 6.3 miles at 6:10 pace with an average HR of 175 and best of all, it felt like a tempo effort. My official time was 38:50, which was good enough for 4th overall female and 2nd Master.
I actually won $100 in prize money, but started to feel guilty about taking that when someone asked me at Thanksgiving dinner how much money I raised for the hungry. I answered, "Actually, I think I took money from the hungry." I decided to donate the extra $65 I earned (after subtracting out my race fee), and contribute it back to the cause. Not sure I could live with myself otherwise. I made the donation in memory of my Dad, Joe Marty, Jr. I think he would have chosen to donate the winnings too.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!