"Holy Balls"?!? Yeah, not quite sure where that came from. I've been known to say hole moly, or holy hannah, holy cow and even from time to time (only when it is especially warranted and hopefully not in earshot of my kidlings) holy *@#! (pick the expletive of your choice, I've probably used them all). Anyway, without ever really starting, I digress. Let's try again...
Today was my speed workout day (in the form of a tempo run). I was not looking forward to it. I stayed up way, way too late last night, ate terribly all day (including several Nutella covered graham crackers after 10:30pm... I know, bad, bad me - but I was craving chocolate and it was probably better than taking straight scoops of Nesquick, which I've been known to do) and woke this morning to two children (are you kidding me?!) with wet beds and a third that seemed to be on a nursing strike. Needless to say, I was tired and grumpy and feeling anything beside speedy. I contemplated skipping out altogether or at least trading the speed portion in for an easy run but in the end, my training plan kept me honest and I headed to the 1 mile bark trail so I could monitor the slowness of my tempo.
I took my sweet time getting to the trail, reset my watch, stretched a bit, waited for some pretty fast looking guys (tall, thin, older and wearing compressions sleeves) to get headed down the trail, stretched a bit more, had a sip of water, checked the time, looked at some daisies... finally decided I had stalled enough and took off. Funny thing was, I felt great and I felt fast! I passed the fast guys easily within 400 meters (never mind that I knew they were on a cool down as I had seen them previously sprinting around the track) got to the 1/2 mile marker and "Holy Balls!" my watch read 7:07 pace, must be wrong, so I double checked the time 3:34... wow, way too fast! I made a half-hearted attempt to slow down and ended up finishing out the mile in 7:28. Which, would've been no problem if it were the only one, but I still had 2 more miles to go and since I was trying to be honest to my training plan I really needed to slow down.
I don't know if you've ever gotten kind of stuck in a running groove that you couldn't get out of. I do it all the time with slow paces. I just feel sluggish and can't seem to get going, so I plod along at a pace, trying to pick it up and maybe eventually do a bit but not noticeably. Today was just the opposite. I was stuck in a fairly fast paced groove and as much as I tried I couldn't get it slowed down to the 8:00 min pace I was supposed to be aiming for. (I did manage to slow it down to average out the 3 miles at 7:42 and was tempted to sprint an extra .1 just to see what my 5K time would be, but chose that moment to not cheat on my plan :P.)
Today's run, left me feeling, well, tired of course, but pretty excited for the possibility of actually being able to sustain an 8ish (yes, 8ish is a word) pace for my half in September. Of course, this is all based on doing one fast mile followed by two more, I would imagine if I changed that to 3 fast miles by an attempt to do 10.1 more the outcome might be slightly different (as in I hit a major wall and die (okay not literally, but you get the idea)). I know that one of the biggest things I need to work on is slowing down my easy runs and definitely slowing down the start of my tempo runs. Its hard though, because once I get going I want to go, either to get it done with (i.e. the faster I run this speed workout the faster it will be over) or because I'm so excited to be out in the great wide world alone (i.e. all my kids are at home still in bed and no one is hanging on me) that I just take off without paying much attention to how fast I'm traveling (away from them).
So, the moral of my story... I'm glad I ran, I'm glad I ran fast, I'm glad I have a training plan to keep me honest and I think I'll probably never say "Holy Balls" again... it just sounds silly!
If you need a little motivation, you should check out this post about the 8 year old winner of the Dipsea race. Have any of you ever run it? I've researched it a fair amount... sounds like a crazy fun time, I'd love to do it.