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December 28, 2011 / fionarwbl

Breaking a Running Milestone

Vacation time is awesome. I have time for running, yoga, blogging, and trips to the Met. What the what??

Just as a little aside, I’m writing this from my absolute favorite coffee shop on the Upper West Side, Aroma. I first went to Aromas in Israel, and was a little skeptical when they opened up here. My husband kinda hates coming here as he thinks it is filled with Israelis who only hang out with other Israelis. However, you cannot argue with the food. I am obsessed with the quinoa salad, which are words that I never thought would come out of my mouth. On the other hand, I do have it with either frozen lemonade, or today I had it with a coffee which comes with chocolate and whipped cream.

Mmmm, doesn't that look delicious? Despite the prevalence of healthy things


I ran again this morning. This is almost becoming a routine now. I had a tempo run on my schedule – 1m warm up, 4miles at 8:20 pace, and 1m cooldown. Have I told you how much I hate tempo runs? How, during the entire warm-up I try and talk myself out of running them, and during the tempo part I am literally counting down until I can stop running fast? How I look at my training plan and stress out at least 24hours in advance? I really hate them that bad. The worst thing is that they keep getting harder. Wouldn’t it be awesome if my training plan said something like, warm up for 1m, run slightly faster but not that much for 4m, and then cool down for a mile. I mean, it wouldn’t exactly do anything for my fitness, or my speed, or any of the other things that I am trying to improve. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would be doing it, right?

A couple of weeks ago, I totally killed my tempo goal and running my fastest 4miles to date. I ran an 8:07 pace, and I was pumped. Today, I was hoping to equal that performance. I am still having a hard time judging how fast I am running, and how fast to go over shorter distances. My Central Park entrance is also one of the highest points in the Park, so no matter what route I run, I end with an uphill, which I really feel in tempos. Anyhoo, I headed out, and started my 4miler feeling, well, miserable.

Spoiler alert: I spent the whole 4miles feeling miserable.Well, 3.8 of those miles. The last 0.2 were downhill and I knew I’d be done soon.

Runners are weird, aren’t they?

After a half mile I was breathing heavily and starting to sweat.

At 2.5 miles I got passed by another girl. I debated giving chase, and then changed my mind, deciding it would be mortifying if my legs gave out in public.

After 3 miles I had to start the evil “rolling hills” between 102nd and 86th st. My pace slowed by 0ver 30 seconds per mile here.

I had a downhill sprint at 3.8 miles which felt pretty good.

My pace? 31:43 for the 4miles, or a 7:56 min/mile average pace. This is the first time I’ve maintained a sub 8min/mile pace for anything longer than a mile. I was so pumped! To put this in context, my current speediest NYRR bib time is 8:31. If I ran like that during a race, I would knock 30 seconds off my bib time! That’s crazy. I’m super thrilled. A year ago, I did not think that sub 8s were ever in my future. Sure, it’s just 4 miles, and I was sucking air at the end, but checking my time at the end and seeing that 31:43 just made me feel like all the miles and the “tempo fear” are sort of worth it. Because as much as I hate tempo runs, and speedwork, and really anything that isn’t an easy 4 miles, I love the feeling of achievement, and improvement, and knowing I’m becoming just a little bid of a bad-ass runner. Or at least, to me I am.

Have you hit a running goal recently? Do you talk yourself into or out of hard runs?


Leave a Comment
  1. Kara / Dec 28 2011 11:44 pm

    Nice work with the speediness! Especially when you weren’t really feeling it. (Those are the days you make the most progress, in my opinion.) I usually hate tempo runs too. They make me anxious and I feel like I have to concentrate too much. But I’ve learned that I feel so much stronger when they are a part of my routine.

  2. buffbetty1 / Dec 29 2011 3:42 am

    I have the hardest time in my first mile or two every time I run! So weird how that happens! But great job on the quicker pace. Try some sprint work at the track if you really want to get that pace down!

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