Tempo Thursday

Thursday’s recap is a short one, but it was a long run, some 18km.

The biggest challenge was instead of Tempo Tuesday, It was Tempo Thursday, with 8 km of fast paced running in the middle of the 18km scheduled run, at 5:00 per km or better. It has been a while since I did a solid tempo effort and I must admit to approaching them with plenty of angst.

That said, through a series of rolling hills, I was under 5:00 for the desired distance – ranging from 4:44 to 4:58 and slightly over 39 minutes for the 8km.

Yup, it hurt, especially my hamstrings at the end, but it was worth it. And it was the first time this summer, I ran in pants and gloves – discouraging in some respects but encouraging that humidity was not a factor!

I have another long slow run of 19 km either Friday or Saturday and the Hampton Five Miler on Sunday. I might be able to crack a sub -38 minute time Sunday but the forecast is calling for cool temperatures and rain. Sometimes, those are good factors to produce a solid time. We shall see.




“Do you know why I pulled you over?”

After adjusting my schedule this week as a result of the recent vacation, my regular tempo run was slated for Wednesday, not Tuesday. And because of an annoying construction project in the area, the path to my regular running route is blocked, forcing me to drive to a starting point instead of beginning the run in my driveway.

Such was the case Wednesday, when I dragged myself to the new starting line, located in the parking lot of a local KFC (I plan on writing about nutrition and its various plagues, benefits on finishing times later on, but to this point, I have avoided Col. Sanders).

Back to running. I had been dreading the tempo run – a 16km effort with 8km at half marathon or 5:00 per km pace all week; switching it from Tuesday to Wednesday was part of the avoidance. I had completed other tempos but it required a strong effort and simply put, it is hard. I recently asked some on a Runner’s World forum if they dreaded the tempo run most of all their runs. The response was yes, yes, yes!

So out I went, and despite some challenges, I managed to get every km under 5:00, including one at 4:59 and another at 4:39. Predictably, it was a sweaty, heart-elevated, draining yet rewarding session despite my earlier reluctance. When I finished, I filled up the car at the gas station, purchased some Gatorade and proceeded home, via the detour that takes an annoyingly amount of extra time to get home.

All was well, right?

Not really. At the end of one street, which joins a main road, the light changes are based on a sensor after 10 or 11 p.m. Since it was late, I was in that sensing zone.  I sensed it was going to be a bit of a wait but after 2 minutes at a red light, I sensed a mood of frustration and as a result, inched the car forward. Nothing but more waiting. So, I inched forward again and again, nothing. During the gaps, I was also checking my tempo splits and that’s when I noticed another car coming behind. Shortly after, finally, the light changed.

I pulled through the light and immediately, was pulled over by a police cruiser – the car behind me.

I sensed trouble.

More accurately, I thought, ‘WTF’, questioning the officer’s motivation, wondering if I was getting targeted for reading my Garmin when I was stopped, which maybe the officer mistook for a cell phone. Nope, seems in my haste to make the sensor work at the stoplight, I had inched too far into the lane of the main road. The officer pulled me over to essentially warn that was not a good thing. He was probably examining for signs of slurred speech, glazed eyes, etc. as they were on the lookout for drivers under the influence. He likely thought, since I was in an awkward spot on the red light, well…. you know.

During the conversation, he asked me what I was doing. His mistake. I detailed the run, the tempo and my Gatorade purchase. I also voiced my displeasure with the sensor device and the construction near my house. He got it all, in a pleasant talk, nodding his head all the while. When I was fumbling for my registration and insurance papers, and still talking, he interrupted me, saying he just got a call for a possible impaired driver elsewhere and excused himself – possibly to free himself of the details of the 7th or 8th km.

Maybe I was rambling!?!?!

Anyhow, the police were on the lookout because of a pair of concerts in the city that night. So I blame KISS and Tegan and Sara, both acts that performed in the city Wednesday.

I posted about the stats from Wednesday’s run here. Thursday, it was 18 km of slow running which after Wednesday’s effort and I was happy about that. Some outings, you have to grind through it and this was definitely one of those. It was a rough one after the tempo Wednesday. No police though.

This weekend en route to the half-way mark of training, the schedule calls for two runs, including a long outing – the longest so far – of 29 km.  It seems like a chore but in comparison to those tempo requirements, I’ll take it!

So far: Tuesday, 6km, Wednesday, 16k with 8km tempo, Thursday, 18km, 15 to 20 percent above MP.

Off Friday:

Schedule: 11km Saturday, big 29km long run on Sunday or Monday.

Tempo Wednesday

There is a lot to tell regarding this week’s tempo run. At this point, I am happy to say I finished it and I’ll have a recap, including my unexpected conversation with the police.

Here are the numbers:

Warm up (5k) – 5:52, 5:53, 5:55, 6:04,5:53

Tempo (8k)- 4:55, 4:59, 4:56, 4:47, 4:43, 4:45, 4:53, 4:39

Cool down (3k) – 6:49 (200 metres walk, immediately after tempo), 6:01; 6:01.

Tempos and a missed run

This was not the greatest week for running as for some reason, it was a mental fight to get out the door each session. It cost me one session Wednesday as I just did not have it to get going after a day at work and then a special freelance photo job in the evening. Possibly, I will make it up Monday.

Overall, it was tough to take that first step all week (maybe the deck work caught up to me) but now that a week of vacation has hit, it figures to get easier. I must admit that reading others’ blogs or updates got me going with some messages of inspiration or dedication. Reading those made me think that October’s run will get rated as a success only if I put in the work now. I’ve done that in the past but maybe because I am blogging, the accountability factor has jumped and there is no room to slack off.

And this is an intense week in the Pfitzner training plan for the P.E.I. Marathon so if I make up the lost run (8k recovery pace) on Monday, all will be good.

The big session of the week was Tuesday’s tempo effort, which consisted of 8km at 5:00 per km pace of a 14km run. It equalled the longest tempo distance of training so far and took me through some solid elevation swings. Good news is the tempo paces were all under 5:00 per km, averaging 4:55 and ranging between 4:48-4:59.

After Wednesday’s missed run, I hit the road for 16km on Thursday, averaging 5:57, which is consistent with my pacing (15 per cent above Marathon pace) the previous two times I ran that distance.

Friday was an off day and Saturday morning, I hit the treadmill for a light run at 6:47 per km.

Now to get back on track.


Tuesday – 3k warm up, then 8k tempo, aiming for 5:00 per km, 3k cool down

Thursday – 16k average 5:57

Saturday – 8k, treadmill. 6:50 pace while watching the British Open.

Sunday 26 k, with 13 at marathon pace

Good news is that weigh in this week was 182.5 pounds, down from 189 earlier in this cycle.

Quick update – more later

It was bound to happen but I had to skip a run this week – an 8k recovery run Wednesday. Hope to get it in tonight, a scheduled off day.

Went Tuesday and for the 8k of tempo scheduled, came in under 5:00 per km each time, so that was good; last night, 16k run, that was as the week has been – some good, some not so good.

Bugs, weed and those oh-so-fun tempos


This week’s speed workout was on Thursday, the final of three consecutive days on the roads, a stretch that started with 16k on Tuesday and continued with 6k on Wednesday. I admit my legs were a bit tired and I could have been easily convinced to delay the tempos until Friday, in part because of the heat wave that’s engulfed Quispamsis – it hit 33C Thursday afternoon and felt like 39C.

And in part because I was plain old tired. But I gave it the old college try, left the house around 9:45 p.m. and once I got going, it turned out fine.

Save for two surprises, both symptoms of the season.

First, as I looked at my watch as I approached the 1k mark, I took a breath and wham, a big, mosquito or fly or bug of some kind slammed right into the back of my throat and before I knew it, I had swallowed it. It was a gag-worthy event, one that had me coughing and spitting for a minute or so. It also led me to recall the days when we lived in Fredericton and every summer night or evening, the bugs, mosquitoes, insects were bad – very bad. Admittedly, one of the best parts of our new home (seven years now, so not really that new any longer) is the absence, for the most part, of mosquitoes and bugs.  From time to time, especially in the hottest of heat, you’ll get them where we live but they often take you by surprise, such as Thursday’s not-so-tasty offering.

With that out of the way, I continued on and it should be said, a decent part of my run takes me through the business/restaurant section of Rothesay-Quispamsis. During the day, it is standard fare, with no real issues for motorists or runners, other than the length of the line at the Timmy’s drive thru. After dusk, the parking lots for McDonalds, Timmy’s and several other areas feature an interesting congregation of people, hanging out in their cars, walking from spot to spot or skateboarding in the open lots adjacent to the restaurants.

Never a big deal – although once, there were a few shouts and cat calls of ‘Run Forrest Run,’ as I trotted past and one eager (drunken?) soul started to run with (after?) me. It was a short sprint on his part and I was thankful for that.

Thursday though, as I successfully dealt with regaining my composure after the bug incident, I hit a distinct, yet unmistakable odor. Yup, there are times when you run past a smoker and you want to throw up from the smoke in the air. This time, it was that  ‘relaxxxeeedd party-time scent’ if you know what I mean. There were lots of people enjoying a happy meal and it had nothing to do with the burgers. Funny stuff.

Those festivities served as distractions for the real test of the week – the 13k medium run with 6k tempo in the middle which I was aiming to run in 5:00 per km pace. For the first two weeks of this program, I ran the tempos on the treadmill, and only worried about maintaining the pace set by the machine. This time, I had to get the pacing right outdoors, another challenge altogether.

For me, the 5:00 pace is slightly slower than a 10k pace and slightly faster than my half marathon pace I recorded in Saint John last year. I do not think I could hit that pace in a half right now and so, the tempo surges are a great test and there is no guarantee you will finish the set. The only thing assured is fatigue.

With the heat, I was slightly dreading the challenge and my mental skills were not in a positive frame of mind.  But I broke it into pieces, and before I knew it, I was on the downhill portion of the first kilometre. The toughest part geographically was an uphill portion from 1.6k to 2.3k and I survived not too badly, partly because it was early in the tempo.

The final k was testy but with a late surge, I finished, walked for 100-150 metres and then trotted home in a 6-6:30 per km pace.

These tempos are super tough and my pace for 5 of the 6k was 4:52-4:55 while the other was 4:42. When finished, I had one of those ‘It will not stop sweats.’ but it was worth the work – even though I was exhausted. Unlike some of those assembled earlier in the run, this was a natural high.

This weekend – one recovery run and one long run with a 50-50 split of 20 percent slower than MP and 10 per cent slower than MP

Tuesday – 16k @ 6:00

Wednesday 6K @6:46

Thursday 13 k 3k warm at approx 6:00; 6k tempo at approx 4:52-55 per k with one at 4:42; 3k cool down at approx 6-6:30 per k.

First tempo

In preparation for next week’s debut into the Pfitz 18/55, I ran a tempo Tuesday. It’s been a while.

3k @ 6:19

4k @ 5:00

3k @ 6:19

Holy sweat. Indeed a challenging workout but I finished it, on the treadmill, while watching Game 3 of NBA final. 6k recovery tonight at super slow pace.