Saturday I showed up at practice for my first tempo run since my race. A little concerned that my legs would prove too tired and prepared to drop back a group to go at a slower pace.
But Rusty announced it would be four miles at marathon pace rather than a real tempo run, so I decided I didn’t need to drop back.
Then, just before we set off, Rusty told us that he meant 6:40s. I’d been assuming 6:50s. But … OK. It’s still not fast, I can probably manage that.
And then we set off. It felt fast, but, well, I knew I was tired.
Kary was asking what people’s watches read. I didn’t bring my GPS watch since I wasn’t taking the workout too seriously. Eric said 6:42, so I guessed I was just tired.
When we got to the mile mark, my traditional stopwatch said 6:28, and I complained, but no one paid attention. So I dropped back from everyone else and let them zoom off into the distance. I assumed I had slowed down. It felt like it. Actually the route had turned downhill slightly, everyone else had sped up, and I had continued at the same pace. 6:34 for the next mile.
And the next mile, which is an uphill mile, was about the same.
And the last mile was 6:21.
So the damn thing was a tempo run after all.
I got left behind by everyone, so I was still tired, but I wasn’t as tired as I feared, so I came out of it feeling cheered.
(Rusty had given us a long lecture beforehand on the need to relax, and that some days we shouldn’t push things. None of us seemed to have paid him any attention.)