I finally did a tempo run! You may not understand, but I have been itching to do a tempo run for about a month. Tempos are truly the only workouts that get me mentally prepared to run races longer than 5k. The only reason I waited so long is because I am just doing all the Princeton Intervals workouts, and none of them have been tempos so far. I need to look at the schedule and plan when I am going to do a longer tempo, as in, 5-7 miles…because that needs to happen before the half marathon. If not for my legs then for my head. A short tempo is a tempo nonetheless, and that is what was scheduled for Tuesday night.
The full workout was a 20 minute tempo at our usual 533 meters/lap loop, plus six sets of one minute hard, one minute easy. For the tempo, I thought I would aim for 6:40-6:45 pace. Last year during a similar workout, I averaged 7:15. I knew I was in much better shape than that now, so I thought that range would be a good goal for just 20 minutes. For the record, I wasn’t in beast mode like I seem to have been the past three weeks at workouts, just because I was really tired and my stomach was feeling strange. It may or not have stemmed from the recoverosas (and lack of water). I took it one lap at a time though, and split my watch at each lap. I consistently ran 2:13-2:14, but slowed to 2:17-2:18 towards the end when I got separated from the three people I’d been running alongside at the beginning…and eventually chasing. I was at 20:09 after 9 laps exactly, which is when I stopped .That brings my distance to just about exactly three miles, meaning I averaged 6:43 pace. I’ll take it. It was my goal, after all. The song I ended up having stuck in my head? This. An awesome song…I’m loving it right now…but for a tempo? Really? I guess there are much worse songs, at least I like it (no pun intended). Last week, for the record, Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” matched my interval pace exactly. I guess you run faster when you feel like you are running away from a tornado.
The on/off minutes were much more difficult than the tempo. Weird, right? My Achilles got angry again, making me think it’s something that’s arising only when I try to run close to six minute pace, somehow. I’m not sure how many times I made it around the loop for that portion of the workout…but I guesstimated about 4.75 times, making my pace average to a little over 7:00/mile.
I got in a long cooldown, which helped loosen my Achilles and shake everything else out too. A quick shower and a fast walk later, I joined everyone at the Ivy for dinner and trivia! One Tuesday a month after our workout, we have happy hour at a local bar/restaurant. We usually go to my favorite place in town for this, Winberies, but even I could use a night away from it sometimes. The Ivy Inn, the notorious Princeton dive bar, recently passed all inspections and is licensed to serve food! I pitched the idea to the group of switching things up and going to the Ivy for “happy hour” this week, and then staying for trivia, and it was well received…at least, except for a couple people who still do not trust that they passed inspection. Anyway, I was starving by that point, and my first bite into my burger (I repeat, I was extremely hungry) and sip of beer was like the best thing ever. Side note about beer: Have you tried the Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber Ale yet??? I had it in New York City a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to see it on tap at the Ivy! This just may dethrone Harpoon UFO White as my fave. If you read the description on Blue Moon’s site…it even describes me – ha.
We were Team Fartlek, and we ended up coming in third place! I think there were nine teams, so that’s pretty legit. We were a great team together – runners know so much random stuff, and all of us there that night had different areas of expertise, it seemed. One of the questions was, “The Brannock device is a non-medical device used to measure what body part?” Ummm that was easy. I say, “can you pass the Brannock” at least once a day at work. True story. Only me, I suppose…but hey, we obviously got the answer correct! The winning team was Team Moist…I had friends on that team though, so the weird name choice aside, congrats to them!
I’m so glad I made my food+trivia plan a reality, and everyone had a lot of fun! I capped off the night by taking a couple quick turns at the pool table, and I magically ended up making a shot. That’s cool. So far, there have been no reports of illness following our debut with the Ivy’s food. They’re definitely still newbies at the whole deal, as evidenced by my receipt, if you can call it that (likewise at spelling):
Speaking of the Ivy, Justin Timberlake was here! On a Friday in December, Princeton was buzzing with excitement, as JT and Ben Affleck came to town to film their new movie, Runner Runner, due out in the fall! Unfortunately, I was holed up in the library instead of at work aka in the center of it all (got to do what I’ve got to do…), but I did run over to the Ivy after my evening run to snap some pictures! There are no celebs in the pictures, as far as I know, just extras and set people. But, Justin is inside, so that’s still pretty cool! I love being in on the action! I don’t go out to the movies much ($$$), but you can bet I’ll be seeing this one the week it’s released!