So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hammer Time!

Tempo run of seven miles yesterday at the beach. The group - which includes most of our team officers, several of our active membership, and not a few of our former members (who I graciously classify on my nicer days as alumni) meets every Wednesday evening at 6:00 to run anywhere from four to six miles, then eat, drink and be merry until they can't stand it any longer...or the management kicks them out.
I've used the treadmill for the majority of the summer because it has been too d@mned hot to get any quality mileage in least while I was healthy enough to run (so maybe there was a good side to breaking my arm!). Two weeks ago I went to the beach to do a six-mile tempo and completely exploded in a blaze of glory at the three-mile point. BRAAP! Back to the treadmill for a couple of more weeks, Coach Mike. I bumped up the pace on the treadmill runs to ~6:44/mile, taking a three-minute cool-down cycle between each mile. Then, I decided to extend the tempo repeat from 1 mile to 1.2 miles, so I got the mileage in five pieces, vice six. That's three less minutes of easier running/jogging/walking, too.
We were talking about the beach loop the other night, and Scott, my assistant and club secretary mentions something in passing about the six-mile loop being only 5.8 miles. I almost asked him, 'says who?' We've never really measured a course out there, and I have little love for GPS wearers and their complete dogmatic trust (dependence?) on that gadget. I have to admit I'm not as violently opposed to them as I was in the past, and I would use one if it were given to me (Note to my loving wife: no, I really do not need a GPS, not unless it does the street navigation, too.) by a company wanting someone to wear-test. Dude, if there's anyone who can destroy a piece of technology with just casual, everyday use, it's me. Ask Nike; that's why they are no longer in the MP3 player market.
I probably could have used one last night, though, to run the tempo run. I have a good idea where the two-mile point on the course is located, so I figured what I would need to add on in time duration (ten minutes) to lengthen the 5.8 mile loop run into a 7-mile tempo run. Hammer ten more minutes (five out, five back), on top of what I guessed would be a 40-to-41-minute run normally and voila! Done.
Well, I went out at a comfortable (7 minute/mile) pace for the first two miles. Who knew I would pick up the pace that much after two? Who knew I would race the sun coming back? Who knew I'd run 49:34 for 7.8 miles!? That's a little bit fast (ya think, Coach?) for a tempo run. That's about 20 seconds faster than my average pace for a half marathon.
However, I tend to run on feel, not on gauges. When I had a Suunto POD and heart rate monitor, I spent a lot of time looking at the data rather than running more by feel. That's the liberty of going by physiological markers, especially after you've done enough training. Translates well into racing and you don't have to worry about if or when the technology bites the big one (like the Suunto did)...Murphy's Law...and it goes wrong after you become dependent on the technology.
Working that hard makes it interesting the morning after, especially if you're doing any kind of cross-training or you have a real daytime job. When our organization provided employees the option of working flexible work schedules; the kind where you do your 40 hours of weekly work over the course of four days, or your 80 hours of a pay period over the course of nine, I decided immediately it was not for me. Sorry, boss. I'm a creature of habit, and I coach. I have places to be in the early afternoon, and I like having not to worry about taking two hours of annual leave in conjunction with a federal holiday.

Besides, I'd rather do 80 percent of the something my boss and my other 'eight days a pay period' co-workers are doing each day.

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