How 800ers view the dreaded tempo run.
800ers have a very specific physical and mental make-up. I hate to break it to you, if you love yourself some tempos, and can’t wait to sink into some intervals over 300m, you are not an 800er. As I was doing my weekly tempo, I had a lot of time to think in attempt to distract myself from the pain. I thought I would give the inside perspective of how 800ers treat these dreaded things.
Play by play of tempo:
Workout: 3 mile tempo at 6min pace and come down.
1. Run the first 800 slower than 2:50
2. Zone out for 1.5 miles
3. Maintain a positive mental attitude throughout the run
4. Pick up the pace as you start to work into it
5. Don’t pee pants
Numbers 3 and 5 are clearly the hardest. I have never successfully done number 4—just Coach says it, so I go with it.
I forgot a watch. This is already not looking good. I will attempt to do this off “feel”
Thought process throughout tempo (times are rough estimates as I left my watch at home—little known fact: 800ers hate watches!):
5 Minutes to start: Anxiety is high. I keep fluctuating between the “Oh God” and the “I don’t give a damn” attitudes.
1 Minute to start: Claim the good spot--In the back. Not completely in the back though. Embrace that pressure not to fall off. Take the tangents!
Start: I don’t think my shoes are tied well. I will probably get a blister. Also, I think I may need to pee.
1:43: I am not breathing hard. This is good. Points for being positive! I rock.
2:20: Dangggg! I haven’t even looked at my watch. I am kicking ass. The breathing is picking up a bit though, so I will attempt to relax.
2:55: 2:55!!!!! THAT’S ALL I’VE DONE! 800m down. ????m to go. Points for being conservative. Loss of points for not feeling like a jog. I know I think I hurt, but really it is just because I have so far to go. Oh dear. Ok ok ok ok ok. Calm down. Pick a song and work for the 1 mile zone out. Eat that time. “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals..” REALLY! That song. Let’s try again anxiety mind. “Brooklyn we go hard..” Better better. I like that. (Repeats the Brooklyn line for next 2 minutes)
4:55: I have no affiliation with NYC. Why did I choose this to be my get pumped up song?
4:58: Do do do do. She’s a rich girl and she’s gone too far, something about her something anyway. Yeah. Nice zone out choice.
5:25: Looked at watch. It is going to be a long day for the Vols. Just don’t think. Run only.
5:50: I hate tempo runs. I am not even half of half way. No one could possibly understand how bad I hurt. No one. I’m probably hurting more than anyone in the world has ever hurt.
6:10: Danny has no clue how hard these are for me. I hope he can read my thoughts. I will send some negative energy his way so he knows how bad I’m hurting.
6:25: (The 3rd person self talk comes in) Phoebe. You have run just over a mile. You are being a complete baby. The only reason you hurt is because you are thinking about how bad it might hurt. Get your mind right and just float with it.
7:10: Great pep talk. It is starting to wear off. Hey positivity, can I get another boost? You look good? You feel good?
8:30: Ok ok ok. Think about this rationally. You don’t hurt that bad. You legs don’t hurt. Your breathing is still, well, breathing. It is doing something. Just put in the hard effort. Time doesn’t matter. Especially since you forgot your watch. You needed to remember 2 things: shoes and watch. You forgot half of the list.
8:35: But the time does matter a lot. It is how I quantify my efforts! Maybe if I trip, I won’t have to finish. Of if I just walk for a second, no one will notice. But then I’d have to restart…. Hmmm. I could sprain an ankle.
8:55: MAN! You would seriously fake an injury than run for 9 minutes. You are cray cray. Just finish the damn thing.
9:00: Dear running god, I am only half way done with this tempo. I may have messed up. These always seem way harder than they should. I may be a headcase at these. I admit it. I repent at my negative attitude. But you have to admit. This sucks real bad. I’m slowing down. And I have to pee. And I think my shoe isn’t tied well. How do distance runners like this?!?!?
11:06: All right. You used up your kick running the exact same pace for the last 2 minutes. I hate this. And this path. And these mile markers. Fucking mile markers. They are not accurate. No way.
12:12 Look at the positive! Your hate rant killed a minute. You have way less than 6 minutes of hurting left. AND you feel faster than pace! Even with the stank attitude you have! Wahoo! Anyone can concentrate for a mile!
13:03: Ok so maybe you were a bit ambitious. You can’t always concentrate for a mile. Plus I’m pretty sure someone just punched you in the gut. You know what it is! That long run. That long run is having some lag time and making this tempo more tiring. Yep.
13:23: Calm down! You can concentrate. Form Form! I never really understood what people mean by thinking about form on a slow interval, but just don’t fall over! Count to 20! 20 good paces! Arms arms arms. When those legs fail, use those arms!
14:43: I hope no one sees me right now. I have snot all over my face. I botched a spit and now am drooling. My shorts are riding up. I think my twot may be showing. OH god. No cameras!
15:00: But you look fast? Yeah. No one will see how you look because you are going too fast. Yeah. I like that.
16:02: One minute. You can see the line. You are such a bad ass! Kick kick. I promise you can hold it from here.
Upon finishing the tempo, I realized that
1. I actually probably ran pretty fast for me. I picked it up out of anger as I went on.
2. I will have no proof of my effort as I forgot the watch. Work does not count unless you write it down in a quantifiable way.
3. I need to seriously seriously work on maintaining my cool in tempo runs. I will adopt different unconventional techniques and report back how they work.