Tempo–> 1st mental and 2nd physical AND since we last talked.

Yesterday I did a tempo run for the first time in what felt like forever.  Three quarter mile mile warm-up, 6 miles x 6:48 pace (varied the incline from 0-2.5% over the 6 miles), three quarter mile cool-down—> 7.5 miles total.  A running friend of mine (she wins a ton of the races around here with insane times) told me to not worry about the w/u and c/d paces… just the actual workout paces.  SO, I take the w/u and c/d nice and super easy and I usually go for a little bit longer with those but I didn’t have enough time yesterday:)  

The tempo run is interesting for me because I feel like the first half of the tempo run is all mental and the second part is all physical.  For the first half my body is feeling fresh and ready to run and if anything I am tempted to pick up the pace more than I know I should.  BUT during the first half I have to mentally continually tell myself to not doubt myself and to not think thoughts like, ‘holy cow.. I have 5.42 more miles to run at tempo pace… I haven’t done this forever, how am I going to do this?’  BUT THEN for the second half the mental part gets easy because I am getting closer and closer to finishing and I have already gone for x amount of miles so mentally I feel more confident that of course I can finish.   The second half of a tempo run switches over to a physical test for me and my body starts getting tired and my muscles tell me to stop.  Then you finish the tempo run and you have a crazy good runner’s high because you realize you just got in some killer mental AND physical work.  

My friend gave this headband to me for my birthday and it will be my new lucky headband (isn’t it so nice to never have a single hair get in your face during a run?).

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PS some info on what a tempo run actually is and how to find your current tempo pace!

Tempo run: a faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run.  Tempo pace is often described as ‘comfortably hard.’  Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success: our metabolic fitness.   (source)

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Yesterday definitely felt like an 8 on the scale and I can’t wait to see what my pace will be for tempo runs at an 8 on the perceived exertion scale after a few months of hard work.  

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And a few things since we last caught up!  

-I need to just stop trying all of the samples at Costco because after I try them I have to buy them.  I would have never thought to buy these but they had them for samples and after I tasted them I couldn’t walk away without more.  Just one ingredient but ridiculously good.  

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-Post bath time snuggles are the best… love the smell of a clean toddler:)

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-Brooke and I went to look for a foot massager at Utah Run and she made sure to test them all out. 

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-I bought this one to use while I am sitting at the computer and holy cow… it feels so good on my feet.  Trying to do whatever I can to keep my feet happy because they have struggled over the last few months.  This rolled them out really nicely.  

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-Brooke hasn’t stepped on a crack in at least 4 months.  She finds so much joy from jumping over every one that she comes across.

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-We got to hang out with Mer over at her house.

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-Brooke has a special event this weekend and so we painted her nails red sparkly for the occasion… and she has already peeled off 8 of them.  I guess we will do them again tomorrow:)

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-Braid day at Megan’s bootcamp.  My shoulders are still on fire after this workout—>  the theme of the day was shoulder presses.

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-One last birthday dinner with Meg D, Candice and a Chicken Fajita salad (they put all the good stuff/tortilla under the lettuce).

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-Followed by the classiest of desserts.  These things are crazy good.  

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How often do you do a tempo run?  Do you love, hate, somewhere in the middle them?

What is your favorite type of run lately?

Fill me in on what is going on in your world the last few days please!

Jelly beans fan?  Favorite brand?\

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72 comments

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I haven’t been doing tempos but they are my favorite speed workout, and I totally agree about the split between mental and physical! Actually I think the first half of any run for me is mental, especially tempos though. Lately my favorite run is either just easy or a progression.

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I like tempo runs. They are a good test of my current ability. My favorite runs are progression runs. Something about starting slower and ending fast always makes me feel really strong.

I have to keep my hair out of my face when I run. Nothing drives me more crazy than having loose hairs sticking to my face in the middle of a run. Except maybe squinting. Sunglasses are a necessity too! :)

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I honestly love tempo runs, but not necessarily before I actually do them. I sometimes dread them, but I actually like them during the workouts.

Love the braids! I wish I could do one like the one on the far left to my hair!!

Jelly beans: NO.

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For me, tempos are actually opposite! The first half is physical, where I’m struggling to hit the paces, then I settle into a groove and get more comfortable, and the second half is telling myself I can hold on to the pace and not giving up or slowing down.

I feel crazy for saying this, but I’ve been loving long runs lately. They’re usually what I struggle with, but there’s so much stress in my life lately (new job, house hunting, wedding planning, everyday stuff) that the long run is a chance to calm down and not be stressed out! And I’m loving it!

I will eat any brand of jelly beans- but prefer brands that don’t include the black/licorice flavor. Yuck!

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I’m always second guessing my pace when I do tempo runs, so thanks for including the tips about finding the right pace!

I did some speed intervals on the treadmill this morning and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Or maybe I’m just saying that now because it’s over!

Not so sure about jelly beans…I haven’t tried those Starbust jelly beans though. When I eat candy, I usually go for something chocolate or nutty.

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I was doing tempo runs every other week in my training for this race – it’s the first time I’ve really incorporated them, so I alternated tempo and speed work weeks. I was loving it until my legs stopped working…
I LOVE starburst jelly beans, and only starburst jelly beans!

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I love tempo runs! Usually the first mile is hard to rein in the pace, and then the final mile is so mental because I just want to be done. I’ve done a lot of tempo intervals in my training, which are so fun!

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Jelly bean a holic here!
It’s been raining for days and I’m starting to get depressed.
I might try for a short run today just to warm up the muscles.
I will definitely be foam rolling though. Hamstrings are acting up.

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Tempo runs are the most challenging runs for me. I love power stuff : intervals, hills, etc. but I do know how important tempos are for half-marathons and marathons so I do one every week during my training program. I find the first 2 miles the hardest. It takes time for my lungs to warm-up. I always feel the strongest and I always go faster during the second half. Nothing exciting : big winter storm alert for today. Crossing my fingers it won’t be too bad!

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Hey Mel, I saw that your handle is outrunCF and would love to know more about this! I just wrote a post on running and Cystic Fibrosis and was wondering if that was related and if so, have you heard of RockCF?

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Hi Margaret! This is so great that you are raising aweress about Cystic Fibrosis! It is much appreciated. They are so many exciting things happening right now for us CFers but we need all the support that we can get because medical research and developing new drugs are so expensive. Until there is a cure, my snickers are my main weapons to fight CF! Running is my main physiotherapy to keep the lungs healthy and I also do nebulizer treatments at night. I am lucky that it is pretty much all I need right now. But it also means no breaks from running. I can’t go for more than a few days without running or it starts having an impact on my breathing. The goal is to find the right balance and to stay injury-free for as long as I can!
I had no idea about RockCF, thank you for letting me know about them. I’m wondering if they have branches in Canada. They definetely have awesome shirts!

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Mel my heart goes out to you! You are SUCH an inspiration. I really don’t know why I’m so drawn to CF, but it might be because it’s just amazing how determined people are and the fact that you get out there and run to fight it is just so wonderful to me. You should definitely look into rockCF. I’m not sure if they’ve expanded to Canada, but just that feeling of community is amazing. My friend said she was encouraged to not be around too many other people with Cystic Fibrosis at once when she was young because it puts everyone at risk of making each other sick so she started a Facebook group called RockCF365 to get that support group feel that she’s always been missing! They share healthy/high calorie recipes, running stories etc, and encouragement to stay healthy and I’m sure they’d love to have such an experienced runner join them!

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No running lately… IT band woes. :( I’m hoping to start up again next week.

This winter, I did one tempo run a week. It really helped my speed improve!

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I think my feet can do with a good foot roller/massager too – anything to make them run happy(ier), right?!

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I did a semi-tempo this morning. 4 miles with varying every half mile at 3% incline on the treadmill then back to zero. It was tough but know it will help get me prepared for those hills in Boston!

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I did the 30 minute treadmill workout you posted last week this morning. It was a good one! I can’t believe 7.5 is easy for you…that was my fast pace for some intervals haha you’re amazing!

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Hmmm. Particularly picky about jelly beans! None of the original, old school kind. Jelly belly’s YES, starburst, YES!

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Oh man I did a tempo run last night, and had my super speedy friend who runs for New Balance pace me, and I really disappointed myself. I didn’t even hit the pace I wanted to for ONE mile. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself because the wind was out of control last night and we purposely chose a brutally hilly course, but man it was discouraging.

They’re usually my favorite kinds of runs, it was just a bad one last night.

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Jelly beans aren’t my favorite candy but of course I like a good gourmet jelly belly – tutti frutti were always my favorite !

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Sour Jelly Belly’s are my fav! … Or the watermelon kind from the regular batch … Or the pink Starbursts ones.

Favorite type of run – The Saturday long run (but only when the weather is perfect)!

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I struggle with tempo runs so much! I’ve realized I’d rather full out sprint for a few minutes or go at a comfortable pace. I can’t seem to be successful at running comfortably hard haha. I really lik fartleks or 400 repeats!

I love all jelly beans but the starburst ones are the best!

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Starburst tropical! They only sell them at Easter but that means they’re out NOW!!

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Just found out I am pregnant is whats going on in my world! Still kind of in shock about it, but my husband is so so so excited. How long did you wait before telling everyone you were expecting?

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Yay babies! You don’t always have to wait that long. People tell you that you should just in case something happens. In my opinion that’s why I tell people early. Then if something happens I have people who will support me through that. I told my family around 6-9 weeks.

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Thanks for the input! Hopefully they don’t ask if we have told anyone yet, I will just have to say only all my HRG friends!! Haha!

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Hey Kelli! HUGE CONGRATS!!! I’m so so so excited for you! I didn’t find out until a few weeks later than most people but I told my family and best friends right away:) I’m the worst with secrets!

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Thank you! And yes I feel like this is the biggest secret I have ever had!!

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Not a fan of jelly beans… i prefer chocolate candy instead. Nothing too exciting going on in my world right now which is nice after traveling last week and lots of traveling coming up!

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At least you’re buying the healthier samples. I usually get sucked into things like frozen hot wings and stuff like that. Those looked like a good snack. The problem with that is, I’d buy them and then probably be the only one to eat them.

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Tempo runs are tough but of so necessary! I usually settle in after the first mile or so, so I’d say the first half is physically more difficult. Life lately has been good around here and spring should be coming soon which makes me very happy! Yes to jelly beans! I love Jelly Bellys- buttered popcorn, toasted coconut and peach are my favorites!

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You and I may be the only ones in the world who would fight over the buttered popcorn ones. No one else I know likes them! And I’m guessing you mean the toasted marshmallow, which are my other favorite. Gotta disagree with you on the peach ones though. You can have all of those. :-P

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I will ship my buttered popcorn ones to you two:)

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Those chips look really good and I CANNOT wait for the Costco by my house to open! I usually try to do a tempo run at least once a week. I don’t like them before and during, but I always seem to love them after. I just feel so much better.
My favorite type of run lately has been my long runs on the weekends. My fiance does them with me so it’s kinda nice to just talk and run together. We only see each other on the weekends so it’s nice to just spend that time with each other.
We have our half marathon this weekend, and we are beyond excited/nervous for it! There is also more wedding planning because that is in May!!!!

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I’ve been eating some Japanese jelly beans lately that I got in a subscription box. Those were pretty delicious! Otherwise, I’m usually the type of person who will go for salty snacks over sweet.

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I’ve been running indoors most of the winter and have a really hard time with tempo runs on the treadmill, so it feels like it has been ages!! I can tell that my pace is much slower because of this, so it will be back to some tempo runs and speed work here soon.

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I love foot rollers. I bought one from TJ Maxx a while back when I had a slight spur of PF and now I keep it in my work bag for when I’m at my standing desk to use. I love TriggerPoint products though!

Not a big fan of jelly beans, I’d rather have regular starburst if I’m going to eat it. In my world, I have been doing my final runs before my first marathon on Sunday. :)

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I almost always enjoy tempo runs because 1) they go by quickly, 2) you really get to push yourself and see what you can do, and 3) you get to run fast!!

I braid my hair before every race. Nothing worse then having hair in my face. ☺

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I don’t mind tempo runs :) and I loooove your headband! Where is it from?? As for jelly beans… mmmm probably a no for me.

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I do one tempo run a week usually, but some weeks are harder than others. I’m really into the long runs lately. I’m finding myself getting completely lost in them and they’re so good for both my mind and my body, so can’t complain about that!

also, those apple chips are so good. I had no idea they sold them at Costco and it is taking all my will power not to run out and grab them right now.

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I actually absolutely love tempo runs but I haven’t done one in forever since I’m doing so much track work right now. I’m starting the year off racing 5k’s and I’ll get into the longer distances later, which will have more tempos! My favorite type is always a progressive long run! I love the work and focus that it takes and I always feel so accomplished after

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I am not a big fan of jelly beans. They’re much too sugary for me. Sorry! But those apple chips sound like something I would love. I need to stalk my Costco and find them.

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I’m in love with Jelly Belly’s! So many good flavors. But not those Bean Boozled ones. OMG, my kids have fooled me too many times by giving me those. Barf flavor really is true to it’s name. ;(

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Thanks for all the great information on tempo runs! I’ve been increasing my pace and even though it’s hard, you are absolutely correct it’s a great runners high!

Random question: I know my heel drops are off so, I consistently have ankle pain when running and was recommended by my chiropractor to get orthotics. Do you or do you know any runners who use these? Any recommendations or thoughts about it? I’m definitely up to getting the ones that they mold to your feet, so before spending crazy money I’m trying to get some insight first!

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Kiara!!! Thank you for your comment and I have never used orthotics but I am going to ask your question in my afternoon post and see if anyone can answer your questions! THANK YOU!

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Thank you so much Janae!! Everyone’s comments have helped me have a little more insight into whether I should look into them more and discuss with my doc! I’m so thankful for your blog and what you do for the running community :)

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I think tempo runs are a necessary thing for training. I try and do one once per week or do a race. I have found it has helped me improve a lot.

I’ve heard good things about those Bootcamp classes. I need to build more strength too.

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Love jelly beans – especially Jelly Belly! I used to get the Costco sized bag and eat the whole thing.

I need to get a foot roller too – got a few spots that need rollin’

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That guy in the background of the picture of Candice and Meg! I’m laughing so hard!

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Favorite type of run lately has been INTERVALS! Specifically 400’s. They make the workout go by so fast.

The highs this weekend are supposed to be almost 40 which is crazy for Alaska. Hoping to take our 6 month old on his first hike.

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My dad is a huge jelly bean fan and I think his favorite kind are Jelly Belly.

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Lately I’ve been loving MP runs. I’ve been doing a lot of 10k paced mile repeats and so the MP feels fabulous.

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Tempo runs are always a challenge for me, but they are also one of the best ways to improve your running. I love the way you said the first half is mental and the second half is physical. That is the absolute truth and shows why they are such a necessary part of training. Those apple chips look yummy, I love a good Costco find! Happy running!

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As of late Wednesdays have been my tempo days. Nothing like getting them done on a lunch hour. They’ve actually been great. Usually my runs have been more social so on these days I actually get to work on speed, time and form. I’m the opposite. There are def more physical at the start and mental at the end. 6:48 pace! girl, you have me beat by a minute! I’ll never be as fast but I’ll def settle for 7:52.

My husband loves jelly beans in any shape (belly flops) and flavor. This time of the year is his favorite! I’m all for the apple chips and will def have to look for them at Costco.

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Thanks for your motivation to do a tempo run. Just hammered out 4 miles under 30. Not bad for a budding speedy wannabe. :) hopefully I will nail my PR goal for sub 23 5k in 4 weeks!

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I prefer tempo runs to any other speedwork. I do them usually every other week.

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I used to do tempos once a week or so. Right now, I’m 20 weeks pregnant so tempos are a distant memory :) My favorite type of run these days is one where I don’t have to pee the entire time!

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I usually do tempo runs when I’m following a training plan. I haven’t done a tempo run in almost a year now due to scaling back while pregnant and letting my body recover after delivery. I always have a hard time figuring out my tempo pace. I guess I will be using the 1-10 scale for my next tempo!

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I rarely plan out my tempos ahead of time… Usually, if I start a run and I’m feeling good, I’ll throw in some tempo miles.

I’ve currently got Achilles tendonitis in my right Achilles and it’s making me very sad. :( I’ve been able to slowly run on it, but I realllllly miss pain-free running. Especially since this is like the fourth running problem I’ve already had so far this year.

Jelly beans are probably my favorite candy, but I feel like it’s just a little too early for them still. They’ll always be a spring candy to me.

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My favorite jelly beans are Nerds and Sweettart. They are amazing. We buy enough to last the year. In fact I think we just finished that last bags a week or so ago and I bet they are back in stores :)

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Those are both amazing! I need to go get some ASAP now:) I hope you are having a fabulous day Anna!

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My last long run ended up being a tempo run. I really should have slowed down but I wanted the run to be over. I was running with a friend who is faster than me but doesn’t mind running at my pace. I went closer to his. No wonder the workout was so tough!

I generally don’t love jelly beans, they’re too sweet. Give me the dark chocolate eggs any day!

I did speed work yesterday. I think my favorite is the run I go on to clear my head and not worry about pace or distance.

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I’m 29 weeks pregnant so lately my runs have just been about listening to my body and going at a pace and distance that feel good to me. :) Way to go on your tempo run! I’m not a fan of jelly beans, but some are better than others ha. My favorite Easter candies are the egg gum cartons. Brooke’s nails are the cutest! My daughter does the same thing though and her nails never last more than a day!

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I have an apple watch question! Can you track your run at a track with your apple watch if you leave it on the side of the track? I’m going to an indoor track, so I can’t use gps, but the steps and motion sensor I was thinking might track it. It’s a 1/12 track, so I’ll certainly be within Bluetooth range, but I didn’t know if this actually works! I know you love running with your apple watch, so I figured I’d check!

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If you leave your phone on the side of the track? I would most definitely guess that it would be able to on a small track like that so go for it!! Let me know how it goes Sarah and I might copy you:)

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I haven’t run in a few days – my dog (who I love more than anything) was admitted to hospital on Sunday and it has been really scary and my life has been consumed with that. They’ve diagnosed her with encephalitis (brain inflammation) and hopefully things will start to improve soon…I’m going to be able to take her home tonight which I’m really looking forward to :)

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My favorite type of run is a nice, casual trail run. Lately I’ve been really slacking on the running but I have nothing to train for.

As for what’s new, I just bought a Nutribullet this weekend. I’m loving the ability to make smoothies and acai bowls at home. Also I’ve decided to try out some different boutique fitness classes while I’m not running as much. I scheduled a Physique 57 class Friday. But I’m also planning on doing a Barry’s Bootcamp class soon.

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I love the tempo runs! I do them every week. I am trying to be extra nice to my feet too. I’ve got a sore foot that the doc says isn’t a stress fracture – but I’m resting it until it feels better – can’t be too careful.

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I just did one of my first “real tempo runs”–just under 8 miles at an 6:56 pace for my goal of a sub 1:30 half. Sometimes I think that my goal is un achievable considering I rarely (if ever) can run at race pace during training runs, (and the little detail that it’s my first half marathon…and I’m only 14 lol…) but runs like these make me think that maybe I’m not too crazy after all ;) I love tempo runs because they remind me what my body is capable of!

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I do a tempo run at least once a week. In the summer I will do more just cause I love doing them outside. I use the PEAR Sports app and the 4 mile tempo run is perfect on it!

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I am obsessed with Junk headbands! They are my new favorite!

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My current training plan alternates 400m repeats and tempo runs every week. I actually had a tempo run yesterday.

I have been enjoying my speed work runs lately. It has been fun to push myself and see what I can do.

I love all sour jelly beans. The starburst ones are really good!

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As tasty as that salad looks in the lunch picture, the facial expression of the man in the left corner is crackin’ me up!

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