The Zippy family is spring breaking for a couple of days on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Today I headed out for a seven-mile run with four miles of tempo in the center of it. A few minutes into the run, the wind started to pick up. And then pick up some more. And more, along with rain.

Soon, my hat and sunglasses were ripped off my head. It was starting to feel like I was running into a wall, barely making forward progress (I had thankfully headed out into the wind). But it was time to start the tempo, so I put my head down and started. I had to laugh, it was all so absurd. I couldn’t think about pace at all, because it would have been too depressing. Instead, I focused on effort and the fact that I would get to turn around in about 15 minutes.

IMG 1322 300x224 Bullseye!

My Team Tough Chik shirt motivated me

Just before my turn around point, I spotted a group of young runners (maybe high school or college age) heading in the other direction. They were scattered out into about three subgroups. I decided that once I turned around, they were going to be my targets.

Now, let me say that if I am out on an easy run, I don’t bother trying to catch people–I’m not going to waste my legs that way. But when I am smack in the middle of tempo. all bets are off. So I began my quest to take out my targets. The first three were easy; I had them within a couple of minutes. Next up were another four that I had to work a bit harder to reach. Finally, there were four young guys left up ahead.

I knew that if I was going to work hard enough to catch them, I had to make it stick. Nothing’s worse than the dreaded repass, am I right? And I was wearing my Team Tough Chik shirt–on the back it says “This is what tough looks like.” You CAN’T pass people with that on a shirt and let them come back and get you! So I dug deep, passed, and never looked back.

Silly? Immature? Yeah, probably. But at 46, I have to admit, it’s fun to pass people who are probably 20 to 25 years my junior.

Do you ever set targets on your run? 


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  1. LOL – I love it. Yes, I do that all the time actually. And it’s just such a fun feeling when you past the unsuspecting persone ;-) Have fun on the beach! Love the Gulf Coast area.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Lunch Date, Gym and Fajitas on Mexican MondayMy Profile

  2. Ha, I do this ALL the time. I start mental competitions in my head, just to get me riled up and aggressive :)
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Spreading a Lil’ LoveMy Profile

  3. Love it! You are awesome!
    Carrie recently posted..T-Minus 5 Days.My Profile

  4. This makes me laugh. All to familiar. Nothing worse than passing someone who is going a pretty good pace and then being passed again so yes, you go girl! Enjoy your time. Can’t believe we are on the last stretch before Boston. I keep meaning to e-mail you regarding a meet-up and what time you were referring to when you mentioned M&S…like right after the race or later on? I’ll private message you soon.

  5. Great workout! And congrats on passing the 20′s :)
    I don’t set targets unless I’m closing in on them and know I can pass. When I ran the Heart Run, I did pass a group of young guys. Two of them were struggling the other two waited for them. I took the opp. to pass them. You’re so right. That DID feel good. :) I really thought I’d see them flying by at some point but they were spend.
    Joanne recently posted..I’m not so stealth and Breakfast BarsMy Profile

  6. Thats so funny! Good for you because your right if you wear a shirt like that you better not let them pass you. It’s been so windy here I told my friends that is what pool running feels like. Meh. So glad I’m back out on the roads. Have a great vacation !
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Voodoo DocMy Profile

  7. Love it! You are awesome. :) Have fun in Florida! I am so excited to see you in less than two weeks!
    Erin Henderson recently posted..PassionsMy Profile

  8. This is awesome.
    That shirt ROCKS!!
    One day I’ll try to be like you….tough. Not so much the running outside part.
    So how many did you CHICK?!?


  9. Way to pass the young kids! Not immature at all. I love it!
    Hikermom recently posted..Sun, Fun, and Jelly Bean Run!My Profile

  10. NICE!

    I love when I get the rare opportunity to pass a guy. They get all hissy and it’s quite amusing.
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad recently posted..The hay is in the barnMy Profile

  11. that is classic runner machismo… glad to know it affects the ladies as well. Way to show em what ya got! Great post, great run.
    @PavementRunner recently posted..Oakland Marathon: PhotosMy Profile

  12. I love it when the 40+ crowd totally chicks the 20- crowd!! Vacation locale looks awesome! Have a great trip!
    Christina recently posted..Family BBQ + MasonryMy Profile

  13. Love it!

    Gotta dig deep & not get beat!! :)
    MandiRuns recently posted..5:30am Birthday PartiesMy Profile

  14. You GO, Tough Chik!
    Ya…you would definitely have to stay in the lead after passing with THAT shirt on…too embarrassing otherwise =D
    Julie recently posted..My Sweet LIttle Weapons DealerMy Profile

  15. You’re so awesome, I love this! First of all, it seems it took your mind of the weather and gave you a good distraction :) But you are so right, the worst would’ve been to pass them and then let up and have them pass you – nice job! Have fun in FL!
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..It’s just like riding a bikeMy Profile

  16. I’m not very fast, so usually I’m the opposite. I consciously DON’T try to catch people because it could be too depressing. After my trail race in February, though, when I tailed behind people bc I lacked the confidence to pass and then never saw them again after they moved out of my way, I’m more willing to pass in a race situation rather than just assume I can’t catch up.

    And yes, can’t get repassed in a a Touch Chic shirt! :)
    Kate recently posted..The Final Push (LBL Challenge, part 5)My Profile

  17. HAHAHAHAHA!! I freaking love this!! You’re right, you have that shirt on, you’re committed to going all the way!! I love picking people off, it’s the best feeling!

  18. Haha, love this! I’ve definitely done the same thing before. Yay for catching, and passing all of them!
    abbi recently posted..Miles and MuttsMy Profile

  19. I’m like you–I don’t do this on easy runs, but it’s a great way to motivate on the ones that are supposed to be hard. I love the image of you catching those young guys. Good for you!
    Terzah recently posted..The Cleanse ReportMy Profile

  20. Oh we’ve so all done that! It is an awesome feeling when we can pass those younger ones. :)

  21. freak’n awesome!

  22. VROOOOOOM. go get ‘em.
    katie recently posted..the weeks are just marching alongMy Profile

  23. Hows that Florida humidity treating you?
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Training Week #1My Profile

  24. I have a shirt like that..the front is Mom on the Run but the back is the same

    and yep of course I like to pass younger people or GUYS….!
    Caroline recently posted..Nuun Application for Hood to CoastMy Profile

  25. I definitely let competition take over my brain sometimes. It’s good for speedwork! :-)

    And… welcome to my corner of the planet! The Gulf Coast weather is… erm… not so great (ever) but the beaches sure are pretty!
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Very superstitiousMy Profile

  26. Oh I haven’t been to Florida for almost 20 years! I remember the winds in March along the Atlantic beaches.

    Loved this story, you Tough Chik! So fun.
    Elle recently posted..I am a Happy RunnerMy Profile

  27. I had a similar experience during my last 22 miler: however, the cross country team I encountered was heading towards me. I would’ve been right with you had I approached them from behind!!!
    Lisa recently posted..What’s better than the taper?My Profile

  28. Outstanding! Loved reading this! You are awesome! They are probably all still amazed at your speed.

  29. The chase has gotten me through tough speed and tempo runs many a time! I so do the same thing. Even got a huge stink eye from some guy when I passed him once. It tasted like sweet victory to me. ;)
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Heart Rate Zone TrainingMy Profile

  30. I Love it!
    Victoria recently posted..Kickin’ My Own AssMy Profile

  31. Mwah, hah, hah!! I actually don’t target people when I run…unless I’m running with them or it’s a skunk near the side of the road. I don’t see many others out where I live!
    Erik recently posted..Running Warehouse ROCKS!!My Profile

  32. Tough chick is right!
    Gracie recently posted..Work craziesMy Profile

  33. Oh I so want to be away for spring break! Enjoy it!
    Christina recently posted..one day at a timeMy Profile

  34. LOVE IT! Way to show those kids who’s boss :)

    Have a great vacation! That picture looks beautiful!
    Kara recently posted..Miles for BreakfastMy Profile

  35. I’ve only done the chase on races or on a track. Never really done it out on a regular training run outside. But that’s awesome you’ve got the power and stamina to pass the youngens! (You’d never guess you were 46!)
    Vieve recently posted..I Count the MinutesMy Profile

  36. I love it! You rock. :)
    Laurie recently posted..32 Weeks and 248 FeetMy Profile

  37. I don’t necessarily set a target to pass, but I set a target that I have to get so far & then if my calves are still burning or I am just exhausted, when I get that far I can walk for 60 seconds, etc.
    Ara recently posted..Technical QuestionMy Profile

  38. Great post. It made me smile.
    Nice work on the tempo run and catching those carrots.
    Missy recently posted..Sloppy JoesMy Profile

  39. Run them down…
    Coach Dion recently posted..TAPER TIMEMy Profile

  40. This post cracked me up! You definitely can’t allow a repass when you’re wearing a shirt with a message like that.

    Enjoy your vacation!
    Raquelita recently posted..April GoalsMy Profile

  41. I set targets to catch in races especially. I usually don’t see any runners out while I am just running but during races, I will use it as a way to slowly catch and pass people. I find it really motivating and also distracting during races which I need sometime to take my mind of the pain!
    J recently posted..Semi Solo Tempo TuesdayMy Profile

  42. Looks like Seaside?

    You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
    — C. S. Lewis
    Kovas recently posted..Snowboarding at BreckenridgeMy Profile

  43. That is awesome! I don’t think we can turn off that competitive part of our nature, no matter what age we are. :) Enjoy the family time in FL!
    Laura recently posted..Lazy staycationMy Profile

  44. NOT silly or immature! Motivation comes in all forms. Way to go, Tough Chik!
    marlene recently posted..WIAW + Weigh-In WednesdayMy Profile

  45. janae@hungryrunnergirl says:

    DANG WOMAN!! You dominated your tempo run and I bet that felt real good to pass them:) Have a blast in Florida!

  46. Love this..except I would so be worried about the repass. Maybe that would make me run faster….
    Laura recently posted..March RecapMy Profile

  47. Nice tank teammate!
    Enjoy your vacation!
    Stephanie Anne recently posted..I write about my Health Because…My Profile

  48. Hahahahha! Isn’t ‘immature’ what boring people call fun people? :) You go, girl!
    XLMIC recently posted..Samurai Trail Running…with minor injuriesMy Profile

  49. You are amazing! I bet it was so satisfying to pass them. I don’t pass people often because I’m slow, but I do get pleasure out of passing people when I’m pushing the stroller. It’s fun to see the looks on their faces :).

  50. Great job!! I do this a lot, I pass people and push hard to stay ahead, more of my own competition but not immature at all!!
    Toni Church recently posted..I Write About Health Because……. #HAWMCMy Profile

  51. Waving hi to you from Naples!!!! We keep missing each other even though we seem to end up in the same state!
    Allison Johnson recently posted..Race Report and Nerd Alert: Valley of Gold Half MarathonMy Profile

  52. AHHHHH! I LOVE this!! I am totally like you. Easy runs and I distract myself from who’s around me and how fast they are going. But runs that are tough and fast, I enjoy the competitiveness in me that makes me want to pass everyone in front of me.
    Glad you smoked that =) =) =) Enjoy your vacation!! =)
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..Ironman 70.3 TexasMy Profile

  53. My favorite is doing that with the jogging stroller! Good for you and sometimes pushing a little more than you’re supposed to is worth it because it’s so fun!
    Salty recently posted..Getter Faster Is Simple. It’s Not Easy.My Profile

  54. Haha I love it! Running is a all about mind games. Its an individual sport at its heart, so why not play games in your head. I have passed people for silly reasons- but if it make you go faster- why not? Great run :)
    Josie @ happycorrdora.com recently posted..Mid-week Running Update.My Profile

  55. Love this!! Goob job!!
    Christine recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

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