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.

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. says

    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.

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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

  4. Emz says

    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?!?


  5. says

    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

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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

  8. says

    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

  9. says

    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

  10. says

    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

  11. 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!

  12. says

    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 :).

  13. says

    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