Friday, July 12, 2013

Running in circles

You know what's funny about speed workouts on the track? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. If you are smiling, you're not working hard enough. If you are not puking, then you aren't hangover enough. Ok, that's not really what I meant, you better be puking without a reason, or you're still not working hard enough. It's been two weeks now of track workouts with the coach and a few other willing victims. He doesn't have a whistle, he doesn't have a stop watch, but you better speed up when he tells you to move your ass. There is no other reason to be on that track otherwise.

My last track workout went something like this:
24 glorious laps
I didn't know what was waiting for me when I got there. Coach said "I know it's hot today, but warm up your legs with 1200m easy". Ok, that I can do. Easy peasy. I put down my water bottle and off I went.
The sun was still high up and with the humidity at 62%, it was going to be a sweaty one for sure. Three laps later, we stop and do the dynamic stretches, A B C's, accelerations, I can't even remember what else. This part is always a blur. I just know that's not fun. A necessary evil as usual. Anyway, it's far from being relaxing, it's meant to get your limbs and heart going, and going hard.

And then he says - "tonight you guys are going to do fartleks". You remember how I said in the last post that coach thought my fartleks weren't hard enough? Well, this was definitely going to be a lesson in fartleks, albeit a very easy one. Run 20 laps, with the odd ones at 1/2 marathon pace and the even ones at 10k pace. No stopping. 8km of speed intervals. *gasp*. I did a quick mental calculation, I should alternate 5:35 pace with 5:15 pace. I think I can do this.

First 4 laps went by fast, or so I thought. 1.6km, 5:28 average pace. My math was right. And then coach asks, "what is your lap time?". D'uh... I dunno. I just know my instant pace. Ok, let me hit the lap button after this one. Ok, here it is, this was the "fast" one. 2:03. The next one, at 1/2 marathon pace, 2:15. Coach then says, "try to do the next one in 2:00". I speed up a little, this is not comfortable, but I hit it right on the head, 2:00.02. One more "slow" one, and he says, "try to go under 2 this time" so I speed up even more. This feels really hard now... will I be able to recover? After all, my 1/2 marathon pace is 1 min faster than my long run pace... I really do my best and at 4:41 average, I finish the lap in 1:52 and I yell in between laboured breaths, "this is faster than 5k"!!! Next mission, 1:58. I do it in 1:57.7 and I am told that I should stick to that pace for the remainder of the "fast" laps. I feel that I'm getting close to losing my dinner in the grass. I manage to do a few more... but then at lap 18 I really must stop for some water, then I get dizzy and a stitch under my rib cage bends me in two. Coach says, "that was good, enough for the day, go cool down for 1200m". 3 laps "slow" and then I'm done!!
A 5-something average with a 2.4k easy?
The show starts at the 15 min mark
This workout really felt like the hardest run I've ever done. Running so many laps under 5min/km? There is a beginning to everything. Who knew I had these in me? There was a man on that track on Wednesday who believed that I could. And now I do too. I may not be made of champion DNA, but at least I can go beyond my own mental threshold once in a while. My legs didn't break, I didn't puke my brains out and my heart did not burst that night, but it's been pumping tiger blood ever since. Believe me when I say that I can ride that high better than Charlie Sheen.

6 comments:

  1. Amazing work! That is a killer workout. I'd love to try it one day!

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    1. You should! 1:45 per lap or bust! ;-)

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  2. Great paces out there! Well done Speedy!

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    1. Thank you Sam! But that's your nick name, I have a long way to catch up with you.

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  3. Dat heart rate. Looks like mine while running in the heat!

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    1. So many Davids! Which one are you?

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