Thursday, September 15, 2011

Like coming out of anesthesia

...I'll explain the title, I swear

Last night, I had another track workout.  I can't believe how hard they've been, back-to-back-to-back.  I don't know if I'll have a workout with 7 minute miles again (not counting tempo runs - those tend to be around 7:00 miles) - things start at 6:55 pace and get faster.  Obviously, it's helping and getting me more comfortable to the faster times, but it is still hard work.

Anyways, this was last night's workout: 2.5 mile warm-up; 6 x 150 meter strides; 6x 1200 meters; start at 5:12 and cut down 3-5 seconds per interval; 400 meter jog between each interval; 2.5 mile cool-down.  Total: 11.25 miles  I had read The Laity in the Middle Ages: Religious Beliefs and Devotional Practices in the morning, so the run had to wait until after work.  It was still hot at 5, so I kept working on my book, and headed out at 6:20.  It is always a bit unnerving when you're sweating during the warmup.  Thankfully, the shade had covered the majority of the track, so even though it was hot, the sun wasn't going to fry me.  I got through the first one in 5:09 -- woo!  Better slow it down.  Sarah says if you go too fast on the first one to just try to match the time again for the second interval.  But nope, 5:06.  I then matched it again: 5:06.  I felt pretty tired at this point, and still had 3 intervals to go.  The 400 meter recovery laps just go by so fast!  The fourth was 5:05, and I felt like I was pushing to just knock off one second.  Then the dreaded penultimate interval - always the hardest one: 5:02.  Okay, the end is in sight.  And when I took off for the last one, it was like coming out of anesthesia.  I was becoming more aware again and I knew that the end was near.  During regular runs, I have lots of thoughts - medieval, my life, the world, anything.  But during fast intervals, my mind is just so focused, and almost devoid of any thoughts whatsoever.  And in that sixth and final interval, I was starting to wake up again.  4:58 baby!  My average pace for the 6 1200s was 5:04, which translates to 6:47 pace.  Yippee!  And just a few days after a fast 5k, I will take it!  I was just so happy that the heat didn't melt me too much, nor did I ever slow down during the set.  I felt so awake and alive during the cool down - running is really what gets me going.  And even though it was 7:30 at night - that was when I was most alert on Tuesday.

In other running news, today would have been the day for me to sign up for Boston.  I had 10 minutes to spare with my BQ, but I will not be signing up today or tomorrow.  I will not be running a spring marathon, and I will not be running the Boston Marathon, which is a weird feeling - I have done it the past 2 years.  But it is part of the plan - to focus on the shorter stuff, and then come back to Boston Marathon in the future.  Part of my heart will still beat for Boston, it's just on hold for now.

Today's run was the coolest I've had probably since I left California - 71 at the start.  "Baby love" by the Supremes was playing - a good way to start the day!

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