Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My week of "penance"

I started this week in a funk, not wanting to run another step. Injury right about now would have been an excellent excuse to not run for awhile.
So, I confessed that I was becoming a lazy distance runner and that I was getting bored with my routine. Penance? Speed intervals.

Except for the one time I ran 100m sprints at the elementary school down the street last month, I have never, ever run quarter mile intervals. I don't think I even ran them in high school that semester I ran with the cross country team.

Anyway, to get back on track I decided to take a week off and change the routine a little. The plan? Run quarter mile intervals until I couldn't run them any more. Monday I hit the track and ran 3 laps under 2:00, and the fourth was just at 2:00. At that point my body was rebelling and I was done. The next time I hit the track I'd run at least 5 laps at under 2:00.

Tuesday it rained (dirt track + rain = no run), so I hit the track Wednesday evening. The track was still a little juicy, so that required a little bit of creative maneuvering around the slop. Nonetheless, I managed 5 laps at under 2:00, but my body was again rebelling after the last one and I called it quits.

My buddy, The Cheetah, came out to run with me and I promised him one true 100m sprint if he ran a few of the quarter mile intervals with me. After the 5th lap we lined up for the sprint. He took off faster than I could and at 50m he had a solid lead of maybe 5 yards. Over the next 25m I caught up to him and in the final quarter I managed to blow by him.

In all fairness I have run more in the past 2 months than he has probably run in the last 3 years. But in even more fairness I had just finished running 5 laps around the track (he ran 3) and was quickly approaching exhausted. I honestly thought he was going to beat me. I was a little surprised when he didn't.

I may never be an elite runner, but I like being competitive with my peers. I also like the idea of getting through runs quickly. There's a big difference between running 10 miles in 1.5 hours versus 2.5 hours. It changes the outlook of the entire workout.

The intervals are done for the week. The next run will be Friday. The plan is to run 3 miles, three times. And no, that's not technically 9 miles. The intent from the get-go will be to run 3, then rest, then repeat. The first two sets, ideally, will be non-stop. The third set I will give myself permission to run/walk, but the preference, of course, will be to run.

Against some probably very good advice, I am also planning to get up and do the RTW on Saturday. Maybe there will be a sighting of a fellow running blogger?

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