Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Juggling Dynamite

I did a speed workout last night, my first in 6 years.  The last time I ran quarters or anything "fast" outside of a race was in 2006 with the Sunflower Striders while I was working in Topeka.  I survived those sessions fairly well until my right Achilles gave out during a fast tempo run that I was doing on my own.  Three months later I had that Achilles surgically repaired and I haven't done any interval training since.

So the Czarina and I headed down to a local park for a 6:30 p.m. gathering with a local running club called The Speedsters.  Perry Small is the erstwhile coach.  He's the top masters runner in Southwest Florida.  Perry is a likeable fellow and understands the principals to running fast but I'm not sure his charges understand the point of his workouts.

It was plenty warm, about 88 degrees after our 1 mile warmup.  Perry told a large group of 25 or so runners to run 8 x 200 easy/hard, then 4 x 400 with a 1 minute rest interval followed by another set of the 8 x 200 easy/hard.  He wanted each fast repeat done at our 5K pace.  For me that meant running the 200's in 52 seconds or so and the 400's in 1:45.

On the first interval everyone dutifully jogged the first 200 and then all hell broke lose.  I know what 7 minute pace feels like and while everyone and their mother was flying by me I hit a 54 and proceeded to jog.  A group of guys my age that I'm competitive with were way off in the distance by the time we started the 400's.  I was running very close to the prescribed pace, or just a tad faster, between 7 minute and 6:45 per mile pace. 

As we hit the last set of 200's I noticed I was catching my age group rivals.  They were walking the jog intervals, having worn themselves out racing the intervals.  By the next to last 200 I had caught or passed all of them.  I made it through the last 200 with my left hamstring barking at me but feeling that I hadn't overexerted myself.

The Czarina made it through the entire workout but had to stop and walk a few of the last breaks.  She ended up finishing about 5 minutes behind me.  I was really proud of her effort because she's not used to interval training.  I think in our 13 years of running together we've done just 3 or 4 track workouts.

I'm paying the price today.  My left hamstring hurt all day long.  I had a trip to the chiropractor planned, my second this week.  Dr. Ziggy, as he's called, is using a laser on my arthritic right hip.  Much to my surprise the treatments have done an amazing job of masking the pain.  Instead of the hip hurting it just feels like something's there.  He treated the hamstring and gave me some sage advice, don't over do it.

I jogged 3 miles tonight at 9:50 and chuckled about my outing with The Speedsters.  My new boss is moving me to nights starting tomorrow so I don't know when or if I'll have another chance to do any speed work.  I'm a little disappointed because if I can stay healthy, a little interval training would really help.  Besides, it felt good busting up 20, 30, and 40 something's who don't understand that intervals aren't racing.

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