Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Filling the Void

My mind just fizzled yesterday afternoon as I contemplated my scheduled track session after work.

For the first time in several weeks I had no desire to run. My little distracting track team wouldn't be there. And Martini bailed on account of some knee pain. The prospect of nine 800-meter repeats just didn't sound appealing. How would I motivate myself?

I mean really! Who wants to run when it's 73 degrees, low humidity, minimal heat index with blue skies and the prospect of complete solitude?

Wait a minute ... who am I?

I snapped out of my doldrums when I got home and slipped into my evening wear. The focus slowly started to return as I pulled my shorts up, reached into my shirt, slid my socks on, and tightened the laces to my Brooks.

Ironically, the track was the busiest I've seen it all summer. Families galore, many walkers and a few runners. I felt like I was back at the race, hemmed in on all sides. Of course, I outlasted them all. By the fifth repeat I was almost all alone. But then the most annoying thing happened.

More annoying than a toddler trying to snap my knee ligaments. More annoying than a track coach being a dipshit. More annoying than the sun being sunny. Even more annoying than a blogger linking to the same stories over and over again.

I saw a teenager on a bicycle on the track as I rounded the third corner. Get the fuck off the track you twerp, I thought. And then I heard a strange whirring from behind me as two more bicycle bandits blew by me. Then they did it again my next repeat, only this time sandwiching me between their spinning pedals. Innocently, I wondered how difficult it would be to use a shovel on this surface.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations of a curmudgeonly booze runner, the intervals were all but perfect.

9x800 meters (goal pace: 3:38.3 - 3:48.5)
  1. 3:34 -- Whoa there! And I coasted the final 200 m!
  2. 3:41
  3. 3:38.1
  4. 3:46
  5. 3:38.3
  6. 3:47 -- Fooled! That kid wasn't as fast as I thought; had to go all out to hit my pace.
  7. 3:50 -- FAIL! Did someone say something about all out?
  8. 3:45
  9. 3:35 -- Leaving nothing in the tank!
Overall, I averaged 3:41.5 (7:25 mile pace). I have only one more repeat to add to complete the Yasso 800s workout. After that I'll back off to taper for the Buckeye Half Marathon on Sept. 7, but I'll do another 10 repeats the week after the race and then back off again for the Akron Marathon.

I have not noticed an overwhelming drop in my other training paces. However, in the span of a month, I shaved 2:22 from my 10K pace. I'm anxious to see how the workout translates to the marathon.


Ian said...

A few weeks ago there was a kid at my track (yes, my track), riding around on one of those mini motorcycles while his mother walked laps. I seriously wanted to kick him in the head.

Nitmos said...

I bet you see a similar improvement in your half and full marathon times. Way to 800 yourself to some new PR's.

Razz said...

cyclists? really? Nothing a long stick in the spokes wouldn't fix.

Spike said...

Our Yasso times were very close. Great job! I've always had mistrust for bikes, and such behavior only makes me more suspicious of their evil intent. That is why I always carry tire never know. And shouldn’t those teenagers be at a Kwik-E-Mart.

chia said...

I hate bike people too :-(. One of those ass chappers seriously told me to "get off the bike path" during my long run on Saturday. Right.

You give me speed envy. Oye.

Unknown said...

Are you sure you were actually on the track or at the velodrome? Like you, I despise when I see kids or even adult riding the bikes around the track. I feel like giving a good whack across their head. You can always extend your arms out when the cyclist come passing you. That will knock them out. Just say "Opps, you dipshit, I was just stretching out."

Jess said...

Those are solid times you put up for the repeats. I think you'll definitely see improvements in your other distance times.

And as for the kids on the bikes...Razz's idea sounds like a good one to me.

Teacher Pursuits said...

OOOHH BICYCLES!! The hits just keep coming. And it is painfully annoying.

Marci said...

Good job on the Yasso's. This week is 10 repeats for me, and I was supposed to run them Tuesday, but now its happening today instead. They are very tough mentally.