Thursday, December 8, 2011

Epic Training Day

I don't use the term epic often, but certain conditions or circumstances call for its use.  Last night was one of them.  Though I fully regret not taking any pictures, you'll have to take my word for it - it was an epic training day.  No, this wasn't one of those epic long runs or epic fast runs.  It was simply epic because of the fact that I, along with 20+ other looney people braved pelting rain, 30-40 mph wind gusts, and temperatures dropping from the high 40s into the upper 30s. Earlier in the day, it was 60 degrees and by midnight, they were calling for a chance of snow (though we never actually got any).

You see, this was the first track workout for our Winter Distance Training Program.  And it was epic because not only was the weather crazy, but I was so impressed with all the other committed people that chose to brave those conditions for an hour of some solid mental and physical work. 

Since it was the first workout of the season, it wasn't anything terribly challenging - 1600, 2 x 800, 2-4 x 400 each with 3 minutes of rest between sets, but given the conditions, just getting out the door is something I consider a victory.  So I use the term epic, because I was able to share in the enjoyment of so many other die hard runners.  It didn't matter what you wore last night.  By the end of the workout, you were cold and wet...and a little bit tired.  In fact, more than 12 hours later and my running shoes are still soaked!  The track's lanes were also partially flooded by the more than 2 inches of rain we received throughout the day.  So at any given time on the track, you'd be splashing and sloshing.  Of course, then the winds would kick up and blow you a lane or two over.  Fun times I tell you, fun times.

So while the conditions weren't ideal, I have to say we still pretty much nailed the workout.  I was joined by a group of 3 others and mostly served as the pacemaker.  It was fun and painful at the same time (aren't intervals always that way?).  The goal of these intervals was not to run them all out - merely 10k pace or something at or around threshold.  Otherwise known as "comfortably hard".  We ended up running them as a progression, with each one faster than the previous.  And this is what we ended up with:

1600m: 6:28
800m: 3:08
800m: 3:05
400m: 88
400m: 83

I did get a little excited to be done on the last one (about 5:30/mile pace), so I took that a bit faster than I should have.  It's just my old high school track instincts that come back out whenever I step on a track nowadays.  I can't help but feel at home.  Surprisingly, it didn't take much out of me and I feel great today.

If this workout and the turnout on a crappy night like we just had was any indication of the commitment of the runners in our program, this is going to be one heck of a season.  Can't wait to keep the momentum going!

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