Friday, February 19, 2010

Interval by interval

Intervals can suck the life right out of you.

The first one from today was sort of a warm up interval, mostly because I lost focus and found myself thinking about interstellar travel and how confusing things could become if it weren't something close to instantaneous.

Instantaneous travel, in retrospect, makes running feel a bit obsolete.

The second interval started off with a start.  That is, a ravenous- and possibly rabid- big, fuzzy squirrel ran out in front of me about a minute into the session.  Thankfully, I was too out of breath to scream like a little girl or a B movie actress.  I only managed to cough, wheeze, and somehow continue on even though I wanted to stop reflect on the evil of wildlife.  Really, I just wanted to stop.  But that's the way intervals are.

It was during the 30 seconds of rest I had my worst realization of the run.  It happened at about second 25, when my garmin starts beeping at me to get ready for the next interval that I knew I hadn't recovered from the last.  That "Beep... Beep... Beep... Beep..." sounded like the electronic foot steps of doom.

"Cerr-aapp!" sounded through my head as I flogged my legs into the first few steps of the interval.  Those are always the hardest, especially when they decide to turn to jelly.

So I run for a while, and my pace settles in, and I'm not hurting any worse than normal.  In fact, after a couple of minutes I'm feeling pretty smug.  yeah.  My legs are strong, tough, and carved out of wood.  My legs have legs, if you know what I mean.

So why is my pace drifting down into the 7:40s?  Dammit!  Lost my focus, again!

And why does it take 20 of my 30 second rest interval to go from gasping to something approaching controlled, heavy breathing?  Where did the first 10 seconds go?

It was starting to get bad-  I would push for all that I was worth and my legs just didn't want to respond... immediately.  Eventually I would get them up to where they needed to be.  But the cost in effort and will was higher than normal- which is exactly what I need, I think.

The sun was out, and it was a beautiful day.  In celebration, i wore shorts and a long sleeved T under a short sleeved T.    It was too warm for the effort of the work out.

I thought about my form during the workout, and wondered if I was getting better or more sloppy as time went on.  I wondered what it'd be like if I tried to run a mile flat out.  I wondered if the gasping I was doing was throwing off my rhythm lots or only a little.

I somehow made it through interval six in 7:09, but at the high cost of a heart rate average at 191.  I really should have been in the 170s.  Preferably, low 170s.

But thankfully I won't have to do another hard run like this for a while- I mean. next week is way far away, right?  :)  And I have an easy run of ~13 tomorrow, and I can take (wonder of wonders) Sunday off!  Yay!

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