Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter FAST goes out with a bang - my fastest lap pace ever!

I apologize for being so late in writing about Wednesday's workout. I have been stuck in training the last few days with no computer... I'm sure many of you can identify. Training for what, you ask? It's called "Voice of the Customer" and it's an extremely rigorous and detailed method of interviewing customers and extracting wants and needs from those interviews in order to develop products they will want to buy. It probably sounds boring, but it's actually quite fascinating. I've had a few opportunities in my career to interview customers for this purpose and it's always a very interesting process.

But I didn't come here today to tell you how to interview customers. Let's talk about the good stuff - running! And the better stuff - pizza and beer!

This last Wednesday was the last night of Winter FAST. *sniff sniff* It has gone by so quickly - hard to believe it's been 12 weeks already. The coaches had quite a workout planned for us.

Here's the overview: Warmup, 5-6 partner 1200m repeats with core work recoveries between the repeats, cooldown. Whoah. The middle section was a mouthful! Let me try to explain a little better. Partner repeats generally involve teams of two who take turns running repeats and recovering. So while one person runs, the other recovers, etc. Except these partner repeats had a little bit of overlap. Like this:

(for this workout, 1200m is about 6 laps)
Person 1 runs 4 laps alone
Person 2 then joins Person 1 for 2 laps
Person 1 recovers while Person 2 runs their remaining 4 laps
Person 2 recovers and Person 1 begins the cycle all over again
Repeat 5-6 times

Did you get that all? Ready? Set. Go!

But wait! There's MORE! Those "recovery" periods? Yeah. Right. *snort* Bekah (one of our fearless leaders) decided to turn them into torture sessions to work on our core strength. She had us doing things like mountain climbers, triceps dips, hover squats and chair step-ups.

My partner was a slightly slower runner than I am, so I did end up getting a bit more recovery than other people. Lucky me?

All in all, it was a good workout. I finished stronger than I started, which Brad always encourages us to try to do. So here's the graph:

The dashed blue lines are the "recoveries". A word about the last few laps... Brad was running with me and chatting. And he kept speeding up. So I kept speeding up to keep up with him. I think he was doing this on purpose. Sneaky! When I got to my last lap, I said "See ya!" and I took off, determined to show him that I could play that little game too. And the result was the fastest lap I have ever run (or at least the fastest one I've documented). A 7:07 pace. My heart rate was very high. 188 bpm, or about 97% of my max heart rate. Very high indeed. I had entered what I affectionately call the "Hurl Zone". You know the place. Where your effort is so hard that you feel like you'll puke if you keep it up much longer. I have never actually puked as a result of running. I have, however, felt like puking a few times (usually at the ends of races, when I sprint for the finish). This was one of those times. It was a short-lived feeling, thankfully. I walked a couple laps around the track to cool down and catch my breath and then I was ready for dinner.

Did someone say dinner? Oh yes. We had to end Winter FAST the right way! With pizza and beer! We met up at Old Chicago and enjoyed a very tasty recovery meal and good conversation. Old Chicago has a lot of different beers. It's almost too much to choose from. So I did what any self-respecting beer-drinker wouldn't do... I chose one because I liked the name. Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat was what I chose. And with a tasty thin-crust tomato-basil pizza, it was an excellent recovery meal.

Wait a minute. Beer for recovery? How can it be? Hey, I don't make these things up. See for yourself!

Peace. Love. Train.

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