Uh huh. Right. Those were the famous last words from our fearless leader last night. And then half the team proceeded to get lost and confused.
I suppose I should provide a little background info. Thursday night was, as always, the Hill Of Death. Coach Brad started us out with a 2 mile warm-up to the cemetery and back to the bottom of the Hill Of Death. No problem. Then he told us to run the hill twice, but instead of coming back down the hill after the second time, to stop at the top to await further instruction.
The hill was torturous, scary, and painful. As usual. But, I must say, that now that we've been running the Hill Of Death for 3 weeks, I find it becoming more doable. Not easy. Never easy. But I can get up it a little bit faster now. Just a little bit. I do believe I'm *cue angels singing* getting stronger. And so continues my love-hate relationship with the Hill Of Death.
As I was instructed by fearless leader Brad, I stopped at the top of my second trek up the hill and awaited further instruction. When I say "awaited further instruction", I mean "doubled over and gasped for air while trying to hold onto consciousness long enough to understand Brad's instruction". We were to run a couple of loops in Upper Glen Oak Park, where we've never run before as a group.
Now, I pride myself on not being directionally challenged. I am actually pretty darn good with directions. So when Coach Brad explained to us where to run, and then said "It's easy, you'll figure it out", I believed him. He very clearly said (and I have witnesses), "You will only turn left twice - once at the beginning and once at the end. Everything in between, you will keep turning right!" He said it would end up being about 2 miles.
Being the obedient runner that I am, I did exactly as he said. And I realized very early on that something wasn't quite right. So I did what anyone in my situation would do: I stopped and scratched my head in utter confusion. Soon enough, some other teammates, who were familiar with Upper Glen Oak Park, caught up with me and pointed me in the right direction. I ended up making two wrong right turns before I finally figured out what it was coach wanted us to do. And after that, it was smooth sailing.
During these loops of Upper Glen Oak park, we were supposed to do a few pick-ups at about 5k pace. I don't think I really achieved that - I was too flustered from the whole "Where the hell am I supposed to be going?" fiasco. Although if you look at my speed graph below, there are a few spikes in pace during the last 2 miles. So maybe I didn't do as poorly as I thought.
When I got back down to the bottom of the hill, I found out that I was not the only one who had gotten confused about where to go in Upper Glen Oak Park. Indeed, several others had been led astray by the seemingly simple instructions of "just keep turning right", and ended up running around aimlessly in order to get to 2 miles. In the end, though, it was all good. It doesn't really matter where you run, as long as you run, right?
In other news, I got a new pair of running shoes yesterday. They got broken in on the Hill Of Death - poor things probably didn't know what hit 'em. My old LunarGlides have accumulated over 350 miles, so it's time to start phasing them out. They have served me well. The new LunarGlides are funky and fresh (just like me, right?) - perfect for springtime!
Peace. Love. Train.