Oh. Wait. That was me. Sorry about that. But it was only because my coach told me to! And it wasn't just me. All of my teammates were fartleking too. I swear!
Okay, I'm done with the stupid fartlek jokes. For now.
Yesterday in central Illinois was a real treat - we got hit with some major thunderstorms which, aside from soaking all the upholstery in my car because I left my windows cracked, had the pleasant effect of cooling things down around here. So instead of the predicted 90° at FAST time, it was only about 76°. Of course, it was also 249% humidity, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
We had a huge turnout for FAST last night, which was quite a difference from last Thursday when only five people showed up. Coach Brad's eyes were alight with anticipation and evil. He definitely had something "fun" planned for us. And when he says "We're going to have fun", what he means is that HE'S going to have fun watching us suffer.
Coach Brad has been doing this sneaky little thing lately where he tells us to do our warmup into the cemetery and then he will tell us what the workout is. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it disturbing that the workouts are being kept secret until we're in the cemetery? Of course, that didn't stop us from doing what he told us. But the air was thick with a sense of foreboding. Well, that and humidity.
When we arrived in the cemetery he told us flat out "We will not be running 800m repeats up that hill", pointing to the Hill Of Devastation.
"We will not be doing any repeats up that hill." Well, that was a relief. But I just knew he had something equally sinister up his sleeve. We weren't going to get off easy.
"Tonight we will be exploring the cemetery with a timed fartlek." Ah ha! I knew it! And that meant that even though we wouldn't be running up the Hill of Devastation, we would be doing plenty of other hills. This cemetery, as I have mentioned time and time again, is one of the hilliest places in Peoria. This would indeed be "fun".
We were instructed to run 7 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy (repeat 3-4 times for a total of 30-40 minutes) through the cemetery. So there would be a nice mix of speed work and hill work, and in some cases, speedwork on hills.
This was a tough workout. The humidity was insane. It felt like 249% humidity before we started running, but once we started running, it felt like 2300% humidity. The sweat was just pouring off of me, but the cooling effect was nil. There was very little breeze. Interestingly enough though, once I got going, I felt relatively strong. Maybe because the weather was still way better than during my Monday run?
So after running around the crazy cemetery roads (note the convoluted map below), everyone gathered together at our usual meeting spot and Coach told us he had a "surprise" for us. If his definition of "surprise" was anything like his definition of "fun", this was going to involve more sweating.
One by one, he asked each of us how fast we thought we could run a mile right that moment. And he wrote it down. Uh oh. At first I told him 8:45. But after thinking about it some more, and considering the humidity and how tired I was from the workout, I changed it to 9:15. I would come to regret that choice later.
Here's why: We were going to do a pacing exercise where we would all run a mile, and Coach would time us and whoever came closest to their predicted time would win a Starbucks gift card. And as it turned out, I would have been closer (close enough to win) to my predicted time had I stuck with the 8:45 prediction. I ended up running it in 8:54, which was 21 seconds off of my 9:15 prediction (but only 9 seconds off of 8:45!).
But huge congrats to fellow FASTie, Cathy, who was the best predictor and won the Starbucks loot!
So without any further ado, here's the workout graph. The fartlek hard intervals are highlighted in blue. The elevation chart is positively atrocious - please take a moment to appreciate it. We climbed a total of almost 300 feet last night. How's that for "fun" and "surprise"?
I wonder what sort of "fun" and "surprises" the coaches will have for us on Thursday...
Peace. Love. Train.