Friday, May 21, 2010

Singin' in the rain...

And by "singing", of course I mean "gasping for air". And by "in the rain", of course I mean "on the track". Which is not to say there wasn't any rain, because there was. It was a perfectly cruddy night for running last night - cold, windy and rainy. But that didn't stop five dedicated FASTies from showing up.

Wait a minute, you're saying. Track? I thought you ran the Hill Of Death on Thursdays!

Well, normally that is the case. But our coaches have taken it upon themselves to "mix things up" lately. Forget the notion of Speedwork Tuesdays and Hillwork Thursdays... they're out the window. Now the workout (aka, torture) of the day is anybody's guess.

So five brave souls showed up last night in the cold rain and we set out for a short warmup to the cemetery entrance and back. And then we were directed to The Track.

The Ring of Ruination.

The Oval of Annihilation.

The Circle of Suffering.

Shall I go on?

*crickets chirping*

Fine, suit yourself. I was just getting started!

The workout (aka, torture) of the day was a pyramid. Heretofore known as the Pyramid Of Pain. Allow me to explain the concept to those unfamiliar. The runner does hard-effort intervals increasing in distance until reaching some predetermined maximum interval distance, and then works his or her way back down the distance scale doing intervals decreasing in distance until returning to the distance of the very first interval.

Allow me to elaborate further with a crappy HTML table with numbers and stuff.

Hard Effort Recovery
200 m 200 m
400 m 400 m
800 m 800 m
1600 m 800 m
800 m 800 m
400 m 400 m
200 m 200 m

Notice that, for the most part, the length of the recovery increases with the length of the interval. The exception to this is on the 1600m (1 mile) interval, where the recovery is only 800m. This was intentional, and is all part of our coaches' plan to make someone puke.

And so we set off on our Pyramid of Pain. Very quickly, it became apparent that fellow foul-weather FASTie, Jose and I were well-matched on the track. We fell into a groove of taking turns pacing and following. We pushed our way almost wordlessly through the tough intervals and chatted incessantly during the recoveries. There's something about suffering with friends that makes it feel a lot less like suffering. Jose was running paces he had probably never tried before. After the 1600 m interval, he said he felt like he was going to throw up. I commiserated with him. After the 800 m interval following the 1600 m interval, I felt like I was going to throw up. He commiserated with me. It was teamwork at its finest.

It's worth noting that nobody actually threw up. The coaches were disappointed to say the least.

For your perusal, I present The Run Graph. I've highlighted the tough intervals in green. Why green? Because that's how I felt while running them. For pace data, check out the lap listing. My interval laps were 4, 6, 8, 10+11 (my Garmin auto-lapped just before I got to the end of the 1600 m), 13, 15, and 17.

I would like to especially point out lap 17 - the final 200 m. We ran a 6:06 pace. For an entire 200 m! There was once a time when a pace like 6:06 was something that only happened to me very briefly. Maybe for three seconds. It was a fluke. An accident. But in this workout, Jose and I held 6:06 for a whole 45 seconds. Oh yeah, we rock. *high fives*

The three other brave FASTies who were in attendance last night (one of whom was my husband) pretty much ran laps around me and Jose. But despite the vast differences in split times and paces, everyone did a great job last night because everyone gave their best effort. And isn't that really what it's all about? Well, that, and the puking...

Peace. Love. Train.


  1. Puking?????
    Wait -- who puked?????
    The trophy can officially be passed on!

  2. Nobody puked last night. I did say that in my post. ;-) You are still our only FAST puker so far. You can't get rid of the trophy that easily!