Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking "sweat like a pig" to a whole new level...

That was the essence of FAST last night.

I am pretty sure we've had hotter workouts at FAST before, but I think last night it was a lot more humid. And that led to excessive sweating with no way for the sweat to evaporate. The end result was a bunch of runners who looked like they had just climbed out of a swimming pool, doubled over and panting. I honestly can't remember the last time I've been so completely drenched in sweat. It paints a lovely mental picture, doesn't it?

There was nothing exceptionally difficult about the workout last - it was a very typical FAST kind of run: a 1 mile warmup into the cemetery, 5 x 1000m repeats at a hard effort with 2 minutes recovery between, and a 1 mile cooldown out of the cemetery. The 1000m repeats were effort-based, not pace-based, due to the heat and high humidity. For this, I was thankful. I felt like I was running 5k pace or faster, but in reality, I was running a bit slower.

I ran the first two repeats by myself... or so I thought. But Coach Brad quickly noticed that fellow teammates Jess and Jose were starting and finishing very close to me (Jess slightly ahead and Jose slightly behind). So he advised us to run together on the remaining three repeats, which meant a slight pace increase for me, and a slightly greater pace increase for Jose. Coach Brad asked Jose, "Does it scare you that two women are leading you into the woods in the cemetery?" He said he wasn't worried, but I could see the fear in his eyes.

We took off for our first group repeat (our third repeat altogether) and my effort level suddenly skyrocketed. Jose and I really struggled to stay with Jess - it was most difficult during the uphill portions of the repeats. But ultimately, we kept up. After that, I wasn't sure I could stick with Jess for another two repeats. Coach Brad gave us some words of encouragement and we set off for the next one. This one felt even more difficult, but somehow I found a little extra energy at the end to give a final kick and pass Jess. Coach Brad said to me "I thought you said you couldn't run with Jess again!" To which I replied "Well, I didn't run with Jess. I ran ahead of her!" But I was pretty wiped from that so I subtlely asked Jess to go easy on us for the last repeat by saying "So, you look pretty tired... You planning to run the last one as hard as the others?" She insisted she wasn't going to run as hard, so I felt a little better about running with her for one more lap.

But then she went and ran the same pace as the other repeats anyway. DANG IT JESS! You tricked us! Somehow, Jose and I managed to stick with her one more time and finish without dying, or worse, puking. So I just want to say thanks to Jess for pulling us along, and way to go Jose for sticking with us.

You will notice the run graph is missing a repeat. That's because I was dumb and pushed the Stop/Start button instead of the lap button before we started the 3rd repeat. So the 3rd 1000m is not included in the data. I assure you, it looks very much like the final two 1000m repeats. Notice the first two repeats are quite a bit slower, because I wasn't running with Jess and Jose. So that just goes to show you the power of running with other people. The 1000m laps are 4, 6, 9 and 11.

After our FAST run, we had another fun get-together to honor one of our members who is moving away and getting married (we'll miss you Kelly!). Here's our group last night, enjoying beer and Irish food at Kelleher's.

Yes, most of us were sweaty and stinky. The good news is that we were seated outdoors so the smell could dissipate more easily.

In somewhat related news, you may have noticed my new piggy logo (designed it myself, thankyouverymuch!). It is with great pleasure that I announce the opening of the Sweat Like A Pig e-store, where you can purchase all sorts of Sweat Like A Pig goodies and gear (including a running singlet!). All proceeds from sales on my Sweat Like A Pig e-store between now and October 10 (the Chicago Marathon) will be donated to the Organization for Autism Research, so now's a great time to stock up on necessary things like aprons, postage stamps, and coffee mugs.

For those of you who don't know, I am running Chicago for OAR, in honor of my good friend and fellow FASTie, Niki, who's son was recently diagnosed with autism. There's a link for my fundraising website in the sidebar ---> if you would like to read more about Aiden. You can also donate directly to OAR through my fundraising website, if you are so inclined. Every little bit helps!

Now, don't you think a piggy tote bag would go great with those shoes you're wearing today???

Peace. Love. Train.

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