Friday, July 30, 2010

Hey, has anyone seen my quadriceps?

I think they fell off on the Hill of Death last night. If you find them, can you return them to me? Don't laugh. Yours would fall off too if you had to run the entire Hill of Death four times. Oh yes, I can see by that wide-eyed look of shock on your face that you now understand the intensity of the situation. And as if that wasn't bad enough, we also had some 800m repeats thrown into the mix... you know, for fun. So yeah, my quads weren't too happy with me and decided to take a vacation. I'm sure gonna miss them...

So here was last night's FAST workout... 2 mile warmup, 2 x (2 x full Hill Of Death loop, + 1 x 800m). So, we ran the entire Hill of Death loop twice, then ran an 800m repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Got that?

I knew I was in trouble when my quads started burning on the first hill. It did not bode well for the remaining hills. I was thankful that Coach Maggie ran with me up the second hill. Otherwise I might have been tempted to walk. Or puke. In the end, I did neither. I ran all four of those hills, and refrained from vomiting. The 800m repeats were... tricky. Running with any sort of speed after doing the Hill Of Death twice is a feat unto itself. But the 800m distance was on an undulating trail, covered with sticks and leaves and rocks. So it was basically an obstacle course. Fabulous.

After I finished my fourth and final Hill Of Death loop, Coach Brad caught up with me and insisted that he was going to run the final 800m with me and fellow FASTie, Melody.

As a quick aside, Melody is new to FAST this season and it turns out she and I are very well-matched for pace. I think we'll be running together a lot, and that's a good thing for me because she's a very fascinating person. She's getting ready to run the Pikes Peak Marathon next month. That race is not for the faint of heart. I got winded just reading the website. And yet, there's that teeny tiny voice in my head going "Ooooo, that sounds so cool - you should do that someday!" That teeny tiny voice really needs to shut up.

But I digress (I do that a lot, don't I?)... Coach Brad ran the final 800m with me and Melody and I knew I should have been concerned when he ran ahead of us and basically set the pace. But when we got near the turnaround point, he said "Okay, after the turnaround, we're going to pick up the pace." WHAT? Haven't we been doing that already? Melody leaned over and whispered to me "Maybe we should stop to walk now..." I like the way she thinks. Nevertheless, we kept running, trying to hang onto Brad. When we turned around, sure enough, the pace quickened. Our fatigued legs burned, and our breathing became very labored. Before we knew it, though, it was over and we were done! It wasn't so bad after all.

I'm sure it's not so hard to pick out the four Hills of Death on that graph. My quads are on one of those hills, crying in agony.

Tuesday's FAST workout was another goodie. And by "goodie", of course I mean "death trap". The intensity was compounded by the fact that it was 2.4 billion degrees outside and 435% humidity. *note: weather figures have been slightly inflated for dramatic effect

So here's the rundown for that workout: 1 mile warmup, 1 mile @ half-marathon pace, 2 x 800m @ 10k pace, 1 mile @ half-marathon pace, 1 mile cooldown. After the first couple of repeats, it became pretty obvious that Melody and I should be running together. And so after that, we did. It was a win-win situation, because chatting with her kept my mind off of the torture of running in 4 trillion degree weather, and my pacing helped keep her from running too fast. There's something about sharing pain with someone that makes it... well... less painful. Even with all the chatting during the final mile repeat, we still ran it faster than the first mile repeat (10:06 vs 10:24). Score one for teamwork!

My hubby and I are doing a little traveling this weekend to visit our cutie-patootie nephew, who has grown so much since the last time I saw him (in March) that he's probably getting ready to head off to college soon. So I'll be doing my weekend running in a different place, which is good and bad. Good because there's a change of scenery, which is always welcome. And bad because I'll be missing all my Stashies. But the long run this weekend is "only" 10 miles, so I'm not too worried about it. Although it will probably be a bit more difficult to run with my quads gone AWOL.

Peace. Love. Train.

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