Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cutting Shapes

Scheduled: 2-3mi w/u
10x400 in 82-84 w/400m jog in between
2mi c/d

As I parked my car at the TCU track, I texted Jilane something along the lines of: "I'm wearing spandex and T5's and I'm ready to change my life." Translation: "Please let me finish this workout without passing out, pulling a muscle or otherwise maiming myself." Even though I knew the prescribed workout was doable, I was a bit nervous about stepping onto the track after a multi-year hiatus. I started as early as possible in an effort to beat the heat, but even at 7:30am the temperature was in the 80s and the humidity was high.

I started the run with a two-mile warmup loop around the TCU track and Greek houses, then did a few half-hearted strides on the homestretch of the track. Once I decided I couldn't delay the inevitable any longer, I jumped into the workout. The first few intervals were pretty erratic as my body struggled to settle into a pace it hadn't run in many moons, and it certainly didn't help that I opened the first interval with a suicidal 36-second 200. Needless to say, I made a conscious effort to dial it back a notch on the back half and ended the interval in 81. I followed that with an 84, then settled in at 82, 82, 82. After my fifth interval and lap jog, I took a 2-3 minute break to drink some water and towel off. Prior to that, I was continuously running through; I started my jog immediately after finishing each interval and started running again as soon as I crossed the line (although let's be honest, there's no way I was wogging faster than 8:30 pace on the "off" laps).

Starting the second set of five, I realized things weren't going to get much harder and would probably suck equally going forward, so I tried to squeeze down the pace slightly. My breathing was controlled and my legs felt only slightly fatigued. I finished the sixth interval in a comfortable 80, then followed with 81, 81, 80. I thought I could close the last one in sub-80 if I hit the 200 at 38, which I did, so I tried to stay relaxed and finished strong in 77. After an extended water break I hit the two-mile loop again for my cooldown and called it a day. Stopped at Einstein's for a coffee on the way home and pounded an entire container of apple juice while I was waiting in line. Sweet nectar.

Although I'm confident I won't be able to walk tomorrow, I was pleased with my first effort at cutting shapes. I felt uncomfortable on the last two but kept things controlled throughout.