Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Workout That Was Not Meant to Be

Target: 1 mile @5:40; 3 mile tempo @6:40; 1200 @85 sec. pace, 3 mile tempo@6:40, 800 all out (no rest)
Actual: 2 mile w/u, 5:37, 3 mile tempo, 1200, ~3 mile c/d=DISASTER
Total: 10? miles

So, our location basically in downtown San Diego meant that finding a place to do this workout would be a challenge. After the velodrome turned out to be, well, a velodrome, we started exploring other options. Jordan's trusty iPhone found what looked to be a school with a track on the edge of Balboa Park, so we planned to borrow the car and head there in the morning to work out.

After 30 minutes or so of driving around trying to find this place (and then trying to find a place to park that wouldn't get us towed or ticketed or both), we located said track. Immediately we noticed several problems. First of all, there appeared to be a large PE class playing flag football or something on the infield (apparently this stadium was shared by the high school and adjacent college). Secondly, the track was sunken down considerably lower than ground level, accessible only by a series of ramps and stairs, which would make the "no rest between intervals" aspect of the workout a bit difficult. And finally, there was pretty much nowhere to do the tempos that didn't involve dodging traffic and/or running uphill on the sidewalk most of the way.

Nonetheless (and sweltering temperatures notwithstanding), we set out to give it our best effort. By the time we finished our warm up the track was clear, so the first mile went off without a hitch. To be honest, I was surprised at how easy that pace felt, given I haven't run a mile under 5:50 in approximately forever. The tempo was another story. Since we kicked it off by running up the stadium stairs and over one of the aforementioned ramps, I was already wheezing like an obese chain-smoker after the first 400 meters. Once again, Jordan was great, carrying water for me and offering encouragement, but I pretty much felt like crap and never regained my breath during the entire uphill section. When he updates his blog you can see the splits, but I have no idea what they were since I didn't even bother starting my watch.

By the time we returned to the track for the 1200, chaos had taken over. By "chaos" I, of course, mean a throng of high school kids. Literally, there were over 100 of them, and their arrival to the track coincided in devilish perfection with ours. This meant we spent the entire three laps dodging these little turds, most of whom seemed to make it their personal mission to stand directly in our way (and the ones who didn't were so absorbed in their IPods that they managed to get in our way accidentally). Words can't even do justice to the cluster-eff that this scene entailed. As soon as we finished the interval, one of the "coaches" started yelling at Jordan and telling him we had to leave (Aw, really? That's a shame. I really wanted to hang out with the kiddos.) We were happy to do so, save for the fact that for a few excruciating minutes we were actually locked INSIDE this torture chamber. By the time we were finally set free, I was pretty much done and done with the whole workout debacle. We cooled down for a bit along the Prado and called it a day.