Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Training Camp

AM: 3+ mile w/u
12x1 min. uphill, jog down
2.5-3 mile c/d
Total: 10 miles
10 mins. pool jog
15 mins. core/stretching

My schedule for this week called for 16x1 minute hard, which seemed fairly doable. It just so happened that Jordan and his new buddy, former professional triathlete Nick Frank, would be doing a similar workout today with one small catch: their "minutes" would be straight uphill. Warily I agreed to join, as it meant I would be afforded the opportunity to sleep in as late as I wanted on my day off and still make their 10am workout time.

As we warmed up down the bike path to meet Nick in the park, Jordan and I scoped out a few prospective inclines. We finally settled on Tranquil Rd., the only one we deemed both steep and long enough for our endeavor. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive. Sure, I do plenty of runs that incorporate hills, and none of my recent road races could be described as "flat." But short, steep, nearly all-out repeats straight up the asphalt? I haven't done a workout like that in as long as I can remember.

After a few strides and some last-minute strategizing we were ready to go. Nick, who is just getting back into fighting shape, would be running the first 30 seconds of each repeat with Jordan. I would be trailing behind trying not to completely embarrass myself. I'm accustomed to being one of the faster people in my workout group, so having my butt kicked up and down the road is somewhat of a foreign concept. It's good for me.

The workout itself was tough. Really tough. Basically my legs and lungs were burning from the very first interval and I knew the sensation would not abate for the duration of the workout. If there is an upside, it's that things didn't get much more difficult from there, but that's hardly any consolation when you're as far into the hurt tank as I was. Despite the rapid approach of the noon hour the overcast skies kept temperatures at bay, and for once the humidity didn't seem to be a distraction (maybe that was due to the aforementioned leg/lung burning). Though I doubt my pace increased throughout the workout, I did make a conscious effort to drive my arms and dorsiflex through my toe-off all the way to the top. I may not have been breaking any speed records, but dangit if I didn't look good trying.

After a very slow extended cooldown, Jordan and I returned home with the intention of following up with some recovery measures. We took our yoga mat and flotation belt to the pool and took turns stretching, pool jogging and doing core work. This was followed up with a hearty brunch of flapjacks and potatoes and a long, delightful nap. If it weren't for my lingering foot situation, I would've joined Jordan for a slow double run with Caitlin and Jay in the evening too. In many ways our day felt like that of a professional runner, something I could certainly get used to if I allowed myself. Instead I savored this rare respite from my otherwise busy week and made plans for more of the same on my next day off.


Unknown said...

you forgot to mention the fact that you sat on my couch while jordan, jay and i participated in a double together, and that I made you an impromptu family dinner. what a great family we make.

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