Kicking my Own Butt

The red, sweat soaked faces of the distance runners on the track team are still vivid in my mind from this past season. One workout, sets of 1200 m (3/4 mi) intervals with 400 m (1/4 mi) jogging recoveries, was particularly brutal on the first hot day of the season. I stood at the finish line recording times as each runner clocked slower and slower laps while the workout dragged on. At first, I was disappointed when a couple of runners begged to be let out of the last interval, but after every single runner failed to hit their goal time despite their best efforts, I began to realize that perhaps I had asked them all to dig a little too deep on that day.

Yesterday was my turn. For the first time in months, I returned to my familiar park with the 1.1 mile path around a lake and mile markers at every quarter mile. My goal? Four 1200 m intervals with 600 m jogging recoveries. I was dreading the workout going in. I honestly can’t remember when I last did any kind of speed workout. During the warm up lap, however, I convinced myself that this wouldn’t be so hard. After all, I ran a half marathon at an average pace of 6:47 min/mile, so how hard could it be to run Four 3/4 mile intervals at 6:40 min/mile pace with jogging recoveries in between?

Path alongside a lake
Where the magic happens

As it turns out – pretty hard. As always, I started out too fast in the first interval, finishing it in 4:47 (goal was 5:00). So, I started more slowly in the second, but after the first half mile I knew I wasn’t going to hit my time, so I stopped. It was a pretty feeble attempt. To my credit, I at least finished four miles at a brisk pace in the low 7’s, but I was still disappointed.

I’ll have to chalk it up to being my first speed workout in a long time…that and the Memorial Day beer fest. I’m not too discouraged. I think there’s a good chance I’ll nail the same workout next Tuesday!

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