I’m dashing forward. Flying like a bullet. Splitting the space before me with the precision of a cleaver. I’m back to fast running again.
I’ve been waiting patiently for three weeks for this workout. But when the alarm clock went off at 6:15 am, I still had to snooze it 😉 After tossing and turning for an undefined amount of time, I put on my running gear, praying the smog levels were low. I couldn’t put on a smog mask today—I needed all the breathing power I had for this training session.
Hitting the Gravel, Hard
I was itching for a sweatfest with no compromises. For my getting-back workout, I chose a 2mi warmup + 8x200m/200m jog rest + 800m recovery + 8x200m/200m jog rest + 1mi cooldown. The pace for the reps: 3:45-3:50/km.
My body was ready for the hard training stimulus—I’ve been doing lots of strides recently. The pounding was engraved in the balls of my feet. Literally. Runners’ feet are the worst ;D
After completing the warmup and doing some drills and dynamic stretches, I pushed the start button and sprang forward, attacking the first 200m repetition.
Finally the speed!
I was soaring over the asphalt, taking bounds of hell as the ground rolled underneath me. The motion of going fast was delicious, every muscle and tendon in my body united in their mission to quickly devour the distance. I was in fact so delighted with that first fast repetition in over a month that I smiled to myself, ignoring passersby taking me for a crazy person. The jog rest came up way too fast, but I’m no fool to that feeling: after a few reps, the body is screaming for those jog recoveries.
Exhaustion hit me in the second set, at the eleventh or tenth repetition. Taking up the remaining reps with mounting weariness, I realized that my mind was eager to feel the speed but my body wasn’t yet ready to endure it for long.
Lead began flooding my legs. It was a welcome sensation—for now, of course. Later in the training cycle, it’ll be a sign of giving in to lactic acid and having to partake in a nasty internal fight for endurance. For the time being, however, I had three more reps to complete. I focused on the rhythm of fast running and let my mind carry me forward.
With a slight wind blowing against me, cooling my burning body, I glanced to the left. The sun was shyly poking through dense, dark clouds, waking the town below it to a new day. My gaze dropped lower, to the vast fields separating me from civilization. The grass and leftover crops were still misted with morning dew. I wondered whether the wildlife hiding within was also waking up, waiting for the clouds to clear and let the warm sunshine through. I smiled again. Running early in the morning is a truly transcendental experience.
Beep, beep, beep. It was Garmin bringing me back to reality. The last rep was over. Satisfied and pleasantly tired, I started jogging home. I completed the training session with a total of 16 reps over 7 miles.
After getting home, I downed an ocean of isotonic drink and devoured a ripe banana. Then I did some light stretches, with my mind constantly drifting to breakfast. Shoving delicious food after a hard workout is by far my favorite post-running activity 😉
On the menu that day:
- whole wheat bread
- smoked salmon
The only sports-related thing left for that day was light stretching and foam rolling. I like doing the latter in the evening when the muscles are eager for the kneading and torturing. I guess this is the only type of pain I actually look forward to.