Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Urban Steeplechase...

... can be defined as running an old cinder track after a rainstorm, with big puddles straddling both of the straightaways.

I was excited for my track workout this morning. Given last Sunday's 5k time, I wanted to do an encore performance of 5x1000 meter reps and see if I could squeeze some seconds out of last week's time.

This excitement deflated upon seeing the condition of the Bartram track. In addition to dodging the usual walkers and joggers, today I would need to go wide around the puddles (I nixed the idea of just plowing through them). I couldn't say exactly, but it would be sure to add a few seconds on to each interval.

Its times like these that I see the true importance of running strides before running the actual track workout. The ostensible purpose of strides are to warm the legs up for running fast. But they also warm the mind up. 3 laps around and it was assessing, reconfiguring, and finally accepting the notion that the workout would go on as planned, with time expectations (initially at 3:36 per 1000m rep) suspended.

Interval 1 came in in 3:49. Even given the extra time allotted for the obstacles, this was disappointing. But time was suspended today, and it now sank in that I had a free pass to run these damn things as slow or fast as I wanted.

Interval 2 came in at 3:40. About where I figured the puddles would leave me. About halfway into this interval I realized that with no time expectations, all I had to do was run fast. Fast and with abandon.

And then intervals 3, 4 and 5 came in at 3:36; 3:34 and 3:33, respectively. Damned if I didn't nail 'em. Just ran 'em hard.

This left me happy on many levels. Happy about the times, but also happy on following through the process it took to get there.

Adding up the 5k on the installment plan gave me a time of 18:09. To think I ran a whole 5k a few seconds faster than that leaves me knowing I can still push these old legs harder. That'll be for next week. Today's totals were 9.5 miles, I forgot the total time.

And I came home with the ultimate runner's reward - muddy calves.


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