Wednesday night’s speed workout with the Nike group out of Paragon Sports was the toughest yet. Goaded by my friend LW, a triathlete training for her first half-marathon (Big Sur), I stepped up to the 7-minute pace group. Hyper, grinning, blond Kevin led us off on the first 1200m rung of our declining ladders workout saying, “Get ready for a world of pain.” Why do I always think he’s joking when he tosses out these nuggets?
Um, yeah. So the only lap that he paced that was over 7 minutes was the first 400. Every other lap was run within 5 seconds over or under 6:40’s. By the third rung (800m) I had completely fallen back and was basically running the laps by myself. I was in pain, just as Kevin had promised. Granted, he did allow us a 400m recovery at 12-minute pace, but that wasn’t enough to keep me from calling him bastard as we stretched out afterwards. I of course meant “bastard” in the best possible way.
All told, I ran 7 miles that night, since the jog from Paragon to the track is about 1.75 miles each way. The bonus of the evening was getting to chat with LW during the “commute,” griping about unimaginative people, and sharing good and bad news from our training, and our lives. The moment we pulled up in front of Paragon, I could feel the soreness that would settle into my legs the next day—and did it ever. My JJ home from work, which I’d been looking forward to for a week, was the worst type of recovery run—slow, achy, and tight the entire way (5.5 miles in 55:30). I won’t even discuss the mental ache; Thursday was a special kind of awful at work, and not even a run over my bridge could dispel the cloud of anxiety and stress that had accumulated on my horizon. Even after I stretched out, my only thought about training was I am so glad tomorrow is my rest day.