Try to remember back to two weeks ago, when I did the hill/speed workout. I had to stop right in the middle of the very first hill because I seriously thought I was going to lose my lunch. I never did, but I was almost there...hunched over and everything.
Ok now fast-forward to this morning. (Yes, I actually got up early and ran!! Somebody give me a cookie. This is big.) Today, Coach had us doing some interval training. 4x800, to be specific, at marathon goal time pace. Since I haven't really decided on a goal time, I just decided to use Amy's time, which was 4:20. That meant I was supposed to run 800 meters in 4 minutes and 20 seconds. It sounded easy enough...I mean, did you know that I was a sprinter back in the day? Yes Sir...this girl right here ran the 100, 200 and 400 meter races for the Beech High School Track Team. That's right. Not only was I on the "A" team, but I was what you might call The Coach's Pet.
Back then, I ran short and I ran fast. Anything over 400 meters was like torture to me...funny how things change, huh? I was a skinny little toothpick girl back then...weighing in at only 95 lbs. Actually, that's probably why I could run so fast, now that I think of it. The wind probably just blew me along.
I was really cool in those days.
I sported some rockin bangs and braces with blue and orange bands-school colors of the Beech Buccaneers, of course! Remind me to scan in and post a picture from my glory days...I have no shame.
So anyway, Coach A. loved to use me as his perfect example of runner's form. Seriously, I actually do have really good form, which makes me a pretty smooth and efficient runner. I've still got the skills, but sometimes I have to concentrate on relaxing my shoulders during those really long runs. But doesn't everyone?
We always did these plyometric drills, which are kind of like run/jumping exercises that build muscle and improve agility and speed. They were hard and most definitely looked very ridiculous to the baseball team who had practice on the field next to our track.
These drills had names like High Knees, Butt Kicks, Side Shuffle and Power Skip. I know you're smart and you can probably imagine how each was done from its name, but just for fun, I found this picture of people doing plyometric drills. I'm pretty sure they are doing High Knees. Doesn't it look like like a blast?
When we did plyometrics, Coach A. would regularly get fed-up with the team's performance and stop them in mid-drill so that he could make them watch me do the exercises all by myself! He's say things like,
Team, THIS is how it's supposed to be done!
Look at April. She could be on the cover of Runner's World with that form. (He honestly did say this. He even said this more than once)
Talk about embarrassing. I was literally kicking my own ass (you know...doing the Butt Kicks)while running down the track... in front of the whole team! I think it scarred me for life.
My sister, who is a sophomore at Beech, is on the track team that is still led by Coach A. She has told me that he still talks about my smooth running, to this very day. I can't decide if that scares me or flatters me. I mean, we are talking 10 years later here, people!!
So as I was saying, speed workouts have never been very daunting because I enjoyed running fast when I was younger. I still love sprinting full-out, with everything I've got, every now and then. It's just a really good rush for me. That's why when I got sick this morning, I felt pretty bummed about the whole situation. And this morning, I didn't just dry-heave...it was an all-out upchuck. (what a gross word)
As a quick side note, I'd like to take this chance to apologize to the nice people who own the yard that received my contribution. Hope it rains before you rake your lawn this weekend.
I'm not really sure why this keeps happening when I try to do a speed workout. It always happens about 30-45 seconds into the interval. So today I only did 3 of the 800s (with moments of stopping due to a wave of nausea) and although it was definitely a quicker pace than normal, it was slower than 4:20. I couldn't get accurate timing because of the stop-and-go nature of the run. All in all, I got in 3 miles for the day.
I must also confess that I chickened out on yesterday's run because of the freezing rain, but I'm just going to use tomorrow as a catch-up day. I'll do Wednesday's workout and then throw on a couple of fast 800s at the end. Even though, Coach (Hal, not A.) stresses the importance of the Friday Rest Day, I think its ok because we're not into the high mileage weeks yet.
I'm not Coach Hal's star pet yet, but give me time, my friends. Just give me time.