This evening I went to the track for a speed session. I could have gone on Monday, when my eyes were contrarotating and my body was still in a different time zone, but then I also could have gone out to the pub on Monday instead of staying in with my wife after a week’s absence – both would have been poor choices for a happy family.

However, what with losing most of the week before I went to Costa Rica to my bad back, and only getting out for one run in Costa Rica, I’ve not trained properly in about two weeks. You might hope that meant I hit the track fresh and well-rested, but it really doesn’t work like that. Or maybe it does, if you spend two weeks resting, and not two weeks travelling, baby wrangling, lying in bed groaning, or sitting at the office trying to be clever.

Tonight’s session was 6×5 minutes at threshold pace, with a minute’s rest between each 5 minutes. This is much tougher than what I’m accustomed to.

On the first lap, things felt fairly easy. I knew that would probably change, but I held back a bit, didn’t sprint like a madman just because I felt good, and put in a decent distance, almost 1,300m in 5 minutes.

1 minute is enough time to walk back to the start and drink a little water. There’s not enough time to retie your laces before you’re off again. The second time I actually felt a little bit quicker than the first. And then the wheels began to come,off.

On the third time around, I was a little bit too close to the person in front of me. I don’t like running so close to somebody – it always feels like somebody is going to get kicked in the shins, or go down in a tangle of sprained ankles and legs that bend in places they shouldn’t. Boxed in, it’s harder for me,to find my particular rhythm, and I was either too fast or too slow.

Fourth time out, things began to collapse. I only managed two laps, 800 metres, then began to peter out, energy fading away. I could run a little longer, but there was no hope of achieving anything special. The muscles at the back of my neck prepared to start complaining, and so for the last two repeats, I ran steady 4 minute intervals, rather than try to push myself to something i wasn’t ready for.

Then, shaky, i drank my ginger beer, from a bottle nobody could open with their sweaty hands (we had to resort to teeth) -Angus O’Neil’s is good and fiery, though now, an hour and a half after drinking it, all the sugary hope it provided,has gone, and i lie here, boggle eyed once more, fighting the inexorable descent of my eyelids, the only thing keeping me awake being … no, nothing. I think jet lag and early morning,baby alarm clocks have a lot to be said for, although a full night’s sleep is not one of them. Best to cease now, quit while I’m ahead, and complain about my sore legs tomorrow.

Until then, cheerio.

3 responses to “Brutal”

    • Here’s the thing: there should be good alcoholic ginger beer, but pretty much universally the stuff is revolting. It tends to taste like beer plus massive amount of fake ginger flavouring. The only one I enjoyed was Hitachino Nest Ginger Beer, but unfortunately it turns out that while it’s delicious after you’ve drunk seven pints of super strength IPA, to a sober palate it’s as revolting as all the rest.

      I tend to stick to gin + ginger beer, for those times when I want the combination of alcohol plus ginger. Seems to be more reliable.

      • That sounds good! I like ginger beer as a soft drink, at least there’s some heat to take away the godawful sickly sweetness. Plus gin sounds even better.

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