Running for the toilet

Tonight I jogged down to the National Stadium to run on the track for half an hour. I did the same last week and that time I went a bit too easy on myself. To be fair, you don’t want to be going all-out the week after a marathon, but given I could run that session and then bomb round the track for another five minutes, almost 10 seconds per lap faster than the main run, I had something left in the tank. [More]
Normally the long interval session is on a Wednesday, but this week my wife gets to go out on a Wednesday night instead of me, so I took myself out on the Monday instead. For better or worse, that meant an almost deserted track; one fast group of four guys, a few joggers and the odd person walking in the inside lane of the track with their headphones on, like that bestowed them invulnerability to the consequences of being run into.

Having nobody else around meant there was no traffic jam on the start line, or jockeying for position when somebody is ever-so-slightly faster or slower than you, but it’s also harder to keep focus. On my penultimate lap I tried running by feel alone, and went almost two seconds slower than intended.

Last week, 1:46 was a little too slow per lap, so this week I tried for 1:42.

Last week, after I’d run as hard as I could for the last five minutes of the session, my guts began to churn and I had to leg it to the gents’ to relieve myself. A stomach of curry and 4 minute kilometre pace don’t mix well.

This week, after 15 minutes at 4:17 pace I again had to head to the toilets. This time, I’d drunk too much water and running in tropical humidity wasn’t helping me sweat it all out. If this theme holds consistent, I guess next week I’ll be throwing up, and then I dread to think what the week after will bring.

Of course, my toilet diversion this week wasn’t at the end of the workout, it was eating into my three minute recovery time. I blame that for being less than stellar for the next ten minutes. That, or being alone while occasionally being buzzed by the four fast men, who managed to catch up with me just before I was going to overtake one of the slow joggers. There must be some excuse I can use.

Still, one way or another tonight took it out of me. I charged the last straight on the last lap to finish with a 1:38, and then tottered to the side of the track, exhausted. This evening I was in no shape to do another five minutes, and I’m happy because that means I did all that I could tonight. All that remained was a three lap warm down, wringing the sweat from my best, and the train home. Never have I been so grateful for air conditioning on trains, and never, I assume, have the people forced to share a train with me either.

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