Thursday, February 21, 2008

Round and round we go

We gathered at the track tonight unsure of what awaited.  One of the group - Ynuk - has made his way back after battling the dreaded IT band friction syndrome for the past three months.  Based on his workout tonight, I am scared to see what happens when he feels fit again!

The weather here couldn't have been nicer today.  The clouds stayed high and the temperature hovered around 10 degrees for most of the day.  The evening was dry and warm; warm enough in fact that I broke out shorts for the first time this year.  The whole crew showed up tonight and it was a glimpse of how much fun and how great this group can be if everyone stays healthy.  There were 6 of us, with a newer runner Ben (who broke 1:16 for the half running with the Running Room running groups - this guy is going to fly!) doing 200s while the rest of did 5 x 400.

The first 400 was run as a warm up and the following four were to be done fast, but with lots of rest.  I felt much like Mike did the other night when he wasn't feeling so hot before the workout.  My legs felt heavy, weighted down I believed from the downhill running in the tempo workout on Tuesday.  My hip flexors were a little fatigued and I wondered if I was going to be going well this evening.  Coach John had me down to be running 59s.  I found this confusing as my recent PB was 59.    However, with the ideal conditions and the group around me, my legs came around.

After drills and some dynamic stretching and strides I felt better.  We opened up our "warm-up" 400 in 64 seconds.  But this felt good.  I followed Paul around in order to not get silly on the first.  Paul is the king at pacing and I knew it would be smart to hang with him.

The next four were fun.  Ynuk took out the first real one fast.  I worked hard to stay in his draft and I came around in 59 seconds, bang on what Coach John had wanted.  Ynuk ran an opening 58, which was unreal seeing as he hasn't done any track yet and is coming off injury!  The second one was with Ynuk again, and Ben leading us through the first 200.  This time we came in together in 58.  It felt fast, but the fatigue had yet catch up (although it was coming fast!).

The last two were a bit more of a struggle.  Ynuk backed off smartly for the last two and I ended up running alone on the third one, holding a 59.1.  The rest of the group was going well as everyone was in an around 60-63.  It was fun to give Simon a hard time, knowing full well he will be minutes ahead of me in the races we do this year.  

The last one was all out.  Jay decided to have a go and I heard his breathing from about 250m on.   I was fading and he was coming on strong.  We both crossed around 59 (plus or minus .5 seconds), which was his best time in ages.  Overall, the group ran very well and enjoyed each other's company.  I am very pleased (and somewhat surprised) with my workout tonight.  My track background shines through on nights like tonight, but I have to start converting that speed into a bit more endurance so that I can stay in touch with my teammates when we get into races longer than 800m.  I am excited for some long runs this weekend and a chance to see Jen and Trevor!  Couple that with a Pro-D day tomorrow and things are looking very good!
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