Saturday, August 29, 2009

Guitar Hero World Championships (and a track workout)

It was too bad that Simon left early, because I am pretty sure he would have wanted to play the drums. We had a bunch of friends over last night to hang out with Craig during his short visit out to Victoria. We shared BBQ and guitar, and for the brave, some Guitar Hero World Tour. Good times were had by all - especially Mr. Dags who demonstrated some mad drumming skills.

Today's workout was on the track with a group of what appeared to be Bootcamp participants. I wasn't sure how this was going to play out as they were taking up all the lanes on the small Oak Bay track (only four lanes wide around the full 400m). As I performed my drills and strides, the group finished their warm up and began to line up for the 100m sprints, opening up the inside lane for me. This was a pleasing development as I didn't want to run anyone over, nor did I want to pull the track etiquette card out either - thankfully, neither occurred.

The workout today would have been a lot of fun with VFAC. Lots of fast running at different distances, with the boys, in the sun, on a good track, good times would have been had. As it was, I was on my own at Oak Bay and running the intervals, imagining what it would be like to be Usain Bolt.

The workout was a 400m warm up lap, followed by 200m all out, and then an 800m and then a 400m and ending with a 200m all out. I was excited about the workout as a chance to see where I was at on my own. I knew pretty quickly, on the warm up, that I would do alright when I split the first 200m of the 400m warm up in 29 seconds. A little fast for a warm up, so I settled down to run a 65s first 400m. The recovery between the intervals was anywhere from 400-800m, but sufficient to feel pretty recovered.

The first real interval was the 200m, which worked out well because the back stretch had a bit of a tailwind. I am not sure that it would have negated a world record had I come close, but it was nice to have the little push as it was getting difficult. I ran the curve with purpose and then imagined myself to be Bolt, and tried to accelerate along the back stretch. The interval was a self-timed 26s, which is pretty good for getting into the workout.

The 800m was interesting. After two good opening intervals, this was supposed to be run bewteen 2:13 - 2:17. I tried to go out controlled, but apparently it was a little too controlled because I split the 400m in 69s, which was a little slow for the 2:15 I was hoping for. I tried to push the pace in the final 400m, but pretty much held my split, finishing the second 400m in 70s for a 2:19 - a little off the goal time, but not too bad. This meant more motivation for the upcoming 400m.

Coach John had me down for a 59 if I was running with someone and a 61 if I was on my own. I knew I wanted a little bit of redemption for making the mistake of going out too slow in the 800m, so I really used the tailwind on the backstretch to push the pace and focussed on remaining relaxed and smooth as I came down the home stretch into the headwind. Breathlessly, I hit my watch, crossing the 400m in 58s. This was more pleasing and I cast my thoughts toward the final 200m.

Knowing that I had run 26 previously, I wanted to try to match that at the end of the workout. This is the part where it would be easier to let up, convincing myself that it is ok to be slower at the end of a workout. While many workouts are structured in such a way that times will become slower as you get toward the end, I had plenty of rest and this was all supposed to be fast stuff. So, once again, I ran the corner hard and focussed on being smooth down the back stretch, hitting 26s again in the process.

A good workout overall and nice to be done quickly. While I miss the VFAC crew on days like this, I much prefer my 12 minute run to the Oak Bay track vs my 40 minute drive to the Pt. Grey track. Based on the 5k of a few weeks ago, I have also turned my sights towards the Lands End Half Marathon and 10k. In past years, I have used Lands End as a tune up for the Royal Victoria Half and Full marathon and I will do so again this year; however, I will race the 10k this time as preparation for the 8k at RVM. I have not run the 10k here before, but I know that there have been some fast times run by friends, so I will definitely be looking for a PB here. As with every race on the island, you never know where you will place because if everyone shows up, I would be fortunate to be Top 20; with that in mind, I am only looking for my own time and hopefully there will be some people that I will be to work with on the course in order to achieve it.

I must now go practice Guitar Hero so that Scotty Dagnall doesn't get better than me in that as well.
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