Stairway to Hell

Tuesday’s track workout was to be a very typical ladder workout.  However, it turned out to be anything but typical.  The plan was to run 200, 400, 600, 800, 800, 600, 400 & 200.  The goal was to run them strong.  Each interval’s pace was supposed to be run appropriately for the distance (i.e. the 400s run much faster than the 800s).  We agreed on the recovery being a 400 between intervals except the first recovery and the last.  Soon enough, the ladder to hell had started.  The first 200 was run in a controlled 34 seconds.  No surprises, just getting the legs loosened.  Bill said before the 400 that we should be 72-73 seconds.  Like clockwork, Bill took us through in 72 seconds.  Everyone held close together, so I knew we were all working hard.  The full lap recovery provided us nearly a full recovery.  The 600 started and everything I know about pace & control somehow went out the window.  I was feeling good and allowed it to set my pace.  I quickly realized I was the only one up in front.  I went through the 400 in 71 (yes, I know) and continued.  I ended up in a very fast (too fast) 1:47.  I knew as soon as I crossed the line that I was going to pay for that (and I did).  Everyone else held their pace and made it through in control thinking about the 800s to come.  We recovered (though not enough for me) and went into the first 800.  The pace felt slow, but I knew it was all I could do at the moment.  Bill was off the front and I was fading fast.  Rich was hanging tough right up front.  Then, like a machine, Terry comes flying by in the last 300, and Alex in the last 50.  I finished in 2:39.  That one hurt.  The second 800 started and the exact same thing happened:  I went backwards, Bill stayed smooth, Rich ran tough and Terry closed hard along with Alex.  The whole of the group was hanging tough given the difficulty of the workout.  We recovered (sorta) and went into the 600.  There was a little sign of recovery for me (but it still hurt).  We ran it strong and I finished up in 1:55 (much slower than the first).  Was that Andy (aka Nemesis) right beside me?  I believe it was.  The 400 started and I began to feel better.  The pace was noticeably faster and this time Andy comes by with some authority.  I finished in 72(?).  The 200 was really a formality at this point, but one I knew would be fast.  I told Rich we need to run a 33.  We started and worked the curve, the usual suspects came flying by me while Rich and I held strong in 33 seconds.  I was totally spent.  I didn’t even run to the boulevard for a cool down.

It’s funny how one misjudgment on pace (even for a short time) can ruin an entire workout.  Races are exactly the same.

Next week:  I’m smelling miles.  (ouch, ouch, ouch)