A funny thing happened while I was working out (twice)

March 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm 1 comment

This week has been interesting and eventful already and the weekend is just not arriving! I really want to talk about my two workout days though and don’t want to wait til next week to do so. Monday I hit the legs hard with the weights. SQUATS! DEADLIFTS! AWESOME! I was feeling it by Tuesday afternoon. That didn’t stop me from getting a quality rep workout in the evening. And oh, boy, it was a doozy (but not for the obvious reasons):

I opted to go to Patterson Park and run on the paved half mile loop that runs around the annex fields. I stopped on my way home and measured out a quarter mile stretch, marking it out every 100m. I figured I’d do the rep on that stretch and my active recoveries on the other (slightly longer than 400m) half. When I finished my warm-up it was dusk and by the end of the first rep I’d say it was dark. First two reps went by uneventfully. But on my third, a cluster of asshole teenagers had congregated at the baseball field near the 100m mark. The first time I went by them I just got a catcall. The second time, one particularly jackass-y kid tried to startle me. The next time, I heard the girls yelling, “YOU BETTER NOT” to the boy and again he stepped at me and flexed and yelled and tried to scare me. As I finished up my fifth rep I could hear someone running behind me. When I finished I turned around expecting to see one of the kids but it turned out to be another runner who was also getting harassed. We decided to team up for the remainder of our workout (safety in numbers after all). He mentioned that he heard them talking about jumping us and stuff. I made the split decision to run the next rep over the recovery half (so it was a little long but close enough). While I’d have loved to put one of those cretins in their place, I MORE wanted to finish my workout without incident. After the sixth rep I decided to call the cops. By the time we were done with the next rep, the kids had left and we were free to finish the workout in the right direction.

I’ve run on a college campus on a weekend night with some seriously drunk and stupid people wandering about. I’ve run back home on LI near my old high school while hordes of teenagers mill about smoking, drinking, fighting, hooking up under bleachers, etc. I’ve been harassed, made fun of, chased, all sorts of things most runners have experienced dozens of times. But I’ve never felt like my physical well-being was in jeopardy until last night, at least not to the extent I felt compelled to call the police. It makes me angry and sad that this is the reality of where I live. For the most part, Baltimore has been a fine place for running, but honestly, I can’t wait to get the hell out of the city when my lease is up. Moving north near Towson gets more and more attractive every single day.

Anyway, the workout itself, I’d give it an A. Splits were 79 79 75 74 74 80* 80* 73. The two 80s were the ones we ran the long, winding way. I’m surprised that what I feel was the correct effort yielded much faster results than I’m used to. I hope this is another sign about my fitness and not about the adrenaline dump my system got from the incident.

Wednesday’s workout was much less infuriating but still had a surprise in store for me. The early forecasts had called for rain later in the day. By the time I left work at 5:30, the skies were murky but no precipitation yet. I quickly changed into running attire and got to Druid Hill Park. The plan was to do laps of the lake (it’s just about 1.5 miles around), one easy, six at M pace which would take about an hour, and then another one or two easy depending on time and how I was feeling. I figured after yesterday’s workout and the race on Sunday, M pace would be less stressful than an actual tempo run. Things started alright but early in the second lap a tall older guy started running up alongside me and asked me about the distance around the lake and if he could run with me. It turns out he was from Hungary in town for a conference at Hopkins. He was flying out to Mexico Thursday morning and the treadmills at the hotel he was staying at were broken. The pace picked up a trifle bit as we circled the lake. I didn’t think it too fast because we were able to have a conversation the entire time, despite the harder-than-easy effort. Turns out I was running with a national master’s triathlon champion or something like that. Very cool. He peeled off after two laps together and I had another three to do solo. But somewhere on the fourth lap I decided that the pace had been faster than a true M pace run for most of the time already, I might as well cut it at 7.5 miles and make it a long tempo. That’s just what I did. The wind picked up considerably for the last two laps so while the effort stayed consistent, the times were slightly slower. Overall I did 7.5 miles in exactly 48 minutes (9:51, 9:30, 9:27, 9:36, 9:36). Overall I got in an 11.5 mile run with a mile up and down the zoo mansion hill after the tempo section.

Yesterday my body was feeling the fatigue accumulated from back-to-back quality efforts, but from now until Sunday things ratchet down quite a bit. Today is my first day off in two weeks. I’ll splash around in the pool some but I’m giving my legs a pass. Tomorrow will be a short easy run with some pickups and that’s it. Rest and recuperation and that should get me to Sunday afternoon feeling pretty fresh for an all-out race.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

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Last week quick hits Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5k race report

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. marathonmaiden  |  March 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    omg that is really scary! i’ve gotten catcalls before but nothing that’s made me actually feel unsafe. i’m assuming you called the police? i think that even if extra adrenaline was coursing through your system that you still are in that kind of shape to run those splits. i mean, you did hit them after all


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