Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I got up just after six today and went for a run. I think I pushed it too hard yesterday; I felt very sluggish as I headed up the road to the river, and I was meant to be doing a lot of fast repetitions, which I didn't feel quite ready for. The training plan called for 10 400 metre sprints, each run at 3,000 metre pace (about 4:01 per km for me). Every time I run, the lap seems to be much faster at the start than the end; I don't know if I explode and then run out of gas, or if my GPS has trouble getting a fix.

I did the first 400m in 4:12, which a few months ago I'd have been happy with, but which was much too slow now. The next 4 passed ok, although the flies that were down by the Formula 1 pitlanes have migrated and so it was a challenge to avoid inhaling too many bugs while still breathing hard enough to keep running. For the second half, I ran from the Esplanade theatre to the tunnel near the Fullerton and back, worrying as I did so that the sun was getting too high.

To do that many repeats, and warm up for a mile and a half, and warm down for a mile and a half, and jog for 3 minutes between each repeat, meant I did a lot of distance today; about 13.5 km. Again, to put that in perspective it's about the length of my longest runs from 6 weeks ago; next week will be even tougher. Still, I'm not going through the agony of hill sessions in this cycle, and I feel happier for that. Happier, but worried that I'm complacent for not doing more of them.

Running intervals makes you look a bit odd. Between sprints I'll be going purposefully slowly, but it's Sod's Law that as soon as anyone goes past me, I'll be at 2:58 on a 3 minute cool down, and two seconds later I'm sprinting past them like the Egomaniac Who Couldn't Bear To Be Overtaken. I'm not sure if it looks worse when I'm apparently chasing a woman or a very old man. At least Mrs Wobbly was going in a different direction to me this morning.

As I ran under the bridge near the Esplanade, I kept seeing the three Falun Gongers. They have a little sign saying 'Falun Gong Is Good' which they sit quite close to, meditating (I think - I've never stopped to ask them). I saw a man photographing the sign, then on my next 400m sprint, photographing the Gongers. It seemed a bit ostentatious, with him towering over them, brandishing an enormous camera on a tripod, but then at least he was interacting with them. That's more than I've ever done. Although they did look like they were ignoring him; what a confusion.

I did my last 400m in well under 4 minute pace, and then wheezed and groaned my way home, hoping I didn't terrify too many people with the noises I made. Surprisingly, I survived a day at the office without keeling over, although I did make the mistake of wearing shorts and a shirt to work, looking all the world like a confused Boy Scout.

What would Baden Powell say? He'd tell me to keep my mouth shut and the flies out, that's what.
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