Day 58 – Speed Kills (But Who’s Buying?)

Posted: March 9, 2012 in February
Tags: , , , , ,

The usual Monday night club track session was down as a time trial tonight, 400m and 5k. Considering I was feeling nothing untoward from my calf and they were such nice, short distances I thought I’d head over and give them a shot. I got over to the track and made sure I did a nice long warm up before we got started, 1200m really slowly at first before picking up the pace towards the end and throwing in a couple of burst of 70-80% effort. I followed that with lots of dynamic stretching and still felt nothing negative in the calf region and responded really positively when I was talking to our coach about how my injury was progressing.

For the 400m the plan was to send the fastest guys off first, then split all the rest in to two groups. Two of the guys there are in a different league to the rest of us so they went and toed the line, but looking through the list of who was there and who could join them Denise (our coach) then called my name. I’ve never, ever been a quick runner. In fact I’ve always been notably slow. When I was playing a huge amount of football in my younger years I always stationed myself as close as I possibly could to our own goals to compensate for my lack of speed. Even since I’ve started my new life as ‘a runner’ I’m not exactly what you’d call speedy. I have however, much to my surprise and delight, been able to hold my own in any of the sessions I’ve been at with the club, and even found myself up around the top. I have my suspicions that some of the other guys may be sandbagging but regardless, I’ve now been pegged as a strong runner.

My shock at being called to join our two speedsters was soon replaced by horror as the realisation dawned on me that I was now the donkey in a three horse race. If Denise didn’t call anyone else up this was going to look like one of those drag races in Top Gear where they include one horrendously overmatched car for comedy purposes. Thankfully someone else stepped up to the mark so at least we could run in pairs. Never having done one before I had absolutely no idea how to pace myself for a 400m so when we started I slotted in behind quick guy no.2 as he was going at what seemed a manageable pace. It turned out to be a more than manageable pace (lending more creedence to my theory about guys sandbagging) so with about 100 metres to go my league 2 colleague turned it up a bit. I still had a bit more to give myself too so I went with him and we ended up finishing in 1:18 (quick guy no. 1), 1:21 (league 2 colleague), 1:22 (your’s truly) and 1:24 (quick guy no.2)

After a little break we lined up for the 5k, though about half the group were actually going to do a 3k, with them setting off half a lap ahead. Again, short distances like this really aren’t my forte and I’d no idea what my 400m splits should be like. As it was dark I couldn’t even really read my Garmin, so I tried to maintain a pace that I thought would be sustainable for twelve and a half laps. Laps one and two went fine and were at about 1:45 pace, lap three was also going fine until I felt a familiar tightness start to make it’s way up my calf. I slowed down immediately but my calf was tightening quicker than I could slow. I crawled round the second half of the lap but I knew that this wasn’t going away so rather than doing any more harm I stopped as soon as I got round to the finish line. I had a quick chat with Denise and did some stretching there and then but there was nothing much that could be done, and to be honest I wasn’t even really that disheartened. My calf is still healing, I still need to do a lot more recovery and rehab but I at least managed a half decent 400m and a couple of slow kilometres before it gave up the ghost. Plus I think I managed to catch it before I did any more significant damage.

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