Embracing Exhaustion

I do not look like this when I run. I hope.

About a week ago, my fellow run-until-you-puke-to-feel-like-you’ve-done-something-awesome friend, Carolyn, posted about her outing with the Guelph Victors – a group of people who gather on Tuesdays at St. James school in Guelph to partake in interval training. After reading her post, I knew I wanted to try it.

So tonight, after biking home from work and having a quick snack, I jumped on my bike with all of my yoga gear, my running shoes, extra water, and extra snacks, and headed to St. James to join in on the fun.

When I arrived, I met up with Carolyn and we chatted while watching the 6:00 pm advanced group finish up. Mainly we chatted about our nerves prior to joining in on the run, and how we really just didn’t want to pass out, fall down, or make complete fools of ourselves. There was also talk about getting hit in the head by one of the soccer balls that was being kicked around in the field inside the track which we were running.

Not having participated in a group training session like this before, I also had the desire not to be the last person. I figured a nice in-the-middle-of-the-pack goal would be great. So that is where I set my goals for this my first interval training with the group.

On tap for this eve:

  • a few minutes of warm up,
  • 1.5 laps (1 lap = 400m) doing Indian Runs. (Why this run is named as such is beyond me. The run consists of running in a line of 6 people. The last person has to sprint to the front of the line, where they then slow down to the pace of the line. The new person at the end of the line repeats this process. Sounds weird, but it’s actually quite fun.)
  • ladder runs.

Ladder runs? What the what? Ladder runs are a type of interval training. Basically you run at top speed over short distances, rest, and repeat. The run starts with a full 1000 m, then rest, followed by 800 m, rest, 600 m, rest, 400 m, rest, 200 m slow run, followed by an immediate 200 m sprint, rest, and a final 800 m. Crazy awesome.

I was far happier than this during the run. Honest.

After the first half lap of the first interval, I realized that my body was feeling good despite the exhaustion that I felt this morning, so naturally, I picked up the pace. After the first lap was done I realized that I only had 1.5 laps to follow so again picked up my pace. It was at this point that I realized I was running past a lot of the people who were in front of me; my breathing was fine, my body felt strong, and my form felt good. Things were moving the way they should. So again, I picked up my pace. I was shocked to hear my time when I crossed the finish line – 4:21. Crazy!

I decided at that point that I was going to try a little harder from the get-go of the next interval. And so I did. And with every interval I was shocked with my time. This tells me that the training I’ve been doing on the treadmill has been paying off. It probably also helps that I have the cross-training benefits of biking, and the bendy benefits of yoga.

Regardless of the why, I was stoked that my interval times were better than expected, I was amazed that I didn’t vomit (although I did have a little bit of exertion-related-cud-chewing after the training ended and we started our cool-down), and I was uber happy that I didn’t look like a giant tool (I hope). If memory serves me correctly, my times were

  • 1000 m – 4:21
  • 800 m – 3:26
  • 600 m – 2:34
  • 400 m – 1:21
  • 200 m slow run + 200 m sprint = 2:00 (?) – this wasn’t timed
  • 800 m – 3:21

This gives a grand total time of 17:03 for 4 kilometers (assuming the non-timed interval was only 2 minutes). Extrapolating my last 800 m to 1000m and adding that time to the total suggests an overall 5 kilometer time of 21:14. Not my fastest 5k, but close 🙂

Not being satisfied with just a run, I said my goodbyes to Carolyn (who was running home – because she’s crazy fit and awesome like that), jumped on my bike and headed to yoga to complete today’s Moksha class as part of my 35 day yoga challenge.

And now I find myself looking forward to meeting with the Guelph Victors again next Tuesday. Awesome!


Note: The title of this blog was stolen from Carolyn’s post. Stolen titles are way better in my humble opinion.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick says:

    From the title of this post, I thought you maybe slowed down and embraced some rest time, not increased the amount of activity! Good stuff 🙂

  2. Dr. Beth says:

    I agree that stealing titles is the best way of acquiring titles. That’s why I steal yours so often!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Oooh I feel like a celebrity (not of the drunk & undignified variety, though).

    So glad you came! Otherwise I never would have figured out that Indian thing. Way to listen to instructions.

    If it had been hotter I’m sure you would have puked. Maybe next week. I actually had a good 4K back to U of G. Normal running feels eaaasy after that stuff.

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