The truth is that I don’t really like my Tuesday track 800 interval sessions. Who wants to get that hot and sweaty and just plain ole tired? I’d rather run easy like this guy I see out on my routes all of the time that just kinda saunters in a weird hybrid run-walk. If you photographed him, he’d look like he was running hard based on the pump of his arms and grimace of sheer exhaustion on his face but, upon closer inspection, you realize he’s just ambling along slowly in a Near Run as if he’s trying to fool a distracted gym teacher. He’s not quite running. He’s the Zima of running. I’d like to be more like Zima on occasion.
No, there is no love for me and 800’s. They fall into the “necessary evil” category of my personality flaw: Unquenchable PR lust.
In fact, 800’s are often pure torture. But I’m nothing if not a bit of a sadomasochist. Go ahead, ask Mrs. Nitmos’ curling iron, jar of battery acid, and the well worn riding chaps about the places they’ve been and the things they’ve poked, prodded, rubbed, or swabbed. I’m very kind, considerate and generous to animate objects but inanimate objects? The first thing I think is…will that fit there?!?
Of course, there is some benefit to these 800 bastards which is why I do them. After running 800’s at a 5:30/mile pace, a regular mile in the low 6’s suddenly seems quite a bit easier. Almost like a weird sauntering run-walk. I know that the ball busting on the track translates into more effortless tempo runs, time trials, long runs, and, ultimately, races. So Tuesdays, I slather on the battery acid, slip on the chaps, and plug in the curling iron for another grueling session, metaphorically speaking, of course.
I whirl around the ever expanding oval muttering sonofabitch sonofabitch sonofabitch every step of the way. I hate it. I clench my teeth and pinch my nipples between my thumb and forefinger harder and harder with each lap. Why? Well, I don’t do things half way. If I’m going to hate it; I’m going to hate it proper. And you just can’t hate something proper with pleasant nipples. At least, that’s what Grandma always said. If I want to induce a crying fit, I put on some Justin Bieber and blubber WHY ARE YOU A STAR at each straightaway between the edges of my ball gag*, streaming tears and rapidly swelling nipples.
But when they’re over and I’ve hit my goal pace, I’m as happy as a submissive that’s received his last lash. I have a full week to recover and forget until the dread grows again the following Tuesday morning.
What’s even worse now is that my local high school track is hosting all sorts of end of the school year track events, summer running clubs, and field days and the first two lanes are littered with hurdles, discarded jackets, and empty water bottles. The 800’s are more like 820’s and the nice, smooth laps are more like a steeplechase. Isn’t the stress of the 800 intervals, ball gags, nipple twisting and Bieber enough pain for one person? Next thing you know, the water fountain will start streaming Zima.
Makes me dream of the relative comfort of a rapidly warming curling iron….
I admit it. I don’t like my 800’s and I feel better for having said it. But I’m going to keep on doing it until my PR lust is quenched or my nipples explode like a teenager working a zit in the mirror.
Pray for the former, will ya? Meantime, pass the Zima.
* Oh, yeah, I wear one of those too.
I'd like you to note how seamlessly Feet Meet Street manages to juxtapose posts with family soccer photos and ball gags. Weird or AWESOME!?! You decide.