Justin Jay Photo at Hayward

Justin Jay Photography

20 minute run this morning was followed by, wait for it, four sets of 400’s! Yeah buddy.
Between the 20 minutes and the four 400’s, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I have a strict protocol for drills, limited to what the physio gave me for my first two weeks up here as part of “operation hip adaptation.” Generally, when I’m doing 400’s, I have 15 minutes of drills, stretches, strides, etc. And here I was going straight into them from an easy run.

This was was I was thinking until I remembered that these weren’t really “400’s” as I know them. I was running 400 meters at a faster pace than my jog, focusing on form, and time didn’t matter. Ha. Try telling any distance runner that time doesn’t matter.

On the first one, I over-compensated for not feeling warmed up enough, and by expecting it to feel harder than normal, I ended up running 67 seconds! WTF?! The last 100 meters burned a bit in the chest, but it was 30 degrees and 6000 feet, so I was pumped.

As I walked my 300m recovery, I started thinking, “man, its like riding a bike. maybe i’m actually pretty awesome.”

Next 400 and I run 68! The lungs burned a bit worse for 150 meters, but even while struggling to catch my breath after the finish, I stared at the time on my watch with pride. Wow. Awesomer by the second.

Number three comes a long and I run with Stephen Pifer for part of his mile rep, and we run a 70. The last 200 meters of it my legs weren’t lifting very well, and I was tasting some blood, and as soon as I finished I was confused as to whether I had done three or four reps already.

Walking 300 meters at three-legged sloth pace, I psyched myself up for the last rep by lowering expectations. “Ok, you got a little carried away here my dear. Just try to run a 75 nice and controlled to see what 5:00 pace feels like.”

The watch said 74 at the finish, but I tapped it twice. Whah!?! It felt the same as the 70, and while I said I wanted to run 75, I didn’t really mean it! Then, gasping for air on my cooldown, I started laughing. I was all by myself, but my teammates were on the other side of the track, and I was hoping nobody was watching me loon out. I was thrilled. One set of 400’s in my back pocket, and a blog entry I hope to read in four months and smile.