Thursday, February 21, 2008


This posting is for all the track people out there and all others who can empathize with running yourself into the ground to the point that you lose all shame. So today I had a relatively basic workout, in comparison to some of the other workouts I've done this year, or so I thought. I had two 200 meter runs and two 150 meter runs, with about 6-7 mins between.

OK - not so tough considering I've been only having 4 mins rest between my intervals up until a couple weeks ago. But as we all know, when the rest time lengthens, the run times have to drop. Fair enough! I had a certain time in mind to run the 200s in and when I crossed the finish line after the first one and realised that I ran more than a second too fast, I knew I was in for trouble. This is something we are all familiar with. If you don't pace yourself properly on the first run, you WILL PAY for it at the end!! Yes I know to the average person, the difference between running 27.3 or 4 seconds and running 25.9 secs seems minute. Trust me when I say it's not.

Then to add insult to injury, I ran the second one too fast also, by more than half a second . On the one hand that implies that I am in pretty decent shape, but on the other hand, after the second 200m my head started to spin already. Oh dear, trouble was coming...

So I gather myself and wander back towards the start of the 150m already not seeing too clearly. But once my rest time is up, I step up to the line and take off running. With about 50meters to go, I start feeling that unpleasant feeling in my legs that you can only truly understand if you have ever had this unfortunate experience for yourself. Lord have mercy....cause I still have one more 150m to go. This guy that has been helping me time my runs starts telling me how my arms weren't in perfect form for the last 50m and I want to tell him where to go, but I am too tired.

After bending over with my hands on my knees, for about a minute... you know, the position, I make myself move back towards the start line, telling myself that in less than 19 secs I will be done, that I will treat myself to a Robek's fruit smoothie when this is all over with, that I will treat myself to a new pair of shoes if I make the time - hey man, whatever it takes - I step up to the line again, say a prayer and just go.

I leave the line with a surprising burst of speed and somehow manage to hold myself together throughout the run. OK so maybe that arm technique stuff actually makes a difference and I actually run the same time that I did on the first 150m. I immediately run off the track and onto the infield turf and fall prostrate on my back. This is not something that I usually do but for some reason today, I do and I don't care. Thankfully there were very few people at the track to witness this display! I always wonder if when a "normal" person sees someone like myself run themself into the ground, do they wonder if I am crazy or if I'm into self torture or something.

Suffice to say, I think the feeling of a lack of oxygen combined with lactic acid renders a person into a state that must be similar to giving birth when you DON'T CARE what anyone thinks about how you look! I lay there for about 2 or 3 minutes and then force myself to make another deal that if I can just get to my clothes, I will get a prize of some sort. I'm too tired to figure out what that prize is actually going to be. I make it to my clothes, but my head is still dizzy, my breath is still somewhat labored and my legs are taking their sweet time to release the lactic.

And then, just as it does every time out, the side effects finally go away. I walk a lap and jog a lap, stretch and jump in my new car:) and head home. So it goes in another day in the life of an Olympic track and field athlete. No pain, no gain!!! No guts, no glory!! Yeah, yeah...Makes sense now...just don't tell me that when I'm in the middle of the workout because I might fight you to the death. Actually no, I'd be too tired to do that.....


dejanae said...

first time here
that sounds so grueling
and i be getting tired after my bootleg workouts
ima complain less now
well...probably not
and an olympic athlete is a good look

Brianna said...

lol...i have never thought about putting a new pair of shoes on the line. NICE IDEA. and don't knock the laying on your back recovery method...i happen to be quite fond of it.

Jackie Edwards said...

Dejanae: Welcome!! I checked out your blog too. Nice!

Brianna: I actually thought of you when I threw myself on the ground:)

Anonymous said...

Lack of oxygen you say. I guess that does make sense. I did a few sprints with a friend one day and my head ended up spinning so fast I thought I was about to die. I was all doubled over as we walked back to the car. It took me about 30 minutes to recover.

I notice if I run too fast or don't pace myself properly during my 3-mile runs, I tend to get off balance. I need to work on that.

Did you get that smoothie and some new shoes?? :-)

Don said...

While reading your post, I was wondering whether or not I'd still be able to run the 400 meters (ran it back in the 11th grade...I'm 35 now). Then I get to this part:

I think the feeling of a lack of oxygen combined with lactic acid renders a person into a state that must be similar to giving birth when you DON'T CARE what anyone thinks about how you look!

And I almost fell out the chair. lol. That is so true. I imagine I could run it, at least one time, but I shiver to think what it would look like now.

Thats great how you are still with the track-n-field. I'm jealous.

Sidebar: I was thinkin how your vehicle is similar to Jewells and here I see Jewells is one of your readers. Small blog world, indeed.

Don said...

Okay, I see where you've competed in the Olympics...make sense now.

You should check out Mes Deux Cents blog. She is also big on track and field:

Jackie Edwards said...

Hey Don: Thanks for stopping by. I will take a look at Jewell's car. I'm really happy with the purchase. It was a long time coming. As far as the "falling out" at practice goes, I guess it just goes with the territory at one point or another, although I do my best to limit this type of behavior:)