Spartan Shape Up, Day 286 & 287:
It's RACE WEEK, BlogLand. OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod.
Having said that, it has been my goal for the last week or so, to just stay busy and tired. Why? Because if I'm busy and tired, I can't be nervous or freaking out about the craziness that may ensue.
So, Tuesday was Sprint Day (now and forever known as Schadenfreude Tuesdays, where we all laugh at each other's challenges... in a friendly, good hearted way...). I checked in with the GT, mentioning I was stressed (non-fitness stuff), and needed to focus on that night's WOD, instead. So, I was just checking in on the goals for Sprints. I've been doing a 200m sprint + 200m walk x 4 for the last couple of months. The GT informed me I'm not quite at the point where we're going to change the plan (we're aiming for a little more consistency across my lap times... getting close, but not quite!), but, "did I feel like trying a 400?"
Well, you know me, BlogLand. Always up for the next tricky challenge. To clarify, a "400" is JUST one lap around the track. All out. Sprint. Again, I think to myself, "How hard can that be?".... Why, oh why don't I learn?
So, the assignment this week, we decided was 1x400m sprint... then have a 3 minute recovery... then 3x200m. Simple.
I set out with my Partners in Suffering, and did our usual prep walk of the track. Once around it at a walk to get in the mood and start to focus.
Lined up at the start line... it was just ONE time around. I HATE sprints, but this was only one whole time around. Then I would get a whole 3 minutes rest. That would be awesome.
Off we went. I was strong out of the gate and did well through my usual 200 m "candy cane" (the flat side and a curve side).... but then, as I passed my usual finish line, I had to keep running. My brain knew this. My legs did not feel like this was an awesome idea.
The long and short of it is, when you're building your Fast Twitch (explosive muscles) through sprinting, you're also working your Central Nervous System on overtime. That is why sprinting is so uniquely death-feeling inducing. You can't work that just going for a long run.
I felt like I was running through waist deep mud. I wanted to move faster, but my legs felt positively empty. I struggled through another flat side.... but then, the last curve.
Damn you, Curve.
I wanted to die. Or throw up. Or both, really. But I was almost done. I could see the end. I tried to push more. Pull more energy from my toes or my fingertips, or where ever it was hiding that clearly was not in my legs.... there wasn't a lot. I still ran across that finish line. Not sure if it qualified as a "sprint" at that point... but, I finished it nonetheless. (Time: 1:38.1)
As I assumed the hands-on-knees, "please don't throw up" pose, and paced little circles, trying to reassure my lungs that they wouldn't explode and try to convince my legs to move again, I was met with the yells of encouragement from my entourage. Ahhh Friends. What would I do with out them? They made this hell a little more bearable.
3 minutes of recovery suddenly did not feel like a long time. I tried to take deep, slow breaths, I kept moving to get my legs going again, but my body was giving me a big 'ol, WTF?!
I've decided that sprinting a 400 feels like this: Imagine your least favorite exercise. Add the movement you struggle the most with. Add 100 fast burpees, get hit by a truck, and you may understand what you feel like after running your first 400. Or at least that's where I was at.
I Did. Not. Want. to do my other three sprints. I wasn't sure I could.
Again, thank god for buddies. They rallied me and away we went for two more sprints. My body had a hard time (as you see with the 3rd sprint...), but all in all, I'm considering it a success.
Times: 41.99, 45.97.
As we got to the last lap, we all were relieved to see the arrival of the last lap. Just ONE more trip through hell. We started our sprint, and the three of us doing it were neck in neck, then the pack started to break up. I felt myself falling behind. Then, I remembered the goal to get all these sprints up to 40 seconds. So what if I had run a 400? My body had to learn. AND, April was running just in front of me.
Dig deep, I told myself. My body was not sure where I was going to get any more energy. I screamed at it internally to find some. I WILLED it to be there.
Magically, I managed to pull out an afterburner of speed to catch and pass April and pick up an excellent ending time of: 42.9 seconds. I think that is my best finishing time to date. Even with the new, taxing 400 addition. WOOT.
Today was supposed to be a CrossFit morning. It didn't happen. There has been excessive Craziness in my personal/financial life, not to mention the impending race. I was exhausted, and there was no way I was leaving my bed at 5:30am. I was legitimately tired.
I did spend the day giving myself quite the mental workout though. Notices were rolling in all day from the Spartan Chicked page, Spartan HQ, etc. about the impending race... apparently, this is the most "obstacle dense" course in spartan race history to date. Oh, and hopefully you're not afraid of heights.
No, I'm not afraid of heights... but.... I feel like Spartan and I may have different ideas of what that may entail.
There is also rumor of Monkey Bars... *sigh*... my t-rex arms are quivering in fear.
Oh my, BlogLand... OH MY.
... before I go too far down this road of panic, I think I'm signing off for tonight. It's all going to be okay, and I'll "know at the finish line.".