Saturday, March 19, 2011

There is a fine line between sadism and masochism

Normal people view runners as masochists.  Running hurts.  Sitting on the couch with a remote and a bag of Lay's doesn't hurt.  That's about as far as many ever go when deciding what to do with their time.

Recreational runners sometimes get to a point where going for a run doesn't hurt anymore.  It just becomes something they do.  Maybe they'll suffer a little bit if they decide to train for a marathon, but since suffering sucks, they avoid all but the necessary pain - namely the weekly long run and the race itself.

A few even go as far as to do actual workouts every now and then.  Generally, speed hurts.  Pushing oneself hurts.  Some tolerate the pain better than others, but it usually feels great when the workout is over, and the sense of accomplishment drives many to do it again another day.

Today was one of the rare workout days where I transcended pain.  Instead of enduring suffering, I out-of-body doled out an ass-whopping like no other on the frame that I usually occupy.  I was the inflictor of pain, not the inflictee.

Amanda Ewing and I carpooled down to Cheyenne Mountain State Park to do our long workout - two hours with 45-60 minutes uptempo mixed in.  We decided to scout out the Cheyenne Mtn 25k course and add on if necessary.  Neither of us felt especially spry at the onset of the run.  I suggested we just log miles until we hit the Talon section of the trail (about mile eight on the course), then work that stretch of seven-ish miles.

Talon loop is the bottom one, tops out on the far left.
We both started to get some life into our legs as we got into our second hour.  I was prepared for some uncomfortable mileage as the four miles up Sundance and North Talon don't relent.  7:31, 7:40, 8:21, 7:29 with a gain of about 200'/mile.  I didn't check HR or pace throughout, but I could feel I was doing work.  Moreso than other days, I welcomed the pain.  Embraced it.  Kept pushing to see how much of it I could dish out.  Definitely went to a place I only get to when I'm truly flowing.  The avg HR of 168 confirms this - that's a few beats below my 13.1 race effort.

At the top of Talon, I enjoyed some rolling, twisting, and downhill burners - 6:31, 6:18, 5:43.  Flying down twisty singletrack is bliss.  Met back up with Amanda.  Mopped up with a few miles afterward.  2h45min, 19.5 miles, 2,400'.  Looks like another 60-65 mile week in the books with an easy ninety minutes tomorrow. 

Feeling poppy today.

1 comment:

  1. Sitting on the couch with a remote and a bag of Lay's is probably harder than a long run with Ewing. You should have came to the AF Academy with the men of CRUD!