Notes on training the eyes, and legs, around Mono Lake, California
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The view from Krakatoa
I came off the islands around 11:30 this morning, having picked up more dead birds in the last 48 hours than I ever have before (I mean, than I ever have over the course of one day). After spending a few hours lazying about, I geared up for a makeshift fartlek session around 3:30 pm. It was surprisingly cool--I guess it really is fall--and my legs felt pretty good considering I'd spent much of Thursday and Friday on my feet, helping to mend the gulls' chicken wire corrals, or walking slowly around the islets, doing my best to spot mortality. E.g., a rare white pelican:
Anyway, I jogged down to Cemetery Rd, then out and back toward Black Point. Then I went straight into an interval on Cemetery's long, straight stretch. The goal was to do 6 x 1:50 hard (i.e., approx. 600m, at 4:40-ish pace), with 90 seconds rest (i.e. jog) in between.
I didn't take a break to stretch and run some strides before the intervals, like I would have for a workout at track. Perhaps a poor idea, because picking it up, hard, after 4 miles easy, was startling, and maybe hard on the legs. No idea how fast I was running to start, but I suspect I started too aggressively--such an interminable stretch of road eggs you on. After 2, I was feeling it. After 4, I had to take an extra minute, I'm afraid* (Cemetery Rd kind of has my number). The last 2 intervals I tried to just keep steady and strong, though they undoubtedly were slower. After about 3 miles of fartlek, I'd felt like I'd just worked out in the OMAC back in college (and let me tell you, the air is drier out here than it was on that indoor track). The usual top-heavy, light headed sensation--you know? But I went straight from my last interval into a cool down to make it a continuous run (minus that minute-long break ... ug).
I could be disappointed in this session, but nah. The idea was simply to throw down finally, get the wheels turning for more to come. Hopefully they will eventually be on the mark (I think I'll measure one out next week). But I'll admit, I made it more painful by glancing at my watch at least once mid-session, instead of waiting to hear the beep. That's a gesture that implies feebleness, that cries out half-ashamed, When will this ever end? Sometimes I'd resist that glance until about 30 seconds left, but once I was shocked to still see 1:10. By the the pagan gods of Mono, could it really be? Argggh! It's not often that time seems as long as the road before me.
Anywhooo, I cooled down 28 minutes more to Mono City. The legs were super tight, leaden, by the end, but they'll wring out just fine.
--- 4 mi, 28 min WU; 6 x 1:50 hard, w/ 90 sec easy jog between (~3 mi); 4 mi, 28 min CD; to Cemetery Rd, for the workout, and back (11 mi, 78 min total)