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Thursday 3 March 2016

Speedwork: The I-Hate-Mile-Reps Club

So last night was 1 mile repeats at run club.

I found out something important. I thought I enjoyed mile reps. I don’t. I enjoy mile REP. One of them. For one mile I get to run around the pavements, fences and houses of a 1-mile circuit, making sure I don’t trip over the uneven paving slabs and darting in and out of the shadows from the orange sodium lights. It’s great. In fact it’s fun. And it doesn’t even hurt until you’re 90% done. Then it’s over apart from a breath.

But it’s not. 

I get 30 seconds to catch my breath, walk to the start and then I have to do it again. 

But I don’t. I do it much slower. It’s no longer any fun. The gaps in the paving slabs are bigger. The shadows between the street lights are darker. And my feet are no longer light, but leaden and the breath hurts in my throat.

The 30 seconds recovery speeds past. I stop. Then it’s time to go again. This time the hurt starts earlier. There is something dragging my feet down and the whole loop feels uphill. The holes between the paving slabs are jagged like teeth and the fence slats are crooked like gravestones. I drag myself up the hill and try to run towards the spot-lit gateway which is the finish. It recedes like the light in a dream. I push towards it but it doesn’t get any nearer. I hear feet behind me and make one last push for the finish. 

I’m done.

And I’ve made a decision. I’m not doing mile reps any more. I’m going to do a new session.

Mile REP. 

I’m going to turn up. Do one mile. Thoroughly enjoy it.

Then go home.