Monday, Jan. 05, 2004
Dear Diary:

*Cue the theme from that running movie, Chariots of Fire*.

So remember when I got all lyrical about interval running? 'Member? Oh yeah, there was all this stuff about pushing boundaries, untapped strength.

*Abruptly end Chariots of Fire theme. Insert sound of woman quietly whimpering to herself*.

Today I feel more like Wile E. Coyote at that special moment when he realizes that what he thought was a light at the end of the tunnel is actually an oncoming train.

Oh yes, Marn went splat.

Week Four of interval training began innocently enough this morning. I picked up this week's work sheet and noticed that intervals that once totalled 30 something minutes were stretched up into 40 something minutes.

"This is a program set up by trained professionals," I told myself. "If they think I can do it, I can do it."

I read off the intervals. 12 minute jog. 2 minute walk. 5 minutes running a little above jog pace. 2 minute walk. 12 minute jog. 2 minute walk. 5 minute jog. 2 minute walk.

I asked my trainer what 5 minutes of running a little above jog pace was. She said to add 10 per cent to my jogging pace. Okay, that would put it at 5.5 miles an hour. Piece o' cake. I thought. I mean, this is only 42 minutes of running and I can run 60 minutes at 5 mph. Granted it's not on an incline, but how much difference could an incline and a five minute speed up make?

At exactly 16 minutes into the program I found out exactly how much difference a 5% incline and a speed up can make.

Normally I don't start to sweat, ooops, I mean glow until about 25, 30 minutes into intervals. Don't get me wrong, when I do start to, uh, glow I go supernova but it usually takes a while to hit that point.

Sixteen minutes in and I became Marn, human sprinkler. Oh crap.

It is a point of pride to me that I don't back down on the incline when I do intervals. Running on an incline will give me the speed I need to keep up with my trainer. I fought with my body but at minute 17 I just had to back down to a 4% grade. I held on to that until about minute 25, and had to drop to 3.5. Thirty minutes into the run and not only were my calves and buttal region threatening to gnaw themselves off my body, but I could feel my shoulders rising and stiffening, a very bad thing because it meant I wouldn't be able to breathe deeply.

CRAP. Down to a 3% grade. Shoulders relaxed a bit. That only lasted a few minutes. Down to a 2% grade. That lasted for a few minutes. The only way I could finish the full 42 minutes was to drop the treadmill down to level.


When I got off that treadmill I was tomato red. Don't worry--I use a heart rate monitor and I was no where near the danger zone. Before I got off the treadmill I made sure I had cooled down properly, too. I just looked truly pitiful.

Before today I had been able to run the interval program on my own terms. This led to a certain, uh, over confidence (the words "delusions of grandeur" being so perjorative and all).

Yep, today the program threw me over its knee and gave me a good spanking. If things keep up at this pace, we may have to use the word "flogging" to describe what's to come.

My trainer is nursing a shoulder injury so she won't begin the interval program again until next week. At the moment she's two weeks behind me so I don't have a yardstick to see exactly where she is. This is making me mental. If she can run the 42 minute program I just ran at speeds greater than mine without backing down on incline, I'm toasted.

If she can't, then I have a hope of at least keeping her in sight.

The not knowing is making me crazy.

Well, crazier than normal, anyhow, eh?


Mileage on the Marnometer: 11.45 piddling miles
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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