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2010-06-19 - Boys of Summer Speedwork

6+ miles @ ~9.7 min/mi

... I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby ...

Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" plays on the car radio as I drive to the SSIMS track and begin to fantasize about doing 800-meter repeats. It's high noon and sunny, there's a Code Orange air quality forecast, but temperatures are in the mid-80s.

One hour later: "Thank you!", I tell the rubenesque young Hispanic lady as we leave. "I couldn't have done it without you!" She laughs and thanks me in turn. For the past hour we've been saluting each other during laps, panting out encouraging words, exchanging smiles. Somebody to watch (and watching you) sure helps during interval training—especially for me, particularly when she waves between climbing the steps of the bleachers, most memorably when she does scary-lithe stretches in the shade of the trees at one end of the oval.

Today's double-lap 800m intervals flow by much better than nine days ago when I tried to do 3:45 half-miles and burnt out after only five of them. The rule of thumb for "Yasso 800s" is that if you can manage ten at M:SS (minutes:seconds) each then you can do a marathon at that many H:MM (hours:minutes). I am skeptical, but today average 3:57 with half-lap two-minute walks between each repeat. The splits are 4:03 + 3:53 + 3:57 + 3:57 + 3:58 + 3:55 + 4:00 + 4:01 + 3:58 + 3:51. Numbers 7 and 8 are the toughest; I would have quit then but for my zaftig observer. The last one is the fastest. "Thank you, Ma'am!"

^z - 2010-07-04