Because the race is now just 1 week away, this may have been my last real training run before I start tapering down. My strategy for the day was run for 75 minutes, with an emphasis on hill sprints. After a warm-up of jumping rope and active stretches, I hit the pavement at 4:45 a.m. Within 1o seconds I had to stop because a flapping shoe string was driving me crazy. Everything was smooth for awhile and this time I wasn’t even concerned about the gangster paper delivery guy in the Corolla. However, I ran by the house that had the white dogs and as soon as I saw the woman out getting her paper I knew there would soon be yipping canines at my heels. Sure enough I spotted on and he came running after me. I ran faster when I saw him so that he wouldn’t get under my feet and trip me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the woman waving her arms and hear her yelling at the dog to get back.
The first 2 miles I ran in the neighborhood, then I took to the country road outside the subdivision for my hill sprints. My plan was to run down to the Kentucky River and then sprint up. It was dark out this morning, really dark and at 5:00 in the morning under a canopy of trees it was all I could do to see the road. This could have been a bad idea. On occasion I would get the slightest bit of light at an opening between trees and at one point I saw a shooting star or a UFO. I guess it could have been a very large lightning bug (aka fireflies for my friends in the north). By the time I walked onto the Old Clays Ferry Bridge crossing the Kentucky River, I had run 4 miles.
Now the fun began. The hill up from the river was 1.3 miles before it plateaued. I sprinted for 30 seconds and then walked it off for a minute or two. As soon as my heart rate dropped back to 140, I sprinted again. At the end of each 30-second sprint my heart rate peaked around 170 and my speed had slowed. I don’t know if I was imagining things or if I’ve truly gotten faster, but at the beginning of the sprint I felt like I was flying! It was probably just my imagination and the utter darkness may have had something to do with it. After the 4th sprint I was standing under the I-75 bridge. Young MC’s “Bust a Move” was playing on my iPod……so I did. Remember, it was extremely dark so no one saw me. It was pretty uneventful until about the 10th sprint. Just as I started, a car came up behind me. I decided to race it. It was anyone’s race….for about a second when he pulled away. It took me a total of 13 sprints to make it to the top of the hill by which time it was light enough to see the road. After my sprints, I cooled down some more by doing 30 squats and then took off for home.
Just to liven this run up a bit, I ran backwards for about 30 yards. Why, you may ask? Because “Honey Badger Don’t Care“! Only a select few readers will understand this, but others of you might research it and find out… When I arrived back at the house, I still had energy, but was out of time. That was disappointing. But do you know what was not disappointing….? My new headband! My wife called me “Joe Dirt”, but the band did it’s job and kept the sweat out of my face.