Hopping to Amir’s Garden

Went to the park a little before 6:30 a.m. and sat in my car wondering if anyone would materialize. Sure enough cars start showing up and some familiar faces. So finally get to meet “coach” Robert. He’s a crusty old guy, white hair, markedly bow-legged, in his seventies. Definitely has a tough love approach and is prone to some trash talking. He makes little eye contact and his eyes are a steely blue. At some point he yelled at me as I was fiddling with my watch, “Don’t worry about that, it won’t help you here.”

And mostly it doesn’t. The kind of running they do is quite different (though I am happy to find myself on many familiar trails, tracing up in the hills) that the watch and the data is mostly of marginal use. Elapsed time on today’s outing, for instance, was 1h 06m, whereas moving time was a mere 27:12. Our warm up was along a hilly trail, first bounding, then skipping (kick the butt), then some 15 second runs (I’ve been disabused of calling them sprints). I can feel that my hamstring is not right today, so tried to stay within some kind of bounds. Then we got to “the steps” which lead up to Amir’s Garden. (I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a photo of the hill). We did some runs up the steps, followed by two sequences of hopping up the steps. Great stuff.

By the time I was at the top I was done. Coach told me “in no circumstance” should I run the next downhill section fast, while a few others did, which was fine by me. We jogged down to the base and then on the way back ran 5 more 15 second runs — I can’t think of the right word for these, maybe “strides”? All in all, a good solid workout. I am very grateful to have found some people dedicated to the pursuit of 15 second strides and plyometrics in the park — so far from what I myself would do, left to my own devices. Just a little concerned about the hamstring. Tempted to go tomorrow. On Sunday they have a big run, followed by tailgating party that involves Mai Tais.

6:41 a.m.        27:12 (moving time)        2.15 miles        12:39 min/mile        417 elevation gain

For some of the 15 second-section I was running a 5:00 min/mile pace, which is unheard of for me.


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