Saturday, February 7, 2009

Losing Myself in the Moment Six Times

Today's schedule called for two runs. A workout in the morning consisting of 6X1 mile at 5:25 at altitude (meaning a lengthy 3 minutes rest between intervals) and n easy 30 minute run in the afternoon. Sounds simple enough., but it ended up being very strange.

The snow has been falling like crazy in Mammoth the last few days so I decided to get up early and head south to clear roads in Round Valley. This is about a 35 minute drive and about 25 minutes in I tried to turn my Garmin on to check the altitude. But, as has happened now and then lately it refused to turn on. I quickly realized I had no watch with which to do the workout. I said a few curse words and contemplated turning around.

Luckily the road at Round Valley is marked with spray paint every 100 meters. I had both of my iPods with me and came up with a plan to time myself. I only had about 25 songs on my Shuffle so I looked at them in my Classic to find out how long they were. Turns out the song that was closest to 5:25 was "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (don't ask why it was on there in the first place). It clocked in at 5:20. "Anything" by 3EB followed so I listened to it on my classic studying the time. Stephen Jenkins' takes a deep breath into the mic 5 seconds in and the guitar starts at 11 seconds. These were my cues. I needed to finish each repeat on that breath, or at least beat the guitar to the finish line.

Next, I needed a way to time my 3 minute recoveries. "Anything" is exactly 2 minutes long, so I listened to the first minute and 5 seconds of "Wounded" also by 3EB which followed to find my cue for thee minutes passing.

I was feeling proud of myself for coming up with a system. I set up my water bottles at both ends of my one mile run during my warm-up as usual. I usually have 20 minutes of music on my iPod that is relaxing to enjoy during my warmup. This usually means 4 or 5 songs. I often pick the last of those to be a little more up beat, or something that will get me excited for the workout. Often times this last song is "Stars of Track and Field" (Belle & Sebastian) or "I Feel it All" (Feist) or "A Year Ahead... & a Light" (Richard Buckner) just to prove that I don't always listen to dorky music.

As a side note, It's amazing how nervous I feel just before and during these workouts. I'm running by myself in front of no one (although once again today I passed several members of Running USA as they did their workout) and yet I'm on edge and scared that I won't be as fast as I need to be, or that it will hurt too much.

It was sometime during that first mile when I realized the flaw with my plan. I would be listening to the same two songs, six times each in 48 minutes. And not just any two songs, but songs by Eminem and Third Eye Blind. I thought it would be terrible, but I have to admit it turned out pretty well. I began trying to get to a stop sign before Eminem would say "Spaghetti" or try to pass the final 100 meter mark before he says "You can do anything you put your mind to" which is really an ideal thing to hear when trying to push it over those last few seconds.

It also brought great memories from Little 500 practice my junior year at Indiana U. They played the same mix-cd at every practice and Lose Yourself played each day. My teammate Andrew and I made fun of it, along with other tracks most of the time, but we also loved it in a sick way. And I have to admit that I have positive feelings every time I hear a song that was on the mix.

And for the record, I beat the 3EB guitar to the 1 mile mark 5 out of 6 repeats.


Two additional notes. After watching the Lose Yourself video, it is my opinion that its a GREAT song. Something that deserves respect and something that will stand the test of time. I have to admit that even though it is Eminem.

Also... I mentioned Belle and Sebastian's "Stars of Track and Field", and I just have to post this small chunk of lyrics.

Could I write a piece about you now that you've made it?
About the hours spent, the emptiness in your training
You only did it so that you could wear
Your terry underwear
And feel the city air
Run past your body


Marino said...

Lose Yourself is a great song and i think i may have lost some respect for you for doubting it's greatness before this workout.

Silly Cymberlin said...

so.... are you saying I blew the one opportunity that I got?

Anonymous said...

my little 5 mix cd memories include 'we didn'start the fire' and 'i believe in a thing called love'. ug!

John Andrew said...

don't forget the self-descriptive 'bicycle' by queen!