Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Long runs, intrigue and steps

Sorry it  has been so long since I have updated my blog.

Two Sundays ago, I had a great long run (26km again). It was made particularly sweet by the fact that is was election day and there was a nationwide ban on commercial activity, which included a ban on taxis. For some reason, the motorcycle taxi guys were still able to roam around, so people weren't completely stranded, but since nothing was open, very few people were moving about much anyway. Easily 99% of the normal traffic was not there.

Last Sunday I did a shorter run, around 11.5 miles, because this week being the start of August our program changed and now includes speedwork and, this coming Sunday, covering the long track which is 43km (that's somewhat more than a marathon, just so you know).

This week -- Monday was a workout at Big Mankon (the name of the hill that the Catholic Cathedral sits on). We started with a bunch of intervals that were about 200m on a slight uphill (about 10% grade). I didn't count and don't have my watch to check the laps, but we did it for about 30 minutes and I think we did about 20 or so sprints with a recovery return. Then, we went over to the steps of the school and -- eegads -- did a series of stair exercises -- first just running up the stairs then down 10 times, then jumping up on two legs and walking down 10 times, then jumping up on one leg and walking down (only 5 times) and finally, jumping up "frog-like" and walking down 5 times.

I thought I was going to die. And Emmanuel and Benedicta just kept saying, "now you will hurt, but afterwards you will be able to run and feel no pain." Needless to say, this is occuring for me a bit like cod liver oil. . .

Wednesdays are "footing" which means a medium-length run (11.5 miles) and Friday we go back to the hill to Upstation and do 200m hill repeats (which I'm betting will really be 400m if prior estimates are any indication). So this is how the month of August will go. In September I think this will continue and we will add in afternoon track workouts at the stadium on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. I'll take some photos of the stadium sometime soon so you can see what passes for a "track" here. It's a far cry from what we consider a track back in the US, even from what we considered a track back when I was in high school 30 years ago.

There has been a bit of intrigue in the Mezam Stars the last couple of weeks. Rumours that Som Imelda was a spy for her previous club & coach and was only in Mezam Stars to steal other runners. And she didn't come to practice for a couple of weeks. I saw her a couple of times in the neighborhood and she said she was sick and then went out to her village for a week. Today she finally came for practice again for the first time in three weeks, so we shall see how it all unfolds.

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