After Tuesday evening’s regularly scheduled track workout was rained out by severe thunderstorms, the group set out this morning at 6 AM. Even with the alarm set for 5:35 AM, there was light peaking through my window, making it only slightly less painful to leave my bed and run down to the track.
Warmed up from the more than half a mile run to the track, a group of about 15 us met to conquer the morning’s workout: 800m repeats with the following cross training exercises as recovery in between sets: squats, push-ups, box jumps and row boats.
Joining the fast crew, we set out to run the 800 meters in 3:30 minutes. Eventually we hit that mark, but not before we ran the first couple repeats averaging nearly 3:15. And not before we had a run-in that nearly derailed our workout.
With the cops.
Amidst running around in circles, we heard an ambulance blaring its sirens only then to park near the entrance to the track. The crew came down towards where we were running with their equipment and stretcher. It didn’t take long to figure out that something was up, but it was after passing them on a loop that we saw the reason for their arrival: someone by the bleachers. It became even more obvious what was up when the crew carted off an empty stretcher and police cars arrived on the scene. In a matter of minutes, cops were halting us on our repeats.
Yet because our workout had been postponed once already, we were not about to let the scene of a crime end our workout. So rather than running around the whole track, we adapted and ran the 200m not blocked off with caution tape. Then, as we squatted and jumped during our recoveries we gave statements to the cops about how all of us were completely oblivious as to the existence of a dead body in our proximity, making us less than helpful bystanders; the only thing we provided to the investigation was sweat.
All of this occurred before my watch said 7 AM. As hard as it was to run those 800m, it hurt more to think that I still had to rush home to go into work. In total, the workout involved six 800 m repeats, so three miles of intense speed and endurance. According to my Garmin, the workout led to a new personal record: my fastest 5K, 22:00 minutes. Overall, I ran about 5 miles, guzzled a bottle of Powerade and gave my first ever statement to a police officer. Then, I proceeded to do my due diligence through some citizen journalism by dropping a tip to a local blog.
It was a morning of intensity best summarized by one of my running coaches: “Great job runners who came out and faced not only the brutal 800 repeats (not quite short enough to go all out but not long enough to take it easy either.) BUT also the truths of living in a DC proper. Remember pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.”