Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I wake up at 4:50. The internal clock is a full 10 minutes ahead of the external. Out the door at 5:15 a.m. Today is a test day. Conant's e-mail simply says:

Once warm do 20 minutes full on - Ragin - As hard as you can. Max it. Last min give it your all stand up and crush it.

I have been doing all of my training on the lakefront but have concluded that it is ill suited for anything longer than a 10 minute effort. It's not the traffic; at 5:30 a.m. there's few people out, it's more the terrain and the fact that you can't get any kind of rhythm established. So, my plan is to warm up to Plaza and then go hard from there. Use Green Bay instead of Sheridan since it is flatter.

I roll up through Rogers Park, south Evanston, Northwestern and up to Plaza. I can count the cars I see on one hand. My only company are a few runners, the newspaper delivery guys and my own thoughts. The to-do list for the rest of the day competing with the focus required for the test: stay in the drops, keep the cadence high... oh shit, I forgot to send that letter out last night, crap. Clear your mind... let the Force flow through your body.

The air is cool, the wind calm. There is no whistle, no starting gun, just my finger pushing the "SET" button on the SRM to start the interval. And I go.