Very fun and exciting time last night as my life (kids, work, training, where I am at any given time of the day) finally afforded me the opportunity to attend one of the SMARTie Hop workouts. It's really what the doctor ordered this week. The camraderie and the workout were a big encouragement to me. I was one of four first time attendees and felt very welcome as I always do around Striders groups
Coach Steeeve coached me through the entire workout, "customizing" it to suit my ability and to keep my ankle safe from harm. No hopping during silly walks (bad for the ankle), abbreviated warmup and cooldown, 1 mile and 1.5 miles respectively were just a couple of examples of how I was able to make this workout work for me. I really appreciate the invite and the extra attention given by Coach Steeeve. Lee and Chris did a great job leading the group. Lee took extra time to explain each exercise before we started so that we newcomers would know exactly what was going on and how to execute each exercise. Remember my first (and last) step aerobics class where the instructor was shouting out "moves" a split second before they were to happen and I just sort of stood there or hopped in place, not knowing what the he** was going on? Well, this was nothing like that.
Two memorable occasions come to me as I reminisce on last night's workout. The first, and one I'll not soon forget, was a drill called greyhounds. Greyhounds are described this way in the SMARTie manual: "4 sets of 100 meters. Accelerate for the first 20 meters, attempting to reach close to top speed, maintain close-to-max speed for 60 meters, decelerate for 20 meters, turn around, rest for a second or two, and repeat in the opposite direction. Complete four 100 meter segments (two in each direction)." The toughest part of this drill, for me anyway, was the "rest for a second or 2" part. Well, I guess the actual second or two wasn't the problem. It was what immediately followed. Truth be told, I rested a good 10 seconds. Still I think my effort reflected the spirit of the drill. Each repeat is supposed to be run while you are still fatigued and you're only supposed to recover briefly from the previous repeat. Fortunately, Steeeve ran my greyhounds with me. We staggered our repeats ahead of the rest of the group, since my slighly-less-than-all-out, ~8:00 pace would have certainly caused some problems with the rest of the group running into me. One of the benefits of this drill is to learn to run when you're tired and believe me. I ran that last repeat tired. I was breathing pretty hard before we even took off on the last repeat. FUN!!!!
The second memorable was a drill named maniacs after Michale Sembello's song, Maniac from the movie, Flashdance. I think everyone was surprised when Sandy Wollangk cranked up the original song on her boom box for this drill. Also memorable were the command performances in the middle of the group by Steve and Jessica followed by "dirty maniac dancing" by a pair Haliburton employees. Oh, and Lee, thanks for the bonus round of maniacs and the extra dose of lactate still hanging around this morning.
The workout summary:
Venue - Terry Hershey Park
1.25 mile warmup - 17:30 (~14:00 pace)
SMARTie Hops including 4x100 greyhounds (pace - ???)
1.5 mile cooldown - 24:30 (~15:40 pace) - my legs and ankles were spent. I just kept chatty on this cooldown and enjoyed the evening breeze on the lighted Blue Jay Trail loop.
Total miles - ~3 miles.
Finally, it was great to put some names with faces as well as see some familiar faces. Great to see Jessica back running and bringing excitement to the group. Jess, you rock!!! Steve B., my inspiration, always great to see you. Thanks for the shout out as you flew past me on the cooldown. That got me over the hump. Spoke with Tim Bowler, a very nice guy. Stacy, Sandy, the list goes on and on. Very nice to meet Miriam. Thanks to all for a great time!!! Where was Bill? Who's the phantom Strider now?