The thing we all know about 800 intervals is that they can be grueling. As each one completes, you are that much closer to being done whilst also knowing that the next one will be more difficult to maintain pace than the previous. Your breathing will be more labored; your perceived effort will be higher. Real fuck with your mind shit. Do I really want to do these 800’s? Instead of six, how about five? Instead of 2:50 pace, how about 3:00 pace? Mentally, I start looking for an escape hatch to make things easier. In a way, I go through the five stages of grief during one 800 session:
- Denial – I’m not going to work this hard today
- Anger – WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS?
- Bargaining – Okay, I’ll do them but maybe only 4 intervals rather than 8.
- Depression – This sucks. Why does Beardsley hate me?
- Acceptance – Alright, I’m here. Might as well get it over with.
That’s usually how I do things.
Yesterday, I decided to hit Shuffle and tempt the fate of the music overlords. Now, I know you are thinking ‘Nitmos, you are super cool and thus all of the music on your iPod would be Super Cool Approved also so what could go wrong?’ Thank you for thinking that and, largely, you are correct. However, it should be noted (as seen on my profile page), that I do hold a soft spot for garish show tunes. If you are surprised by this, you shouldn’t be. I recently used the word “garish” in a sentence. /deadgiveaway
It started out alright. My first few intervals had a nice smattering of 30 Seconds to Mars and Rage Against the Machine. I was off to a hot start. I knew I was cranking along when Linkin Park kicked in not once but back-to-back selections!! The home stretch was near.
But then some elongated silence. Did my iPod turn off? Battery drain? Seconds go by and…nothing.
Wait…not nothing. I hear something. What is that?
Heightens each sensation
Darkness stirs and
It started slowly, quietly and then built to a, well, sloooow show tune pace. Not something bouncy and Pirates of Penzancey. Nope, “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera instead. I’ve got 2000 songs on that iPod and THAT’S what is selected?!? Can a runner at least get some Joey Fatone up in here?
Now I’m as entangled in the torrid love triangle between Christine, Raoul and the Phantom as any normal red-blooded American. But in the middle of some 800 intervals, I care more about my own tortured soul rather than some damn fool with a half mask. But you can’t stop and change tunes in the middle of an 800 right? That’s got to be against some kind of runner code.
So, powered by the Original Cast Recording of the Phantom of the Opera, I completed my intervals. Somehow. I’m living testament that it can be done though it does not come with a recommendation.
And then Johnny Cash came on.
Clearly, I really have got to go over my iPod selections. At the very least, the lesson I learned the hard way for all of you is not to hit Shuffle whilst doing speed work. Too many things can go wrong. Anne Frank may be a Phan (or would have been, one assumes) but this runner is not. At least, not in this context.
In summary: Show tunes rule…but not during speed work.