I remember the first time I realized I had a little speed. It was my senior year of high school, after I’d finally started my growth spurt and lost most of the extra weight I’d carried as a kid who read more than he ran. During a pickup football game I intercepted a deep pass. As a few players chased me, I found another gear, outrunning everybody and scoring a touchdown. “Holy crap, Dilger, where did that come from?” someone said to me in the end zone. I remember the feeling of acceleration, the wind in my ears, then panting and smiling and thinking, yeah, let’s go, let’s do it again. To this day that’s what I love most about playing football: those bursts of all-out speed, of chest-burning and leg-pounding effort.

About two weeks ago I decided to push myself more in the pool, and I started swimming every third or fourth lap faster. Once again, I’ve found another gear, realizing I can swim 50 yard laps under a minute if I alternate strokes and slow down for recovery laps. My last two swims, my time has dropped to 45:31 and 44:18 from around 47:00. Like on the track, I love the feeling of speed, riding high on the water as I push myself.

As I continue to recover from my Achilles injury, I’ve added some speed-oriented runs as well, with 5 mile tempo runs today (41:07, 8:11/mi) and last week (42:18, 8:14/mi), and intervals too: last Sunday, 7 x 800 @ 3:43 or faster (7:20/mi). There’s quite a few races around here in the next month, and I hope to match that 7:20/mi pace for a 5K or two.

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2 Responses to Faster

  1. Bill H-D says:

    Glad to hear you are back on your feet (and fast)! Also glad that the break from running got you on the bike and in the pool. Diversify for sustainability!

    I’ve had a bit of a rest month with no structure, but still a decent amount of bike work. I’m trying to put a couple of events/goals out there to get motivated again.

  2. cbd says:

    Agreed; though I haven’t been in the pool in a week or so, I’m glad to be mixing things up a lot more.

    I did the same thing after I ran the marathon: basically, now what? These days I’m starting to get serious about training for the QC half-marathon; I’d like to run it in 1:45.

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