Death Wish

Chapter 12, Blog 2

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


“Anaerobic training, Wells. When you run long distances, your muscles can’t remove the latic acid they build up fast enough. So ya get that burning feeling. Ya become fatigued and can’t kick those last 20 meters.”

“Kind of like the city trash haulers,” I said. “Too much trash.”

“Trash haulers? Whatever.” Geri said. “Interval training helps overcome it. Or at least, builds tolerance.”

I had read about intervals in my first issue of Runner’s World now that my subscription had kicked in. But I wanted to hear Coach explain it. For me, it sounded like nothing less than torture.

“Are you going to run intervals, too?” I asked.

“Of course, it’s Tuesday.”

“So what’s Wednesday?” I didn’t care. I just wanted to postpone intervals as long as possible.

Geri was happy to elaborate.

“Sundays and Wednesdays are distance days, about 10, 11 miles each.”

… GULP! You might need a new coach …

“Mondays, we’ll do 200s at pace; Tuesdays, 400-meter intervals; and Thursdays, a variety of intervals. Fridays, we’ll do some special stretching and a handful of 200s.”

… DOUBLE GULP! You DO need a new coach …

“And Saturday … ”

“We sleep in?” I hoped.

“Nah, that’s fun day. We race.”


Geri gave me a good, pained look.

“That’s why we’re out here, Wells.”

I wasn’t used to having young girls call me by my last name. It felt odd. But again, this whole arrangement was peculiar, bordering on Ripley’s.

“OK, Coach. What’s first?”

“We’ll do a 400 in 65 seconds, jog for 50 seconds, do another in 64, jog for 45 seconds, do one more in 63 seconds, jog for 40 … ”

“Hey, who’s going to time us?”

Geri pointed to her wrist.

“Don’t give it another thought. I have the stopwatch right here. Let’s go. It won’t hurt you a bit.”

… isn’t that what your dentist says as he reaches for his drill …

In high school, we ran intervals as a group of six or seven. When we were on the far side of the track, we bitched like prison lifers and called old Rockard names I can’t repeat here. I was a juvenile then. As an adult, I was much more mature. After each, I just cussed under my breath.

Once we got started, though, my legs got with the program. They didn’t like it, but they responded. I ran intervals with Geri and I was totally surprised that I could still do it, knowing full well I would be dead the next day.

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s