There is a nice little open space that sits on the bluffs of Minneapolis high atop the Mississippi River. On a map this sanctuary is referred to as Riverside Park. But amongst the many runners who have been fortunate enough to run repeat 1200s with short rest here, the place is simply known as "The Park."
The Park is a place were dreams are made; where fitness is restored or enhanced; where running a little too fast can create bedlam. Everyone and anyone who does the secret workout on the secret 1200m loop; who performs the magical number of repetitions, with the exact prescribed rest in between; leaves a little bit of their soul out there, but comes out of the thing a better human being.
The footing is as rough as an uncut diamond (incidentally, I proposed to Julie Friday and she said yes without hesitation). The grass scrapes and beckons at your mid-soleus. And as of now, it has been hot...hot as a mother. And humid.
But if you have enough will to throw times out the window and keep on keeping on in the park, you will be better off in the long run. When the city of Minneapolis runs the lawnmower through there and the beautiful temps of September and October invade the Twin Cities....you will be prepared to race - race hard and race fast.
And so what Jason Lehmkuhle and myself suffered through today was the magical strength building workout in The Park. Maybe in the near future I can give Lehm or Old Vega a run for their money! BY THE WAY, major congrats to Antonio Vega for an outstanding year of racing. USATF Road Racing Circuit Champ is fantastic. Simply outstanding. Puts a little belief back in the heart.