I ran a track workout yesterday. Wow, is that hard to write without laughing. The last time I stepped on a track was my last conference meet—in May 2005. The last time I ran anything remotely fast was back in February. Running buddy and I ran some 1000m repeats on the squishy trail. Most of the time, I’m perfectly happy with my 9:00 easy runs. It’s certainly better than turning into a complete “slug,” as Scott and I refer to my occasional “veg on the couch” days. And most of the time, I have no noticeable desire to get out there and tear up a track.
But then…sometimes I wonder. Can there be more to my running life than this? How quick can my PCPRs get? If I turn up the intensity a notch, could I be a solid age group contender? Or will I just hurt myself again?
I wonder. And so I find myself standing on a track in the middle of the week with the rest of the Greenville Track Clubbers who wonder…or possibly those who, like Scott, get antsy if they don’t get to enjoy some speedwork. (Because, if I’m entirely honest, I’ll admit that the real reason I’m even at the track is because Scott convinced me that it would be “fun” and not so much due to any real desire to test will or legs.) There were about 10 other people, of “all ages and levels,” just as advertised.
We learned that we were going to do 4x400m followed by 4x800m. I’m already a little dismayed, because I had counted on something shorter and the thought of running the longer interval last has me pouting. Just a little. On the inside. We then learn that the warm-up laps are started together, and I kick myself for having already done a warm-up on my own. The mileage is starting to add up alarmingly in my head, and red lights begin flashing “DANGER! DANGER!” when I learn that we will jog a 400m after each rep. With the exception of an occasional long run, I haven’t been running more than 3 or 4 miles at a shot lately. I’m exceeding that while running faster than I have in quite some time. Eek?
It really wasn’t so bad. The first couple of 400s were actually kind of fun…there was something almost nostalgic about being on the track. The straights and curves of old, complete with homestretch headwind, were almost quaint in their familiarity. Awwww…
I managed to hold onto a steady pace throughout the workout. 91, 92, 91, 91 for the 400s, followed by 3:22 and 3:24 for the 800s. Most of the group ran 3×800, but a gut check on level of discomfort compared to level of fitness persuaded me to stop at two. Besides that, I really like even numbers of intervals. Weird, yes.
So, it was fun. Turns out Scott was right, as usual. We’ll probably make this a weekly activity…at least until my sluggishness or possibly summer catches up with us.