Back to the Track

My Track (well, not mine, per se)

The last time I did a track workout was November 4, 2009. I was preparing for the 2009 Rocket City Marathon held that December.  The workout was a short one in comparison with my daily runs now, only 5.2 miles, and included 6 “Yasso 800s,” in preparation for what would be my second marathon.

Megan had me go to the track then, because it was a good way to gauge my fitness in the last month leading up to the race, and as a way of changing things up to add a little variety to training.

Since then, we have moved away from the track for my other 4 marathons and for her recent races, too. The thought was that running on roads with elevation changes and such was a better training method.  But starting with Megan’s pre-San Francisco Marathon training and now with my CIM training, we are back on the track.  Megan enjoyed good saw pretty nice success from the track leading op to SF, and when she suggested that I head there yesterday, I was at once excited for a different type of interval/tempo run, but also kind of nervous. You see, the track, with its perfectly level surface, nice white lines, big banner that says “Gamecock Track & FIeld” (this is the university track where I work), looks all official and requires that you run faster than normal. So I was nervous about it. No excuses here.  No stop lights or busy intersections at which one can catch their breath in a fast mile on the roads. No excuses.  Just track.

Because we don’t like our training methods or plans to get stale, the track workouts coincide with periodic adjustments we make to ensure that we evade boredom in training, or fear the same-old, same-old.

This was to be a workout that last somewhere between 7.5 and 8.5 miles depending on commute time to track and when I needed to be back home to get the boys ready and dropped at school. I started before sun-up, wearing a head lamp and finished as dawn was in full swing.

I loved it. Yes, I was nervous and a bit anxious about how I’d do, but like I wrote above, there is something about a track that just makes you go faster.  It was nice not to evade cars or stop at lights.  I could play my music, zone out and just run. I want more track workouts and have a sneaky suspicion I’ll find myself there next Tuesday.

So, I went back into my Garmin files and found the data from ,my last visit to the track on that November day almost 2 years ago.  I did the 800s at a 9:30ish pace, and ran 5.2 miles in 57 minutes. I’ve said before that to see where we are as runners we should go back and see where we’ve been.  I know I’ve made a lot of progress as a runner (with very much left to go) but the numbers still jump out at me.

Yesterday I did my 400s at a 6:00ish pace, my 800s at a 6:30ish pace, and two 1600s at 7:09 and 7:04.  8.8 miles in 1:08.

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