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Fish out of water

September 5, 2011

I have to admit, I have never been much of a track runner. I have no good reason why either. When doing quarter, half or even mile repeats I simply have inserted them into my run. I use the garmin to measure and just go.

I have several beautiful tracks within running distance of home, I have just for an unknown reason, never gone. I’ve written and analyzed and tracked everyone else’s track workouts, just never mine.

The other day I thought to do my mile repeats on the track. I chose the closest track, the middle school one. Just up the street at the high school is the fancy one, but for some reason this one drew me in. It’s nothing more than a 1/4 mile circle of soft crushed stone. Set back in the woods it’s a gorgeous place to find some solitude.

I got good and warmed up….. and then I was off. Five one milers at best sustainable effort. Suddenly…… it hit me. This is just like swimming. I do 1600 yard repeats in the pool all the time. Mile repeats just meant counting to four.

The mile reminded me of swimming a 200 yard freestyle in a swim meet. You keep the pedal pushed to the floor but not all the way down or by the third lap you will fade. The third lap you apply just a touch more and then the fourth you bring it home. The only difference is that a 200 in the pool takes about 2 minutes and twenty seconds. A mile repeat out here took longer.

I surprised myself not in terms of time or pace, I hit the same I had hit the last time we did this before I got sick. I surprised myself in how much I loved it.

Just like the pool, the track does not lie. There is nothing much that can truly affect what is happening there like it can on the open road. Maybe a little bit of wind but it won’t make too much of a difference.

I finished the first one, grabbed some fluid and began a recovery lap. I felt that effort for sure and I was beginning to crave the next one. A few minutes later it was here.

I rounded the first corner and hit the straightaway…… I felt like I was discovering a whole new type of running. Hitting the straightaway was like coming off the wall, nailing it was like hitting nothing but net. My biggest goal was to descend each lap….. hit the third with a little more power and then drive it home on the fourth. While I struggled with fatigue I struggled because there is a load of training on my legs. But I kept the effort.

I smiled after that second one again and as I took that recovery lap I wondered…… could I descend these like I do 100’s in the pool. Each mile like each 100 in itself?

I could. I did.

It was beautiful back there. Just me and the track and my running. It’s coming along and I am heading into my favorite time of the season. There is nothing like the fall when it comes to running and I am looking forward to hitting the track a few times this fall for fun, to experiment, to play around. I have discovered something that I knew was there yet never took the time to embrace.

And it excites me more than I can explain.

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One comment

  1. You almost make a track workout sound like its fun 😛



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