Although Tuesday I managed to squeeze my run in before my 8 AM class, I don’t think I can swing it twice a week. Plus on Thursday there’s no free taco incentive to make it work. So instead, I went to class with plans to get my track run for the week (3 x 1600 @ 7:27) after class around 9:30. In theory it was a great idea.
I took breakfast with me to class – an instant oatmeal packet (to be very specific, the maple and brown sugar weight control variety) with unsweetened almond milk, and had a banana just in case but didn’t feel like I needed it. Class in the sardine can was a struggle today as we talked about osmolarity and tonicity (I know, I don’t know either…) but I now have one acquaintance to each side of me! After class, I walked to the recreational track – Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center.
The track is nestled across a creek and through some trees, almost like a little secret amongst the users. I could tell on my walk from the Can to the track that I was not in the mood to do mile repeats. First of all, I hate the mile distance. It’s too long to go fast. For speedwork I much prefer the 400 distance – just one lap. I can do just one lap, even twelve times. Second, I don’t like running when it’s not the first thing of my day. And here it was 9:30ish, the sun was bright and the heat was on. And I had a headache – dehydration, too much thinking in class about hypertonic solutions, I’m not sure. The entire walk was me bargaining with myself – skip the run and do some core work later. Skip the run and do it tomorrow on the trail. Skip the run and save it for later in the week. But my legs just kept heading to the track. When will they learn what’s best for them?!
Through the trees was a big turf field, bleachers and an oddly shaped track. My final bargain with myself was to run at least a mile and see how I felt. It’s tricky because usually when I make that deal, I’m thinking I’ll be off the hook after ten minutes but by the time the first four laps are done I’m ready for some more.
The first mile was ok – around a nine minute pace I think and by then I had talked myself into at least one speed mile. So I grabbed some water, stretched a bit and was off. I could tell that my legs were tight from doing the strength workout yesterday but tried to find rhythm in the music. There was a little shade on the far side of the track, followed by a tiny incline and I’m thinking what the hell kind of set up is this? But that’s just me being whiny. My first mile was right on target 7:21.
On the second mile I had more trouble, my legs were tight and heavy. I shifted my thinking to my stride – lean forward a little so gravity does more of the work…kick your feet up behind you so you have more power in your stride…bigger steps…lighter landings…relax your arms. It helped for a little bit but after two laps of the sun baking me, I had to stop for a drink. My little quitter voice said that’s enough, you can finish the rest tomorrow morning on the lake. To which my athlete voice replied yea but we’re halfway done, it might not be pretty but you’re gonna suck it up and finish. And then my coach voice came in to settle the two you will finish with your best effort, but cut yourself some slack – it’s bloody hot, there’s not enough shade and you haven’t done speedwork in weeks. Did you think it’d be a pretty reunion? And I was off to finish the two laps of that mile for a 7:34 average (obviously watch was stopped during all the discussion in my head)
I stopped for one more stretch and water before my last mile lap. I thought maybe reversing the direction would help me but I’m not sure it really did anything. It was the longest mile I’ve run in a while – the ultimate frisbee practice, boys without shirts running sprints, a man doing work on the outdoor gym could not even distract me or help pass the laps. It was awful but I got it done – last mile 8:04.
So I obviously have some work to do as far as the track workouts go. But I’ve got a pretty cool place to run them now and maybe will have to figure out a way to get them done in the morning next week instead of after class – at least until “fall” comes (does that exist here?). And surely that’s soon, because Starbucks has their pumpkin stuff out already!
Do you have a specific time of day you like to workout or run?