Monday, July 23, 2012

Need for Speed

The last time we spoke, I was showing you inappropriate pictures and lamenting about how much my week had been sucking running-wise (and thanks, XLMIC, for reminding me that realistically, it only kinda sucked). It had been many days since I'd had what I'd really call a "good" run, one where I enjoyed myself and didn't feel at least a little broken. That streak of less-than-good runs was broken Saturday--where else?--out at Kezar Stadium.

I was kind of bummed Friday night because I'd plan to run the SF Marathon 2nd Half course with some other folks, but wasn't going to be able to due to not being able to work out car issues. So that was sad because I'd really been looking forward to it. Instead I slept in, ran some errands, & got some stuff crossed off my to-do list. Later in the day I still wanted to get a run in but didn't really have time for a long run, so I decided to pick up the track workout that had fallen off the radar earlier in the week. This week it was 6 x 800 @ 5K pace with 2 minutes rest. Part of me was a little nervous given how my runs had been going, but I just kept telling myself how much I loved intervals once I was there & not to worry about it too much.

It usually takes me the first 200 yards or so of the first interval to settle into the right pace, but once I did, I was kind of surprised at how easy these felt. So easy, in fact, that I started playing this game with myself where I tried to hit every single repeat in exactly 3:20. It's pretty rare that my throttle control is that good, so it was neat to see this:

With four down and still feeling great, I decided to try the last two a touch faster. No problem.

It felt so good to run fast. It always does. (And, paradoxically, seems to take less of a toll on my body that the same distance at an "easy" pace.) As much as I love-love-LOVE road racing and feel very accomplished when I race double digit distances, sometimes I wonder if, in my heart, I'll always be more of a middle distance runner than long distance.

Workouts at the track also never fail to remind me of racing on the track, which I haven't done in many, MANY years and really miss sometimes. I've been so preoccupied with road racing in the last few years, though, that I've never even really looked into it. Last year at PrideRun I got a flier for an all-comers track meet called PrideMeet, which was neat because I'd sort of assumed that once you're done with college, your track days are done unless you're at least a little bit elite-ish. I had no idea that all-comer track meets even existed!

At the time I barely looked at the flier because the date conflicted with something else. But this year I got the same flier again, and though I still couldn't make it, it did set my wheels turning. I went to the PrideMeet site, which led me to SF Track & Field:

They have track meets! That regular people can run in! And they even have field events! (Not that I ever did any field events; I just like that they happen.) Can I even explain how stoked I would be to race a track 5K? Probably not.

It looks like last Sunday's PrideMeet ended their 2012 season, but I am super excited to know that yes, track meets for mortals (and people who know how to train you for them) are out there. Definitely something to keep in mind for next spring & fall.

1 comment:

  1. Track meets are fun! I am hoping to do some next year. Great workout too- very consistent. :-)