Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Scene of the Crime

Tuesday was my first night back at Kezar Track after my duffel bag (and phone, and car keys, and some other stuff) was stolen there four weeks back. I haven't been avoiding it, necessarily; one Tuesday we had an early concert, the next was right after Berkeley Half, and the one after that was the night we flew back (rather late) from Texas. But I did have this weird sense of foreboding as I parked my car fairly close to the spot it had been towed from (since the keys in the bag had been my only set). I don't have a new duffel bag yet, but even so, there was no way I was carrying *anything* in except what I absolutely needed.

Nothing says "Seriously; nothing in here you want" like a clear plastic bag.

Still, I parked that shit on the opposite side of the track from the scene of the crime. (Because the north side is obviously where all the robbers hang out, duh.)

As we approach the darkest night of the year, I feel more and more grateful that I have the flexibility to leave work early enough so that it's only just getting pitch-black as I'm finishing up at the track (ie, ~6pm). This is the first December that I've actually trained through in three years, so the lack of light is a little disorienting.

Not to mention the cold. Oh, I know, rest-of-the-country, you have all your ice and snow and Yaktrax and full days of sub-freezing temps, but whatever; I lived in Northern Ohio for five years & that shit is why I moved to coastal California. I didn't sign up for wearing tights & long sleeves & gloves & running 1200m repeats and STILL listening to my teeth chatter like a pair of castanets.

Also, I just don't breathe cold air well. 90% of the asthma problems I have when I'm running seem to be related to that.

* * *

After a month away from the track and struggling to get much mileage in thanks to all the traveling, I had a harder time than usual psyching myself up for it on Tuesday. All I could think about was how long a 1200 is, and how hard 5K effort is, and what the temperature would be when I finally got out there.

But get out there I did, and though I admittedly dawdled just a little bit between my warm-up & that first interval, a few minutes in something clicked & the part of my brain that had been fretting & worrying went, "Eh, this isn't so bad." In fact, by the last one, I actually felt like I could have handled another.

I mean yes. It was harder than what I'm used to right now, and required a bunch of, like, effort and stuff. But all in all the whole thing was over before I knew it, with my legs still feeling pretty good. (Which is still one of the great mysteries of running for me, how 6 miles on the track always feels so much easier on my body than an "easy" 6 miler on the roads.)

When I'm doing these regularly, I can usually hit them all within a second
or two of exactly five minutes. Still a bit out of practice. :P

Right now I'm very happy to even be doing speed work, full speed workouts, & averaging pretty close to a 5:00 1200m, four times in a row, at honest 5K effort. But I'll be happier when I can do 5-6 & consistently hit them all below 5:00.


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog, so I've nominated you for a blog award!

  2. Props to you on the word castanets - had to look that one up! Yea, us Californians have got it easy, I was dying watching this segment on Jimmy Kimmel about weather haha

  3. That sounds like a tough workout to me. Glad you weren't ROBBED this time! Geez! People can be so awful. I somehow missed that post. Sorry about that :(