Friday, February 12, 2016

Track Magic, Y'all.

    "How beautiful it is to run fast, and then rest afterward." ~Runner Proverb

Last week I wrote about my first *proper* speed workout (ie, on the ground & not an elliptical machine) in many months, & how running mile repeats at a pace that should have felt "comfortably hard" (7:20ish) left me sucking wind & completely baffled at how I could have run a 21:50(ish?) 5K in December.

This week, I ventured out to the track for a fairly similar workout (1 mile @ 7:21, 2 x 800m @ 7:05, 1 mile @ 7:21), & based on what happened last week, I don't think you can blame me for feeling SUPER nervous, especially with a 10K coming up this weekend.

Kezar Stadium, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Still, I was so, so happy just to be back out there. It was sunny and gorgeous and not too warm, so if the running part sucked, I reasoned, at least I still had that.

It was one of those afternoon/early evenings when alllll the local middle & high school track teams are out practicing, so I had to be a little creative with my warm-up laps so as not to interfere with their various dynamic warm-ups. But the warming up felt good, so I started my first mile feeling sliiiiightly more enthusiastic than I had been!

Fair warning: This is where it gets weird.

Remember last week when I mentioned giving myself a little time to settle into a pace that felt right & then being shocked to see 8:30 on my watch? Well, I did the same thing this week, and was stunned when I hit the first turn to see 6:15-6:20s showing up.

Which is, frankly, absurd.

I gradually slowed it down, wary of GPS gremlins & such like, but I still finished that first mile in 7:06 and it felt easy.

The 800m's proceeded in much the same fashion--I was meant to do them at 7:05ish pace, but what felt "right" was 6:00ish. I tried gradually slowing things down little by little, but still finished the first one in 3:22 (6:44 pace) & the second in 3:23 (6:46 pace). (Yes, I could have run them slower in order to end up closer to the assigned pace on average, but I didn't actually want to go slower than the assigned pace, & that's just how averaging works.)

Even the last mile, which I started significantly slower in an effort to not run it 16 seconds too fast, ticked off in 7:11, which felt just ridiculously easy.

Probably not that I'm going to run a sub-45:00 this weekend at Bay Breeze, but with the longer game in mind, I WILL TAKE IT. #bodiesareweird #runningisweird #tracklyfe4eva

(Also, MY GOD, track workouts are like drugs. I had seriously forgotten how great I feel after a good speed session. More of this, please.)


  1. Huge improvements already! That's excellent! I sort of think that just one or two speed sessions is enough to garner a response from your body, especially if you are not new to speed, just have taken time off.

    1. I agree-- I had a tibial stress fracture in spring/summer 2014 and got back to the track in October. It only took a few speed sessions to start seeing results.

  2. Don't question it. Just enjoy it. Some days seem to be really tough for no known reason so when days come along that you're running fast and still feeling good you've just got smile and thank the running gods.