Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday Night Track Workout

Thanks for all the suggestions and commiseration on my diet, y'all. Very helpful. I weighed myself the other day: 110 pounds. That's 2 pounds more than when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last fall. But I haven't blimped out on all the junk food I've eaten. Thank God.

It's Day 6 sans doughnuts and so far I'm okay. Although I do fantasize about plain glazed in weak moments. Pizza I can live without. It's the no-fries rule that's hard.

Back to the track!: With butterflies in my stomach, I went to my first track workout since last summer. I've only been to a handful of track workouts in my life, and it's a bit intimidating to see dozens of skinny, fast runners flying around the track, or jogging and amiably chatting with each other. Meanwhile, I know hardly anyone and am probably considered a tortoise in this crowd.

Several clubs/training groups meet at a local high school track every Wednesday night. I saw my running club. But I jogged past them and found my new coach's group. It's not that I don't like the folks in my running club. I do.

But they are quite cliquish. And if you're not one of the cool kids, they won't talk to you unless you initiate conversation. And after awhile, one gets tired of doing that.

Coach George warmly welcomed me. There were only about eight our group tonight, and we got divided into two sub-groups. I got slotted with several track newbies. It was a fairly light track workout, especially since I and a couple of other runners will be racing the National Half-Marathon this Saturday.

We did a cut-down drill, with one lap of jog recovery in between reps. We were told to run "comfortably hard" but not all out: 1 X 1600, 1 X 1200, 1 X 800, 1 X 400.

Somehow, even though the four folks in my sub-group were supposed to take turns leading our pack, I was the pace bunny. For all of the reps. Sigh. What is that about?!

My times: I ran the 1600 (1 mile) in 7:15. The 1200 in 5:25. The 800 in 3:32. The 400 around 1:28 (forgot to set my stop watch).

I felt good, even relaxed. It helped that Coach cheered me on as I completed each rep. "Good job!" he'd say as I strode past him.

I even felt energized at the end of the workout.
I used to fear the track. Now I look forward to it.


  1. Cliques shouldn't be allowed to form clubs if they want to remain cliques.

    I'm not surprised you were the pace bunny with those times ... fast! Our "challenge" is slipping away from me with every passing day ...

  2. 110? goodness I'm almost the weight of two people compared to you!

    I totally understand that run group/cliquish scenerio

  3. > When you do that exercise,
    > you're raising your leg
    > straight out, right?
    > Not bent knee?

    The starting position is to sit in a chair with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet resting on the ground. Then, you raise one leg from the knee until the leg is straight and parallel to the ground. Hold that position for a few minutes (maybe start with 2 to 3 minutes and work up to 5 minutes) then switch legs. I use 10 pound ankle weights. You could start with no weights or perhaps 5 pounds then work up to 10 or 15 pounds. Do the exercise 3 times on each leg.

    For variation, you can change the angle of your leg by turning your foot slightly in or slightly out.

  4. Doesn't sound like you are the tortoise to me! Those were some smokin' times.

  5. ps - who is Joe and why he is giving you leg exercises?

  6. Great workout, I was on the track for the first time last year. And I agree once you get used to it, it's fun and a great change of pace. I love the soft squishy feel too. :-) Did you say no fries, that is just crazy talk!

  7. > I weighed myself the other day: 110 pounds.

    Great! You have nothing to worry about. A strong wind might lift you up and blow you away!

    > Pizza I can live without.

    Blasphemy! You'll pay for your treachery!

    That workout sounds like fun. I'll have to try it.

    > I was the pace bunny. For all of the reps.
    > Sigh. What is that about?!

    Being the pace bunny is so much fun! Don't you feel like Steve Prefontaine?

  8. what is that all about? That is about the fact that you are FAST. you can have ONE doughnut on sunday. or maybe saturday, if you do good.

  9. You'd be my pace rabbit at those speeds.
    We're in your clique so there!
    Fries? Yuck.
    DONUTS? mmmm.

  10. I had to give up donuts and fries long ago. It gets easier with time. Keep on, pace bunny. You are in ispiration.

  11. Sounds like you've got a wonderful coach, and good group to train with on the track now.