Saturday, May 20, 2006

Just do it! That should always be the mantra, hard as it can be at times. Today was one of those days when I didn't want to do anything even though I felt like doing something training wise (does this even make sense??). I was tired from not sleeping well the last few night with lots of things on my mind, had to work most of the day, my heel was hurting again, enough that I need to rethink and back off for a few days. So what I did not want to do was do a long slow run. I would rather have biked but didn't have it with me when I finished work. Even as nice of a day as it was, I wasn't in the mood to go home, get my bike, load it into the car, unload it ,or deal with the traffic that late on a Saturday afternoon. What I did feel like doing was running, just a short, fast run.

I like running fast. And I can honestly say I haven't run fast in so long a turtle could beat me. I remember when I ran competitively for so many years. I worked so hard to achieve a certain time or place in my age group. It took a few years, but it did happen. While I figure I have reached my running peak and can never go back to that, I certainly don't have to be forced into the slow run category all the time. Its just that if it takes as long as it did when I was 10-12 years younger, it just ain't gonna happen.

So today I decided to do what I felt like doing. I went to the track (I love track running), hoping to find no one around, but of course there was at least one person. And go figure, this guy had on a baggy pair of coveralls, hooded sweatshirt, and big quilted flannel shirt. It was 68 degrees. He was just walking. As I readied myself, I couldn't believe it when I saw him light up a cigarette! Still walking! Whatever! There always seems to be some dufus smoking on the track. Its like an oxymoron (moron is right).

So I set off to do some warmup before some quarter mile intervals. I have been pretty amazed at my progress this week despite the heel flareup again. Last Saturday's long run, at a faster than usual pace, must have given me the boost I needed. It actually felt good to get going and keep going today. A hurdle overcome from the past few weeks practicing my ChiRunning. But with it close to 70 (a virtual heat wave for us lately), after a mile and a half I needed to stop for water. At this point, quilted flannel shirt smoking guy was actually RUNNING himself. What in the world?? Here I am with a singlet and short and am starting to feel the heat and this moron is out there in a winter outfit practically. And then I notice he has SWEAT PANTS on under the overalls! Okay, now I am going to have a heat stroke looking at this.

By now, there were also 3 older ladies who had entered the track, all with Vietnamese or Chinese straw hats on, the pointed ones. Okay, this must be circus day. What gives?? So now I'm dodging them. What is it with track walkers that they CANNOT walk in a single file. Noooo. They have to spread themselves across the road like a wide load so everyone else has to push past them or run on the grass.

So I'm ready to start my quarters. I can't remember the last time I did any track work, other than straight running (shuffling actually). Pick up the feet. One of the main things to remember. Lean. Speed takes care of itself with the proper posture.

First quarter: over 2 minutes. Oh, well, that's not bad I guess considering my old average (10 years ago!) was 90 seconds. Okay. A good starting point. My plan was just to maintain. I set off on the second quarter and immediately felt the tail wind pushing me along. Nice! But I knew I would be paying on the other side. Push through the windy area, pass flannel man and old ladies and finish the quarter feelilng--okay.

Second quarter: 1:50. Huh? Okay, I'll take it. Not once did I feel like I had picked up the pace. In fact, into the wind it was a bit of a struggle.

I was running low on water, since I didn't have much to start. And now there were 3 other guys on the track (two actually running, one pretty fast), another walker. It seemed much easier doing intervals with all this than trying to either keep up with or dodge everyone else. Plus, I figured it didn't make me look as slow. :)

Off I went to do the third quarter. Again the tail wind, but this time the wind on the other side didn't seem quite as bad. I finally passed flannel man and had to dodge the wide load before finishing this quarter.

Third quarter: 1:45. Okay, something's wrong here. There is no way I am running this fast. No way. It feels good, it feels easy, but there can be no way I am getting faster on each quarter. I'm not resting that long. I have no water. Its warm but not uncomfortably so, but the wind is pretty strong. I am happy though, no doubt!

Flannel man is now sitting recovering. No water. Heavy clothes. Ugh. He must feel awful, but he DID run at least 2.5 miles. He had to because I only passed him a couple of times!

Fourth quarter is coming up. Should I do one more or let it go while the going was good? Could I actually do a 1:40? Actually, that's exactly what I did. OMG! Its not possible. I feel looser on each quarter. I have totally missed the track. It was starting to feel like a day I could spend an hour or more running quarters and still get faster on each one.

All right. Let's tempt fate. One more. Can't hurt. Makes up for the one I missed in the second mile. Could it be a 1;35??

Are you ready for this?? Fifth quarter: 1:32. There is no way. No way on this earth. But the watch doesn't lie. I did not start it late. I did not stop it early. I did not ever once sprint. I just remembered to pick up my feet, keep my cadence, and lean into the run.

I totally forgot about being down on myself after that. I didn't want to end the run or being out in the beautiful day, but I promised the grandkids I'd pick them up today.

So after a nice dinner, we went outside to finally get some more planting done. Geraniums, petunias, gerbera daisies, pansies. And a little yard cleanup and the perfect finish to gardening: it started raining.

Hope everyone has had a good workout day today and tomorrow if its on the schedule. Our weather is supposed to be, what else? Rainy, windy, and cold. This certainly is a payback for April's unusually fantastic weather.

1 comment:

Fe-lady said...

Yeah for your track workout...I am afraid to run quarters-I am sure they would be over two min. And whenever I get to the track I injure myself "trying" to go fast. I have been so unmotivated to try and do anything fast also. Here I can blame it on the heat and the end of a tough school year. At least those are my excuses! I have given up on planting anything this spring/summer as our water table is so low and my bill is already high trying to keep my trees alive...what I wouldnt give for some pansies in my front yard!
Yes-come visit when you are out this way! I could take you to some nice running places, but by then it sounds as if I won't be able to keep up with you at the rate you are improving! :-)