my 1-mile track creation

Last night, my plan was to do 8x200s. There are only a few local tracks “open” to the public. I still don’t fully understand why I can’t run sprints on a track I spend tax dollars on, as long as it’s not in use… There is a track RIGHT behind our neighborhood, but it is a private school, and there are often events going on weeknights.

So I decided to run around the PNC arena. I mapped it out at work- it was about 1.5 miles to jog around once. I thought this would work nicely. So when I got home, I laced up my fast shoes, and jogged the half mile there. Then began the sprints. I think the last time I did sprints, we ran 400m, about a year ago, and my legs were still fast enough to compensate for my weakening cardiovascular strength. And we finished them in around 1:30. I was thinking these 200s should be around 1:00, but, really I just wanted to get a good baseline.

I used my garmin, to track by 0.12 (or 0.13) miles, so it may have been off slightly. I forgot I could switch it over to meters until I was finishing up and looking at my numbers.

You can easily do the same- found a somewhat-flat loop, anything from 0.5 to 1.5 miles usually works fine. I occasionally ran sprints at my old apartment complex, which had a half mile stretch of flat road from the entrance to my apartment. However, if you plan to run back and forth on the same stretch of road, you have to have an insane amount of determination and will power. You will be sweating and panting, and your legs may even be shaky and feel like giving out, while your neighbors are on their patios, enjoying a beer, talking with friends, eating, sometimes even grilling out nearby.

My loop around the arena seemed logical. It was mostly flat, but an occasional +/-30 ft here or there.

Lap 1.

This actually doesn’t feel too bad. It feels good to run fast. How fast am I going (glance down at watch and see I only have 0.05mi left, something in the 7:30s). Alright! Ugh. Little hill. Keeping pushing! And done!
Jog it off. Hoping I will get up this mini-hill before the next interval. Maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Oh, bikers. Excuse me, cyclists. Wow, they are going fast. Ope! Time again…

Lap 2.

Just try to keep it around a minute. 1:05 is fine too. Just push it. Seriously more cyclists? Where am I supposed to go? There are 20 of you, coming at me at 25mph. Alright good. Now that the cyclists are gone, and hill gone, time to kick it in…. And, 0.13mi.
Alright, and jog it out. That didn’t feel too bad. I mean it was uphill. I wonder how much? Hmmm… Oh, there’s a sidewalk. … Oh wait, that sidewalk goes to the parking lot; not to another sidewalk. Guess it’s back to the road again. Crap! I missed the interval… (0.14mi “recover”)

Lap 3.

Turn it up on this one. Go hard!… Ugh. Hard sucks. No, really. This sucks. …How much longer? Phew, only 0.05miles. I love 200s! …And done!
Shake it out. Go easy. [Stomach] starting to cramp a little. You can always walk these recovery intervals if needed… And, need to make sure I don’t miss this interval start.

Lap 4.

Wow, breathing. Just get into it. Ugh, this sucks. What number am I on? Ugh. Ugh. [panting gasping]. Ooooo. Cramp! Try to keep a decent pace, and get under a minute…
Nice. Okay, and walk, and stretch. And I can do a full 0.25mi recovery if my breathing isn’t right yet. Just keep breathing… Deep breaths. Oooo, I’m about to turn on Trinity; that means a downhill interval. Woo! Those are SO MUCH FUN!

Lap 5.

God! This feels SO MUCH easier than an uphill sprint. hahaha. I could get used to this. (Yes, I think I laughed and smiled on this one). Just let go. Legs are responding. That cramp is gone. This is great! Downhill sprints are so much fun!
Holy crap! 53 seconds! That’s awesome! I’ll pretend it wasn’t downhill the whole way, and walk some to make sure that cramp is gone. Ugh. Cramp still kinda there. I’ll go 0.25 this recovery. Wait, what number am I on? Was that 5? Three more? That’s it. No, I must be doing my math wrong… Time to go again.

Lap 6.

Just keep your pace in the 7’s, and keep going. It’s hard, but it feels good.
And rest. Walk… Okay, pick it up to a jog. Yes, a little crampy, but I am breathing hard. It happens.

Lap 7.

I zoned out a little. Not sure what happened on this one.
Well, at least I was under a minute still. Okay, time to jog up that hill, then sprint down it for a good-feeling final sprint…

Lap 8.

Maybe I should do one more…? These actually felt pretty easy. Am I putting on the brakes? Body, you can go fast down this hill. It’s okay. And push it. Easily in the 6’s. Nice.
Oh my god. I’m down. God, no, I am not doing another one. Why did I think that was a good idea. Okay, pick it up to a jog. And just make it up that stupid hill to get home.



Looking back, I am so proud. I finished 8x200s. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish those when I put it on my training calendar. And they were decently fast. And I was without pain (for the most part).

Side note: I got home, and went to the fridge for something cold, and ended up grabbing a pickle slice. Oh my god. I totally understand why some people drink pickle juice after hot/ long runs. It was so delicious, I grabbed two more slices. I haven’t started drinking the pickle juice yet. Maybe in July…

Today, my legs are a little tight. But, not too bad. At this stage, my legs tend to be stronger than my lungs/ breathing. And truthfully, my ab is a little sore today. But, my abs are really weak from my injury, and this sore is a “I worked out” type of sore.

I am also trying to get serious again about my eating. All my pants and fitted skirts are tight. Like hard-to-breathe-tight. I could spend a ton of cash on new clothes, or just re-focus on my eating habits. Anyway, so no beer last night. Just pickles. Followed by a delicious cheese(turkey)burger and crackers. And milk. And, no I wasn’t starving myself. And I wasn’t hungry.

Yay for the first round of speedwork in close to a year!

return to speed!

This Tuesday was our first official Tuesday Track party/ speed night.

Dan and I recently moved in together (yes, it’s exciting; except the introducing of our cats). One cat was under the bed hissing angrily, as the other purred affectionately (and loudly) in my ear. I got about an hour sleep Monday night. In the morning, Dan and I trudged out of bed, and did a head count of the cats. One was missing, so we called her name several times. We could hear she was responding, but we couldn’t find her. We eventually decided she was in the kitchen, and between two cabinets (ugh, I hate cats for reasons like this. A dog is never like “Gee, a small nook, I want to go there!” …). Still, poor girl- she had gotten the best hiding spot- in between the two corner cabinets. The entrance was about 3 or 4 inches wide, by about 2 inches wide. I could barely squeeze my hand in there. Yet, the tard-cat (she’s sweet really…) had decided I want to be in there!

About an hour later, we had gotten her out. So I was about an hour late to work, and running on little energy


So track night…

I got to the track a little late, so everyone was warmed up and ready to go, but I had to run around once to loosen my legs up a little. The boys ran together and Sarah and I ran together. It felt like a happy reunion for Sarah legs and my legs (she and I often worked the track together for speed workouts in 2012’s Spring training for Nashville).

It has been a while, so we eased into speed night with 4x400s. A year ago, Sarah and I would aim for 2:00 or more since we were doing a lot of reps at 5K speed. This time, we aimed for 1:50s.

After my legs were a little loose, I met up with Sarah; and we were off. We kept meeting each other’s speed, which meant we were picking up the pace more and more with each stride.
First one done, and we decided 1:45 would be a better goal as we walked the recovery (I’m still coming back. I would otherwise lightly jog the recovery). We prepped for our next one, which felt much easier.
Honestly, it felt much easier than 1:44, and I could have maintained that speed for several more reps. With only two more left, we agreed to ‘maintain’ for the third and go balls to the wall for the last one (to beat the first). Our next felt okay.
And now for the final. Sarah and I had been step for step, but the last one youre always a little on your own (trying to beat the person next you). We did laugh though… The boys were so serious- lining up as if they were racing and then pulling single file. Sarah and I stutter stepped as we lapped our watches, laughing at each other. The straight-away at ~200m, we picked it up, and never let up. I was struggling to keep with Sarah. And in the last straight, I let her have it when she sped up for the final ~50m.

It felt like a good return. I actually haven’t lost too much speed. And my legs are responsive. My problem is in my breathing. My abdominal injury has left my breathing more labored than in the past. Still averaging 1:40 for 400m makes me happy. I still want another PR 5K this fall. It gives me something to strive for; something to train for and concentrate on when training.

HAPPY HUMP DAY (said the camel)