It was crazy how much my track buddy, Em and I were on the same wavelength today! Between 1000m repetitions we managed to splutter out little tidbits of our lives and some random thoughts as well. Though I should just speak for myself! I was probably a little nonsensical, this week has been hard and I was tired today!
But we both brought up this quote about John Landy from The Perfect Mile (Chapter6) as we talked about the difficulty of maintaining good form during a hard speed session. Em read this book awhile back, and I just started reading it so this line was still fresh in my mind! It resonated with me as another lesson that track can serve to teach me.
I refer often to the track as my personal monster to conquer. I have allowed my fear of track to dictate many of my running-life decisions:
- Good decision: I naturally gravitated toward longer distances, and fell in love with the challenge of the marathon! Physically addicted now!
- Good decision: I spent several years just doing what I wanted, which usually meant long, easy miles. I have great endurance as a result! I also never burned myself out because I didn’t force myself to do any workouts I resented (after high school).
- Bad (?) decision: I decided not to run competitively in college and avoided shorter races and competition like the plague. I continued to train myself with long, easy miles. I did challenge myself with marathons and 50ks, to continue to grow and avoid stagnation. Happiness comes from improvement!
I spent several years sick of competition, sick of track, avoiding pain. But lately I have realized that I am happier when I am pushing my limits. I’m learning to love the track (I missed the delicious feeling of constant fatigue in my legs when I was injured). Today I didn’t approach my workout with any dread, a small victory. I know that not all workouts will be perfect, though I have been stringing together some pretty incredible workouts in the past couple of weeks! However, the stress is starting to accumulate and I was pretty fatigued today.
No matter how tired I am however, I can always do more than I believe I am capable of. It was a beautiful thing to converge on the track this morning with my coach and my track buddy. We can laugh and chat and we each have our goals. It offers the perfect mix of intensity and levity.
1 mile warm-up to the track
5x 1000m- 3:45, 3:41, 3:41, 3:36, 3:36
4oom jog in between reps.
8x 100m- time not important, focused on lifting my knees and kicking my trailing leg (got to get out of my marathoner’s shuffle!)
No recovery between 100’s
1 mile cool-down jog home
I’m never going to be a track star, and I’ll probably never look forward to a track workout, but I can embrace the necessity of quality speed sessions in my training. Every week I learn new lessons, I have a healthy respect towards the track and how it teaches me to push through pain. I always come out stronger on the other side!