Track Thursday: 09/18/2014 Track Therapy

Track thursday 09-18

It was hard to wake up this morning. It’s a struggle most runners are familiar with: I was warm and cozy, it was dark, and drizzly rain was pattering outside my window. But the knowledge that I had to meet my coach and my running buddy at the track by 7:30a.m. urged me out of bed. In the half dark I sipped some water and chewed a little snack of dried bananas about an hour before I laced my shoes and headed out the door.

This whole week has been a mental and emotional struggle, and I welcomed the soothing drizzle of rain, just warm enough to feel like a caress and not a punishment. I looked forward to pushing my body hard and physically venting my emotions through my workout (but I am cognizant of not punishing myself, I do have a modicum of self-control). My speed workouts really have transformed into weekly episodes that I look forward to, I actually depend on them to fulfill some part of me. I still don’t think that  will ever get to the point where speed work is my favorite  thing, that place will always be held by a good, long, solo run, but I will miss the track this winter. (Updates to come for my winter training plan after Portland, in 2 weeks!)

Workout Today:

12 x 400m repeats with 200m jog recovery

SURPRISE! 4 extra 400m- Thanks coach 🙂

8 x 100m sprints on the grass, no recovery: work on form

Em (track comrade, running buddy, sometimes therapist, good friend) and I caught a break from 1000m repeats today, it was nice to change things up…but, we also got a little surprise. Our coach laid out the plan, 10-12 4oom repeats beginning with 90 seconds for the first few (6:00pace/mile). My thoughts: no problem, we have spent the last several weeks running 1000’s at that pace!

And so we began, one after another after another, rotating who paced while the other hung on. I love these types of repetitive workouts. When I am worried or stressed, I can just put my brain on autopilot. When my thoughts start straying and I catch myself thinking about later today or yesterday, I shut those worries down. All I need to focus on is this 400m and I don’t worry about the next one. When I hit the starting line, I just start my watch and go. When I finish, I jog, get to the starting line, and begin again. No thoughts, no worries, no quitting. Running is the closest I can come to truly being in the moment. Living second by second and tuning into how I really feel.

running in the rain

Photo: The Diabeater Blog, “Find Your Rain”, June 6, 2014.

Today felt perfect. The rain fit my mood. I felt strong and fast.

I guess Em and I looked too fresh after the 12th lap, and I’ll admit, we talk a little too much (good cardio, right?) so we got a little surprise and our coach had us run 4 more. Our times had looked something like this: 91, 90, 90, 88, 87, 87, 88, 87, 86, 87, 86, 85. We definitely didn’t expect to be doing any more! But I still felt good and after we realized our coach wasn’t joking, we got back into the zone and we knocked out 4 more: 87, 86, 86, 82. Bam. We jogged a lap and then took to the grass to run some 100’s. I’ve quit timing these, because the point is for me to tweak my form. It usually dawns on me that I am actually tired at this point.

*I highly recommend you do some strides after a workout, concentrating on lifting the leading knee and kicking the trailing foot higher with each stride. I usually feel the burn in my quads and abs. Now I understand why sprinters have 8-pack abs!

As always, I never regret a morning that I woke up to run. I get a natural high from waking up early and pushing myself out the door. It’s not as simple as feeling happy, it’s bigger and deeper than that. I feel sustained. Satisfied. Completed and content, a carnal part of my meek vegan self has been appeased. I will be at ease, until tomorrow morning when I am compelled to feed my inner savage again.

See you on the road. Maybe the sun will come out…

Michael Johnson Track at Nike World Headquarters

*A side note, I can’t believe how beautiful this track is! At least once in my life I need to run here….bucket list ❤

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