Despite needing to be at school to prep for the practicum I am supervising, I decided that I wanted to get out for my run in the morning, rather than waiting until 2pm when my energy is usually pretty low. I went out for a little jog at sundown yesterday and had some pain in my feet (annoying) but it didn't worsen over the course of the evening and I felt fine at 6:45 when my alarm went off. I bargained with myself that if I could get out the door by 7am that I would head to the highschool track and give some 400's a try. So far, in the 2 months or so that I have been giving this whole running thing a try, I really haven't done any speedwork. My endurance has been the thing that clearly needed the most immediate attention. I still think this is true in fact - particularly if I have my eyes set on half-marathon (or longer) distances. Regardless, a little speed never killed anyone.
So, I got up with the sun and checked the weather. A balmy 32 degrees. Finally, a day to try out my new running tights. Yes, they are men's tights. So sue me, they fit better for a rectangular person such as myself. For anyone interested, you can find them here c9 tights. I couldn't decide between a tank and a tech shirt so I went with both, know that I could ditch the long sleeves at the track, without fear of losing or forgetting it and then kicking myself later.
So, all nice and bundled up I headed out the door and ran over to the high school, which to my relief was deserted but with the gate to the track unlocked. I took a few minutes to stretch out my achilles and then decided I would take a first 400 at a comfortable pace just to see how that would feel and what sort of time I'd have as a baseline. First lap: 1:56. Just what McMillan says I should be doing for my cruise intervals based on my race time. Awesome. At this point I decided 6x400 sounds just about right. I planned nice long rest intervals of the same distance as the speed intervals (for ease of knowing my starting and ending spot on the track. My second interval I picked it up, not having a clear idea of my speed. Checked my watch and had run it at 1:41. Eeps! Thats too fast (for a slow-poke like me)... Did another one and weird, 1:41 again. At this point I started bargaining with myself again. Decided 4x400 sounded just fine and was a good first effort. Fourth interval: 1:41! Okay, okay, I tell myself, how about 2 more back at prescribed pace. Amazing how controlled 1:56 feels in comparison. After finishing I jogged (nice and slow) the long way back home through Orchard Park. An outstanding way to start the morning. Floated around for a solid 2 hours on a pleasant runner's high.
Conclusion: The track was awesome. Felt great on my feet/joints. No hills to contend with (a huge plus). A nice sense of control with the fixed distance to be covered. Running on the straight-away I was reminded of my youth, when I was one of the fast kids. What a memory! 15lbs and 15 years later, I'm not so speedy and not so fit. There is an impulse in me to punish myself for this - to forbid the enjoyment of small victories and pleasant feelings - which I am contending with pretty seriously. Need to continue to give thought to this. If joy is only for the stellar, then... who among us is without shortcomings? Enough of this, I'll tie myself in knots. conclusion: first track workout = fun!