TRACK TRACK TRACK TRACK TRACK TRACK TRACK TRACK
Amidst all of the Olympic Trials excitement (Amy! Ashton! Lauren!) and our OMG-can’t-come-soon-enough Oiselle #totallytrials trip (Thursday), the Run Fast Summer is off to a killer start. There was the humidity 5k, where I learned another lesson in pacing and guts. And in the last 48 hours, there’s been a few other points of merit in my young tenure as a short-distance runner…
Margot and I have been talking about testing the fruits of our Track Party Tuesdays labors, so when Chacha sent a link to the Southbay Summer Track Series we jumped all over that shit. Group emails flew all over coordinating dates and strategizing our big entry to the world of adult open meets.
What were we going to run, you ask? As 3 Ragnar teammates we felt an obvious compelling urge to run a relay. 4x800m it is!
Anyway, none of this matters.
Why? Because after all the planning and excitement and research on proper relay handoffs (jk, sort of) THERE WAS NO F’ING TRACK MEET.
Yeah, apparently the “Southbay Summer Track Series” isn’t really happening and nobody bothered to update their shit. Jerks.
But we (Margot, Chacha, Kristina & I) were all already there. We had a track and four sports bra’d people ready to run.
So we did.
Yes, we ran a 4×800 “high five relay” around an empty track. And it was awesome.
Would it have been cooler to race against people? No doubt. But we made the most of it and I finally have a gauge on where my speed is. So call it a win. And not just because we were the only ones there.
2:46 will be destroyed by the end of summer. (hold me to that)
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Time Trials — Measure Me
I told Margot if I’m serious about getting fast, I need some measurables to see if I’m sucking or kicking ass. Races are good, but come with a lot of variables (course, crowd, nerves, etc) and a pesky price tag that Brian and our “joint finances” don’t really appreciate being abused with.
So we decided on Track Party Time Trials. Every month or so I want to “test” and see how things are going. We’ve been track’ing it up for a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever done the same workout twice, which makes “I love running fast!” a little subjective.
But running 1600m balls-out without anything else to worry about is pretty variable-free. And vomit-inducing, just thinking about it.
One of my summer goals (maybe I’ll tell you about the rest of them sometime) is to break a 6 minute mile. Cocky as I am, I thought I’d do it on my first trip out. But in yet another humbling lesson of YOU’RE NEW AT THIS AND NOT AS AWESOME AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, I came up a bit shy.
tv timeout to appreciate my janky old custom Nike watch – the first birthday gift Brian ever gave me, shortly after I started “really” running. I ran 3 halfs and my first full with it. out of retirement for TPT.
ok sentimental storytime over – time for the sweaty details :
I hit my checks at 200m and 400m right on the money, and unintentionally let my focus slip the next lap – BIG MISTAKE. I didn’t check in at 600, and by the time I lapped 800 I realized I was 4 seconds behind pace. Shit. Unlike longer races where you can make up time and not sweat over a few slightly-off paces, every second counts when you’re only running 4 laps.
So I tried to pick it up, but I was already running in top gear. My breathing was rough and my legs were starting to fight back. My arms started to cramp (what?) and when I turned at 1000 I remembered Margot’s words of encouragement while I tried to fight through the last 1.5 laps :
“Lap 3 is going to f’ing suck. It’ll be so hard, but don’t give in, because once you get to 4 you just go.”
A second slow on lap 3, giving me a 5 second deficit to try and make up on the final lap. I pushed and pushed, convincing myself there was no way my legs would seize or I’d keel over and die in the next 90 seconds.
The final 200m were absolutely brutal, and I thank the track gods no one was there to see the look on my face (Margot was running behind me). I gave it I everything on the last stretch and lapped at 6:06.58.
400 – 1:29
800 – 1:35
1200 – 1:31
1600 – 1:32
So, not the time I was hoping for, but definitely nothing to be ashamed of. I’m proud of my effort and that I let myself REALLY test my limits. It got hard and I kept going. Overall I ran really steady, which is HUGE in my erratic pacing book, and I know for next time just how important a strong focus is.
All this track business might just make me a better runner after all – and I’m not just talking speed.
ps OMG 2 days until #TotallyTrials