Friday, August 31, 2012

Track Workout Pick-Me-Up!

Huh.  I really enjoyed going to the track today.  I'm still baffled by that.  (My first track workout since high school was earlier this month: here)  Turns out I like the track when I'm armed with an actual work out plan. 

Today's run was an 8x400 @ 5K pace.  I'm not going to lie...I never did my mile timed run in the beginning.  I never calculated my 'optimal 5k pace, 10k pace, etc.  that's just too much math for my language teacher brain.  (Not dissing math by any means.  It's super important and I wish I had realized as much when I was in school...I can just see my teacher:  Jessica, one day you will need algebra skills to calculate your split times and goals...nah...that still wouldn't have worked...I never considered myself a true runner until now...ah well.) 

Anyway, I figured, 8 minute miles would be my total dream 5k pace, so I'd aim for that with recovery in between each lap.  There were more directions with the plan, I think but I just don't remember what I was supposed to do.  And the kids were ready to go and I wasn't going to fart around on the internet trying to figure out which plan this was from (I'm kind of doing a mish-mash of Hal Higdon and Train Like a Mother Finish It plan for the half marathon).  I had to take my opportunity to get out of the house before something prevented it.  So we just went.

I did a 2 lap warm up, nice and easy and hit my first 400.  I finished in 2 minutes, 5 seconds.  Well, I can do better than that.   So I aimed for negative splits for the rest.  I took about 2-3 minutes recovery in between, and now I get why I had to do 8 of them.  Even though I was getting tired by the end, I realized that early laps, I was conservative with my pushing, even though I felt like I was going rather quickly.  My final 400 was 1:56, so after running more than 2 miles, if I had that much to show for it even though I felt like I was lumbering along and hardly the gazelle I felt I was the first lap...but I was definitely holding back in the beginning.  So while track work may train my legs to go faster, it obviously will help my mental game too, knowing that I CAN push a little more and not die.   I finished with a 2 lap cool-down and gathered the kids' toys.  They didn't play with anything we brought.  Instead, A ran a couple of laps, informed me we had to leave because he had to use the bathroom (no way kiddo, I told you there was no where to go.  I think he gets the 'I gotta go' feeling when he's running, since he forgot about having to go later when we found an awesome playground...)  T ran 4 laps!  I kept asking him if he wanted to go sit in the shade tree, or play jump rope or soccer or anything, and he was hell-bent on running a whole mile first.  He had his own track work out planned!  So cute!  I didn't bring my phone to the track or I would have snapped a picture of him.  Adorable!

On the way home, we got stuck behind either a very new driver or a very old driver.  The blinker was on the entire time I was behind the car...they slammed on brakes for NOTHING every couple of driveways.  Then they turned where I needed to turn.  Instead of going straight next intersection when they did (even though the blinker was STILL on!) I took a quick left and suddenly we were in front of the most awesome playground we have seen in a long time.  Mere blocks from the track!  I thought we had found all the great playgrounds in the city!  This one had a wading pool that was all closed up and empty, as were the bathrooms (sadly, I might I actually did need one and considered squatting in my running skirt behind a bush...but we were right in the middle of the I figured it wasn't THAT bad of an emergency...).

Is this not kid Nirvana or what?

The kids played for a good 40 minutes or so, while I sat in the covered pavilion and started working on my homework that's due on Tuesday. So lovely!  Then a very nice girl about my age (ok, so not a girl, but indulge me) with her son showed up, and she asked me if I was a distance runner.  I started to resort to my, "oh not really" but then I corrected myself and said, "Yes, yes I am." and we had a nice talk about her running route and how she went to the local running club (the one I can't go to on Tuesdays for the first time this week.  Awesome!  I assumed she thought I looked like a runner due to my outfit (my running skirt, purple compression socks, crazy bondiband and neon pink bia shirt) but....I've gotten a couple of "do you run?" comments while I've been dressed in regular shorts and sandals too.  I love to look the part!

So we're home now and I'm still on my Awesome Work Out/You Look Like A Runner high.  Aaaahh.  Great way to end August!

Today: 4
This week: 18.9 (Awww, Maaaan!  Why didn't I check the decimal places before I went!)
August: 70.7  (Well, over 70, not too shabby!)


  1. Running was my exercise to do from age 18 to 34, then I developed Plantar Fasciitis and that was it for running. All of my exercises are mainly low impact. Are you training for a marathon? Blog hopping today.

  2. I'm training for my first half marathon...or my first two. I committed to run one with my high school best friend at the end of this month way back in January, and I'm going to run a local one in two weeks. Eeeek! Thanks for stopping!