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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On Track

Here's a question for you... Why do track workouts suck ass? Granted, I know there are some of you out there that love going to the track. But, clearly, you are not well in the head. Because track workouts are the devil. I mean, how can the idea of... ohhhh let's go out and push ourselves to the point of feeling that simultaneously our legs are going to burst into flames and we're going to puke our guts up... be fun? That's effed up. I pray for you sick, twisted people. I really do.

Furthermore... it's the summer. So, not only do you have to run fast, but you have to run fast with no shade or breeze with heat just radiating up from the paved track. Awesome. I'm not entirely sure, but I think this describes Dante's 9th circle of hell.

So, I think in this whole I wanna focus on mileage, not pace summer of Amy 2009 thing I got going on... I've essentially just been trying to avoid speed workouts at all costs and I use the mileage as a sort of justification for that. But, just like you... I'm not really buying it. I know I need speedwork. Regardless of how many miles I'm running. If I wanna get faster, I gotta train to get faster. Bloody hell.

Today the humidity was only 76%, so, it was the perfect day to torture myself! I headed to the track. I had no idea how I'd fare. The last time I was at the track, I was preparing for the St. Louis Marathon and was doing Yasso 800s in 3:59. That didn't seem all that realistic to me now... in the heat... with all the miles on my legs lately, etc. So, I figured I'd hopefully get some 800s in around 4:10 or so.

The first 800... not so bad. I ran it in exactly 3:59. Which, made me a little cocky. Well, well... Miss Amy, looks like you still got it (yes, sometimes I talk to myself in the 3rd person). But, by about 100 meters into the second interval, the honeymoon was over. I felt like shit. I had decided that I didn't need no stinking track workouts and that when I finished this lap, I was heading back out to the streets. When I finished the interval and saw that my time was 3:59 again, I decided to take a recovery jog around the track before quitting.

But... by the time the recovery jog was over, I thought to myself... awww... what the hell... I can do one more. So, I started another one and immediately regretted the decision. Ugh, running faster just sucks so bad. The third interval? You guessed it. 3:59. WTF? At least I'm consistent.

So, at this point, I decided that I could go ahead and do a 4th and last interval. I finished that one in 4:01. Not too shabby. The run home wasn't so much fun. I had a major case of jelly legs. I know I need to consistently get to the track, but damn it's just so hard. Especially since my track partner is gone. I hated those Tuesday track sessions, but at least I didn't bail out early because I knew I'd catch shit from him if I did.

I am proud of myself for not bailing after the second interval. Because, that's totally an Amy move (a pre-summer of 2009 Amy move, that is). And because an awful track workout in the morning just wasn't enough for me... I plan on doing my two-a-day today. My Thursday night running pal had to bail on me this week, so, I think I'll just go ahead and get it over with this afternoon. Fun times, I tell ya.


Chris said...

Track workouts are tough. At least you got it done!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I'm one of the crazy ones. I don't care for mile repeats, but anything under that is good. I would MUCH rather a track workout, over a tempo run any day. I would probably do 2 track workouts to keep from doing one tempo, but I need the tempos. Trying to focus on the tempo runs for St. George. Yuck! Way to get it done.

J said...

Yes i love track workouts lol but I am certainly well in the head! I agree sometimes they do suck ass but when you have a track partner I think they are easier. I ran 800s this morning too and they did kinda stink...but we both got them done so its good!

runnerinsight said...

As long as you are comfortable on track workouts then everything's good. : ) Its better that you get it done. : ) Just keep the fire burning! ; )

Anonymous said...

Long comment -- had to copy this story for you.

The New York Times—which has been focusing so much lately on running that we here at Runner's World may consider covering politics, business, and the arts—has a neat little article today titled That Little Voice Inside Your Twinge.

The gist, to quote the article's author, Gina Kolata: "Everyone tells you to listen to your body, but what are you supposed to listen to? Turns out it’s not so obvious."

I, for one, am glad to see this subject broached. And not just because the photo illustration accompanying the Times article is hilarious, showing a runner clutching his knee with an expression that says "Well, this is just great" more than "OW!", while a ghost version of the guy stands nearby, apparently doing The Robot.

No, I'm glad to see this subject broached because I've always kinda thought that "Listen to your body" is possibly the most reckless advice ever.

I don't know about yours, but my body seldom "tells" me anything useful, or wise. I certainly would never trust it as a diagnostic tool. I mean, what makes my body so smart? Did my body go to medical school? Has my body been boning up physiology or sports medicine or kinetics behind my back? I mean, behind its back?

I think not.

Here are just a few things my body has told me recently:

"This speed workout is unpleasant. Slow down."
"That pound cake is not on your list, but you should definitely throw it in the basket."
"A fourth beer would be a smart move. Go get it."
None of those pearls of wisdom panned out really well.

In short, my body is not terribly sophisticated. I'll "listen" to my body, and react accordingly, if the message is "You have stepped on a rusty roofing nail" or "Your palm appears to be resting on a white-hot griddle." Short of that, I'll keep my own council, thanks.

Now if you'll excuse me, my body says it wants a doughnut.

Vandy-Montana said...

I don't miss those track workouts.