A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aaaaaand I'm Back

I'll admit that as I was sitting at work yesterday I secretly had my fingers crossed it would thunderstorm and our track workout would be canceled.

When I got home I found that:

    1. I had no clean running shorts
    2. My Garmin battery was totally dead even though it had been on the charger all night
    3. It had started to rain

I sat at my desk and debated whether or not these things were signs I should take the night off. Finally, I pulled a pair of shorts out of the hamper, made peace with my Garmin-less existence, decided it wasn't raining THAT hard anymore, and went to the track.

I'm so glad I did. First off, it wasn't raining at the track, a mere 3 miles from my house. Secondly, our normal coach is gone for a few weeks because he had to go back to Kenya to take care of some stuff so last night we had another long-time member of the club take over. Since I got there later than usual I didn't do my usual mile warm up of jogging around the track. Instead, we all did six "strides" as our warm-up.

What's a stride, you ask? Well, I'd seen them mentioned all over the internets but still couldn't figure out what the heck those people were talking about. I was pretty excited to finally understand!

Our strides consisted of running alongside the football field. We started at the end zone, run and slowly accelerate until the we hit "top speed" at the 50 yard line, and then maintain that speed until the end of the field. Our top speed was supposed to be slightly faster than 5K race pace but not a sprint. At the end of the field we stopped to catch our breath and then turn around and repeat. The idea behind strides is that they help your legs and body get used to a faster turn over rate.

Plus, they were fun! And I think they really helped.

The small group of us unanimously decided to do the 800s/400s workout instead of the 1600s/800s workout we'd been doing the past few weeks. Without my Garmin I'm not positive of my individual lap times, but I can tell you this: we did 5 800s. All of mine were between 3:54 and 4:10. We did 4 400s and all of those were between 1:54 and 2:05.

I'm BACK!!

Maybe I'm still riding an adrenaline high but if you asked me today I would tell you that I love 800s.

I'm not saying those laps were easy. But they're not supposed to be. I am saying that although I was definitely working hard, I didn't feel like quitting, walking, or passing out.

Afterward, instead of doing my usual mile cool-down around the track, we switched it up again. Several of us took our shoes off and ran barefoot on the grass around the track infield. We just did two slow laps, so probably a little less than half a mile. It felt soooo good.

Now, let's just keep our fingers crossed that this is the start of a streak. I've got a twelve mile run coming up this weekend on a new-to-me path and I really want to enjoy it.

And, because I'm in such a good mood, I thought I'd share this totally random photo I found while doing a Google Image Search for "I'm back".

I don't know. It gave me the giggles. Hope it adds a smile to your day, too!


kilax said...

I am happy the speedwork went so well! Your body IS back in the game! Yay!

What new path are you checking out - one with the group? - lol - while I was waiting for the word verification, I saw that you answered this in an email, so nevermind! :)

Breandán said...

Nothing beats the feeling of a comeback.

Tara said...

I LOVE that picture! Too funny!

Jessica (Bayjb) said...

That hat photo is hilarious. And yet, I totally believe men do that. I feel the same way sometimes about working out, I don't want to do it and then am glad I did and it goes well. Ugh but I do give in and not go sometimes.

lifestudent said...

I suck at any sort of speed workout and also suck at pushing myself. So those strides are not something that I would enjoy - but the fact that you did is great for your running. They are pretty important in an overall training program and you seem to be pretty great at being a well-rounded athlete ;)

Anne said...

Welcome back!!! What a great feeling that must have been...and the hat fail did make me smile :)

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