Coincidentally, my Thursday track session provided perfect fodder for a flashback, and so you will get it today. Rest easy, fans of failure. There are some lowlights ahead just for you.
I have returned to using a track I ran at for most of last year, and that return has meant seeing some old friends. The past two Thursdays, I have had to share the lanes with a youth track team, a rather varied team that ranges from I'd guess 7 to 13 years old. And it's the same coaches who specialize in cluttering the open lanes and inspiring vituperate rants from this runner.
Thursday's schedule called for eight repeats of 400 meters at sub-1:40 (6:42 per mile). The track team was running short repeats on the first curve in lanes 1-5, and some other kids who seemed to just be watching milled about the other lanes. There were also a lot of walkers using the track. The crowded lanes and hot sun made for a particularly draining workout.
My first five intervals probably looked more like sine waves than laps around a track. As I started my intervals in Lane 5, I had to swing wide around the team and then swing back in to avoid the other people using the outer lanes. I torched the first 400 and managed to hit my pace on the first three repeats.
But then, I started to falter. I grew tired and hot. My recovery laps became slower and slower, and my water breaks lasted longer. The team's practice seemed to draw to an end, as the kids ran cool-down drills in the infield. Two of the of my last three intervals were on pace, for an overall average of 1:38.5 per 400 meters (6:34 per mile). Considering the crowd and heat, I'll take it.
And now the statistical rundown:
8 x 400 meters
- Goal pace: Sub-1:40 per interval (6:42 per mile)
- Lap 1: 1:28.81 (5:54 per mile)
- Lap 2: 1:38.25 (6:34 per mile)
- Lap 3: 1:36.06 (6:26 per mile)
- Lap 4: 1:43.31 (6:54 per mile) FAIL
- Lap 5: 1:43.06 (6:54 per mile) FAIL
- Lap 6: 1:39.05 (6:38 per mile)
- Lap 7: 1:41.78 (6:46 per mile) FAIL
- Lap 8: 1:37.72 (6:30 per mile)
- Average pace: 1:38.5 (6:34 per mile)
- Total distance: 5.7 miles
I think I'll try arriving at the track later, to avoid the bulk of the track team's practice. Since I'm seeing my old track friends, perhaps this week I'll run into a certain crimson crusader.
The remainder of my weekend consisted of an eight-miler at marathon race pace on Saturday and a 16-miler on Sunday. I pretended to be smart and carried my water bottle on both runs and mowed down more Jolly Ranchers during my long run. I ran at 9:06 per mile on Saturday and 9:32 per mile on Sunday -- pretty solid for me. I have felt good these past two weekends, as my mileage has continued to climb. Today will be a welcome recovery run.
I hope you all ran well and drank well this weekend. Cheers!