This morning marked my triumphant return to the high school track and, yes, speed work. It is time for the speed work. I took some time off from the speed work, and now I am back. Welcome back, speed work. I’ve missed you.
Since it had been a few months since I’d done any official speed work (not counting the occasional faster-than-normal 3 mile run), I decided to keep it relatively easy today. It was just as well, because I wanted to make a trip to the grocery store first and was short on time. Sometimes a girl just wants more cara cara oranges, broccoli, and raisins at 6 am. So I hit both the store and the track. Yes, women really can have it all.
The last few times I attempted any kind of track work, I mostly stuck to doing 200 and 400 repeats (if my dad is reading this, 400 is once around the track and a quarter mile). In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever done longer intervals than that. I think my idea had been to work my way up to it, but then I kind of stopped doing the whole “work” part. In my defense, the track was covered in snow for most of the winter.
So today, I thought I’d do a few 400s and call it a day.
I know I don’t need to write down every last detail of these workouts, but I want to, mostly so I have a record of it. It also might be fun to see my progress as the months and years go by – optimistically assuming, of course, that I make progress.
Here’s what I did this morning:
1 x 1600: easy*
1 x 400: 7:22 pace
1 x 400: easy
1 x 400: 7:25 pace
1 x 400: easy
1 x 400: 7:18 pace
1 x 400: easy
1 x 400: 7:24 pace
1 x 800: easy
*easy paces all fell between 10:00-10:21
I was pleased with this. I actually wasn’t sure how fast I was going until I looked at the lap breakdown on my app after I got home – as I run, my watch shows the duration of each quarter mile, but I’m not savvy enough to be able to immediately translate that into pace, not to mention that my brain just doesn’t want to do the math this early in the morning. But this is good stuff, because I remember the last time I was doing similar workouts, I could barely run faster than an 8:00 pace for a 400. I was lucky if I hit 7:55. So the fact that these are well into the 7s is a good sign that I’ve improved.
And that’s all I ever want to do.
Here’s another cool li’l thing: a graph showing my cadence. The higher dots were the fast intervals.
I wrote something here earlier about how the graph shows my stride but I don’t think what I wrote was right. I think this graph just shows how fast my feet were moving. It’s still fun to look at.
Anyway, I think I’m off to a good start.
I’ll miss coming to the track after I move away, but maybe I’ll make it back every now and then. We’ll see. I know all I need for speed work is a relatively flat surface, but there’s something nice about running on an honest-to-goodness track, especially in a town small enough where no one else is using it when you are.
And especially one at your former high school. I drove out of the parking lot at 7:20, just as all of the school buses were pulling in. I had a good high school experience, but at that moment, I was suddenly very glad to be a grownup.