Today was my first track workout in probably a year. I was prepared to come back and tell you all how much I hate the track. But, the fact is, I sort of love it. Hate/love.
After running all my hard efforts on the road, I’m always so amazed how easy it is to hit those same paces on the track, even if you have to dodge kids and benches. It’s almost like the track is flat. Even if the track I run on, at the high school near us, emits a faint taste of rubber that clings to the inside of your mouth as you suck down air and when no one is there I can feel the humming of power lines in my teeth – though there are no power lines visible, it’s still always fast.
Today, there was a select youth soccer tryout going on too. Only the tryout didn’t start until I was actually completely finished. So, the entire time I was running, about a hundred kids and all their siblings were warming up and running around, throwing balls across the track, darting in front of me, and talking to parents who were standing in the middle of the lane. I dodged and wove. At one point in the middle of a tempo mile, I caught a ball about to hit me and threw it back to the kid without slowing down. Because the workout wasn’t challenging enough?
The workout was plenty challenging. It was mile, 6 x 800s, mile. And, the track never lies. The miles were just supposed to be tempo and the 800s descending. I suck at pacing, though. I kept telling myself don’t go too hard, because it’ll just hurt later. But, without fail, I pretty much always go too hard the first lap and then have to pull it back or hang on, depending. And, if you have to get faster throughout the 800s, starting too fast can end badly.
But, I got it done and did the last 800 in 2:59. Phew.