Welcome back to the track

The idea actually was exciting. Yes, the thought of a track workout had me ready to go this morning. Heck, I was even OK with the thought of running on the track in the rain.

It marked my return to training. My getting back to something I love. Some have jokingly called running or endurance sports an addiction. And perhaps it is for those who reach that elusive runner’s high. (I have yet to experience euphoria while running. Euphoria after running? Yes. But that’s a different thing all together.) But I think it’s a misnomer to call it an addiction. It’s something I love, something that brings me joy. Stop doing anything that you love or brings you joy — whether it’s running or cooking or reading or watching movies or collecting stamps — and you’re bound to feel a sense of sadness and loss.

Today was the day I would get access to some of joy back.

I strapped on my shoes and a rain jacket and took off to meet my friend Sue. I waited for her in the municipal parking lot, where we usually meet before running over to the high school track in order to get in a decent warmup and cool down. The rain was kinda heavy. Small ponds were forming in the parking lot. Hmm. Maybe I should have moved the workout to the treadmill.

Nope. It was warm out despite the rain. And I would be spending enough time inside on treadmills, especially for speed workouts, in the coming months when it will be too dark, too bitter cold or too icy to make some outdoor training sessions effective and safe. This is time to take advantage of every runnable moment outdoors.

Sue and I slowly ran to the track. Huh. Seemed like it was farther than the 1.3 miles my Garmin clocks.

The track workout held no fear for me. I had to do six 600-meter repeats at a pace that my coach told me was rather relaxed. A relaxed track workout. Just to get back into the swing of things. I liked that thought.

But the first 600 meters, my legs felt weird. Wobbly but heavy. Kind of like pudding. The next 600 meters felt the same way. The rain had let up so I took off my jacket.

This was not easy.

This was back to business.

I completed all six repeats, granted a bit faster than prescribed but right around target pace. And this “easier” workout still had my core on fire, my legs tired and the possibility of having to crawl on the 1.3-mile cool down back to the car.

See, it might be a lighter paced track workout. But it was still a track workout. It is supposed to hurt to some extent. It is supposed to be hard.

It is supposed to push me out of my comfort zone.

Welcome back indeed.

What wonders will be in store for me as I stretch my boundaries this time?

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~ by amymoritz on September 28, 2010.

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