The reason I trekked to the indoor track this morning is simple. Our cats were clean out of food. That meant a trip to the local grocery store was necessary. Otherwise their might be riots in our house. The grocery store is on the way back from the Vaughn Center so I volunteered to stop and get nibbles for our pussies while Sue went to Master’s Swim at Marmion Academy.
After a mile of warmup on the track, I was deciding what to run and settled on a couple mile intervals at 7:30 pace. I’m trying to get in shape, not kill myself. But the first mile went so smooth I did not even fear the second. I settled into a crisp cadence and enjoyed the feel of the solid New Balance shoes under my feet was pleasant and brisk.
7:30 pace is neither really fast or really slow. It is a fun pace to run. Today’s track direction was clockwise versus the traditional counterclockwise. I’ve gotten used to doing that and don’t give it much thought any more. Yet it once felt so weird to run the opposite direction on a track. That’s because no one ever did it. I can’t recall running the ‘wrong’ direction on a track for more than a couple hundred meters during high school, college or well beyond. We just never did real workouts in a clockwise direction.
Public facilities now wisely switch the direction daily. It’s probably a good thing. It’s not for me to determine that. I just go along.
As I clicked off laps I actually ran ahead of pace, finishing the first mile in 7:24 and the second in 7:27. My goal will be to add a mile next week and then seek to take my times down by five seconds each week. The goal by March is to be running three mile intervals at just under 7:00 pace.
Very achievable. I raced 5K last spring at 6:50 pace. That additional speed will come from doing 400s and 800s down near 6:00 pace. That’s 1:30 per 400. A bit quicker than I’m running now, but that will come. I’m comfortable with that.
Do you see what’s going on here? I’m testing my body but not defeating the purpose. I’m planning improvement but accepting that it’s not going to come overnight. I’m enjoying the process even though I get tired toward the end. That’s how you have fun in running. By allowing yourself to improve.
This morning I felt so good I thought about eventually building up to six or eight of those mile intervals. That would be excellent training if I were to enter the half-marathon being held this April on the Great Western Trail. But we’ll see if the strength work helps my hips enough to justify taking on 13.1 miles.
Following the workout a band of four high school girls showed up to do their track workout under the direction of Julio, the coach at Aurora Christian HS who directs a youth track program at the Vaughn. He’s great at working with kids and it’s fun to be training when they’re tearing around the track in their youthful exuberance. It’s almost like being young again. Almost.
I’m happy with the age I am, and who I am. That should be the goal for everybody who wants to run, and have fun. Be happy in what you’re doing and that happiness will extend out into the world. And come back to you in ways you never imagined.