Saturday, February 05, 2011

Adventures at the indoor track

I'm on track to run 40+ miles AGAIN this week! 2 weeks in a row! That hasn't happened Like since Baystate awhile.  No wonder I'm so out of shape...I have been sucking. it. up. when it comes to actually running acceptable mileage [for me.] Granted my rash of injuries over the past couple months hasn't been any help with that.  But I THINK [fingers so majorly crossed] that I may have finally snapped out of the funk and am on my way back to...something.

My body is perplexed right now. It wants to be marathon training.   I did a great 30 min/slightly more than 4 miles tempo on Wednesday where I just locked in and cruised for half an part was I was going into the workout thinking of doing 3 x 10 minute tempos with breaks in between, and I sucked it up and did the whole half hour - this is the mental toughness I need to start finding again.  But my legs are like "tempo? psh I can handle tempo!"  Actual legit speedwork? Not quite so much.  Anything below about 6:30 pace isn't sitting so well, and while tempos have their place in track training they're not going to get me to a fast 5K on the track in the spring. I know, the time will come. I'm proud of myself for FINALLY getting back to GBTC workouts (well, not this week, since Reggie was closed due to snowpocolypse part #593) even though I'm getting my ass kicked by everyone at the moment. But besides being a major slice of humble pie, working out with the club is motivation to get back, because I know who I should be running with and the fact that they're killing me in a 600s workout is about all the motivation I need to snap out of my wintry blahs and get my ass out there and run.

So musings aside, I've seen a bunch of glimpses of my crazy competitive self over the past couple of weeks.  Due to the ridiculous weather and the fact that I'd prefer not to roll my ankle again and/or die in slushy wetness, I've been spending a decent amount of time running circles on the upstairs track at BU.  It's 7 laps to a mile, so basically like running on any other indoor track out there, but what makes it really entertaining is the people.  Oh, the people. OK - so at risk of sounding like a mean/terrible person, I do a lot of people watching/judging when I'm running on the track.  Don't get me wrong, I'm totally supportive of everyone who is getting out there and running and trying...but sometimes when I'm running in circles for an hour I amuse myself by judging the people around me. [I know, I knowww...who am I to be miss high and mighty, blah blah blah.  I in no way think that I am the best or the coolest or the fastest or even anywhere close to any of those things. But musing over other people's behavior distracts me from the fact that I am running in circles. So shoot me.]

My personal favorite occurrence has happened twice in the past week, and that's people [ESPECIALLY boys] who take it really personally that I'm faster than them, and thus, passed them on the track.  It's the same situation every time, I'm running easily, cruising along, and I happen to pass someone.  Whatever, there are like 30 people on the track, some running faster than others. People get passed. Duh. But these people take it as some sort of personal affront/challenge/there is no way a girl is running faster than me sort of deal, and decide that I need to be taught a lesson. But here's a hint, boy in the gray shirt.  When a girl runs past you, and she's not really breathing hard, or looking like she's putting a whole ton of effort in, there's a chance she's got several more gears.  And so, when you try to pick up the pace and shoot past, her, she will pick up right with you and calmly cruise at your side while you give her dirty looks (no joke) and attempt to surge over and over again to no avail. And for 2 whole miles, you'll try to get rid of her and pass her, and every time you try she will be right there at your side...because she senses how irritated you're getting and wants to mess with you (what can I say?).  And then, finally, when she's done with her run, she'll decide YOU are the one who needs to be taught a lesson...and so, she'll drop down to 5K pace the last lap and leave you in her dust.  Newsflash, gray shirt guy: girls are occasionally faster than boys.  It happens. Deal with it.  (True story. And I enjoyed every minute of, it turned my easy run into a great progression and kept me entertained too!)

We also have your usual cast of characters who enjoy such things as walking in a huge pack in lane 1, even though there are signs all over the place that say "runners to lane 1, walkers to lane 4", and people who enjoy sprinting for ~15 seconds and then stopping short right in front of you, also (obviously) in lane 1.  On Thursday I saw a girl who was walk/jogging while holding a water bottle (despite the fact that there's a water fountain right next to the track) and then stopping to stand (right next to the water fountain) and drinking it. We have the usual lane drifters, people who just can't make up their mind, girls who look like they spent about an hour getting prettified to come run a mile on the track, etc. All provide excellent amusement to me while I'm counting down the laps to 7 or 8 miles (except of course when they're in my way, which happens often, though I guess that's sort of a stimulus in it's own way).  Anyway, a salute to you, BU track users, for making my workouts infinitely more amusing and occasionally more challenging when I have to pick it up to teach one of you a lesson. :)

That's about all I can think of at the moment.  In an absolutely crazy move for me, I responsibly did my long run yesterday because I knew it was going to snow today and/or tomorrow. Thumbs up, self! Have a great weekend, enjoy the Superbowl...GO PACK GO!


J said...

The track is almost as good for people watching as the gym. I honestly don't know why girls get all dressed up just to exercise. I always look like I just rolled out of bed when I workout. I am sure your speed will return just keep rocking those workouts!

Anonymous said...

i'm jealous that your body wants to be in marathon training. mine? not so much! that's a great workout you did. totally building up that mental toughness.

i need to hit up an indoor track. i love people watching :)

Anonymous said...

See, people are amazed that I can spend so much time on a treadmill, but I honestly feel like it's WAY mentally easier than running 7 laps to a mile on an indoor track. Thank goodness for Gray T-shirt Guy and company, who probably help keep things interesting!