For those of you loyal folks out there who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I ran indoor track last year with my running group.  You might have been wondering “will she do it again this year, given her blogging has been really off?”  The answer is a RESOUNDING YES! For those of you who are new readers, thank you for reading, and please drop me a comment so I know who you are, and if you’re on Twitter or have a blog, please let me know that too!  (Full disclosure: I tend to spend more time on Twitter than blogs lately but I do try to catch up from time to time with everyone and find out what’s been going on, so you may not hear from me for a little while, and then all of a sudden you’ll see lots of comments all in a row.)

Anyway, Forrest Gump Anonymous is my husband’s nickname for my track workouts. This year, the sessions are still being held at the same high school, where 11 laps = one mile. But it’s with different coaches than last winter. This group has a different philosophy than last year. They try to be pretty inclusive and not necessarily stick people in groups based on pace.  For example, for tonight, we worked in pairs, where one of us was running and the other was timing and tracking laps.  Each of us ran a mile, while the other one yelled out splits and lap times. Then we traded places, and got time to catch our breath.  Then we repeated the same thing, another mile.  I worked with someone who is now going to work on doing the “run program” rather than the “run-walk program”, so unfortunately for her, she got less time in between than I did. 

Because the track is so small, the new coaches want to treat these sessions more as interval sessions than as speed sessions. But, I kind of feel like this is the season where I do work on speed.  They say that at the outdoor track sessions, that people are going to be doing speed work. But, to be honest, in the cold that we have to endure in the Northeast, I am not going to be doing outdoor track. To me, one of the worst feelings is when sweat dries on you when out in the cold, as you stand around in between laps. At least when you are outside on a normal run, you just kind of keep on going, and going, and going….you don’t stop long enough to get chilled.

So, tonight, during each of those 11 laps you were supposed to start out at a slower pace and gradually get faster. During the first mile, I’m embarrassed to admit, but I couldn’t remember how to start the stop watch, it’s been that long since I did track workouts. So my paces were all over the place, and to be honest, I didn’t want to start out that slow! So, for the second  mile, I just started at 44 second laps, and tried to keep it consistent, at a pace where I felt like toward the end I could go faster. So, I know, I’m a bad rule follower, but I’m happy to say my first mile was 7:49 and the second was 7:43.  Now here’s where I was a total idiot.  I did one lap too many for the first mile that Gail timed me. She was yelling out numbers of laps that I had done, and I thought the number I heard was the number of the lap I was starting. So, I think I could have done the first one faster, but I was holding myself back a bit on “real lap 11″/”my brain thought it was lap 10.”

God, I LOVED running fast again tonight! (Well, fast for me, but not for a lot of other people out there.)   It’s been a while, and I’m so glad I decided to do this again.  Gail thanked me for running with her. She said that last year she always felt self-conscious being the last one out there running, but she was happy to see that this year, people that didn’t even know her were yelling out encouragement as she went around and around. (I wonder if she realizes she was pretty supportive herself?) The people in this track group look to be good for that reason. I hope it continues that way!

Because it’s late and I’d like to get up and get some writing in, in the morning, I’ll leave you now with one of my favorite songs to run to when I’m not worrying about my pace. It’s called Chances by Five For Fighting.  I really like the lyrics, which I find to be uplifting.