It was one year ago that I first ever tried running on the track. My sister Jodi and I were training for MCM and we would wake one another up every Wednesday morning before 5am – excited and grateful to be in it together. Those mornings, watching the sun rise and listening to the soft sound of our feet on the track’s surface, they are some of the most peaceful moments I have ever experienced as a runner. This year, Jodi is recovering from the ACL surgery she had in the spring. To say I have missed her is an understatement. As fulfilling and wonderful as this training cycle has been so far, there is always an important element missing and it is sharing it with my sister. Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I received a text from Jodi asking me to pick her up this morning on my way to the track. She wanted to come and support us as we ran!!
Jodi REALLY misses running – it is a part of her that she has been forced to set aside so that she can heal properly. She said she is DREAMING about running as she sleeps – she longs for it with every piece of her being. Her attitude is amazing to me – just because she can’t run right now doesn’t mean she isn’t just as passionate about the sport as ever. She doesn’t want to hole herself up and disappear from the rest of us. She is spending her time coaching and teaching and inspiring – and recovering. Before too long she will be back on the trails and the track RUNNING. For now, she is there to offer us whatever support she can. I love her more than words can say and I am insanely proud of her. I wish she wasn’t going through this, but I have no doubt she is going to be stronger for it. And wow will be celebrate the day she begins running again!
Today’s workout was a BEAST. I was intimidated by it when I saw it on paper, but told myself not to worry about it. To tackle it one interval, one set at a time.
4 SETS of the following (3 minutes of active recovery between each set):
1×400 easy run pace
We warmed up for a mile and a half and then it was GO time. I am training at paces for a 3:20 marathon and my target times for the work were:
800s – 3:04-3:12
Hard 400s – 1:28-1:33
My actual times today were:
800s – 3:09, 3:04, 3:06, 3:07
Hard 400s: 1:29, 1:32, 1:34, 1:32
The fact that I was able to stay consistent shows me that the paces I’m aiming for are RIGHT for me. Easy? Oh my gosh, NO. Killing me and defeating me? NO. Outside what I am capable of? NO! I am ready for this goal. I am stepping up to it.
I am staring it in the face and I am GOING to accomplish it.
It is not some pie-in-the-sky dream of mine. It is founded on a firm belief that I CAN and I WILL do it. The work I am doing and the results I am seeing support my conviction and I am not going to back down. I’m just not. I believe I can do it and I will do it. I believe it with all of my heart. I am fighting for it.
|must learn to relax face! and shoulders. and lower my arms.|
When we were done with the work we cooled down for another mile and half, getting a full 7 miles in this morning. We decided Jodi looked too clean and smelled too good to be at the track. So we gave her a giant, sweaty, stinky group hug to remind her how much she missed this part of summer running with the honey badgers!
|now that’s love. doesn’t she look happy? and totally grossed out.|
Wednesdays at the track always remind me of how LUCKY I am to be a runner. When I am pushing myself like that — targeting a goal that is HARD but within my reach if I just give it all I’ve got — I feel so alive! My heart is fuller than full. I’m glad the work is done for today, but I know I’ll be so excited when next Wednesday rolls around.
Do you do track workouts as part of your marathon training plan? Do you love them as much as I do? What are your goals for your next big race?!