back to the track

On Tuesday I met my dear amazing friend Dora before sunrise at a local high school track. We are pretty sure it had been close to an entire year since we’d met for a workout there. The track used to be a weekly occurrence for us and our running tribe of incredible friends, and we have so many fond memories of sweating it out and working hard there, cheering one another on and suffering through it all together.

back at the track!

As hard as it was to get the work done, it felt really good to be back.

Tuesdays are my speed day each week lately. I usually get my long run done on Saturday or Sunday (depending on my kids’ sports schedules and what my husband’s running plans are), have an easy run Monday, work hard Tuesday, recovery run Wednesday, do light speed or an easy run Thursday (depending on how my legs feel and if I am fully recovered from Tuesday) and run easy again on Friday before my long run over the weekend.

This week my hard workout was a huge set of 400s which are really great to do on the track in my opinion. I arrived there late because I realized after leaving the house that I had forgotten my watch. I went back home to get it and couldn’t find it (turns out it fell out of my coat pocket on the living room floor – doh!) and this made me late. I was a little frustrated and frazzled to be late and not have my watch for the workout, but was also determined to not let this completely derail me or ruin my morning. Dora was running easy laps to stay warm and loosen up when I got there so I hopped right on the track with her and we ran a few miles together just talking and catching up and enjoying the stillness of the morning together. It was wonderful. She was not planning to do a workout that day, so when it was time for me to motivate my tushie to crush some 400s, she ran easy and cheered me on – even timing me for several of them and doing my recovery jogs with me.

What kind of friend does that at sunrise on a freezing cold morning!? The best kind. Dora.

me and my honey b!

I hadn’t run fast like that outside, much less on a track, in a long time. Coach told me to try to run them right around 88 seconds each. My times were all between 87-90 seconds so I felt good about that. I was supposed to get 16 in but because I was late I only had time to get 10 done. Still, it felt like a lot of work (I’m not really sure I had 6 more in me!) and I was happy with how it went and just so grateful to share the morning with my amazing friend. We are going to make it a weekly “date” and I’m definitely excited about this and will love it once the weather warms up and the sun rises earlier. Good times, warmer temps and hard work ahead 🙂

Tuesdays I also make my hardest strength work day, and this week I joined a new boot camp class at Lifetime that is really going to whip me into shape! Lots of squats, lunges, pushups, etc. I like doing my hard strength day on the same day as my speed, so that I am recovering from it all at once. My legs – especially my glutes and inner thighs! – were really sore yesterday when I woke up, so I did a very easy recovery-paced 8 miles yesterday morning along with a Pilates class later in the day that felt oh so good for my body. I wasn’t ready to push anything again today and ran an easy 8 with my friend Karen a little faster than yesterday but didn’t push myself at all. This weekend I’m planning on a 15 miler with the last three miles at marathon goal pace (6:45-6:50), and I want my legs to feel fresh and ready for that!

Getting back to the track feels so good, and I’m excited to return it to my routine again. I love a good hard day and as long as I honor the post-work recovery I really think it will benefit me physically and mentally to dedicate myself to that once a week. My 10 mile race is in one month from today and I’m feeling excited about that!

So here are some questions for you guys – do you like to do speed work at the track? Do you fit a hard strength routine into your training, and if so where do you put it in and how often?

2 thoughts on “back to the track

  1. Great job Jessica! Other than racing, there really is not much that feels as good as a track workout does once you complete it. This is a great post on why it is so important, and you will be ready to go for that 10 mile race! If we can help with anything during your preparation, let us know!

  2. all posts in one comment: proud of you for listening to your body and your heart. says a lot!! and yay robert!! glad yall had fun and he kicked so much A! I don't have easy access to a track (it's about 20 mins away) and i have a fear of running there in the dark alone so a lot of my speed work is done on the treadmill right now. i'm not doing a lot of “hard” strength work right now- more ab and glute work but they are on off running days.

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