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Saturday, May 5, 2007

My First Track Workout

5:30, Wheaton College Track, Thursday, May 3. I got there, ran a few laps slow. I could tell that the long day I had endured was not going to finish well on the track. I was tired before I started.

Maybe it was that I have not stepped outside to run in at least a year. Or, was it that I was nervous having not run on a track in over 20 years. That is, run fast. I have done a few miles here and there on a track, but this was different. This was speedwork.

I have been hitting the gym at the local community college for a couple months. I ran on a treadmill. Different stride. Different form. Aerobic, yes, but my pace is not mine. It's the machine's.

When Jim arrived, it was 6:00 p.m. He was trying to work his bike through a tall turnstile. What do you expect from a 3:49 miler? Same as you expect from everyone else trying to get a bike through an uncooperative turnstile: a request for help.

He sent me on to run an 800 warm-up. He looked at me funny, not sure if I understood 400s meant the same as laps, but that's fair.

The rest of the group came back from their two mile warm-up on the Prairie Path. It is a small group, so Jim introduced me around. There were no more than 10-12 runners.

He explained how things will go.

First, six striders. Those are 100 m runs, not fast, but faster than slow. It is basically to loosen up.

Two sets of three 400s, 200 m recovery. The pattern would be two 400s at a decent pace, then the third a few seconds faster.

  • First 400 was 1:41. Exhausted.
  • Second -- 1:59
  • Third -- 2:02
  • Break
  • Fourth -- 1:47
    (edited for accuracy 5-9-07)

Overwhelmed? Yes and no. I was not overwhelmed with the workout per se, just my inability that day to complete it.

To say I ran makes it sound better than it was. I suffered. It was part physical, part emotional. I wanted to have a little more fire in my legs, but I had what I had.

Next Thursday, I expect better things. Between now and then, I will try to get more slow running in, something I have sorely missed.

Operative word: Sorely.


AdguyRich said...


You ran a great workout on Thursday. I wager that before long you'll be mixing it up with the faster group and having a great time... not that you didn't have a great time this last Thurs eve.

Looking forward to your running rebirth.


Resilient Hawk said...

Thanks Rich. Rebirth might be too strong a term, but I am eager.

I did have a great time Thursday. You're a good bunch - I enjoyed the welcome, and seeing the congeniality everyone has.

I have goals, but none are based in anything substantial. Rather, I pulled them out of a hat.

In the short run (no pun intended), I just hope to keep up with you guys.

The thing I would love most is to enjoy a good long run.

Beyond that, I want a sub-20 5K. It would be nice to do that this summer. A combination of steady LSD, a bit of fartlek, and Jim's workout might do the job.

I want to do a marathon. I need a 3:20:59 to qualify for Boston, and see that as farther off.

Lee said...

Who knew you were a runner guy! (Just kidding.) You know if you hang with us over time you will be transformed. I was. Jim's track and tempo workouts (and a heck of a lot of other running and coaching) have made me "decent" for my age group - at least got me to Boston 4X and formed the base for nine Ironman race finishes. You can do it!

For another blog, albeit infrequnently posted and less frequently viewed, go to

See you Thursday.


Resilient Hawk said...

Thanks, Lee, I checked out your blog following your masters ironman & marathon racing. Ironmans are serious business. My goals are more pedestrian.

I have complete confidence in Jim's workouts. He has upteen years of training from guys like Mike Durkin and Ken Popejoy, not to mention quite a few years of coaching at the collegiate level. How it all works down to my level, at this time, is yet to be seen, but I am sure if I stay healthy and do what I should, the rest will happen.

It was good to see how you've trained, and how you recovered after a long lay off. Good times followed.