Today marked my first official workout on a track. After 36 years, I guess it's about damn time. Psychologically, I felt faster just being on a track. My timed 800s at 5k speed didn't reflect that because I missed my 2:55/800m pace. But I felt faster thanks to all the energy and ambiance surrounding me. The Fortius team meets at Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City once a week for this coached workout, a very posh institution with a college-level track and football/soccer field. Today, two large football squads from what appeared to be Santa Monica High School were working out, along with a club-level youth soccer team. Fast, young athletic kids whooped and hollered everywhere, and it was almost impossible not to get caught up in the near-rambunctious vibe.
According to Coach Gerardo, I essentially made every mistake in the track workout book. I paced myself when I should have been running all-out during my timed 800s. I should have been reviewing each 800 lap on my Garmin watch to adjust my pace accordingly. I should have been leaning forward while running, not backwards. My arms needed to be striding forwards, propelling me further along with my pumping legs -- which needed to fire higher.
That's OK. I didn't beat myself up. Honestly, I had a great time tonight! The experience took me back to what it must have been like to run on the track or cross-country team in high school. And having my Fortius teammates all around me, flying by on the track, or leisurely jogging in between sets -- well, it was just plain motivating. I got to see my friend Christina, whom I haven't visited with in person in what feels like months. We ran together, joked together, and swam together in our evening Foritus-coached swim session at VNSO park. Yep, I did a double workout. Last night, I indicated I was getting up early in the morning for the early swim session. I just couldn't do it. The body wanted no part of that 5:40 a.m. wakeup call. I know this because in is an all-to rare experience, I slept straight through from 10:15 p.m. through 4:15 a.m. I usually wake up a couple times a night for a quick bathroom break. Fatigue was talking last night, and I listened. Really glad I did. I made it through the track workout with enough energy to swim a 1:33 timed 100 at the end of a 2,450-yard session.
And I even had enough energy to let out a little primal yell on the way to my car, that's how good I felt.
Of course, that's because I saved a little energy on the track when I shouldn't have, but I'm no longer a track virgin. I know what to expect now, and I'll do it better next time.
Now it's off to try and rinse the chlorine off me and jump into bed. I've got a 6:15 wakeup call to get a 1.5 hour bike ride in at Griffith Park. Zones 1-2 are the order tomorrow, sitting for most of the ride. I can dig that.
Puttin' in the time.
140 days and counting.