Track Virgin

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.