Track Party Thursday. And I didn’t have to climb a fence

I said I was going to do it. And I did.

I’ve decided to repeat the last few weeks of Couch to 5k. Because the thought of trying to run 3 miles and failing, again, was too much. I started thinking of this a couple weeks ago and didn’t want to do it because it would be close to the start of half marathon training. If only I had started then. As it is, I don’t have quite enough weeks between now and September 30th for the full half training. But I’ll be close. Side note: I’ve finally decided. I’ll be running the Smuttynose Rockfest!! My favorite beach, beer at the end, and the claimed “flattest course in New England”.

I looked over the couch to 5k and found the workout that didn’t want to make me sit down and cry and was approximately what I was feeling comfortable with the last few weeks. Turns out I was dead on. The workout was this: Run 0.5 mi, walk 0.25mi, run 0.5mi, walk 0.25mi, run 0.5mi.

I showed up at the track all set to go. I had my favorite running clothes on, chewing gum, breathe strip in place, Nuun filled water bottle in hand. There were guys playing soccer on the field in the middle and I headed for the entrance. It was locked. I walked to all the others. They were locked to.  But all signs stated “Open 7 am until sunset”. What the heck? And how’d those guys get to the field? Then it occurred to me that the guys in the middle probably hopped the fence. Damn. Let me tell you, here at WEFF, we don’t climb fences. Unless being chased by a large dog. Or the cops. (Would never happen. My life is boring like that)

Another woman was walking around and so I asked if she knew if it was supposed to be open. She confirmed and we talked for a minute. Then she made a phone call and someone that lives in the town/city/burrow I was running in, came and unlocked it for us on the condition that I didn’t see or hear anything because he wasn’t sure if he should be unlocking it. By the time I hit the track 3 more woman had shown up to walk with the first, two high school football players came to run drills, and a couple of couples were also there to walk. This meant I was the fastest person and could take lane 1. I’m sure it was my first and last time. I did the run and the walk and then during the second run, 4 real runners showed up. And then I lapped three sets of walkers! I think that’s the only lapping I’ll ever do; buzzing by middle aged walkers. During the next walk the real runners started and as I was coming to the end of the walk lap I heard one guy call out their lap time. And then say “oh, that’s about a 6:42 minute mile” all casual and NBD-like. And I was so jealous. I want to be a cool kid, running fast with some friends. Instead I hit up my last slow 0.5 mile. And I knew it was going to be tough. I’m terrible at pacing and let myself “go easy” for the first lap so the second wouldn’t hurt as much. I had remembered to check my watch and when I checked at the end of the first lap, it was a 3 minute quarter. So slow. But actually so much faster than I’ve been going lately.  Then it was time for the final lap and I picked up the pace. And halfway around I just wanted to quit. Just bail out and walk across the field to my water. But I pushed. And I grunted. And I yelled at myself (in my head…I hope) and then in the final straightaway I sprinted as best I could and came in at 2:51. Ugh. But I was done! And felt fantastic. I felt accomplished.  And I knew I had run a workout that really was at my fitness level. And running no longer feels like a chore. I hope Saturday morning goes this well.

Cheers for track party Thursday! I think I’ll go back again next Thursday. It was nice to have the camaraderie of all the other people using the track while I could still do my own thing.

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