This morning was my first “real” track workout in two+ years (when I was getting ready with Sisson for my last time-goal road marathon, Chicago in ’04). After three spectacularly bad marathons in a row, I think I gave up on myself. I turned to pacing and the trails and all timed stuff went out the window in a way. Here and there, I’d do something on the track for a bit by myself…or we’d have some quality-type trail workout…but nothing like the sustained track work I used to do, especially with my beloved coach Andreas (and Mac, who does a GREAT speed workout, and Mixon, though I loathe the track at O’Henry).
So I was a little nervous when we hit the track today. I don’t know what I thought would happen but I was prepared for it to be disappointing in some way. I was nervous while my friend Cathy and I warmed up. After drills, Coach Amy explained the workout and gave us time goals.
We set off. And you know what? It felt damn good to be back on the track.
I met the first time goal; this sounds sappy, but when I realized I was going to hit the second one, too, I got a tear in my eye. It just made me realize how badly I’d been thinking of myself that I would be so pleased at hitting pace on a second 800m repeat. It just got better from there. I loved the workout; I love being on the track. I’d forgotten that. I am so happy to be back.
One of my favorite running memories: when I trained with Andreas, we did our track workouts at night (I think we started at 7 p.m. or something) at Austin High. It was some winter night, cold, and there were no lights at the track. I have this crystal-clear memory of running, watching my breath puff out, and listening to the footfalls while running in the dark.