Cony Track Session 4×400 & 4×200 – RunLog 7-17-18

The weather forecast for this morning was not all that great, a big storm was expected, with lots of rain, lightning and some winds forecast. Not a great day for the Quarry Road 5K Trail Race tonight and looking at the weather radar, I pretty much expected it to be postponed. Rain is one thing, thunder and lightning, well that is a different story altogether.

So I decided that it might be a great day for Track Tuesday this morning before the storm hit. I haven’t been to the track since April and definitely need to work a bit on running faster for me. Since I have decided to chase a faster 5K, I need to train a little differently than I have been.

The track is the best place to do that – IMHO.

Colby’s track is closed, Lawrence and Winslow were a bit further, so that pretty much left Cony being the only choice that made sense. When I got there a bunch of kids were doing 400’s and I asked the coach if it was okay if I used the track or would he prefer I came back later, while they were doing a lap. He said go ahead, they might be using lanes 1 and 2 a few more times, but they were moving on to field work, so sharing the track wasn’t an issue.

I did my stretches watched the kiddos run a lap and enjoyed the stride that some of them possessed (jealous) and went through my warm-up routine. I got out in lane 4 and started a mile warm-up (when I looked back, the kids had finished and were moving to the infield), so I moved to lane 2.

There was one other walker sharing the track with me. On my first fast lap, I passed him on the left in the first corner – I had to go into the grass a little, but I might have cut back in a little sooner than I should have. No, I didn’t put out my elbows or anything, but track etiquette was remembered after that. 🙂

Yeah, sometimes you just have to remind people – on the next lap while he was walking in lane 2. He got the message.

I wasn’t out to break any land speed records and wanted to stay around what I would love to be my 5K road race pace, especially since I hadn’t done any hard speed work for quite a while. Gotta get the body used to running faster and harder, before I get too stoopid about it.

After thinking about what I wanted to accomplish, I figured 4 x 400 and 4 x 200 at a reasonably hard effort would be about right. No sprinting allowed – not that I would be able to, even if I wanted to – you gotta be able to breath to sprint.

The first fast 400 was basically feeling out how the old body felt about things and attempting to hold a pretty even pace for a lap. Which I did a pretty good job of. After that the 400’s got tougher to hold that pace and I did slow down a little. My best quarter was 1:31, with the others between 1:36-1:48. Nothing spectacular that is for sure, but it did get the old heart and lungs pumping pretty good, with a little burn in the legs, which is what I wanted.

Then I switched to 200’s

This is particularly humbling, back in the glory days, the 220 was my favorite and best event, I broke 23 on more than a couple of occasions. Today, while I wasn’t sprinting the 200’s (probably never will sprint that far ever again), holy sea biscuits, it felt hard enough to break 55 seconds. I did manage one 51 second 200 and was pretty happy about that effort.

Where oh where have my legs gone. I think 40+ years and an extra 30 pounds doesn’t help too much. Hehehehe

The most surprising thing about this workout was the shoes. I wore my new Nike Speed Rival 6’s and while the fit is odd and they are fugly. They are are also fast and comfortable – in other words I didn’t think about them during the workout and I didn’t feel super beat-up like I have in other race day shoes I have worn for track workouts. I do believe I am gonna like them.

I also think that I will be moving the Milestone Pod up one set of lace holes. It seems to flop around too much and was off by almost a quarter mile on the distance before I calibrated. I am still experimenting with it and the information it provides. Not sure if it is as useful when doing speedwork on the track. It seems to work better for me when I using it for tempo or actual racing. It has opened my eyes to a few things, but as of now the information is limited by how I do my workouts.

Cool Down

One thing I do like about running at Cony is that I get to run 2.0 miles of the Cony 5K course as a cool-down. I gotta admit that the arse (glutes) muscles were quite toasty and didn’t like the idea of running up those two little bumps in front of Cony one little bit. Once I got over them, the body (and probably my pea brain), decided that the sooner we get back to the finish, the sooner they would get a rest.

It did start to rain pretty good as I turned back into Pierce (Cony) and again I looked at the area where a lot of the problems with my left Achilles started and figured out how I probably did it coming around that corner. Old news, but something I do think about every time I come around that turn.

The reality is that

Actually, I was very happy with how I ran this morning. I used the glutes more than they have been used in a long time and nothing broke or complained, well other than my ego.

I know that the times will get better, if I keep going to the track – they most always have in the past. The first track session is just to remind the body that it is time to do the hard work necessary to run fast. Unfortunately, fast is now fast for me, not fast for other runners. Next time and there will be a next track session, I will be a bit more ready for what needs to be done.

It was a great reminder that I do love the track, it brings me back to my roots and glory days. Even if I can’t run like that anymore, I still have the memories that it evokes and more than a few smiles.

Unfortunately, Tuesdays through August are for Quarry Road, but when it gets right down to it, even though the track hurts more, I feel more at home running circles, than I do running up and down trails. I don’t fall down nearly as often and there ain’t no damn hills. 🙂

Screenshot from Weatherbug app 7/17/18.

Going to the track this morning was a good choice, Patrick postponed the Quarry Road 5K for tonight just after lunch. So I didn’t have to decide whether I would do a tough double this evening.

One thing that I definitely learned today was that recovering between the faster laps…well I need a bit more time than I used to. I know that is part of the deal as I get older, but it doesn’t mean that I have to like it. 🙂