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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New track club

This week, my friend Melissa (of Hood to Coast team fame - she set the whole thing up) told me that she and a small group had been meeting at Harrell track once a week in the mornings. She asked if I'd like to join them. I hesitated, because I'm woefully slow right now, and nowhere is that emphasized more than at the track! Plus, they meet at the ungodly hour of 5:30, and I don't even wake up until 6.
But I'd recently complained that part of my lack of motivation was no one to train for. So before I knew it, I was signed up for the Harrell track club.
Harrell Park - photo from the incomparable NOLA defender blog

I like Harrell track: it's a community track near my house, but it's in a sketchy neighborhood (Leonidas, for any local readers!). But, it's fenced in, it has a parking lot, and it is totally empty in the mornings.
I set my alarm for 5:00 and fell all over myself getting ready in time for 5:30 track. I got there in time, still swallowing the last of my coffee, and met up with four women and a man (only one of whom I knew). We did a 2-mile warm-up, then got down to the workout: five x 1000m with 1 minute rest. I automatically didn't like the workout. I do not approve of distances further than 800m with only 1 minute rest, let me tell you. I like my rest. I stagger around and spit and drink water for a good 40 seconds, so I need at least 1:30 to be ready to go again. Oh, and since this workout was written by Andrew, who used to coach our old track club (and is married to Melissa), the 1000m were at 5k pace. He likes to do workouts that turn out to be a race distance at race pace, just broken up: 2x800 at mile pace; 5x1k at 5k pace.
I tried to start with Melissa and another girl, but immediately I knew that was too, too fast. I dropped back. I have no idea what my 5k pace is right now, but I know it's not 6:20 (I wish). I ended up being a bit behind them for the majority of the workout, but it was still nice to have company somewhere on the track. I ended up running somewhere around 6:40 pace for the last four reps.

And I survived. I felt ok, my hamstring was tight but stretchable, my coffee stayed put (it was threatening for a few minutes there), and I forgot I'd ever had hip surgeries. And then I was home with 6+ miles done by 6:45 am, giving me plenty of time to do my PT and work on my oft-neglected core. I might just stick around and become a new member of the Harrell track club.


  1. I am glad that it was a good experience overall! Training with a group is so much more enjoyable, especially when it comes to doing things like speed work or hills because I struggle to find the motivation to do workouts like that on my own.

  2. Yeah, the beauty of the track is that you're together, even if you're not together. Having company makes it all easier. Glad it felt good!

  3. I like my rest between reps too. It's just cruel and unusual to have mere seconds to catch your breath between bouts of thinking that you might actually have a heart attack.