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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lonely track

Nobody really felt like heading to the track this holiday week, so when I showed up at 5:30 am, I was the only one there. Knowing the chance of cancellations was high, I came prepared with my own workout, which is what I ended up doing .
It was four sets of 400m with a 200 jog between each and a 400 jog between sets - a continuous workout with only active rests (except I did stop for water between each set).
The goal was to run the first set at 1/2 marathon pace, the next at 10k pace, the next at 5k pace, and the last at mile pace. Tough! But doable.
I just finished reading Meb for Mortals, Meb's book on training, and he puts great emphasis on stretching (I usually don't). Since I was alone and no one was waiting on me, I started with some stretches, then did a mile warm-up. The first set, of course, was easy. Nothing about a quarter mile at half-marathon pace is hard; the hardest part was attempting to get the pace right in the pitch dark (my Garmin battery life is pretty bad lately, and was on low when I arrived, so I didn't want to leave the backlight on. I'd hit it at the half-way point if I could, though).
Times for set one:1:47, 1:40, 1:41, 1:43. Starting set two, I realized that set one was a bit fast, so sets one and two weren't all that different:1:40, 1:37, 1:36, 1;38. As I did my 400m jog before the next set, a guy showed up at the track to walk, so I wasn't alone anymore. I don't mind being at the track alone, but as I mentioned, Harrell is in a somewhat rough neighborhood, and I kind of wanted to be able to tell David that someone else was there! Set three:1:34, 1:33, 1:32, 1:33. Finally, the sun rose, and I could see for my last set. This one was a little tough: 1:31, 1:29, 1:31, 1:30. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't break 1:30 for these, but all in all, it was a good workout, and I ran 8 miles total with a short cool-down.
After the cool-down, I did form drills, stretches, and some lower body strengthening before heading home. I took Leonidas Street back, and on the way, a guy waved me to the side of the road. He asked for a jump, so I pulled over. I know. Terrible neighborhood, girl alone in car with window rolled down and hood up, I'm asking for a carjacking. But dude's truck looked rough, and sure enough, it was not starting. I looked out my window just as he was opening his door to turn the key - and saw that his door was riddled with bullet holes! Oh, dear. I decided that it might be a good idea to tell David where I was, but I didn't want to reach for my purse (I thought it best to leave it out of sight under the front seat). Anyway...his truck finally started and I wished him a good morning, but the shot-up truck had me laughing all morning. New Orleans might be gentrifying, but some streets have really kept their...charm.


  1. Good karma for helping, nice way to end the year. You probably made his day.

  2. You're a brave woman to stop and help out. It'd be nice to be able to do so without having to worry if the person that you're stopping to help is actually in need and not some pyschopath - but these are the times we live in when you have to think about self-preservation.

  3. You are a saint. I would've been too nervous to stop and help - which says a lot about the world today. Also, I'm saving that workout for later. Happy New Year.

  4. If you ever find yourself without any track buddies, come to the track at City Park at 5:30 on Tuesday mornings. We have a pretty consistent crew. I did 11 X 400 on Tuesday with (well, not really "with" as he's a beast) Phil Jones--he usually wins the grand masters category at the races here. Still runs an 18:XX 5k.

    The car jump story scared me,especially knowing the neighborhoods here. You are a brave, kind soul!

    Happy New Year!