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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Back at track

With all the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on everyday life, maintaining a normal schedule is hard or impossible. But I have tried to stay as close to regular life as possible (rabbit trail: should I say "old life"? Will the old regular ever be regular again? I venture it won't - at the very least, we'll think twice about shaking hands!). It's not that hard for me, since I am still going to work, so I have that daily and weekly cadence to my life. But I recently decided to return to my workout schedule. I had been making modifications to allow me to take the baby running on days when David has him at home, but we talked about it, and he doesn't mind keeping him a little longer so I can run on the way home from work. I went back to my old schedule of grocery store and track on Tuesdays (although I am now buying two weeks of groceries at a time to reduce trips to the store). That meant that on Tuesday David had the baby all by himself for twelve hours! While working! But they managed - luckily he's a really good kid, and he's obsessed with his dad! 

Weather cold enough to layer up with my
Buffalo marathon half-zip. That's a race
I would do again...if we ever race again! 
With no formal training plans, and no assigned workouts, I had to come up with a workout (we aren't  meeting anymore, so the Powermilers aren't providing workouts. But I hope that changes. I'd love to have some "maintain"-type speedwork posted! I'll have to mention it to coach Jimi!). Some of us in the group were messaging about this topic, and someone suggested a 600's workout. It was one I missed right after the baby was born, but I looked it up in Final Surge history, and decided to give it a go. It looked easy on paper: six to eight reps of 600 at 5k pace, 200m float, 200m hard, with 400m jog rests between reps - but I knew anything fast would be tough, given how long I've been out. I lucked out on the weather, though. The storms the rest of the south experienced just brought us cold weather! 

This was the first track workout back that I planned to complete as written, ie no modifications, the entire workout, and at speeds that don't embarrass me. I even wore fast shoes - I changed into my New Balance 1400s after warming up. And it went ok! The track wasn't crowded, and most people were cognizant of others enough to make room (it was actually better than the park on some days!). I could stay in lane one about 75% of the time I was running fast. And except for starting too fast, I did well. My 600/200's were: 2:10/40; 2:12/42; 2:14/40; 2:14/42; 2:14/42; 2:17/41. I don't love that 2:17 I finished with (it was 6:10 pace; the 2:14s were 6:02 pace) but at least I got it together for the final 200! I definitely could not have done eight reps, though: so there's plenty of work to be done. 

And that's the wonderful thing about running. Your progress doesn't have to be measured by races: you can run alone and still check off goals. You can get faster, you can develop different muscles, you can run farther. Just because there is no race on the horizon doesn't mean I am not enjoying progress! 


  1. I'm so impressed with how quickly you've incorporated workouts back in! Way to go! Then again, you are almost like a semi-pro runner in my opinion given your race times. So not an average person like me. ;) (or below average as I've been since becoming a mom!) Kudos to David for keeping the baby for 12 hours! Helps that he is a pretty easy baby from the sounds of it. I look back on those early months of motherhood and those were exhausting days, but the good thing is that the baby was so so portable at that time! So you are wise to bring him on runs, etc, before he hits the fussy stages. I remember when Paul his the fussy stage, he screamed when I was on a walk, quite a ways from our house. Ouch that was a painful walk back!

  2. I think 600s are one of those deceptively hard workouts - that last 200 is just ugh...

    That's great that your track is still open. All of ours were closed weeks ago.

    -Cris (Well I'm trying to Run) - I'm not logged into my google account on this browser.

  3. I love the mindset here about enjoying progress. Races are special, but they aren't everything. There is so much to be said for what you are doing - getting out there on your own and pushing.