Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My first track workout

I almost died.

I know by now you think I exaggerate when I blog. But I don’t. I almost died. Ok, maybe not, but I could have!

This was by far the hardest running workout I’ve done. Now, maybe a few months ago when I was complaining about not being able to run for 3 minutes straight, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Now it’s this.

I've decided to use track workouts as a tool to get me used to running outside. I’ve had problems with shin pain while running on pavement and none whatsoever while running on the treadmill. I figured I’d just build up my endurance on the treadmill and then slowly switch to outside running.

After today’s track run, I think I’m going to have to re-evaluate my run training. Again.

My plan was to do a warm up lap, then run a lap - walk a lap 6x, then do a cool down lap for a total of 2 miles. I figured this was do-able for me.

When I got to the track I was reminded of how large the track actually was. I mean, a lap is only .25 mi, but looking at it is quite daunting. And although I’ve been running close to .25 on the treadmill when I do my intervals, I doubted myself. Now that I sit and think about it, I should have pushed myself and made myself complete a lap, running.

What really happened:

I started my warm up lap and half way through, my left knee started hurting and my right mid-foot was hurting. All mental, I told myself, suck it up. During my first lap I refigured my lap running and decided to run on the straight-a-ways and walk on the curved parts of the track. That way I was running half the lap, but with breaks in between. I though if I could do that easily for a lap or 2, I’d try a full lap and see how that went.

As I finished my first lap, I just couldn’t bring myself to start running. It had nothing to do with pain, or discomfort or not thinking I could do it. It had to do with the fact that 2 boys were playing football in the middle of the field and they could see me. Now, granted these boys looked like they’re in high school and probably half my age, so I definitely wasn’t trying to impress them with my "running skillz", but I could feel their judgment. In reality they weren’t even paying attention to me. They were playing football. But I kept walking for lap 2 pretending I meant to do it. I pep talked myself all the way around the track and prepared for my first run interval.

I ran down the first straight-a-way and was tired, but figured it wasn’t too bad and maybe I could run a straight & curve together on the next lap. But my walk breaks didn’t slow my heart rate down quick enough and made my runs harder and harder each time I got to a straight-a-way.

I think a lot of things contributed to this malfunction of a workout. I went into it self conscious of people around me. I hadn’t run in a week. I didn’t workout for 3 days straight last week, and although I know rest days happen and need to happen for proper recovery, the mental anguish of it was weighing on me. So naturally, I couldn’t push myself harder. I had already made up my mind that I couldn’t do it.

I kept track with my Garmin, G-cube (Yes, I named him), and my running intervals were about 30 seconds each. At least I was consistent.

This totally squashed my bubble about my progress of Couch 2 5K. On the treadmill, I’m on week 4. According to today’s workout, I’m at week negative 1. I’m going to start doing track runs regularly so I can re-build up my endurance. I need it to re-gain my running confidence.

This 'after' picture is way better than the
first one I took seconds after finishing.
Trust me.
In the meantime I’m going to spend the rest of my vacation (oh yeah, I’m on a 5 day vacation now and can relax & train a LOT!) cycling and swimming and I suppose running. Blech. Oh and somewhere in there I’m doing a duathlon consisting of swimming and running.

It’s called the Chunky Dunk. I’m not kidding. And I’m so excited for it!

Honestly, I just want the T-shirt.


  1. How were your shins after running on the track?

  2. I wish there was a track near me I could use for training. Is yours at a high school or a park?

    I want to know the same thing Jennifer does about your shins! You didn't mention them specifically, so hopefully not bad.

    And you being self conscious about the 2 boys is the same thing I felt when I told you I didn't want my coworkers driving to work to see me running outside. Who cares?? Just do it! At least you are out there trying. Boys will be boys and kids will be kids.

    I posted an LJ entry when I was doing C25K a couple years ago - I was doing my running on the boardwalk around a park, and these kids started making fun of my breathing (I guess I breathe loud when I run lol) - I cut my run short that day and went to my car and just cried and cried. Then realized they were just dumb kids and I was out there doing that workout for ME, not to impress anyone else. But yes, I know it is hard when there aren't many people around!

    I love your running shoes!! I wish my fitted ones were prettier, but function > fashion as the sign said in the running store.

    Good luck on your duathlon, I can't wait to read about it. :D

  3. Jeez, how did I miss these? My shins were okay after the track run. Still are today. I haven't had any shin problems lately (knock on wood!)


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