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Running In Circles

April 25, 2012 Fitness No Comments

“Okay team – we’re going to run to Casey’s and back as our warm-up today.”

These were the dreaded words from Coach Schneider on the first day of track season (and many other days following that one). The Casey’s General Store was 0.7 miles away from the high school, making it a 1.4 mile warm-up. For me, a sprinter, it was the worst part of the whole day.

Being dramatic for my HS track photo

The rest of the short distance runners’ workout was various combinations of sprinting for 100, 200, or 400 yards at a time. Maybe he’d throw an occasional 800 in there, just to make our legs really burn. Fine by me. The whole idea of “I can do anything for 2 minutes” was born in high school. What I could not do was imagine running anything over the 1.4 miles to/from Casey’s. The distance runners had to go all the way to the golf course and back. Oh, the horror!!

My, how things have changed.

After high school, I pretty much quit running unless I was being chased (which was seldom). I mean, no one goes on a 400 yard run and calls it a workout, right? I did other things to stay “active.” I played intramural volleyball for a season in college. My roommate and I would do exercises with hand weights in our dorm rooms watching Must See TV every Thursday night. I took ballroom dancing and water aerobics as my physical education electives. Not exactly an Ironman in training, eh?

Fast forward 10 years and 2000 miles. California! Greg is an avid runner and introduced me to things that helped me embrace it: trail running, looking at the San Francisco Bay or Pacific Ocean as scenery, and near-perfect weather all year long. Gradually, I built up my endurance (both mental and physical) for longer runs. These days, I won’t even go out for a run if it’s under 2 miles. And I almost never run with music.

Some things never change

Fast forward another 9 years (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!?) and what I dread now is a track workout. As part of my triathlon training, I have to do a speed workout on a local track once a week. This usually involves a half mile warm-up and then various combinations of sprinting 200, 400, or 800 yards. I despise this workout. I will run steadily for 10 miles if I have to.

Just don’t make me run in a circle as fast as I possibly can.

Actual track workout from 2 weeks ago


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