Last week we had our time trial for the indoor MITHACAL miles group. My time trial was faster than I predicted, but it still wasn’t fast by any mile standards. I was chatting with a fellow runner as we warmed up about cross country in general. I said that before I ran cross country I used to spectate and think, “my poor child must be crying inside knowing that everyone is finishing and they are still nowhere near the end.” Once I started running cross country I realized that you are only focusing on your own running, with little to no awareness of how others are faring compared to you. I found the mile time trial no different. While I was slightly aware of how close I was to those right in front of me, that was the extent of it. Adam asked us specifically to keep the person in front of us in our memory for timing and I didn’t even manage to do that.
Week 2 of the program happens to fall over the holiday break so we have no formal group workout planned. Adam sent one by email “in case we want to fit one in.” I didn’t even read the email somehow thinking that it was just reminding us to meet next week. Scott, always the diligent one, read it and knew exactly what our workout was supposed to be. Elizabeth had her weekly indoor golf lesson at the Pinnacle Athletic Campus this week. Ironically it is an indoor facility just a mere miles from where we used to live in Fairport. As we were driving there I thought briefly about what our lives would look like if we had never moved. We all came to the lesson with the plan to go out to do some errands afterwards and to use the time to run. After getting Elizabeth settled with Lauren, the 3 of us headed to the locker rooms to change.
My first thought was typical to my visits to suburban Rochester, “honey we’re not in Kansas anymore” was what crossed my brain as I entered the locker room. The lockers allow you to set your own combination, they have amazing showers and blow dryers mounted for your use in the getting ready area. I felt very strong envy all of a sudden.
I walked out to the 3 lane 350 meter track and felt very happy. Adam’s workout called for us to have a 10 minute warm-up followed by 4 sets of intervals. Each set called for 2 minutes hard running and 1 minute of easy running, then 1 min hard and 30 seconds easy ending with 30 seconds hard and 30 seconds easy. We’d finish with a 10 minute cool down. Xander was with us and we asked him to consider doing the workout, but he opted to do a fast mile followed by jogging. He’s still planning to join us for this experience so it was a good entry point for him. However, it must be shared that Xander woke up sick on Tuesday (the normal training day). About a half hour into the morning Elizabeth said, “do you guys have MITHACAL miles today?” We said, “no it is break week.” Suddenly Xander was well. Hmmmm….
I brought music with me knowing it would be nicer to have some stimulation while running. I generally dislike track running, however I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this track. It felt like being outdoors and there was enough going on to look at that it felt enjoyable. I chose music by Ed Sheeren to warm up to and bopped around the track for 10 minutes. When it was time to start the tough part of the workout I switched it to Lindsay Stirling. The music is so repetitive it just provided a beat for me to run by. I LOVED the structure of this workout. By starting with the most challenging time and then moving down in duration it felt doable for me on an emotional level. It was almost enjoyable even … almost. The sets flew by and soon it was time for the cool down run. I switched over to the Tim Ferriss podcast I had started on a run the other day and ran my final 10 minutes.
Golf and Afterwards
After getting back into street clothes I wandered in to watch the last bit of Elizabeth’s lesson. I don’t golf (well occasionally with my dad and Elizabeth I make it to the driving range or to do best ball at the course) so it was fun to listen to her coach talking to her about how she was doing, look at the cool screen etc. She has lessons set up here with Lauren Tallman on Thursdays for the winter so I’m suddenly rather excited for my possible regular trips up this way.
We finished our outing by hitting the Ski Company to use our coupons we’d gotten earlier in the season, a quick Wegmans trip for our gingerbread house materials and dinner at an Indian restaurant.
One thing that was interesting for me (and I have noticed this most of the time but never have chosen to write about it) was that this workout felt fun. I was ALONE for it. I am in the middle of reading a book called Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, recommended by my friend Anne on her blog. Here is the link to her post for a nice summary, but the punch line for me with running is that i do my best running alone. I seek group running opportunities for easy workouts, but struggle in a group for the hard stuff. I’m willing to push harder and have fun working harder when I’m alone vs in a group. I don’t know what this means for me this winter as we hit Barton with a big group every Tuesday, but it is good information for me to know that I don’t actually dislike track workouts and I’m not even scared by them when I do them by myself. It jives with what the book says about introverts vs extroverts, and in particular about music students; they spend a lot of time engaged in group practice but their real, focused efforts are almost always independent.