Running in (social) circles

I elected to begin my training at the city sports oval. There is one outer half mile track composed of dirt with several rises and dips, and an inner flat track made for sprinters, with that fancy speed surface covering. My mission today was to do some speed training, so, push myself. I used both tracks.

I warmed up with a light run for ten minutes on the dirt track, flashing the peace sign to the walkers, dog walkers, and joggers as we passed each other. 33 degrees F and bright blue sunny skies. A perfect outdoors running morning. I am so accustomed to running alone that having people say hello and give me the thumbs up as I scoot by is not a distraction, it’s kind of exciting. A person gets tired of being a lone wolf.

I’d say their presence pushes me to further better myself. Not in the spirit of competition, but maybe to serve as inspiration.

When I was all warmed up I moved to the sprinters oval. 6 intervals, 90% effort for 1 minute and jog another 3. While I was stretching, a college athlete lined up next to me, smiled, and waited for me to hit the start button on my watch.

Freaked. Me. Out.

He was off like a rocket. I tried like hell to keep up, but the rules of my workout were clear. His, not so much. At my fastest he was pulling away, when I had to slow down he nearly doubled my speed. He lapped me. I hit pause and lined back up at the start. I looked at my watch again. I rolled my head on my shoulders. Obviously I’m not a natural sprinter.

I hit start again.

I could hear his coach shout numbers as we ran. “42! 43! 44! Good!” Let me be clear, I had nothing to do with what he was doing; but I felt like I was part of a group of humans that just, freaking, ran. It felt good.

When my workout was over, I sat infield and stretched while I watched the man go. He ran 3 miles in 15 minutes and 15 seconds. Dude was bookin’.

My own results were encouraging to me. I was clearing 300 meters in every minute long push. I can go harder. I will improve with time.

Running with others is fun.

A snapshot of the dirt outer oval on a cloudy day. Great run.

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