Track Love

I remember a time in my training cycles that I would literally countdown the number of speed workouts I had left until my goal race. While I loved tempos, I never really embraced track workouts. I dreaded the heavy breathing, leg burning pain and the feeling that the rest between intervals is always WAY too short.

Last summer, that changed. I am not sure if it was a renewed energy from lowering the goal paces I held onto for 2 years or because I changed my track routine, but I slowly started to find myself falling in love with speed workouts. Prior to last summer, I would go to the track with the track club or in the afternoon after work or do speedwork on the road. But at some point, I realized that the Greenville High School track was exactly 2 miles from my front door. It was the perfect warm up and cool down distance and early in the morning I was nearly always completely alone on the track. Something about having the whole track to myself, in mostly darkness, became so appealing to me. I LOVED my mornings at the track.

(Recycled from last summer)

Man, I never knew how good I had it at the time!

Then we moved.

I asked around about tracks in Chicago and there were a few kind of meh options. Nothing was close enough to run to and even if I drove, parking was an issue or it was a paved track or it was only 320 m (??) or maybe the gates would be up on the inside lanes and I would have to run on the outside (not the end of the world, but not ideal). Then earlier this week, Erin told me about a BRAND NEW track not too far from her house. There’s parking, a rubberized surface, it’s a standard 400 m, open 24 hours, well-lit, etc. PERFECT.

All week I have been looking forward to checking it out. It is about 5 miles away from my house and at 5 a.m. it only took 15 min. to get there. As I pulled up, I am not ashamed to admit that I got  butterflies because I was so excited. I found parking immediately and walked out to this:

photo (66)

It even smells new!

It was so nice, I didn’t even want to spit on it! There was a light fog covering the infield and it was hot and humid as hell, but I was so happy to be there. I ran with Erin and Linton for a bit as they were finishing their workout when I arrived, then, once again, I was all alone in the dark on the track.

For me 800’s are the hardest of the track workouts, but this morning I felt like I was flying! I love how much more I can control and gauge effort on a track vs. on the road. My A5’s and I went ’round and ’round, walking the rest intervals, then starting back up again when 2:00 were up. It was hard. And it hurt. But I loved every minute of it.

I am really happy to have found another track to go to. I know some people despise the track or don’t mind running on a paved one, etc. But I was so spoiled in Greenville and it really did become one of my favorite things about marathon training, so I am super happy to have that back in my running world. I can’t wait to go back next week 🙂

(Chicago friends: Email me if you want details of location, times I am going, etc. I am happy to drive if anyone who doesn’t have a car wants to join me)

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in Chicago, friends, Greenville, Moving, running, training. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Track Love

  1. Jenny says:

    I’m going to have to take you up on your driving offer so we can knock out some repeats soon, friend! Haven’t run repeats on a track in literally years!

    • Corey says:

      Kevin has my speed workouts on Thursdays, so just let me know! I won’t always be going as early as today, but I had a meeting at 7 I had to be back for (and barely made it!).

  2. ErinAMG says:

    so glad you made it out this morning! it was really nice to see you out there again (twice in one week!), and I hope you had an awesome workout! you are always welcome to join in the predawn fun 🙂

    • Corey says:

      I was hoping we would overlap a little. Sorry if I talked your ears off during my warm-up, but I was a little giddy about the track 🙂 Also, did you see I got my tickets dismissed?! BANNER DAY!

  3. fullrunner says:

    Yay for finally finding a worthwhile track! What’s the point of a 320 meter one anyway?
    I love love love speed work on the track – I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have access to one. Go crazy on the treadmill maybe?

  4. Mom says:

    The little house in the picture had its bright eyes on you and almost looked like it was smiling at you. It was happy you were there.

  5. I feel the same way about the track! I used to be able to jog to one, which was so nice. Now I finally found one here, but it’s about a 15 minute drive. I’ll get used to it, I guess!

  6. erin says:

    That track looks awesome! Glad you found a good one 🙂 I LOVE track workouts, too, and am itching to return to running post-IM!

  7. Pingback: NYC Marathon Week 7: Do Work. |

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