|Lapping up the miles|
It was helpful to have today's workout already planned so I didn't waste time determining where I'd go and what gear to wear. As expected, there was light rain falling when I got up. I decided to give it until 8:00 AM to go out, hoping that the wet weather would soon move off. By 8:15, the rain had turned to a light mist and I headed over to the high school track.
Although the temperature showed 54°, I felt chilly in my short sleeve shirt and shorts. I'd taken along the running raincoat that I bought to replace my dog-mangled jacket and wore it for the first two laps. Even with an unventilated top, I stayed fairly comfortable, but I was starting to sweat. The rain had completely stopped at that point, so I ditched the coat.
At the time I arrived, there was only one other person on the track. This was neither a walker nor runner. It was a pied piper with a rolling speaker that was blasting out an energizing mix of music. As I ran by this man, I saw a group of high school aged girls gathering around him at the top of the oval. I realized he was the track coach and practice was about to start.
It's always tricky to do a track run when a practice is going on. I did my best to stay out of their way, keeping to the outside lanes as much as I could. I like to alternate running direction every six laps and, the first time I ran clockwise, I saw the girls practicing 200's. While they took a cool down lap, I noticed the distribution of runners. There were a few at the front, a larger group in the middle and a couple of others running ten feet behind the middle group. Further behind was a final runner and she didn't look very happy. I felt badly for her.
When I came around on my next lap, I saw the coach lining everyone up to do an all-out 400. Two runners quickly broke away, leaving the rest of the pack behind. I was surprised to see the straggler from the cool-down moving up to the front. She pulled ahead and it was like watching the Preakness again. This girl ended up finishing well ahead of the others and I was happy for her.
I lost count of my laps, but had 5.3 miles on my Garmin by the time I finished. I felt almost as strong at the end as I did at the start, making for three good runs this weekend. Not only that, I hit 15K steps both yesterday and today. I probably should start using a heart rate monitor again to help me differentiate between real and perceived effort. It may help me push harder if I see that I'm training in a lower zone than I realized.