Posted by: Susan Loken | May 11, 2010

Cold feet

 Ok, it really felt like the first day of school today as I went to my first team track practice. Now I know how the new Team Chances members must feel when they attend track for the first time. It’s scary when you don’t know what to expect, and you don’t know how you compare to the others.

Heck, I went to track practice every Tuesday for years, but it’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve been the runner and not the coach. I know my speed is much slower than it used to be, so I now feel like a “used to be” fast runner that’s trying to be fast again. UGH, it feels weird.

When I got there, there were so many familiar faces. Runners and training partners from my past! It really did feel like school now! It was like I was gone for a long summer break, and now back – hopefully I haven’t forgotten much!

Coach John was smart and made my workout very manageable. He must know that “success” breeds “success” and it was important to make me feel a sense of success and not failure from my first track practice with the group.

I’ve done some speed work on my own over the past year, but without the intensity that I used to put into it and I know that in order for me to improve I need other runners to inspire me. YES, motivation comes from inside, but you can find inspiration in others!

Anyway, my workout was a 2.5 mile warm-up, 7 x 800 in 3:00 with 2 minute recovery and 2.5 mile warm-down. My friend Flash from Sole Sports came with me for support and what a support he was! He paced me for the entire workout so I wouldn’t go too fast and blow it!

My old training partner Ron Hyde also ran with us. Dang, I miss that guy! We hadn’t seen each other in more than two years! He’s also trying to “come back,” so to speak.

Well, we nailed every 800 in the suggested 3 minutes and ran the last 800 in 2:44 just for kicks (I told the boys to go for it and run the last one faster and I could hardly keep up with them!) I had to keep reminding myself, This is your starting point! You’re not going to be able to run as fast as I used to (yet!). To compare each workout to the pace I used to run would be self-destructive. I used to run 10 x 800 in the 2:40 (or less) range. Going forward, I will not compare myself to how I used to run.

I will be the best I can today and work toward being better tomorrow than I am today, not better than I was two years ago.

As Flash and I drove home, we talked about how fun track was and how great it is to train with a group. This group has a lot of faster runners so there are lots of people to inspire me. It was great to be back out there.

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