Thursday, August 24, 2006

Running in circles

Running in circles on the track serves a purpose. To practice either speed or pace. Yet the destination is exactly the same--we finish exactly at the same spot as we started.

On the surface, it appears running in circles gets us nowhere. Yet anyone who's toughed out a set of Yasso 800s in the summer heat knows that runners strive for a destination more than 'nowhere.' In fact, interval running in circles is a tried and true activity in preparing for a personal best in the marathon (any distance, for that matter.)

My next long race is in 2.5 weeks, so I've decided to stick with the lactate threshold pace running once per week. We'll see how it goes. Instead of blasting out the 400-800 stuff at 5k pace or faster, I'm sticking with the longer, slower paced runs.

Today's run: Humid. 37 laps around the Lakewood HS track. 9 miles. (1:10)

2.5mi warm-up
4.5mi @ T-pace (1x 3mi; 3min rest; 1x 1.5mi)
2.0mi cool-down

Splits: 6:46/6:45/6:39 & 6:41/3:19

This weeks tempo run was a bit tougher without a partner. I set out to do a straight 4 miles, but I wasn't there. I gave in. So I added the extra 1.5 after a short rest.

I ran the track solo, just as I have many times before. While I prefer running in a group, there's something cathedral-like about an empty track. There's something to the symmetry of the loop. While running 'round and 'round, its my place for reflection and meditation.

What is it about running around in circles?

Ever since I took up running as a hobby, the running has never been the problem. I enjoy it. Probably too much. Yet when I thought about running in circles today, thoughts dart to the rest of my life, my work, and my friends and family.

Am I getting anywhere, or am I in one spot?

I've discovered from marathon training that the joy of running marathons comes more from the training and lifestyle rather than the actual marathon race. You know the saying, the journey and destination thing. as I ran my 37 circles around the oval I thought about my journey and my destination. The thought drifted towards the serious.

Right now I don't know the answer. I'm new to blogging and as with the journey in running and life, I feel like I'm learning to write. I'm 3 weeks and 13 posts into a new creative writing outlet for me. It's those darn triathletes over there in my sidebar. They're great writers and their tales of life and enormous training sucked me into Blogger.

So back to running. Running in circles will become a theme here. Imagine the absurdity of running a 1 mile loop for 12 hours. Its on my schedule October 21st. I'll just leave it at that for today.


Blogger qcmier said...

I love the track, but I focus way too much on my workouts to be reflective.

The time for deep thoughts for me come when I am out running on the trails.

I'll have to hook up with you on the track after IM WI.

12:44 PM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

I don't know if I could od those 12 or 24 hour track runs. That is a lot of circles! Maybe 6 hours ;)

11:38 PM  

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