Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Closure at the Track

Last night's track meet was odd. It was insanely hot. Picture below of my car thermometer -- which said 110 if you can't see it.

Really, I knew that wasn't right. It was only about 104 or 105 yesterday, but it felt like 110 to me and to my car.

Ugh. It meant very low turnout at the track meet, so the events went really fast. There were just maybe 4 or 5 heats of the 100 meter race. They canceled the 4x100 relay for lack of interest. There were maybe 2 heats of the mile, and 3 or 4 of the 800.

I ran several events, but given the temps and the sun, I wasn't expecting anything exciting.

My mile time was slower than a couple weeks ago, no big deal. I was actually slightly pleased to have been able to pass 2 people (incluing a faster friend) in the last couple laps. I say only slightly pleased because I really don't care much about whether I'm last or not.

My 100 meter time was slower than last week, but only by 3 hundreths of a second. Darn! It would have been fun to PR.

My 400 meter time was slow -- I was dead last I think. And I wasn't feeling great. Being out in the sun and heat was wearing me down.

Finally it was the 800. I wanted to skip it, but I kept thinking it was the last track meet of the season, and either I went out on the crappy 400 I ran, or I tried again to leave on a higher note. And of course I decided to go for it. My friend's fiance said he'd share my lane and run with me through the whole race. We only had to share a lane for about 100 meters, then we were all allowed to roll into lane 1, and that made it much easier. I think we might have passed 2 people, and then 1 of them passed us back. But after the first lap, I knew I was in trouble. It was about 8 seconds faster than I planned. Unsustainable. I started talking to (actually more grunting and listening) my friend. He told me to relax on the straight at 500 meters. Then hold steady through the turn. Then when we hit 700 meters, he said to run it like a 100, move my legs, move my arms, and I tried.

Shock. Dead steady with lap 1, which lead to a Summer 2012 800 meter PR for me by a few seconds! Haha. Not really anything special. Not close to where I should be running an 800. Not close to where I ran the 800 a couple years ago. But best of all, not close to where I'll run the 800 in about February -- I am going to work on speed again starting hard core in January.

But either way, it was a great note on which to exit the track meet, to end my track season.

I'm so glad I tried doing something like this this year. I'd never done it before, and I was nervous, but I had a good time, it might have boosted my confidence a little, but most of all, did I mention I had a good time? It was so much fun to do that every Tuesday night. A couple extra miles for the day, a couple new acquaintances, a lot of memories, and a great plan for attending and competing in all of next year's meets.

Makes me think again about The Happiness Project, one of the books I read this year. Part of what she talked about was doing new things, going outside your comfort zone, putting yourself in new situations. My reaction usually is that I like my routine, I like my life, I like my fitness plan, etc. No need for anything new (obviously, we're going to China this year, I like some new things, just not too much). But this is exactly the kind of thing that I need to remember -- kind of wanting to do it, but not entirely, but then forcing myself to make the commitment, do it for a few weeks, pushing outside my usual zone and routine, and then loving it.

Car thermometer:

Friend who is over 50 and running a sub-5 mile here:

Random 100 meter runners:

A peacock at the grounds near the track:

More random 100 meter runners:


  1. Wow, I'm blown away that you did any of those events in that kind of heat. Way to go for pushing yourself that way. I agree about going outside of the comfort zone, too.

  2. Wow, that is crazy hot!! We've been getting 85F weather, which for here is HOT, and running in that has been hard. I can't imagine running in 100+ weather. You amaze me!