Catch Up: My winter running on track

Me, breathing hard, every Thursday night. 

Me, breathing hard, every Thursday night. 

Spring is here, which means I'm back with the weekly updates you know and love! But first, let's catch up, shall we?

Blame it on cabin fever, but this past season I went a little club-crazy. I took a class through the Society of Illustrators, and signed up for speedwork through a local track club.

Yeah, I said it. Track.

I first heard about this speedwork program through my massage therapist, who spoke highly of the coaches and encouraged me to give it a whirl. I stalked them on strava, convinced Andy to join me, and shot the coaches an email. 

We were traveling and, rather than miss the first practice, asked to jump in the Tuesday group run, aimed at more experienced runners. 

It came back fast. 

"Welcome! You are welcomed to join, but I must warn you that you may feel quite intimidated by the speed and expertise of the runners in that group."

Fair point. I am now super intimidated.

Thanks for being so flexible, I replied, We understand that we will be in over our heads but are excited to learn something new!

And just like that, something new began.

We arrived at the track and started with introductions. To my insane relief, everyone was crazy nice. The coaches were attentive and encouraging, and the teammates were warm, fun, and completely devoid of the ego that I assumed went along with being faster than the wind.

After warming up and running through drills, we set off for what would be the hardest workout of my life: 400m repeats with 200m recovery, 10 times. 

I came in last every single time, had to sit some out, and felt like death. Despite this, I had the most amazing night. Putting it all out there feels refreshing, even if you get lapped a billion times. It was... fun.

Andy and I laughed with exhausted relief, and resolved to drop down to the slower Thursday runs. We've been going back ever since!

Each week is really hard but we are learning a lot. For Andy, never having run before, it is a whole new world. For me, it offers a new take on a passion that felt stale this winter.

Now that spring is finally here, we are taking our workouts outside and I'll be posting regular updates on my way to the running the BK Half and Chicago Marathon. Here we go!