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After my second track workout of the week, I am happily feeling back on track with my running and on a good path forward to better racing.
We both decided to hop back on the track to work on our speed for a couple reasons. First, after a long season of racing nothing shorter than a marathon, we felt we needed to recharge our basic running abilities by working on our aerobic capacity and form. While I can run for a long time now, my ability to keep a respectable marathon pace continues to drop, and that needs to change. Second, it feels really good physically and mentally to move quickly again. We’re nowhere near the paces we were running a couple years ago but simply to be going faster than conversational pace again is refreshing. We are both a little sore too, and we’re happy about it because it’s a clear indicator of work done. As it works out so often in running, today we made new friends and I had the chance to do some 200’s with a high school cross country team. It was a girl’s team but they had me running 32-35 second 200’s which felt right on with my current fitness (keeping pace with high school girls is indicative of where my fitness has gotten to!)
We don’t have a new racing calendar yet. A large part of that has to do with the uncertainty for what we’ll be doing after I finish my fall quarter of classes. We’re not sure where we’ll be living or what we’ll be focusing on as our primary project during that time so we’re holding off on signing up for any big races. Our plan for running though is to work on getting the speed back and being in shape should we decide to race shorter distances or go back to the ultra world. My hunch is we’ll look to do some more ultra racing next spring as we prepare for our next big thru hike. We want to be slim, strong, and ready when we hit the trail next summer and ultra racing is good preparation. But in the meantime, getting ready for a half marathon or some road races might be fun and a good change. We’re following a basic Daniels’ training strategy by doing tempo workouts along with some repeat workouts with longer recoveries. Our paces (VDOTs) are very unambitious to start and the number of reps are low, but we’re starting simple and working our way back.
It’s fall weather in the Northwest now and that means it’s time to get the nose to the grindstone to get in shape. Life is good out here and it’s so nice to be on the track again.