I watched a track meet for the first time in years. It gave me feelings.

Yesterday, I covered one of only two home indoor track meets for Michigan. It was my first time attending a track meet since probably early high school, since I only ran freshman year. I strongly disliked track at the time – probably because (a) I had just started actually running the cross country season prior, so (b) I was not fast or in shape, and (c) I didn’t know how to try or push myself. So I was low-to-mediocre on the team, running the 800, the mile, and occasionally the 4×400. Once the two-mile. So after one season I called it quits and focused on cross country.

I still like cross country – now just trail/ultra running – far more than track, but I do wish I’d stuck with it the other three years. If I had, I might have learned to push myself. I would have gotten better. I may have had better leg speed for cross country. (I also might have shied away from longer distances later, which might have put me on a non-ultra path…) But I just ran one season then stopped.

So my memories of track are mostly of practices were I wasn’t pushing myself to my limit, just hanging around with my friends and avoiding our terrifying coach. (Not the distance coach – the women’s coach, who specialized in field events, if I recall correctly.) I do remember a few workouts where I did try, and I definitely remember what it feels like to run an 800 or the mile. I remember the silence of the back stretch and the moment when everyone cuts from their lanes and jumbles together. I remember the jittery dance before the gun. Handing off to the anchor. (One terrible race, being the anchor.)

Track may not be my favorite, but I sure as hell respect it, especially when done well. Which this meet was.

Michigan women dominated. Maybe the numbers were a little skewed in our favor, but the number of sprinters doesn’t change the number of meters between first and second. In men’s mile, no one went sub-4, sadly (4:07 though). Still quick. And the 200 – damn. I don’t think I’ve ever really watched a 200 before. It’s impressive. A ridiculous pace for a long time.

Anyway. Watching the meet drew out all these old feelings – remembering what crouching on the track before the gun for the mile feels like, remembering each turn, all that – that I haven’t thought about in years, really. It also made me really want to do speedwork immediately upon exiting the building, but my shin was feeling like it might possibly be twinge-y, so I took the day off and iced it instead. I also started re-reading Once A Runner, which, if you haven’t read it yet and have ever run track, you need to. NEED. TO.

So today I ran my first mile a little quicker, around a 6:45. Not fast, but I just wanted to push the pace a tad, just enough to get my heart rate up more than a 7:30 jog. Plus there was a lot of ice. Everywhere. I ran the other 1.75 at a more relaxed pace. All in all I got in 23 minutes – I was aiming for 20 but was just guessing after the first mile.

6:45. Not speedwork pace, not even really fast, but it felt goooooooood.

peace love and fast running,
bec

Actual sunshine happened today – the kind that warms your face.

Something we haven’t felt in months. Blue skies and chirping birds, too. Since I was sick last weekend and unable to run, I decided to take advantage of the (relatively springlike) weather. With the inches of ice and feet of snow all melting, there were deep icy puddles everywhere to be avoided (where they could be). Much of the snow was hard-packed and decent for running, and there were even some spots of dry pavement.

And I ran in a t-shirt. Fantastic.

I originally set out to do 30 minutes, since I’d done about 20 last week, but I ended up on a loop that’s just a little longer than that and stayed out for 34. (I stopped at 30 to check my shins – all good.) It felt good – shins, cardio, mind, everything. I’d forgotten how right the trails feel.

peace love and (please please please no more) winter running,
bec

PS. I’m headed back to HP40 in Alabama for spring break with a bunch of climbing friends. I’m pumped. (pun) Expect stories and pictures.

PPS. The internship hunt is on.

4 weekend runs in a month… time to step it up. (And chili.)

Hello hello! (hola!) So I’ve been slowly and carefully running the past four weeks – 10, 15, 20, and about 25 minutes – and my shin hasn’t gotten worse or hurt. I think I’m going to bump it up to twice a week, but keep it around 20-25 minutes for another month or so. Progress is slow, but I’d rather take it slow and steady than ramp up too quickly like I did in September and find myself Not Actually Better.

I’m still climbing and, now that I have time this semester, I’m back to lifting. Current squat PR is 175, deadlift 225, so I’m working on that.

And I also made perfect vegan chili. Excellent for long, lazy, cold winter days.

chili

Rough recipe:
1C quinoa
some bulgur wheat
3 cans diced tomatoes
4 zucchini/yellow squash
2 bell peppers
1-2C frozen corn
an onion
garlic to taste
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 thing of tempeh
seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin, crushed red pepper, chili powder, some oregano

put it in a pot and stir until hot. consume.

peace love and safe running! The roads around here are literally sheets of ice. Step carefully.
bec