I joined a track group in my neck of the woods right before I ran the Miami Marathon in January. This weekly track group and workouts are coached by a man named Dror Vaknin who is the coach of the local college track team. He’s been featured in Runner’s World and has a long history with running and runners in the area. He’s a guy who loves running and has some serious speed and hardware to back it up. (Feel free to google stalk if you need to.)
When I joined this group I was in the middle of marathon training. I felt strong and the workouts, while they were never easy, they never left me quite as beat up as I’ve been feeling lately. You gotta love marathon training fitness.

Since I’m coming back from a long period of just running comfortably post fake injury, it’s been a tough few weeks at the track. Yes, I did do long runs while training for Augusta, but I didn’t really push the pace too often. The goal of getting healthily to the start line was obviously much more important.

Currently, I feel a bit in between pace groups and where I used to feel confident running out in front, I’ve been tucking myself in the back of the pack and holding on for dear life.

Tuesday night’s workout consisted of a 400, 1200, 800, 400, 1200, and a 400. All at about vomit inducing paces. The 1200’s were actually supposed to be run hard and they hurt the most. I’ve decided I hate 1200’s, something about that third lap really pisses me off.

As I ran that final 1200 I was cursing myself out for being such a wimp. There was no “nice talking”  or “positive motivation” at this point. The first 400 felt ok. The second felt miserable. In fact, I thought about quitting. I slowed down much more than I’d like to admit. And I thought about stopping at that point and saying screw it. I thought about what I learned about always being able to push more and I thought about how much of a lame-o I’d look like if I quit now. I thought about my buddy Cay-see, who reads this blog sometimes, and how she was killing it during the entire workout. I didn’t quit but I had to really dig deep and almost sprint the last 100. I didn’t quite make the target time but I’m ok with it. It was a tough workout.

I finished up the workout with that final 400, which wasn’t too bad. And then skipped the always “optional” mile. I’m not ready for that “optional” mile yet.

After track a group of us, including Coach Dror, headed out for a bite to eat. As we sat around and chatted we took the opportunity to pester pepper Coach Dror with running questions. I wonder how he never tires from all of it. I asked him why the 1200’s were so hard for me. And he said, “You think too much.”

And there it is. Plain and simple. I’m over thinking the shit out of track right now. Most of my speed work lately has been plagued with “Why does this hurt?” or “Why am I struggling with the 1200?” and “When will I be comfortable at track again?” It’s quite silly really. Running is like life. There are ebbs and flows. As long as I’m a runner, I’ll never run the exact same paces and times all the time. I’m certain that during marathon training I’ll get speed again, only to lose it when I take a much needed break or God forbid, get injured again. And of course, as I get into my twilight years, my running will turn into jalking and doing it for sheet enjoyment. I’d love to be one of those old ladies out there racing at 75!

This is a lesson I’m ready to learn. I’m not throwing in the towel and I’ll keep pushing to get stronger, but I’m not gonna think so much. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Today I’m thankful for simple answers to simple questions. What are you thankful for?

P.S. I found some hilarity on the interwebs the other day that I must share with you tomorrow. Ya’ll come back now. Ya hear?