I will make no bones about it, I hate the track. I always have and likely always will. There's something about knowing that I have to run in repetitive circles for an hour... it's really not THAT bad and if I didn't mentally psyche myself out every Wednesday it really wouldn't be a big deal.
What is still strange to me is the warm-up lap. As always we go as one big group around campus (through it when school isn't as busy). It's a sight to behold, I'm sure, 100+ runners moving as a herd. The problem is that the front of the herd consists of gazelles and the back of the herd is full of elephants (which I mean in the nicest way possible). So an 11 minute-mile is super duper crazy slow for a bunch of people, but for those of us in the back it's not exactly a relaxing warm-up. We could slow down, then we'd be late to the stretching session and getting on the track so I, for one, will likely never learn and will continue to run this lap too fast. I did the 1.4 mile warm-up at a 11:15 pace.
And then to the track. We almost had more 12:30 coaches than runners. Either the girls from Sunday weren't there or they decided to change groups, not sure. The track is an interesting place, even more so when you're joined by the "regular" runners - hot guys with their shirts off. I don't want to say that the 12:30s aren't a serious group of runners, perhaps I should say that we don't take ourselves too seriously. We're out there every week just like everybody else, and often for much longer, but we have fun while we're at it. We take breaks when needed (after six laps this time around). We joke, we complain, we laugh. And that's why I keep going back.
Coach Mike was tracking our time each lap, but what wasn't taken into consideration was that our laps were like .31 miles and not .25 since we were on the outside and didn't stagger our stopping and starting points. So my Garmin says we ran the miles on the track at 11:37, 11:37 and 11:45. These were supposed to be done as LSD pace so no wonder Don and I were sweating a bit! It always seems tougher on the track, I can run 10 sub-12 minute miles (back in the day I did 13.1 of 'em straight through) but for some reason doing it in circles seems harder to me. Again, it's probably mental.
We enjoyed a slow cool-down lap, then three of us amigos walked a lap together. We hope to get the group together for pizza after track workouts from here on out. These folks have become really good friends and I'm glad we're all back together for another year.