Editor’s Corner: Learning to Love the Track

Track workouts. Do you love ‘em or hate ‘em?

Growing up, I ran track throughout high school. While I enjoyed the camaraderie of the team, I loathed speed workouts.

Now that I’m an adult and have a bit more perspective, speed workouts no longer seem as evil. Sometimes they even give me a feeling of escape and accomplishment that I actually enjoy. . .almost.


This week, my Wednesday workout was 4 x 800 meters followed by 4 x 400 meters, so I headed to the track at the University of Tampa to get my speed work on. (Follow my training @jessiesebor). In place of my normal coping strategy (counting down the intervals, while wishing desperately for the workout to be over), I made it my goal to think of one thing I loved about track running for each of my intervals. . .

1st 800 (2:56)

I love that the mere presence of a few other runners on the track makes me push myself harder than I would if I were alone—even though they don’t know, and certainly don’t care, how fast I’m running.

2nd 800 (3:01)

Track runners are so polite! Two big guys parted ways to let me through the inside lane on my second lap. Thanks, bros! What’s not to love?

3rd 800 (3:00)

As a normal concrete/asphalt runner, I love how the springy track surface feels underfoot. My knees love this too.

4th 800 (2:58)

I love that this is my last 800.

The blurriness is due to my camera

1st 400 (1: 26)

I love the satisfaction that comes with running just one lap on the track as fast as I can.

2nd 400 (1:28)

I love—or at least appreciate—the fact that even though I’m training to run a marathon, one fast quarter mile can still be a real challenge.

3rd 400 (1:25)

I love the moment when the sun sets and the stadium lights go on. Pure magic.

Maybe after my workout, I

4th 400 (1:23)

I love running that final straightaway. I’m done!

Almost there. . .

Okay, so that was a lot of mushy stuff, but the hyper-positivity really helped. I was able to finish the workout strong and keep the self-doubt out of my head, a companion who sometimes likes to join me around halfway through my workout.

At the end of the day, I run for myself and because I love it. What’s there to loathe?

I want to know. . .what’s your coping strategy when the going gets tough?