Editor’s Corner: Learning to Love the Track
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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.
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.
4th 400 (1:23)
I love running that final straightaway. I’m done!
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?