So since the Quivering Quads Half Marathon adventure, I was thinking about what my next major races would be and honestly if I would be doing anything of any consequence until the Fall. I had thought about doing the Illinois Half Marathon at the end of April with a friend from work (who is doing the Full) but as a few weeks went by in March, I simply realized that I wasn’t in PR Half shape and also (more importantly really) just wasn’t motivated to attempt to get in PR Half shape. For the last 4 years, I have done the Double Chubb 25K trail race in April but wasn’t able to get in this year because it sold out in less than an hour. It is a great and storied tough trail race and I was a bit disappointed.
Then I thought about the St. Louis Track Club’s Track Series that they have been putting on at Clayton High School’s track for many years. I have done one or two of the races within the Series for the past few years and decided that this year I would do the full Series! I was really looking forward to it! I like the track. I like going fast and hard for shorter distances and it suits my body type.. I am built like a sprinter not a marathoner. Plus last year I got 2nd place in my age group in the 800m.. and that felt really cool!
And I basically never get a ribbon (or very high overall placing) in a race so it made an impression. But more importantly I really enjoyed the intense short effort, feeling like I had the flu for 15 minutes afterwards 🙂 and utilizing my genetic predisposition for shorter, anaerobic type races. I will never forget looking down at my Garmin at one point during the race and it showing that my pace was 4:40/min. I wasn’t able to maintain that the whole 800m but it felt crazy to be going that fast for even a portion of it.
To me the track is “all about the running”. Yes you are going in circles and the scenery doesn’t change after a quarter of a mile, but you are also allowed to strictly focus on the mechanics and force of running. There is nothing else to worry about.. you don’t have to worry about the hills coming up or which way the next street is going to turn (it is hard to get lost on the track 🙂 ). I like this purity of sport that the track gives you.
To be honest, I was also looking forward to not having to do very long runs for awhile. I (like a lot of runners in my opinion) go through periods where I just am not interested in the time, effort, preparation and recovery involved with running high mileage weeks and performing very long runs on the weekends. I am definitely in that period right now. I am thoroughly enjoying not having to get up as early and not having to be as destroyed on the weekends while doing this form of short distance training. With the extra crosstraining and gym work that I am doing I knew I would still be able to stay in shape (without high mileage weeks) and I might actually get in better shape long term by changing things up but most importantly it gave me some motivation because it can be hard to want to train hard without a race to motivate yourself (at least that is the case for me). Plus I usually struggle with the long stuff in the heat of the summer.
So…. I checked out the latest on the Track Club’s website and wasn’t seeing the Track Series. I contacted them and they said they couldn’t find a Race Director so they weren’t sure if they were going to be able to have it. It still hasn’t been officially cancelled, but it is now 6 weeks out and I am not counting on it (I know that the club has done everything they can do to try and put it on.. they are a great group).. so I decided to do my own!
I will be replicating the series with the same races on the same weeks as they had it last year. I may not always do it on Tuesdays (as the actually series has done it) just to give myself a bit of leeway in that regard, but I will do the race assigned for that week at some point during that week. I will either be doing it at Vianney’s or Nipher Middle School’s Track.
And those races are:
Week of June 3rd – 3000m
Week of June 10th – 1500m
Week of June 17th – 800m
Week of June 24th – 200m and 100m (not certain if I will do the 100m.. that is a tough race to train for and if you don’t train it much it can have a higher injury potential… I may just do it a 90% effort just to do it.. we will see)
Week of July 1st – 400m
I am most looking forward to the 3000 and 1500 (because they will both be PR’s no matter what because I have never raced them 🙂 )and definitely the 800m. For some reason I just really like the 800m.
My PR in the 200m is 28 seconds, it is 1:04 for the 400m and 2:40 for the 800m. I would like to beat all of those times, but will also write that I would like to get closer to 2:30 in the 800m. That will be very hard but I have to have a goal. I would like to hit 5:40 – 5:45 pace for the 1500m and 6:20 – 6:30 pace for the 3000m… but we will see.
I guess this is my “If the race can’t happen, make the race happen yourself!” series and I will write about my progress in training and the results from the races themselves every week.
Oh and I haven’t decided yet if I will be running some or all of them barefoot (I will be writing my first barefooting post soon). I don’t think I will be running in track spikes because while I would have no problem with how minimal they are.. they tend to really wrap around your feet and mine need a bit more room.
If anyone wants to join me for one or more, please let me know.
It is fun to get excited about racing again!!
Are you working toward something that has gotten you excited about your training again?
Best of luck in your training,
If you think you may still want to do a longer race at the end of this month, we’re two weeks out from this one:
It has just about any distance you would want…
That is a pretty cool race (and medal)! I have never heard of that one. Would be great for getting a group of your friends together and they could be at any level of fitness and do the race they want. I am assuming (as it is railroad) that it is flat? I probably won’t make it this year but it could definitely be one I consider for next year! Thanks for sharing.