Part of the Learn to Run 5km clinic is a weekly seminar where an expert in some area of running speaks to the crowd of 100 novice runners. So far the topics have touched on stretching, injuries, nutrition and speed work.  A few weeks ago, we heard from the Comox Valley Road Runners’ track coach and she spoke about her Tuesday night track sessions.  Somewhere during the past two weeks, I decided that maybe a regular track workout would cure my plateaued running regimen.

On Tuesday evening, I grabbed a water bottle and a hoodie and I headed down to the local high school track about 15 minutes before the workout.  I could see few runner-types doing warm-up laps and I dutifully joined in.  After about 1600 m, we met at the bleachers.

Right away I could see that this was a fun group of people.  Since it was Valentine’s week, many came dressed in silly boxers, heart ties, tightie-whities with strategically placed hearts and lacy camisoles.  There was a ghettoblaster playing some latin rhythms and the session started with an invitation to dance.

After a few news items, the two new members were introduced and the workout explained.  We would have 2 options:

400m + 800m + 1200m  x 2

OR

400m + 1000m x 2

We began our warm-up stretches, strides and various other hopping, skipping and high-stepping exercises. Then the running began.

I opted for the shorter version since it has been forever since I did a speed-work session and I really didn’t want to injure myself.  We all began together and those choosing the shorter workout simply sat out the 800m section and rejoined the group for the final 1000m.  I opted to do the longer 1200m – mostly because I didn’t know where to stop for 1000m.  (You have to understand that it was pretty dark by the time we were running)

I felt fast and light on my feet.  I held my own and was able to keep a fairly steady pace throughout.  I pretty chuffed at my 5:05 1200m time during the first go around. During the second 1200m, I kind of got boxed in by some chatty fellows ahead of me on the final lap so I was slower than before.

The workout concluded with a fun 4 x 100 where we had to pass off some item of clothing as a baton. My teammate gave me her lacy camisole and I passed off a dollar store beaded necklace to the fellow running in the tightie-whities.

Overall, I had fun and I surprised myself at my underlying fitness. I wonder how sore I’ll be tomorrow!