If you ever ran track you probably remember the four by four, or 4 x 400, as it is more aptly written.
In Minnesota at least, it was the last race of each track meet. Sometimes the win would come down to this final relay, four runners each running 400m, or one lap, of the track.
We’d be cheering wildly for our blue and green as the sun set, and I know the runners gathered adrenaline and speed from the excitement.
I personally never ran the relay, but the term “4 x 400” still instantly brings me back to high school.
Anyhow, the other morning, I set off for the local track. It’s been several months (oof!) since I’ve done any real speedwork, and I knew I needed to get back to it.
Our house is 2 miles or 2.5 miles from the track, depending which way I go. The longer route takes me along the bike path and through woods and gardens. The shorter route is the main highway into town.
For some reason I chose the short route to go to the track, and the longer one coming home. It just sounded appealing that way. I like the scenery on the way home, even on tired legs.
Of course I got a later start than normal, and I debated driving to get in a longer track workout. I decided against it though because I knew I’d skimp on my warmup and cool down.
Coming off my track hiatus it was probably smarter to spend the extra time running to and from the track and go easier on the speed anyway.
Because of my later start, I decided to tackle 400’s instead of 800’s as I’d planned.
Eight or even six repeats seemed like a reasonable number, but somehow four was all I managed.
They were a tough four though, and I kept it honest by not dawdling in between.
Recovery was 200 meters easy, 80-90 seconds I think, and then I went right into the next 400.
The splits? Well, I was aiming for 7:00 pace (about mile race pace), which would be 1:45.
Obviously track splits won’t be as consistent as a treadmill, but I’m still a tad disappointed in my lack of consistency. I always start too fast, and I have my worst splits in the middle.
1:39, 1:48, 1:39, 1:42 — that’s how they went down.
I could have managed a few more if time allowed, so I know I need to hit the track again next week. EVERY week would be good.
Looking back a few months in my training log, I see workouts like “6 x 800 meters, all at 7:30 pace or 3:45 each.”
I’ve got my work cut out for me. And still, I shouldn’t short change this workout. I got out there and ran 6 miles with 4 x 400 in the mix. That’s solid; okay, awesome for a June morning!
When I got home I guzzled my chocolate milk and got ready for the day.
Not to switch gears, but I’ve got a question for you guys that just occurred to me. You can be honest.
Am I sounding pushy or promotional or obnoxious when I talk about my love of chocolate milk and all things dairy?
I hope not, but you can tell me straight. Of course as a dairy farmer I support and believe in dairy products, but my blog is not meant to be an advertisement.
Even my “June is Dairy Month” link is solely meant as a resource. Just recipes, farming, and other dairy info I thought you might like. Nobody told me to put it there.
The deal is, for the most part, I gather you guys are a lot like me. Active, young(ish), busy, and looking to stay moderately healthy. So if I’m interested in something you might be too.
I write about running and dairy and farming, and I suppose you wouldn’t read my blog if these things didn’t appeal. I’m probably crazy to even write this, but I do care about your opinions. I blog for my myself, but I also blog for you. And I’d like you to keep following along. 🙂
But back to the running. It felt great to get back on the track, and I know it will help me increase speed for some summer races. I’m still in limbo about a fall race, but I think I need to give it some more time. I’ll see how summer training goes and how a few other life things shake out.
I think I will enjoy running more and be more successful if I put off the next marathon and focus on a 1/2 or even 10K. But I still “want” to do the marathon. This racing thing is crazy I tell you!