Thursday, April 17, 2008

Windy Days

Tuesday afternoon I volunteered to help out at a local track meet taking times at the finish line. It was a beautiful day and it got me outside in the afternoon to enjoy the weather and it also gave me a chance to think back fondly on my track days which were, hard to believe it, nearly a decade ago. I'm 27 now and I ran my last competitive track meet my senior year of high school when I was 18. It doesn't seem like that long ago when I'm thinking about it, but after I get in from a hard run that I would have dominated at that age, I can definitely tell it's been a while.

Watching the kids running, I kept thinking to myself, "Man, I could totally kick these little kids' asses." Then I'd get their times and realize that I probably couldn't hit some of those times without putting in a little training first. Adulthood and the working world isn't exactly conducive to giving you time to put in daily strenuous workouts. I'm lucky if I get in 3 or 4 runs a week. If I put in some time at the gym or lifting at home on top of that, it's a huge bonus.

In thinking about it, I'm pretty sure getting out there and running a 100 or 200 wouldn't be too much of a problem because with sprints usually the people who are good at them have the natural ability to move fast or they don't. It's hard to take a slow person and get them to sprint fast, you just need to have that innate ability to start with. Luckily I was pretty decent at sprints and I still use a lot of my quick speed muscles and sprints in ultimate.

The biggest hurdle that I'd have to overcome if I was racing my same high school races today would be the 400. I can guarantee you that I would not be able to whip out a sub 55 second 400 if I tried my hardest, there just isn't enough gas in my tank for that long of a sprint and I'm probably about 10 lbs too heavy to really push that long of a sprint. Now that I'm talking about it, I'm actually curious how I'd run a 400 now. Would I blow all of my energy sprinting out the first 200 and die in the last half? Or would I be way too conservative to start thinking I'd need the extra gas at the end?

Being out at the track, beyond bringing back memories of the old "golden days", gave me some motivation to really try and put some effort into my runs and getting a few more in if I can. I don't want to be relegated to talking about the good ol' days--I want to be able to still be in shape, quick, and able to crank out a good 5K time. I know it's not a sprint, but there aren't any real competitive options outside of 5K and 10K road races, so it's time to channel some of that competitive nature to beat my ass back into shape.

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