No track? No problem!

Running TrackAh, a running track. A perfect 400-meter oval. A great place to get in a – wait for it – track workout. As long as you happen to have one in your backyard, or down the street.

I happen to live very close to a great one – a certified 400-meter track at a local high school.

There’s just one problem.

That particular high school is home to a biggie football team. And for reasons I’m not completely clear about (gear stored outside?), that track is now surrounded by a locked chain-link fence, so that nobody can use it except the students, even after hours. (Most high schools allow the public to  use their tracks when they’re not in use for student activities.) And I am not happy about this, ahem, turn of events.

So, I want a track. (Seattle makes this a bit easier than the Eastside city I live in – check out Seattle Parks & Recreation for a list of running paths and tracks.) I will eventually get to a school board meeting (this is a public school for which I, as a town resident, pay taxes to support) to discuss the matter. I think public high schools should make their outdoor recreation facilities available to town residents – we need all the help staying fit that we can get in this country.

But yesterday, I needed to get in a track workout. And that meant getting creative.

You don’t need a track to get in a track session.

You need a stopwatch. That’s all. Stopwatch

I headed to a local park that conveniently happens to have a more-or-less half-mile circular walking path. I wrote down the goal paces for my intended workout: a reverse ladder. 1200 meters, 1000 meters, 800 meters, 600 meters, and 400 meters – all with a 200-meter recovery jog in between. I estimated my distances but didn’t hold myself to them. Instead, I just hit the stopwatch and took off for my intended paces. 5 minutes and 34 seconds for 1200 meters (or so). Then about a 90-second jog. Then 4 minutes and 31 seconds for my 1000 meter run. And on it went. Reverse speed ladder.

When it was all over, I had dodged a couple of cute doggies on the path, but was otherwise none the worse for wear, and my workout was complete. Jogged home happily. And my #every48 workout for January 14, 2014 was in the books.

Cute Dogs

Moral of the story: don’t let “I don’t have the right workout venue/gear/outfit” get in the way of getting in your workout. Improvisation works just as well. And those doggies were really, really cute.

Yesterday’s #every48 workout (I’m taking these paces from the Boston Marathon training programs in Run Less, Run Faster): 20 minutes easy running, reverse speed ladder 1200-1000-800-600-400, 200 meter (or so) easy recovery in between my intervals, jogged home as a cooldown. 5.39 miles total.

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