Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I survived.

Thank goodness I have done nothing but rest over the last day and a half as this evening was reserved for my track work with Panther's Tri Club members and TopNotch coaches. I must admit I was extremely hesitant going into this for numerous reasons:
  1. Never done track work before
  2. Feel self conscious of my running dis/abilities
  3. Worried I would get injured
  4. Hate feeling out of my depth
I tried to keep my self defeatist attitude in check by repeating to myself that this is what was going to help me to get better and faster and fitter. By doing this I was going to finally get my running under control and I would be able to hold my own in the run leg instead pulling all out on the swim and bike and dying a slow painful death on the run. I was hopefully now on my way to becoming a worthy competitor.

When I got down to the grass track as usual I was early. This is another unmistakable Barbie trait. If I am not there early at any training or meet then there is something wrong - so come looking for me. Within 10 minutes the coaches pulled up and shortly there after other members started turning up one by one. Always nice to see familiar faces who can share in the joy and torture.

We started off with a 1200m warm up - nice and easy we were told. Running on grass is so very different to bitumen. It's uneven and really soft underfoot so I really had to focus where I was placing my foot. The lines on the track have no grass so it kind of hollows out inbetween lanes. I found myself running in these grooves just trying to find stable footing. When we finished the warm up it was time for some dynamic stretches. We did a couple 20m high knees, kick backs, and some side running where you kind of do a zig zag with your legs (not sure what that's called), sorry for the lame description.

We got to have a bit of a rest and then I got hit with our main set. I nearly keeled over - 10 x 400m continuous done as 200m race pace and 200m recovery run. Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would be asked to do this. I was having trouble digesting that piece of information until it finally hit me - I was going to have to run that oval 10 times. Did they get me confused with some All Star track athlete? My name is not Florence Griffith Joyner, it's more like Elmer Fudd!!!!

After procrastinating like a big girl, Chris the coach said to me "it's only 4km, you have run 4km". He was right - I had, it was just the way it had been presented to me that scared the living daylight's out of me. So, I finally sucked it up and started.

As usual I went out too hard and did my first 200m a bit too fast and knew that I would not be able to maintain that tempo for all of them. The recoveries felt really nice and it's funny cause after you have run a race pace 200m when you get to go slower it feels like you could almost walk faster. As each race pace 200m went by I could feel myself getting slightly slower but not by too much. What was really starting to show was my lack of form.

I think I have described my running style previously as a bit of an Olympic walker, well it showed again tonight. So what Chris got me to focus on was trying to place my feet on either side of the track line versus on the line - which is what I was doing. It seemed to work but it was not an easy thing to do. It really took all of my concentration to master. As did relaxing my shoulders and pumping my arms in a forward motion versus swinging them from side to side.

In saying all the things I did wrong, I did do alot of things that I am proud of:
  1. I didn't quit
  2. I smiled and laughed ALOT
  3. I attempted everything
  4. I ran faster than I ever have before
Am I looking forward to next week? You bet your bottom dollar I am. I had a ball. I can really see how this is going to benefit me. I am already sore in my glutes, hammies and quads. But not a bad kind of sore - more like a 'your muscles have been lying dormant kind of sore'. The only thing that is sore that I am now icing is my left Achilles. It is not horribly painful but rather a bruised sort of feeling. Other than that - I am on top of the world.


  1. Track work is tough - but I like the structure. Good job!

  2. Speed work is what seperates the contenders from the pretenders. Speed work hurts, thats why alot of athletes tend to skip it or dont go hard enough. I promise you, if you keep this up, you will start to have poduim finishes because you are doing what others wont.

  3. Hi Barbie – I am going to be in Chatswood visiting my sister for most of November. I am looking for people to run with (and run around with). Miss Zippy said you have a friend in Chatswood. Could you drop me a quick note – jamesdaniel AT gmail DOT com . Your tri club sounds fantastic.

    Thanks – tri-james

  4. Good for you! track workouts with a group allow you to stretch far beyond what you would ever do on your own. And the first few are so intimidating, but remember--everyone has been through that too. Go speedy Barbie!

  5. Have never done track work before (unless you count high school:)...but it sounds like this will help incredibly in your run!
    Good for you for not giving in to your worries:)

  6. Nice job with the workout! Way to get through it! :)

  7. Good for you Barbie, well done! As was said, speed work will make a big difference.

  8. Tri-james: Thanks so much

    misszippy: It was very intimidating but at the same time liberating too. I have overcome yet another obstacle.

    Dawn: It was so much fun. I would recommend it to anyone now.

    Aimee: Thanks so much.

    Eoin: Thankyou. I think it will too. My calves feel a bit trashed today though.


I am so happy you have stopped by. You have made my day.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage