Friday, 29 August 2014

10000m worth of track

I am starting to get used to this endless roller coaster of injury - recovery - being in great shape - injury. That must be why my latest injury hasn't succeeded in crushing my spirits: I know that recovery is right around the corner. And I can run, after all. I'm not completely paralysed by my runner's knee. I just can't run very far.

The success rate of these running sessions has been variable, of course. Take Vasastafetten, for example. A short course over undulating terrain resulted in a 4:25 min/km pace with accompanying nausea and thoughts that wisdom tooth extraction without anesthesia would be painless in comparison. Yesterday's district track meet was twice the distance and only 5 seconds/km slower, yet felt like cuddling kittens. Go figure.

Heat 2, leading group

Running 10000m track can be tedious. Especially if you've managed to reset all the settings in your Suunto so that it now only shows average speed and altitude. Thanks, Suunto, but I don't need any altitude information ON A FLAT TRACK. I wasted a lot of energy trying to figure out how many laps I had left (the winner of the heat had lapped me twice at this point and the board showed how many laps he had left). I had no idea how far I'd run. The board teased me after the winner had crossed the finish line. It showed I only had one lap left. Three times.

Still, there's something about running track that appeals to me. Maybe it's the high I still get remembering how I crossed the finish line as part of our school team, to win the heat in a relay competition when I was 11 – the only time I ran track as a child. Maybe it's the atmosphere: the speaker, the lean, taut elite runners, the starting gun, the orange-brown tartan track. Maybe it's because there are no hills to send my heart racing. Whatever it is, it made last night's meet a fun experience.

Finish time just under 45 minutes. And my knee? Not a sound.

But the hills are calling my name. Tomorrow I may heed their call.

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