Thursday, March 22, 2012

TrackTastic!!

I really enjoy track sessions (most of the time) even when they HURT (ummm, last week for example). While it can be boring and monotonous, I find that I like the repetitive nature of running in circles and having a true way to measure my pace lap for lap. Also, when I am on the track I can zone in on what I am doing and not worry about distractions like cars, road conditions, where I am turning next, etc.

Wednesday was another MAF test on the track. Basically, this is running at a specific heart rate and holding it for X amount of time or distance. The track allows consistency in terrain so we can see how my pace compares to previous sessions. I don't mind MAF tests and since numbers really turn me on, I like the data it provides (though Coach Awesome probably knows more about what to DO with this data than I...)


The weather in Maine has been crazy lately and the schools do not maintain the tracks during the winter months-
meaning if there is snow, there is no track for me.

The last couple sessions of "track work" have been done outside on a mile stretch of road or on the TM (not the same!!) so I was happy to literally get ON TRACK with my MAF test this week.

I usually run at one of two tracks locally at the high schools-one has a brand new rubber track and the other is an older, not so fancy and nice track (but where I went to high school many, many years ago...in a galaxy far, far away) so I opted for my alma mater.




The weather has been fantastic this week-70's and 80's-and I have been superpumped to be outside training! I donned my Pink*Star tri top (ala Hillary Biscay) and my favorite Kinvara's and hit the track.
Round and round and round.....and something strange started to happen.

The more I ran-the stronger I felt. My pace picked up and my HR stayed steady. My legs were strong, my form was good and my smile was getting bigger and bigger. WOOT!!!
Round and round and round we go...where she stops nobody knows.

Then high school students started filling the field and I recognised Mrs. G from MY DAYS at the high school and Mr. D, whom I graduated with 20 years ago. It was a typical high school gym class and they too were taking advantage of the weather by bringing the students outside. As much as I wanted to stop and say hello to both of them, I need to go go go and execute this run. I am sure they were wondering just how long this lady would be running on their track! (I'd been there a while already...)

As I was running, I really had to laugh at the irony. 20+ years ago when I was a student at this high school, my gym teacher Mr. H would have to fight with me to get me to run around that track during PE. I hated running, I hated gym and I would find any excuse in the world to skip running. Now here I was, in 80* weather, running miles and miles around and around this little track that I so despised in my youth. And I was doing this willingly and with a smile.
Round and round and round and round....How things change!

Then I saw a familiar face-my best buddy, Dawn (who teaches English at the high school). We exchanged hellos quickly and she said she'd return.
Round and round and round and round I go....

My MAF miles were done and it was time to cooldown. I then see a bunch of students sitting on the track with Dawn. As I ran by all of a sudden, they all broke out in super loud cheers!!

It was soooo cool and made me laugh! I cheered right back at 'em, threw my hands in the air Finish Line Style and gave 'em a woot! I kept on going, cool down in full effect and on Lap 2 and as I rounded the corner all these signs go up in the air!!




The signs were hilarious and packed with awesome! These were some of my favorites (though I loved each and every one of them!!)

YOU ARE NOW ENTERING...THE BEAST ZONE!

WARNING: Beast Running By

Run Forest Run!!

Unleash the Beast Girlfriend!

The Heat has NOTHING on you!

Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running 
~Jen the Jellyfish~

You're Still Jenny from the Block

GO HARD JEN


Finis and happy! Surrounded by motivational signs

thumbs up!!


All smiles and feeling great!


I was so touched that they would do this and it made me remember just how lucky I am to have such positive, supportive and awesome friends in my life. I can not think of a better way to end one of my best track sessions this season than with the encouraging cheers and motivational signs from Dawn and her class.

A big GIANT thank you to Dawn, Desiree, Justine, Victoria, Autumn, Stephen, Emma, Lydia, Anna, Vie, Christina, Cassandra, Thomas, Allison, Oliva H, Oliva J, Elyse, Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Amber Rose and every student who was there yesterday!!! You made my day just a little bit (ok A LOT) brighter!!

13 comments:

Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb said...

That is SO awesome. I'm with you, back in the day I couldn't even make it once around the track. Seriously. Ha! Keep it up girl!

fancy nancy said...

That is so sweet!!! What a fun surprise!

Kelly said...

AWESOME!! What a great way to end a run like that!!

ltlindian said...

excellent! I wish I had a cheering squad.. :)

Carolina John said...

How cool!

I love doing speedwork on the treadmill. crazy, I know. I just hate the track so much.

Heather-O said...

That's awesome! In a super dorky kind of way this post almost had me in tears. You must have felt like a rockstar!

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

That's so awesome :)

Jen Small said...

@Heather!! nothing dorky about it, I was all choked up myself :)

Kabekona Tri Girl said...

Dude, I knew that this happended cuz I saw your awesome photo on facebook yesterday but man, reading about it, you had a tear go down my face. That is SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!! Dawn is truly a great person, I LOVE that they did this!!!

S. O'Fish

Suz and Allan said...

That is so awesome! I would have cried probably!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

It's always better having someone there to cheer you on when you've crossed the finish line!

hillary said...

love this story-and the jersey, of course. :) i always just worry about being kicked off school tracks --this is quite the contrast! keep up the great work!

Jason said...

now how cool is that? I am going to write my own encouraging signs this weekend and stick them up in front of me when I am running (racing) the Dallas RnR Half-Marathon!!!!!