Today was track practice, as are most Tuesdays during the season. Kris and I have been incorporating the pylometrics, abs and power workouts we learned at ASA, and helping train our teammates. We've also been integrating longer distance, endurance running into the workout to give us a base this early in the season.

I often wonder if a 1.5 hour workout once a week can really help much, but it's better than sitting on my ass every Tuesday night.

I guess.

Last week after the plyometrics, we ran 3 800m relays: in groups of 3, each person ran 800m, then rested as the other two runners on his team ran an 800m, too. I ran with Heather, as there were 4 women at the track, and Heather likes to run with a partner. I told her I would be running at an 8:00/mile pace, if that was okay. It was, and we were actually able to run the 800s in 3:57, 3:56 and 3:47.

This week, however, we ran a 400, an 800, then a 400. We ran a reduced run because we had a tournament last weekend, and another tournament this weekend. Fair enough.

My plan was to run a 2:00, 4:00 and a 1:50, keeping with my 8:00/mile times. Brynne, Heidi and I all ran at the same time, because we were partnered with Kris and Chris in the relay. Heidi wanted to run fast, fast, fast, so I slowed her down on the first 100 of the first 400.

The back stretch of the track had a nice back wind on it, so running fast in the first 200 yards was very easy. The front stretch, on the other hand, was a bear! That head wind was almost enough to stop a runner. Ugh.

I ran my first 400 in 1:47. Faster than I expected, but good none-the-less. I was a second behind Heidi and 2 seconds behind Brynne, who kicked in the last 40 yards to pass me at the end. I minded little because we had two more runs to run.

I ran the 800 in 3:46. Faster than my expected 4:00, and pretty good with that darned head wind. And not bad after all the plyometrics we did. I was feeling pretty good at the start of the run, and ran faster than a jog, but pretty much my natural running pace, with a kick at the end. Heidi came in at 3:57, Brynne at 4:21.

My last 400 I didn't even bother to run with Heidi and Brynne. I just relaxed into my pace, making sure I kept my arms swinging forward and backward (and not side to side as they used to do when I used to get tired), and my knees up. Before I started, I was trying to decide if I wanted to run it in 90 seconds or 100, and settled on 100. I ran a 1:37.

It's very hard to run a 1:37 400m and realize I used to run them 33 seconds faster (my best time of 64 seconds in college). But I couldn't play ultimate, and couldn't catch a disc then, so it all balances out.