Thursday, March 05, 2009

Back in the Track


San Francisco is faced with a $576 million budget deficit; budget cuts everywhere, pink slips abound. Last week our triathlon club got news that Kezar stadium may be closed as part of the cost cutting measures of the city. They are cutting $9 million dollars from the Park and Recreation budget and Kezar might be one of the places that will be closed. Monday I attended the town hall meeting where they discussed all the proposed budget cuts - eye opening. Kezar has a lot of history, the San Francisco 49ers used to play ball there. It is used by athletic clubs like ours as well as by non-profits like Girls on the Run, schools and individuals. I've never seen this place empty. Well thankfully as it turns out, Kezar won't actually close but they are cutting back on the staff who maintain and manage the place. Our beloved Melvina who doesn't need a bullhorn to yell across from the far end of the track to tell people to get off the grass has been given the pink slip. Tough times.

It felt good to be back nevertheless. They moved track to Wednesdays and as such I can only make every other week but I'm okay with that now. When I got there at 7PM, the asphalt upper ring was filled with groups warming up and we descended on the track at pretty much the same time. We joined other groups who were already there, crowding the track. More the merrier.

My workout? It was alright. Last week was my back down week and I was surprised at how fatigued I felt. I also noticed some weird aches and pains. I put in a lot of rest and I ascertained that I jumped to 75-80 miles per week too quickly. This evening's workout pretty much confirmed it. We did a 2-mile time trial which we will repeat again at the end of the year to gauge improvement. After a warm up, some warm up exercises and a single lap where we did a few strides, we were off. Boy I tell you, it was hard from the first lap to the last. Track is always hard but this was hard in a crappy way. My breathing was ragged and I never settled into a comfortable pace. I was running a pace well within my capabilities but it felt too hard. Best of all no kick in the end. This happened before. The year I instituted 6 hour long bike rides on Saturdays and 6 hour long trail runs on Sundays I would show up to track wheezing like an out of shape smoker as I ran my laps. If I remember correctly I just hung on until my body adapted. The sensible thing to do would be to back down on the weekly mileage and build up more slowly once the body catches up. I've got time anyway.

I was at 12:54 for the 2-mile time trial. Last year at about the same time I was at 13:38 so I guess that's good. At the end of track last year I shaved off about a minute from my 13:38, let's see what I can do this year. It will all depend on how my legs are in October when our track season ends I guess. It will certainly be slow if I run it coming off a long race. This will be my 4th year participating in track and I can't imagine a training regimen without it now. I never thought running around in circles could be so much fun, being part of a coached group is certainly a big part of that. It's fun, it was just less fun tonight and that's okay. So it goes.


  1. Yeah the economy in in the tank but hopefully it will bounce back soon, at least it's being acknowledged now which is an improvement over the last 2-3 years which was all about denial!

    If you can shave another minute off and go <12 that'll be smokin' fast!

  2. That is pretty neat that the niners used to play there, but such a bummer that you may lose the stadium.

  3. Good job on that time trial, Rick! Nice improvement over last year. Definitely stronger. I wish I lived there so I could run the track with you. That would be killer!

  4. I need a track group. I'm very glad Kezar is going to stay too.

  5. Ummm, I don't do track. Hate it! Which is why I will never be fast. haha Way to go, Rick! That is a blazing 2-miles! Oh, and I got the socks in the mail today! Thanks so much! Peace!

  6. Now there's a West Texas boy, "The Naked Runner," who can sit on his front porch and watch his dog run away for 2 days (you will love those socks)...but I digress commenting on commenters.

    Good job on the track stuff...running helps me from getting too stressed out bout this economy stuff. Your a testament to what speed work can do for you.

  7. Wow, sub-13 is clipping along for a two mile time trial! You are obviously doing things right with your training. Way to go!

    I hope that stadium doesn't close. That looks like a pretty place, and it is obviously an historic one.

    Continued success with your training, Rick!

  8. That is the beauty of being a runner - they can close (I hope not) all the stadiums in the world and we still get to run anyhere, everywhere.

    That was mighty fast for 2 miles.

  9. it's sad that the economic crunch is affecting even sports but i guess that's just the way it is. i just hope it wouldn't mean less races.

    good luck on your track season.

  10. Look at you Mr Speedy! Nice job :-)

    PS thank for for the mail (it got lost in the shuffle) those foods are sooooo disgusting. Even I would not go there LOL