One of the biggest shocks in 2016 was
Brexit Trump’s victory the death of Alan Rickman that it turned out I loved running track! After years of genuinely wondering why on earth my clever, gutsy running friends enjoyed running round and round in circles, I gave it a go…and loved it so much that I ended up going most weeks. I ran early mornings with Lisa watching the sunrise and early evenings by myself whilst the High School football team practiced in the centre.
It was all very new to me. Very few UK senior schools have track facilities like California High Schools. It’s just not a thing. If we run in secondary school, we run on grass fields with chalk lanes painted on. And very few public parks have track facilities as well. Stepping onto the High School track in San Mateo was literally the first time I’d ever run on a track. So this was all very new, very exciting and it made me feel very fast and very fancy.
(I am neither fast nor fancy.)
I grew to love how it feels to run on a track. You feel like an Olympian as you hit that final straight. It feels much easier than running hard on a road or even a paved trail. AND there are loos for that emergency MRP.
So moving to Marlborough has been a bit of a shock in that respect because there are NO public running tracks. There are a few which are all roughly 40 minutes away in different directions but I’ve not found any that are open to the public. This is a bit sad.
Now there actually IS a track in Marlborough which belongs to the super-fancy Marlborough College (where Kate Middleton went to school.) I emailed them and asked if individuals could ever hire/use the track but the answer was no. However my new running club does occasionally hire it…and on Wednesday, I got to go to my first UK track session.
I nearly didn’t go. The Dude did his school nativity play (he was the best Helper One EVER) so I was late leaving, I’d arranged to meet everyone at the track a little late. Then as I walked out the door, it was chucking it down with giant, icy smudges of rain and it was howling with wind. I walked back inside and told the Husband I wasn’t going. ‘But it’s Track Night’ he reminded me, ‘You love track. Just go and see’.
As I drove into Marlborough, the snow/sleet/rain hammered into my windscreen but I spotted an intrepid band of MRC members heading through the storm to the track. Darn them, I thought, I need to go. So I drove to the track, parked up and joined them for warm-up.
The workout for the night was 6 repeats of 400m at 5k pace with a bonus 100m at ‘faster’, with 200m jogging recovery. My Garmin did all kinds of funny things so I didn’t get the data I would have liked for this, but I’m fairly confident I went out too fast and slowed down, as it traditional. I was definitely last runner in for every repeat, but someone had to be!
The weather was…fun. Periods of dry skies were indispersed with periods where frozen sleety rain lashed into our faces. There were no lights at the track and our headlights lit up the rain like at the beginning of the Dr Who credits!
Our esteemed leader had planned a couple of other workout-things for us, but at the end of the six repeats we were all cold, wet and done so we congratulated ourselves for our badassery and went home to hot drinks, hot showers and hot husbands.
Despite the weather, the darkness, my mediocre running and having to wear way too many layers to feel ‘track-like’, it was really good to get back on a track. I don’t know when I’ll get to do it again but it was fun whilst it lasted.