In May, I got back into speedwork, giving the coach a check for $100.00 for Cal Coast Club Membership. I paid in order to give myself a message: "I am serious about returning to speedwork."
Back in 2008, I quit speedwork because I injured my left knee. I'm a distance runner, not a sprinter and the hard pounding of the 800's and 1200's repeats got my left knee. By the way, it took me months to learn the obvious: 800 is twice around the quarter-mile track and 1200 is three times.
OK, I got injured last time, but I still wanted to get back to speedwork---I love to "run my guts out," and compete with the other slow runners on the track. I love to watch the sprinters lap me. I don't even remember my times and which is why the other runners are there, to improve their times.
I'm there for the visceral thrill of working hard, gasping for breath at the end and doing it all over again. I'm weird. Even weirder when you consider I'm 67-years-old.
I'm weird and I'M STUPID. My injury from failing to warm up cost me a lot. For six weeks I was off the track, off the trail and had to cancel my next marathon, the famous, Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. What I injured this time was the biceps humorous. No, that's not in the arm, its part of the hamstring. Read about it, stupid runners do this with leg-pounding speedwork and WITHOUT WARM-UP.
Duh! I mentioned the sprinters who lapped me at speedwork. Well, they come early to speedwork. They warm-up--run, stretch, and swing their legs around. They are beautiful runners with strong linear bodies and I liked to watch them.
WATCH THEM??? Wouldn't it occur to most people to warm-up along with them? Well, I had to learn the hard way.
When my hamstring first hurt, I didn't stop running. I kept showing up at the track and for my long runs. I would cut mileage, but not stop.
I finally quit, went to the doctor, got physical therapy and took a dose of Ibuprofen for a week. I'm better and slowly getting back into running. Slowly. Yesterday I ran a quarter mile and walked three-quarter miles. I did that for ten miles. Today the hamstring does not hurt so the walk/run worked.
I haven't returned to speedwork. Maybe it's not for me. If I do try again, maybe I won't compete so hard with the back-of-pack runners and for sure, I will warm up before I pound my legs into the track.