A Night on the Oval

There are a lot of things I’ve tried since we moved here; some have stuck (e.g. Yoga, clearly), some have been a one-time only experience – Crossfit, riding around the Boulder Reservoir with my clipless bike shoes and pilates, just to name a few.

I have handed my ego to the mountains, the altitude, the road-burned skin and the free weights. Last night,  I happily handed it to the track.

But I have reason to believe this wasn’t a one-night stand;
we had a good time together.

Running-TrackThis was the first time my legs have run the oval since last summer – June, to be exact. Yesterday, Ed told me the club’s plan – 16 x 400m – and I may or may not have thought “death by exhaustion!”.

Oof, this speed work stuff is hard.

I secretly hoped the recently-consistent afternoon thunderstorms would come for their daily dose, ending our track plans. I drove through clear, sunny skies all the way to the track.

Fine, Colorado. Play your little weather games, I see how it is.


To play it safe, our plan was for me to just do 12 of the repeats and see how I felt. The club splits up into pace groups, and my “goal pace” fell right in between 2-3.

I started with 3, and almost caught up to 2 (the groups ran in waves). So I ran with 2, and then two repeats later dropped back to 3.

If nothing else, I could confuse my mind and legs until all 12 had passed and suddenly we were done – right? RIGHT.


Twelve laps later, I got cocky (shocker). I wanted to finish all 16its okay if you can’t do them quickly, legs. I gotcha covered; I had no plans of leaving any muscles or tendons on the track.

1:32 – 1:33 – 1:33 – 1:34 – 1:31 – 1:33 – 1:34 (x 5) – 1:36 – 1:40 – 1:35 – 1:43

Yup, that’s only 15. I skipped one in need of a pit stop. It happens.

As for the group thing, I’ve never run repeats so consistently. I don’t know who in that four-pack was ‘pacing’ us, but hey, I’m impressed with you and your 1:34s.


7.12 tracknight 0047.12 tracknight 005

Oval laps, I’ll see you again next week.


If you’re a local runner (Denver), we’re having a LUCKY 13 Run Club tonight at lululemon (Cherry Creek North). Join us for the run & get $13 off the Denver Rock n’ Roll half-marathon registration!



Filed under new things!, running buddy, Speed workouts, things that make me Happy

11 responses to “A Night on the Oval

  1. Track work with a group is the best! You pace off each other and FEED off each other. Very nicely done!!!

    • Heather C

      Thanks! Yeah there’s no way I would’ve done all 16 had it just been me and my own mind-games. The group is key!

  2. nice work Heather! those are tough.

  3. Way to go! Seriously, like Lindsay said, that’s tough! I love the motivation and consistency that can come with group running.

  4. Wow! What an awesome and speedy run! 🙂

  5. WHOA! Big workout after lots of time off. I went back to the track this morning after about 2 months off of speed work but my coach only had me do 5 x 400 m. And it was HARD. Good for you 🙂

    • Heather C

      Ha, yeah I definitely wouldn’t recommend jumping right into 16 repeats, for *anything*. But I did approach it with caution and took the last few pretty “easy”.

  6. sweet! counting 400s makes my brain hurt.

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