This section of my website used to be dedicated to triathlon training, personal race results and certification reviews, like Turbo Kick. I am expanding it to include more generic health & fitness topics. Also, I talk a lot about "D" -- he's my husband (Dave Liu)!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Kezar Track Session #2

After missing three weeks of track (subbing step classes for a friend followed by out of town business travel), I finally made it to another Wednesday session. Hubby had his weekly TNT adventure race practice at Golden Gate Park this evening as well, so I parked my car near the the Polo Fields (where he was training) and then rode my bike to Kezar.

I thought biking in Golden Gate would be safe, but it was a harrowing experience since there is no separate bike lane. A felt a shiver down my spine each time a car whizzed by. It didn't helped that cars were also parked along the side of the road so I had to keep an eye out for swinging doors, as well as cars that were parking or pulling out. I don't think I'll do that again any time soon unless it's on a day where the road is closed to car traffic.

Track was amazing. We started up with a four lap warmup. I ran with Ariel, a tres cool lady who completed a Half Ironman at Wildflower this summer, will be doing another Half Ironman (Big Kahuna) this September and has just signed up for Ironman New Zealand in March 2004! As impressive as this is, it gets better: this is only Ariel's third season with the Embarcadero Y Women's Tri Club, and she began from a standing start. When she first joined, she didn't know how to swim, couldn't run for more than 3 consecutive minutes, and had purchased her first bicycle for the occasion. "You are my personal hero!", I exclaimed. Talk about instant inspiration.

In total, there was an impressive turnout of 10-15 ladies. It was a diverse group with people of varying fitness levels and running experience. That's one of the great things about track - you can work at your own pace. We started off the session with similar drills as my last practice:

  • Walking on toes
  • walking on toes (pigeon-toed)
  • Walking on heels
  • Walking on heels (duck feet)
  • Quick knees, Lord of the Dance, "picking up garbage", etc.

Since there were first timers, we did 800's (twice around the track) and not "1200's". Newbies were supposed to run once around the track at tempo (75-80% maximum exertion), and then a second time at 85-90% exertion. Experienced folks were supposed to run 1/2 lap around the track at tempo and then the remaining 1-1/2 at the higher intensity level.

Shannon called out the times each time we passed her. That was helpful because I didn't have a watch with split times (gotta get myself an Ironman Timex one of these days). By definition, our second lap was supposed to be faster ("negative split"). On average, it took me about 2 minutes to run the first lap, and then 1:50 the second - that's a measly 10 second improvement! I spoke to hubby about it, and he says not to be discouraged because that's a big difference.

We did four sets of these 800's, with different strength exercises in between. One new exercise we did was oblique pushups (I made that name up, I can't remember what they're called) where you do a pushup and then bring one knee out to the side at chest level (like an oblique crunch).

The final drill we did was run twice around the grassy field perimeter. We ran in the opposite direction as the 800's and did it barefoot. It was quite soothing although the grass was colder and damper than I would have liked. At least it encouraged me to run faster.

At the end of the session, we were rewarded with Sharkies, curtesy of Jenny Oh, who is a part-time sales rep for Sharkies, Inc. They provide the same energy & benefits as gu, but have the taste and consistency of gummy bears. That's perfect for me, because I can't stand gu. Other features of Sharkies:

  • Certified Organic
  • Real Fruit for Energy & Endurance
  • A Natural Source of Electrolytes
  • Gelatin Free, Wheat Free, Fat Free, and No Gluten
  • One package = 170 calories; 41 grams of carbs

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