Is it Friday yet? So close…
The week that was supposed to be a bit lighter threw me a few curve balls:
Not to worry. It wasn’t serious. After several days of off and on abdominal pain and nausea, I decided to take him to the ER. We have a long history of appendicitis in my family so I’ve suspected he’d be the next one to have his removed. I was wrong… at least this time. He appears to be in good health… however, he apparently needs more fiber in his diet. ; )
Anyway, despite some added crazy this week, I got a great workout in on Wednesday. When I drafted my training calendar, I dedicated my Wednesday runs to speed work, hill repeats, etc., alternating weekly. I hadn’t been good about actually doing them though until yesterday. I ran two-miles to our local high school to warm up and then did a four-mile tempo run on the track followed by a one-mile interval session alternating 100 meter sprints with 100 meters at recovery pace. To cool down, I ran the two-miles back home.
I was really pleased with my tempo run because I’m really awful at pacing and I actually got pretty dang close to nailing it! I was aiming to decrease my pace by about 10 seconds each mile. The resulting splits were:
7:59 / 7:50 / 7:39 / 7:28
What I realized somewhere along the third mile is that I know I can run faster. But when I’m out there by myself… I just don’t push myself. In a race? Yes! My competitive drive kicks in! (And if you don’t know me in real life, let’s just say I’m pretty damn competitive!) So I started thinking about how I might be able to fuel the competitive fire when I’m doing speed work. That led me think that I need to do speed work in a (somewhat) competitive environment. Which led me to research free training opportunities and I stumbled across several that are hosted by local specialty running stores and running clubs.
Eureka!!! I feel like I struck free training gold!
My research has been minimal but one store I checked out offers several sessions on a weekly basis ranging from track workouts to long runs. They occasionally offer free clinics on a variety of topics too. A couple of weeks ago they hosted a clinic that intended to help attendees unlock their race day potential. I’m sorry I missed that one! (If you are in the Portland area, the aforementioned events are hosted by the Portland Running Company. You can find upcoming group runs and clinics under the events tab.)
I’ve mentioned it before, but another great opportunity, in select cities, is the November Project. The founders recently visited Portland and Seattle to offer “pop-up” workouts to gauge interest for future sites to host groups. If you’re looking for opportunities to up your fitness, meet new people, and have some fun, oh yeah, and not to mention save a few bucks because it is FREE, you might want to see if there is a November Project near you!
If you look hard enough, you can find free yoga classes, introductory classes at all sorts of specialty gyms (think barre, spinning, etc.), and even some larger gyms will offer free passes for daily or weekly use.
As I begin to look to my February training schedule, I think I’m going to rearrange a couple of days so that I can try to take advantage of the free track workouts!
Do you participate in any free workouts sponsored by running stores or other groups? If so, what has been your experience?