Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Follow the Orange Dirt Road

Ok ok, this post is about 2 days late. I tend to run on something my husband calls Cuban Time. Its kind of like Key West time. If you're unfamiliar with both, the best way to explain it is: I get there at my own lax time. Not a proud thing :/
Monday (2/14/11) was day 4 of training and as the beginning of the 2nd week, it was a new endurance training session. Running time was upped to 90 seconds and brisk walk to 2 mins. Being Valentines, the husband and I went out to lunch alone and I got to geek over my resurrected love for Manga at the bookstores. And promptly after that we headed out to Barton Field.
Typically, and im not sure if ive mentioned it, we run on a small asphalt track located at about the middle of Barton Field. Barton Field is the main PT field here where were stationed and its HUGE! This is where they hold most of the post public celebrations, fairs, carnivals, etc. Ive only ever walked a 1/3 of it and of course, run the asphalt track. When we arrived Monday, however, the asphalt track was being used by the Army for PT tests. There was a lot of grunting, screaming, sweaty, FAST looking soldiers out there and it didn't look like they were ready to give the track up any time soon. There was also NO WAY I was going to do my silly little attempts at running along (behind) them.  Since we were there already, we hit the perimeter dirt track I affectionately call The Orange Dirt Road. Its Georgia Red Clay at its....well, dirtiest. Thousands upon thousands of feet have compounded this dirt track everyday for a thousand possible reasons. And yet its always intimidated me.
And I was right to be so! The first leg of the two mile run was BRUTAL. Remember that Valentines lunch and leisurely stroll at the bookstore? It made my tummy very eager to overturn, and my legs complain at the UPhill struggle. Did I mention the 60 mph winds? Ok maybe not 60...just 59. Would it have been too much to ask that the wind be at my back and not force feeding itself into my lungs as it shoved me off the hill?
When you trudge through that, the second leg is a breeze. Coming (somewhat) down hill toward my car was amazingly easy and for once I started to think that MAYBE just MAYBE...i might survive this one day.
I uploaded a few different training apps to my phone that track me through GPS, calculate my speed and minutes per mile, distance, total time and a few even let my friends on FB leave me pep talk messages that I can hear as I go.
Monday I was able to complete a mile in 15 minutes and 16 seconds using the run/walk endurance method I got from couchto5k. Today I clocked in at 14 minutes 9 seconds per mile on the SAME track :) Im sure the lesser buffeting winds had SOMETHING to do with it but it tells me im getting tired a little less quickly and able to keep a better pace. I know that marathons are not about speed but the thing is, you're given a time max for completion. I dont want to do all this work only to not finish in the allotted time.
It could also have been the Alien Ant Farm album though...its a good beat!


  1. Ohhh man I remember that track! That track just about killed me when I used to go "jog" it, which my jog is just a fast walk/hop LOL! Glad you did it though, you can do this marathon... I believe in you :D

  2. Thanks Jess!! It IS an intimidating track huh? But now I kinda love it:) Though the husband says nay for training ....boooo

  3. The Sarge and I would walk the entire thing after he was done with work. Not so bad in the early spring and late fall. It's the times in between...

  4. I just realized you are in Augusta too! I think the size was deceiving to me since I have never really beed a runner. Walking it isnt bad at all...this season is perfect for it. Today especially!