EHHS track 6am: I plod my way around the school perimeter under headlamp beam, picking up pairs of reflective eyes darting from my path. I gather my thoughts, thinking of family at home, winding thoughts and breaths and prayers together in the dark.
A mile later, the group of bobbing white LEDs form, warm up with me, then we hit the track. We high-knee skip and stride, butt-kick and sprint, and drill our way through the 200s, then steady our heady selves for the 400’s. With legs fairly fresh to the glistening, frosty track, we are tentative in the turns, like the young deer peeking through the chainlink fence at these less graceful creatures. “More like canteloupes than antelopes” I think, these limbs feel solid but slow, less agile in the winter, I have yet to regain my marathon legs from the summer. But they are coming..
The 400s pace well, with only 2 seconds fall out between repeats. The sky pinkens over the school property and the salmon-colored track curves into it, tinged with hoar.
We gasp at the beauty, and share feelings of complete joy being together, struggling, pacing, leading, following. We talk about how this is our “secret day” the one that happens in the wee hours, the magical one that starts in the black ether and ends in the blue skies. The one that we create before the other day gets underway, the one with its weary chores, tiring demands, Sisyphean tasks. But no boulders here on the track, just light hearts, quiet feet, strong limbs. Creating strength for the other day that we stride towards.
3 mi w/u
4 x 200s w/ A + D, elbow swing, and push drills for 100/200 of recovery: focus on drill skills in final 100 stretch of 200’s
4 x 400s w/ 400 recovery: focus on drill skills in final 200 stretch of 400’s
2 x 800 (bailed in lieu of going to dentist..)
1 mi c/d
7 mi total