It is officially summertime!
One of my greatest pleasures is heading out the door in the blue-gray dawn to watch the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains to the east of Albuquerque. As I float through the cool morning air, the sky lightens and wispy clouds turning from gray to pink to gold to white. I love to experience the city waking up around me: I slowly see more early risers running or walking, dogs jingling past pulling on their leashes, and traffic begins to pick up as the shadow of the Sandias shrinks eastward from the volcanoes to the Rio Grande, across the city and up the foothills. Often, hot air balloons dot the skyline.
I recently had the fun of a morning track workout with my younger sister, who is enrolled at the UNM Medical School. We met at (the ungodly hour of 5am) at a local track to do some easy 200’s before she headed off to spend the day learning how to take care of people. My running has been somewhat chaotic for the past 6 weeks, between a camping trip, some traveling, and recovering from a crazy trail race. I am just starting to feel myself again in terms of running, so I decided to do one of my feel-good workouts: 200’s.
These are one of my favorite workouts for several reasons: 1) I feel “official.” I’m at the track right? Only ‘legit’ runners do track workouts, or so I’m told.
2) I feel fast. I have to lean slightly to the left as I come around the curve. I’m breathing hard at the end of each curve, right? The walkers in lane 8 must feel the rush of air as I fly by and be stunned. I tell myself I must be fast. 3) I collect data: Lots of repetitions means I get lots of numbers to write in my training log. I get to use the ‘split’ function on my watch, and as detail-oriented as I tend to be, I love seeing how those splits line up compared to each other and to my intended workout plan. 4) Big bang for your buck. If I have only 30-45 minutes in which to do a workout before heading home to wrestle my baby all day, 200’s are my go-to workout. They come and go quickly, so I get to rev up my body several times during the relatively short duration of the workout. 200’s can pack a lot of intensity, despite their relatively short duration. And finally, 5) They’re fun! They make me feel peppy. Before the interval starts to really hurt, it’s over, and I’m jogging through my recovery.
As I grow my fitness, I will add longer, tougher, and faster workouts, but as I settle in to my running routine and build toward fall racing, some summer sunrise 200’s with my sister are the perfect way for me to wake up, refresh and excite my mind and body for the long, hot day ahead.
What are your go-to favorite workouts? What workouts make you feel “awesome” or are sure to boost your mood? Do you rise with (or before) the sun or do you prefer the sunset/evening hours?