Posted by: Karen | January 11, 2006

Just What I Needed

Last night I got out with the Calgary Roadrunners and ran with the 10k training group at the Olympic Oval. As much as I’ve enjoyed running with the Gord’s Store group this last couple of winters, I’d been missing the challenge/motivation of speed work with a group and the connections with my running club. I’ll still run at Gord’s from time to time, when I don’t feel like paying admittance to run indoors, but last night I bought a 10-visit pass to the Oval, so I’m committed to at least that. 10 Tuesdays should take me into Mid-March.

Dawn, and Krista had never run at the Oval before, so it was fun to introduce them and Tanya (new to Calgary) to what running is like there.

South corner of the track. Sorry, it was too dark in there for my camera...

The whole running track is much narrower than this, but here\'s the entrance area.

The Wikipedia link for the Oval has a much better picture of the ice the running track surrounds.

All of the group’s track workouts start out with a gentle 4 lap warm up and another 4 lap cool down. The assigned workout was “1200m Down”, which basically means to do intervals of 1200m, 1000m, 800m, 700m, 600m, 500m, 300m, 200m & 100m. This workout basically helps familiarize all those new to the track with how the unusual distance markers work. Instead of the usual 400m, this track is about 450m around, to accommodate the 400m ice skating track inside it.

We would never have managed all of that before 8pm, so after the warm-up Krista and Tanya and I did intervals of 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m and 100m. It felt good to go fast and flat, concentrating only on the rubberized track, my breathing, and not colliding with anyone.

It’s January, and there were a lot of folks out with various racewalking and other clubs. Weaving through the crowds was kind of fun, as it took my mind off my feet and captivated my short attention span, sort of like how roots and rocks do on trail runs.

My cough completely fled after the warm-up laps, but I took it easy in the 800m interval anyway. I must have been taking it easy, because I was instructing Tanya while we ran the interval, and I’m not supposed to be capable of conversations during these things. I shut up for the remaining distances, and was happy with my times.

Coach Derek egged us on encouraged us to do more intervals than we had chosen to do.
CD: Did you do the 700m?
Me: No.
CD: Did you do the 500m?
Me: No, I’m doing 8,4,6,2,1.
CD: (zipping past me on the straightaway) Karen, the 300m mark is back there!
Me: (dripping with sarcasm and jogging blithely on) Aw, did I miss it aGAIN?

The 200m and 100m intervals were a total BLAST, being so short; maybe I should have done the 300m too. Wheeee! Krista totally kicked my butt in the shorter intervals, but it was fun trying to keep up.

Ah well, I was plenty tired enough by the time we started our cool down laps. I walked the first and fourth laps, and hoped that I had not overdone the workout in light of my cold. So far it seems that the workout helped, as I did not cough hardly at all last night. Hurrah!


  1. How cool is that!!! Running in the Olympic Oval sounds very inspiring.

  2. Wow, how cool is that place? It certainlydoesn’t get that cold here but it rains…alot It would be great ot have such an amazing indoor training place. cool.

  3. This track almost makes me want to move to your neck of the woods…. totally cool.

  4. […] Jeff’s not the only one who raves on and on about the track, I’ve decided like track workouts way better than running hills. Tonight I showed up with the Calgary Roadrunners and we did a workout similar to the first one we did in January, called 1200m Down. That first time I was just recovering from a cold, so I took it easy. This time I did almost all but the 1200m distance, so I guess you could call my workout tonight “1000 Down”. […]


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