Dear Fort Riley,
Please add swings and a playground to the center of the track behind the Long Fitness Center. It is clear from the dandelion overgrowth that no one ever uses the field in the middle.
The Picture Runner (aka Army Wife and Sometimes Single Mom)
0.5 miles + 4 x 400 + 1.00 mile
I’ve been trying to get a track workout in for…..two months now. Yikes! Really? Yes, it was the beginning of March when I was looking for a track, but it was my training for the 5K that finally got me over there for a workout. And it was not exactly the best situation.
With my husband out of town, I had to take the little one with me. She is always very excited about the idea of going to the track, but it usually only lasts a short time. The main problem was the timing, it was kind of hot yesterday and I was trying to push my run to later in the evening when it would be more pleasant. However, then we start to run into dinner and bedtime and so we ended up at the track around 5:30.
I told her I would run two easy laps first and then we would stretch. She sprinted half way around the track for the first lap with me and then went off to play with her ball. I finished up my two laps and we stretched together. Then we did our skips, butt kicks, leg kicks, lunges, and other dynamic stretches. Once we were loose, it was time to start the speedwork. I got her set up with my notebook. I was going to do 6 quarters at a 2 minute pace and she could do whatever while I ran and then record my time.
“Ok Mommy!” She was enthusiastic. This would be fun!
I took off on my first lap and when I got back she was all smiles.
“What’s the time?”
1:36 – too fast.
She carefully wrote it down. She had already started drawing a picture of a house in my notebook (what else was there to do?).
“Ready? Set. Go!”
I took off for the second time and same for the third time (1:34, 1:38). It was too fast and too hot. There was a gentle breeze, but not cool enough to help. I was beginning to doubt my ambitious attempt to do 6. Each time I came back to sweet smiles from my little coach, but each time she was getting a little more bored and a lot more hot. After the third one, I told her I would do just one more and then we would check out the “playground” (By playground I mean, a set of pull-up bars, a giant tire, and a climbing rope. Just plain old Army PT sort of things.)
I managed to do the last quarter in 1:32 and I was totally spent. We went over to the bars. They were too high for me to lift her up to them. She couldn’t climb the rope, but the giant tire was a fun boat. I told her I wanted to run 4 cool down laps.
“I’m hot. I’m hungry. I want to go.”
We compromised to 2 cool down laps. I was tired too. I took off. I finished one and she was clearly bored. I thought, There should be a swing set in the middle of the track. How many more spouses or single soldiers would use the track if there was?? I finished out the second lap and said, Ok, we can go.
“Oh mommy, you can run another one if you want?”
What? I thought you were hot?
“Yeah, but I poured some water in the sand and now I’m making a house.”
I looked and there in the sandpit for the long jump she had formed a small mound of wet sand.
I laughed to myself and set off for what turned out to be two more laps. She would have stayed longer, but I was done and I was so happy to have gotten in my work out. She skipped back to the car like she had had the best time. Maybe she really did. We have a good time together. I love having her company. I know some day she’ll be running those quarters with me and I’ll be huffing and puffing to keep up with her. Until then, she can play coach writing down times and building sand castles.