Big Sis’ running friends wanted to know the inside scoop on the whole TNT thing, so I promised to post after tonight’s track workout.
I will start by saying that it has to be hard to create a track workout for such a large group of runners with such varied levels of fitness. Tonight’s workout definitely stepped up to the challenge. Not only that, but the workout that was fun, and really delivered the "team" feel.
We started our workout with a 10 minute, easy jog around the track in the outside lanes. Our group went around in the clock-wise direction. For those that want to complain about this, hold your comments please – we were not bugging a single person. In fact, for the entire workout our group was instructed to stay out of lanes 1 and 2. That’s right; we ran in lanes 3 and 4, while the kids’ speed-walking group occupied lane 1. Oh, and there was also the guy who ran a few laps. He then proceeded to cough up one of his lungs, and spit it all over the track. Eew! This of course was as one of our honorees was talking about bone marrow transplants.
After the talk, we did some dynamic stretches, and then divided up into groups of three. The planned track workout was a relay where the group would run 12 x 200s, tagging the teammates in order. At this point, I should have had two more names of people whom I’ve met, but instead I can only tell you what they were wearing because that is how I picked them out of the crowd. Our group identified runners 1, 2, and 3. I was #3, which meant that I ran after the girl in "blue" San Francisco Marathon shirt tagged me, and ran to the other side of the track looking for the girl in "gray" with the bleached hair.
The workout was fun, but I don’t feel like I actually got much of a "workout." If you do the math, you will note that we only ran 2 1/2 miles, the first of which was done at a pace that I was far slower than my warm up pace. But there is more to my complaint.
At one point in the workout, someone actually hollered my way, "why are you going so fast?" *duh* It IS a track workout. I happen to equate track with "speed." But that’s just me I guess. The coaches, however, seemed fine with it and offered plenty of encouragement.
Later, the same girl yelled, "no sprinting" as two gals sprinted in to tag their partners. She then told the crowd that sprinting is how people get hurt. Apparently, she got hurt in her first season. *sigh* Varied abilities here – look around girl. The two sprinter’s reaction was similar to mine. We just blew it off and kept up our thing. I joked around with them a bit – healing their ill feelings some. She ain’t seen nothing yet – I’ll show her sprinting.
It is nights like tonight, that I hear a little voice growing louder and louder. It is telling me that I DO still want to qualify for Boston, and that I should head down the BQ path. While, I keep trying to convince this voice that my BQ is not my priority right now, the path not taken is looking pretty attractive. Just because I don’t plan to attempt it at Nike (October), does not mean that I don’t want to set up for an attempt at CIM (December), or Napa (March ’09). It couldn’t hurt to pick up a roadmap for the BQ path – you know – just in case.
I know that it is only the first track workout, but if this is what they are going to consist of, I can think of a better way to use the 2 hours. I’d like to give it a little more time. The reality is, the "just in case" will not ever come to be if I don’t put a little more effort into the game. It is probably a good time to speak to one of the coaches about what TNT has to offer to someone like me. I bet this is not the first time that this has come up.
Vince A. says
Seems like maybe you could choose some of the TNT events and then reserve maybe the 2 hr track sessions for yourself – to self inflict a higher level of pain? Anyway, that’s the fighting spirit, go for it!
It is hard to coach such a large group, but it obviously can be done. I was always amazed with the organization. I also had to laugh at the “no sprinting” comment, though. She obvioulsy doesn’t know your abilities, yet. I would veture to guess that the track workouts will become more challenging as the weeks go by. Ours did.
It is reassuring to hear that it will get better (harder). I wanted to get back on the track and do a few more intervals, and a mile cool down. I just knew that if I did, I’d really stand out. After the “why are you going so fast?” comment, I even heard her say that some people were just show offs. It let it roll off, thinking that she was joking, but then when the “no sprinting” comment came, I knew that she was actually serious.
I met some really nice people (even if I can’t remember their names). I really want to experience the whole “team” feeling.
Big Sis says
I think you should talk to the head TNT coach and let them know your big goal….Might as well kill two birds with the same stone. Regarding speed and track, enjoy while it is “easy” for you and do what feels right (without hurting yourself!) She might be protecting you all from torn hamstrings that 200’s could do. 800’s and greater will feel harder and won’t be a true sprint so she should be quiet then. Sounds like lots of fun and I think you might gain a lot with the experience!!!
Here’s my thoughts Sis:
There should be room for everyone (the experience runners and the beginners). If TNT is just for beginners, than they should tell you this. The team manager, being in a leader role, really should be careful about the message that she is sending out. The beginners are listening carefully. The whole thing left me feeling that if I was to get back on the track for a little more on my own, I’d come off as a show off. In fact, the “some people are just show offs” pretty much sets this up.
So the reason that I would go to the co-coach rather than the head coach is because I know her. She is the sports massage therapist that I have seen for the last couple of years. She knows my goals already, knows my loss, as well as my sensitivity to criticism. I think she would be the most willing to be honest and say, you won’t get it here (if that is the case). I am hoping that she might even suggest something else, or give me an add on workout while everyone else is cooling down – that way people can see that I am not being a show off, just that I have a different goal.
Big Sis says
The main coach might not be very experienced and so would never get it and that is OK (I think? Does she get paid or a volunteer?) Talk to the one who knows you to see if you can do all of your work with the group and how to adapt to your needs (so not to waste the precious time you do have). People at your level to do the work with is a great benefit and it would be sad if you end up on your own doing speed. Our FOMO group is got the spectrum of experience and does seem to fit most. A few (whose schedule allows) runs with the Tues. GVH group for greater intensity but for the balance of us with children, that isn’t an option. Everyone understands and supports each other regardless of the athletic level. You raised the funds and should be supported at your level….I have a TNT coach friend whom I can ask. Though it does seem the TNT group is geared more toward the beginner marathoner it seems(you could be a coach…but no time for that!)
Your Little Sister says
Long, Long ago when I participated with TNT I remember the first workout being a piece of cake; but it did get more difficult to the point I was hating life. I’m not sure what my abilities were at that time but I do remember it wasn’t easy. Since many years have passed I’m sure they’ve tweaked them based on past experiences.
Upon reading this, my first reaction was: don’t listen to them…do your own thing…why aren’t they supporting experienced runners too…etc. But in thinking about it, I realized they are building a “TEAM”. You are obviously a self motivated, independent runner, but maybe there is some benefit in participating in the “team building”. The question is whether or not you can reach your goals by starting at this level. I don’t know, but it sounds like you have identified someone to ask. Take care.
Thanks Lil Sis. I feel much better after speaking with my friend Cindy, and reading this from you, since both of you have trained with this chapter of TNT. I will wait it out.