This morning it was really, really windy. It was warm, and maybe I could have gone outdoors, and maybe that would have been OK, but maybe it wouldn't have been so great. I decided to try the new indoor track at the brand-new Student Life Center at the U (floor plans of the facility here). I have a membership there through campus recreation, because I had a membership at the Field House (the old gym at the U) so I could use their 211m track in the winter. The new facility is amazing and beautiful, and has a 292.608m track (the track is 320 yards...um, yeah...can we get metric already? Appalling!). I was quite excited to try the new track, but with my broken toe, and with so much nice weather, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet, even though the new facility has been open for at least 3 weeks now.
The verdict? The indoor track is beautiful, but...well...has WAY too many turns. Who designed this @*&$# thing?
I mean, it's really a nice surface and a nice big indoor track, but it has EIGHT turns. Sigh. I don't know how useful this will be for speed work; as you can see above many of the turns are very sharp 90-degree angles, and the turn by the #1 is an even greater angle. It's annoying. It was fine for an easy 12K workout, which is good. I'm just a bit anxious about doing speed work on it. It might be fine. It might not. If it's not fine, then this is not good, since the old Field House 211m track worked great for speed work with its FOUR turns and oval shape. Then my next best option for winter speed work is the Olympic Oval's 442m track, which is wonderful, but a 25-min drive, which adds 50 min to my already very busy weekdays if I have to do speed work. Grrrr.
It was great for 12K though - I did some technique drills as I've been doing recently, one per lap, and five different drills. That helped me count laps and not get off, and kept my mind engaged. The views from the windows in this facility are simply stunning - WAY better than the Field House, which was also super helpful. I did enjoy working out here, for sure. 41 laps went by pretty quickly (with brief stops at 20 and 30 laps for water), and the workout went well. I will admit to pushing fairly hard, harder than I should on an "easy" day, but I really wanted to have a good workout under my belt. I completed the 12K in 1:17:08 for 6:26/km with ave HR 150 (weird...on my watch it said 154, but on the website once uploaded it says 150 - it FELT more like 154 - was pushing it pretty hard; many laps were 160 average HR - see splits and Garmin data here). My legs were pretty tired from about 9km onward, but I dug deep, enjoyed my music (I allow myself music if working out indoors), and tried to channel my inner Maria Michta :) (our fastest US woman; was reading her blog this morning and she actually has a photo of me on there with her after the 30K in 2012 - we are both in science, so we have a lot in common).
After I finished the workout, I walked a lap to cool off and took photos of the place for you, my readers. Then I changed into my swimsuit and enjoyed a soak in the very large hot tub before heading home. It felt wonderful. The pool is AMAZING. If I were a swimmer, wow, I'd be there all the time. There is an INDOOR 50m pool that can be divided into two 25-yard pools (as it was this morning). I have photos of that, too.
I took so many photos that I just put them in an online album - you can see them here. But my favorites I'll put here. Me in the hot tub, and some of the views from the facility.