Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Worm Invasion at the Track

It's been raining steadily in Chicago. In fact it's the first decent rainfall we've had in quite awhile. After waking up, I looked out the window at the wet weather, and decided to head to the track to have a lovely rainy workout. After getting my jogging suit on, I ran over to the track at North Park University. I needed to get in some speed work in preparation for my PR attempt at the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday. After running a warm-up lap, I started doing an interval ladder. First interval was 1.0 mile, followed by one at .75 mile, and 0.5 mile. It was dark out for these intervals as Daylight Savings time does not end until Sunday.

At the track, unaware of the worm invasion

As I was about to start my last lap of a quarter mile, the sky turned brighter. I looked down and noticed that there were a few worms near my feet:

The rescued worm couple
They were wiggling across the track, ostensibly having been flooded out of their homes, trying to find some grass or dirt to burrow under.

Acting as a good worm Samaritan,  I picked them up and flung them to the grass, where they would be in less danger of being trampled by runners, and have an easier time finding a home.

Then, I moved on and realized that there were literally hundreds of worms all over the track:

Even more worms! Worms everywhere!

I soon realized that it would take most of the day to rescue all of the track worms. I still needed to run one more lap, however, so I would need to be careful not to injure any worms as I ran. To be nice, a rescued a couple more worms and then got ready for my last quarter mile. I then took off running, looking down the entire time, making sure not to step on too many worms!

Hopefully, most of the worms will find there way to safety today!  Anyway, here are my splits from my track session:

1.75 mile warm-up
1.00 mile @ 6:00/mile, .25 walk
0.75 mile @ 5:56/mile, .25 walk
0.50 mile @ 5:49/mile, .25 walk
0.25 mile @ 5:23/mile
1.6 mile cool-down

Analysis. A decent workout with nothing spectacular. I'm still recovering from the Chicago Marathon and have not run a really fast workout in quite sometime. So this will be a good baseline to compare to my future speed workouts this winter. Also, the last quarter mile suffered as I was trying to navigate around worms!


  1. I ran with Kim and Mo in the rain last night, and it was pretty refreshing since it's not too cold out! Gosh, I hope we didn't squash any worms though.

    How fast would you normally go if you weren't still in recovery mode? And I think you mean nothing "spooktacular," right? :)

    1. Yes, I love how refreshingly nice it is to run in the rain! Ha, I need to change my entry to "spooktacular" for Halloween. Ummm, I have an idea of where my potential splits could be based on those of past track sessions from previous years. But who knows? I was younger then. :) Anyway, I still feel that all of my PRs are within reach. I set them a lot of them when I was able to run a 5:20 mile. They say you can get a pretty accurate guage of your fitness/race potentials from your mile time, so I want to bring that number down lower and hopefully the PRs will follow.

  2. Oh yes, spooktacular indeed. Glad you rescued some of them at least.

    1. Yes, I felt sorry for the little things for some reason! :)

  3. I got a little nervous when I read the title of this post!!! I've definitely experienced many worm invasions myself after torrential rain and like you, I try to be a good Samaritan and rescue them from being squashed when I can. And, I've heard a great thought that even though you can't rescue ALL of the worms, it makes a huge difference to the ones that you do. =)

    1. Yes, rescuing a few is better than rescuing none! I felt bad because I flung one of the worms and instead of landing on the soft grass it hit the track. Ouch! Hope they aren't too sensitive. At least that one did not get crushed by a runner, which would have been a worse fate...

  4. Ack, this could make for quite the fall! I find myself dodging goose poop on the trails, LOL!