Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Went to the Track and the Track was There!

Remember way back in May went I went to the North Park University track, only to find this?:

I went to the track but the track was gone!
Well, three months later the track looks like this!

The former green track surface, which must have been at least 10 years old, and which had lots of burn marks and holes from fireworks has been resurfaced. It's new color is red, although you can still see the old green track in certain places, like here:

Remnants of the old green track on the left
Last year, the areas just inside the track straight-aways were covered:
The track in 2012, notice the green covered area to the right
This year, there is just blacktop, so don't fall!
The track today, notice the unfinished blacktop areas now on the inside
 The soccer field inside the track was also resurfaced:
The track and soccer field in 2012 (note the bad drainage)
The track and soccer field now with new surface
Soccer field now
Also of note: There is a long fence separating the river area from the track. Maybe they are trying to prevent the casual bikers and strollers from ending up on the track. It may also be easier to keep the fireworks off the track by locking it down near the 4th of July. Here's hoping they don't start restricting access to runners, however.
New Fence
Locked gate that used to be open
Despite the fence, you can still get a glimpse of the waterfall from the track.

Waterfall view from the track
They also added a small grandstand for spectators:

New Grandstands
The only people not happy with the rehab, will be the long jumpers. The long jump pit looks worse than it did before the rehab:
The long jump pit is now a garbage pit!
Anyway, after all the picture taking, it was time for my track workout. Since I'm just starting to build my base mileage, I did not want to overdo things today with a brutal workout like 6 x 1 mile repeats. So, I decided to do my trusty old half marathon track workout of 1 mile, .75 mile, .5 mile and .25 mile with .25 mile breaks.

Getting Ready to Run!
Warm-up 1.8 miles:

1.0 mile @ 6:55/mile, .25 mile walk
.75 miles @ 6:29/mile, .25 mile walk
.50 miles @ 6:22/mile, .25 mile walk
.25 miles @ 5:17/mile, .25 mile walk

Cool-down 1.5 miles

Total: 6.75 miles.

Analysis: Today's workout was just to get my "track legs" back. I may have gone a little too fast considering my marathon pace is in the 7:45 range, but I don't think I did too much damage!

The last .25 mile run I did while shooting a video, I was going to post it, but it is super shaky. If anyone has read this far and wants to see it, let me know and I will post it.

It's nice to have the North Park University track back, especially a new and improved one. Hopefully, I will get one or two "mile repeat" workouts in before the Chicago Marathon! If anyone wants to join me, I'll be there most Thursday mornings, but since I'm a late riser, please don't look for me there too early!


  1. You always get there too early! Except for WRCE events...
    I haven't run on a track since... 2000!

    1. You should do it sometime. Yeah, I'm always just a little early.

  2. That track looks awesome! I use the one off of Chicago near the lake path and it works. Nothing fancy like your new track though!

    1. Yes. I liked the old track well enough, but now it's even better! I will have to find the track off the lake. Is it the one at Chicago Ave. and Lake Shore Drive?

  3. Oooh, you can see the city's only waterfall from the track? That view alone seems worth it ;) Glad to see your track is finally open again! Maybe I'll give it a try one of these days - I've actually NEVER run on one (I'm guessing Declan was still in high school when he did back in 2000? Yeah, we didn't have a track, and I was a music nerd anyway).

    1. Yes, you can really only see the waterfall if you are walking, it would go by too quickly if running. The track is just over the bridge from the Pint Night turnaround. Our h.s. had a track but I only ran on it when forced to for gym class and it was for the mile.

  4. Oooh darn I wish it was near me! :( bummer. But hey good for you it's brand spanking new. I need a track down here :( Please continue to enjoy the track for me! :)

    1. Too bad about no track, but hey, you live in the center of the universe. Not a bad trade-off! I will continue to enjoy the track for you! :)

  5. I like that workout! I'm gonna steal it.

    1. I normally charge $1, but since I'm feeling generous, steal away!

  6. Good to know that has reopened! I live two blocks from there, will check it out. Good luck with your mile repeats. Alas, I run at 5 a.m. so our paths will likely not cross. :)

  7. I'm stealing this workout too. Hope to see you at the Chicago Half on Sunday!

  8. Ooo, a reverse ladder!!! That sounds like fun! Have you been back to the track, since? Maybe they will do some more work on the long jump pit :)