What is it about the track?

I did a tempo run on the Bronxville track this morning. Sort of. Due to residual tiredness from Sunday’s hard run plus the usual (and by now quite tiresome) factors of heat, humidity and wind, it ended up turning into another marathon pace run, since I couldn’t run fast enough to hit the tempo paces.

I realized today that I hate running on the track. I hate it. Yes, “hate” is a strong word. It’s the word I want: Hate. I hate the track.

Why is it that I can run +/- 7:00 minutes per mile in a race or during a longer run on the road, with hills even, but I have so much trouble managing that pace on a nice, flat track? I think it must be mental. Going round and round, knowing exactly how fast (or, in my case, how slow) you’re going, orange and white, orange and white, orange and white. Gack.

I wonder if it’s possible to become a very fast marathon runner without ever setting foot on a track.