As a runner, I'm lucky to live a few miles from the track at Cal State University San Marcos. At the moment, I'm into Phase 2 of Jack Daniels' running formula for a marathon. Daniels has two types of runs at this stage, easy running and quality workouts. The quality workouts consist of running certain distances at different paces, which he calls easy pace, marathon pace, threshold pace, interval pace, etc. Daniels provides a table for runners to figure out what their various paces should be for certain distances.
Running at the track helps me run at my target paces without worrying about elevation changes, running surfaces, cars or stop lights. I therefore consider myself fortunate that CSUSM chooses to not lock its track and lets the general public use it.
Whereas the track half a mile from my house at San Elijo Middle School is locked up, along with the basketball courts. God forbid that people might actually play basketball or run around the track - no wonder the country has a weight problem. I surmise they do it to stop the "vandalism". Oh yes, I forgot, its super easy to break steel poles, asphalt and dirt. No, no, the taggers. What are they going to tag? A few poles? Buy some paint.
But I digress. Last Sunday I was at the track doing a workout when a family of five showed up. The mother and father did a work-out that seemed to mainly consist of stretching and the kids walked/jogged around the track once or twice. However, the kids then proceeded to take a four-wheel steel cart, with hard edges, used for moving hurdles and equipment, from one end of the track, across the soccer field, to the other side of the track. Along the way, two of them would ride on the cart. Once on the other side of the track, the kids proceeded to play on top of the cart.
I can't blame them. As a 10 or 11 year old, I'd probably do the same thing. Although, I do blame the parents. Hey, guys, do you want to control your kids? You are guests at the track, treat it and the soccer field with some respect. Of course, if the the kids got injured, you know the family would sue CSUSM.
Another runner at the track, who I later spoke with, just shook his head in disgust when later on the father pulled the cart, along with the three kids, back across the middle of the soccer field - can you say rip up the grass? At least pull it on the track, not the grass.
Anyway, the next time I show up at the track and the gates are locked, I won't be surprised and I'll know who to thank.
San Elijo Hills Running Club