Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Have Officially Run Fartleks!

And I officially do not like them.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that in my head I was going to run 3 miles, but we ran 5.  Or perhaps it is because I had no idea what was going to happen.

It all started innocently enough, with an after-work run planned.  I would be joining Ann Marie, Nikki and Heidi on their "regular route".  I asked about the mileage on this route.

I was a little skeptical.

We decided we would just start out with 2 miles out and see how we felt, then go further if things were good.  About 5 minutes in, Ann Marie said:

Well, I did say I was going to do them this year, so...ok!

The plan was that we would each take a turn deciding the distance for our sprint.  Great.  Unfortunately for me, it turned out there was more to the plan.

I quickly did a little mental math.

I requested the smaller amount.

They took pity on me and agreed just two turns.  That was settled, and it was go time!

Y'all, I ran as fast as my little legs would take me.  And watched the three of them get smaller as they raced away.  This happened every. Single. Time. Finally, it was my turn to find a landmark.  We were heading into a curve, so I gave what I thought to be approximately the same distance as everyone else.

It was not.  I have horrible depth perception (it's my astigmatism).

As we ticked off each sprint, my recovery minutes became more interesting.

Once the sprints were done, we had gone 2.5 miles and it was time to turn around.  So much for 3 miles.  By that time I was feeling side-stitch-y and a little pukey.  When we finally finished our run, I hopped hobbled back to my car with sore Achilles and sore knees.   I started rethinking my judgment on running with 20-somethings (who are training for a race); 2 of whom were college runners, and one of whom is just crazy in shape.

Truth be told, I'll probably do fartleks again soon, but maybe start on a smaller scale.

EDIT: (I had somehow linked to the person from whom Carrie got the award, so here is her site--acceptance fail!) Carrie Hanson from Tempo Life Coaching for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Carrie has been a great supporter for months and even bought my CALENDAR!  Thanks Carrie; you rock!

Everyone who has voted for me on the Fitness Magazine Fitterati contest!  I have no illusions of winning, but I appreciate you taking the time to head over there!  If you would still like to vote (or vote again), you can click on this box :)

To runners:  What's your favourite technical workout? (tempo/hill repeats/fartleks...)
To everyone:  Ever feel like you're in over your head, but go for it anyway?
                       Every throw your back out while stretching it? (No? Just me?)



  1. oooh those evil fartleks. I do them sometimes on the mill and they are just plain evil. Let's be honest, all speedwork is evil. I want to die after one or two. You're going about it the right way for next time though - shorter and then building up. I made the mistake of trying to go faster, further the first time I truly did speedwork and didn't last long. I could lie and say it gets easier...I guess in a way it does or your body just learns to hate you less after.

  2. Sounds like the fartleks were a little too fast, a little too long, or you didn't recover enough in between. I like them because I make sure I get a pretty good recovery in between each one.

    Good luck next time you try.

  3. Hahaha we are definitely on the SAME page girlie. 3 second fartleks sound like my idea of a good time. Awesome job pushing through it. You are a rock star!!

  4. Okay, I'll bite. What the heck is a fartlek? I am assuming it's not what it sounds like...or is it!??

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Way to go on your fartleks! Sounds like your running buddies are great for motivation:)

  7. I'm with Gia. How did you manage to restrain yourself from making puns on either half of fartleks? Yes, everyday feels like an "over my head" day. Press forward, occasionally vomit and keep going. And I've only thrown my back out contorting myself trying to lick my farts (see, it's right there. I had to take it.).

    (My original comment contained an error because I commented on my phone that auto-corrected incorrectly. After a 20 minute rage fest, I calmed down, cleaned up the shattered glasses I smashed, then did yoga. When I figure out how, I will murder auto-correct. Now I plot revenge.)

  8. MegO: Yes, evil, with a capital "VIL". But, I suppose we do adapt to the craziness, don't we?

    MCM Mama: I think you're right on all counts :) I'm hoping to try again in a week or so.

    skippinginseattle: Yay! you commented! Sounds like we could run them together :P

    Gia: It's a fancy name for a quick sprint in the middle of your run. You pick a landmark and run all out until you get there. At least, that's my understanding of it.

    Pickleope: 'Giant', heh. That is definitely a creative should go on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"!!

    hiker mom: Yep, they are very motivating!

  9. Pickleope: Your first comment showed up, and I smiled at the autocorrect :D I've seen much worse than that on DYAC!

  10. I just discovered your blog and LOVE it! About 5 minutes ago, I wrote a post about some things that still scare me and one of them is running groups for EXACTLY the reason you just described.

    Good for you for sticking (get it, cute stick figure drawings?) it out!

  11. Oh now we all want to know what the auto-correct was!

    I wanna be on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! :)

    Oh my gosh you don't give yourself enough credit.

    You're doing great haha next week will be better!

  12. Never heard of a fartlek, but I know why I quit running in competitions

  13. HAHA! You have magical timing! I start Fartleks this week... I am pretty sure mine will look very similar to that last illustration ;)

  14. I've tried Fartleks, but only on my own. I think trying to do them with other people might make me stabby. Ouch.

  15. I make it a point never to do anything with the word fart in Actually i think you did much better than I would have. Dont be so hard on yourself, btw...i love your drawings. How did you do that?

  16. I have never done fartleks tho I keep meaning to look into this and try them?

    Sounds like misery but, I thoroughly enjoyed your illustrations and recap of them - ;)

  17. Shauna: Ba dump bump! Glad you came by!

    Pish Posh: Thanks :) They should do a blogger version of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me :D

    Adam: Normally I have a great time, but got in over my head this time :)

    Kristin: Oh, can't wait to read how that goes!

    runningonwords: Hehe, stabby. Yup, I'm going to do them on my own :)

    kisatrtle: Ha! Thanks, I draw on my iPad :)

    Jen: I think they can be awesome, if you build up the right way. Glad you enjoyed the reenactment :D

  18. As much as they burn, burn, burn, I like hill repeats. There's a nasty hill about 2.5 miles from my apartment that I leisurely run to and then do anywhere between 3 and 10 repeats on. Great workout, but my legs are dying by the end.

    Good job sticking with the fartleks!

  19. Woo! Great job on your fartleks. (Is it bad that I giggle a bit when I write/say that because it contains the word "fart"?) I've never done fartleks but maybe I should. Your drawings made them look entertaining at least!

  20. Kurt: I would agree about hills, even though I haven't done whole neighbourhood is comprised of hills, rolling ones, followed by steep ones, constant up and down. I swear there is not one flat spot within a 10 mile radius.

    Megan: Thanks...and giggle away :)

  21. I have astigmatism too! For me it causes light sources to appear weird? Like instead of being a nice fuzzy globe of light I see individual spikes coming out of the light source.

    If that makes any sense.

  22. I loovvveeee it. You are so dominant at drawing these amazing pictures! It will get easier the more you do them, we're you sore the next day???

  23. DWei: That sounds cool! Or potentially painful??

    Ricole Runs: Aww, thank you :) Good question, I think I felt ok :)

    Oh, and *everyone*: I was just able to get into my settings (they've been weird) and saw that word verification was enabled!! Gaahhh!! Why didn't anyone tell me??? I hate that thing and have been railing against it on Twitter for weeks!! Sorry, about that, guys. Now I'm off to set comments to have a 'reply' option...

  24. hahaha you are so awesome~ I love your stories b/c aren't they the truth - we all think like that and I love anne-maries batting eyelashes, lol makes her look so innocent and cute :)

    I am so glad you did some though and managed to run that distance! YAY

  25. Ali Mc: Yes, she's good people, and always manages to make things sound innocent :) Thank you again for mentioning me on your fb page today!

  26. I don't know what a fartlek is, but it sounds like fun in an I'm-really-an-8-year-old-boy kind of way. ;)

  27. Chibi: Yeah, it's a crazy name, right? I think it's from a Scandinavian language meaning "fast something".

  28. Ack! How did I miss this post?! I'm a terrible friend :(

    Yes, sprints are evil and they must be stopped. however... they do actually help in the long "run" (ha - see what I did there?! I'm funny, right?! No? Ok...)

    Can't wait to run fartleks with you ladies very, very, very soon!

  29. Erika: You are not a terrible friend. You are a super-incredibly busy person
    (but, how did you miss this?? ;D )

  30. AguiLeon: Thanks for coming by :)

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