Friday Fartlek: 9 x 2 minutes
Travel weeks are always tricky, at least this week I was traveling to the running capital of the world, Eugene Oregon. I’ve been excited for this workout for weeks. I don’t get to run in Eugene that much anymore and I was excited to hit the bike trail by the river or maybe the Amazon or Rexius bark trails. Mother nature and my foot unfortunately had other plans for me. More details in my Week in Review, but I basically had to scratch my Wednesday running plan (the one where I was running in Eugene) and had to settle for a Friday run in Portland (not a bad backup).
I was disappointed but was it was nice to have few extra days before a hard workout and I had the perfect trail to run on in Portland. I thought the few extra days of rest would mean an awesome workout, the kind you float through, sure they’re hard but you are able to find your stride and that sort of magical zone. Well, not so much, not sure what zone I found but it certainly was not magical.
I was greeted with a beautiful morning, sunshine, blue skies and high 40’s (a welcome change from the high 30’s). I managed a not so amazing 2.5 mile warm up through the web of the black Friday traffic and stopped just outside the park for some stretching.
I was a bit nervous by this point since the warm-up felt awkward. My hips were tight, and my stride felt rough, but often I have really good workouts after not so great warm-ups so I managed to stay positive.
I started the first 2 minutes. I had originally set-up my Garmin with the interval setting; meaning an alarm would sound after 2 minutes to let me know the hard running was over and then beep again after a minute to let me know my recovery jog was over and it’s time to start rep 2. I’d set it up for 9 reps so I could just relax into the interval. After about 30 seconds I realized this was a bad idea, I’d forgotten I can’t see my pace in this setting and as I was trying to sprint through slipper leaves and an unlevel surface I decided I desperately wanted to know my pace.
I reset my watch after the first rep and found a rolling surface with less leaves. I felt okay through 2 but by 3 I was roasting. Clearly over dressed (I would have been fine in shorts this fall day) I peeled off my long-sleeve and settled into the 3 rep. By rep 4 I forgot how to add and ended-up running 3 minutes (instead of 2), my watch kept a running time and I lost count of where the rest started. Once I hit lap on my watch I figured it out. I decide to short 5 to 1 minute but struggled to recover from this timing error.
By rep 6 I was done. I think I actually stopped a few seconds early and walked just trying to regulate my breathing. Everything in me wanted to stop and it didn’t help that all the morning park goers kept looking at me like I was insane, and let’s be honest, I sort of am. Here I am sprinting around this tiny park the day after Thanksgiving, while everyone else is enjoying a gorgeous sunny fall morning.
Reps, 7, 8 and 9 were rather a blur. I know I managed to find a slight downhill for 8 and 9 was pretty flat with a small downhill. There was nothing rather pretty about this workout, but it did end up being fast. Here are the estimated paces for my reps according to my Garmin:
4- 6:20 (this was the 3 min rep)
5- 6:20 (1 min rep)
I was happy to get it done even though it was ugly, sometimes you just got to get it done. My foot felt fine and I headed home, the only problem, my cool down run was mostly uphill. The good news, there’s a stop light after each uphill climb. I managed 3.5 cool down but by the end my foot was a bit sore, not too worried about it, but will need to keep an eye on it.
run pretty run fast