No matter how long I call myself a runner, I’ll still briefly giggle at the word fartlek. I guess it’s my inner child. But maybe that’s ok, because fartlek runs have that sense of childish improvisation about them: run faster to race to the lightpost, slow down up a hill, let your legs carry you wildly down a hill, sprint until your chest burns and heart pounds and you feel alive. It’s freeing to let your body do the talking and not think about whether or not you’re hitting splits or getting a course PR. I always finish these runs with a sense that I have reminded myself why I love to run.
This morning I had to be up especially early to collect a sample in lab for a time sensitive experiment. The great thing about being a student and a scientist is that there is no dress code (both a blessing and a curse because some people would perhaps do better with a dress code that did not include old t-shirts and ratty jeans, but I digress…). I was able to wear my running clothes to lab, spend some time in lab, and then hit the road around 9am. I was happy with the timing, particularly because I managed to beat the onset of muscle soreness from my training session yesterday (well, almost… my glutes were already screaming when I woke up this morning). My legs felt a bit tired but loosened up after a few faster segments. I did my normal 6-mile loop through the park backwards – this always helps mix things up and changes the scenery on a course I have memorized. When I returned home, I did a lot of stretching, complete with the Stick and the foam roller. Tomorrow is a rest day, unless you count the yoga class I’m hoping to make.
6.3 miles in 52:51 (8:18 min/mile average pace)