Will do fartlek for pie

I need to  tell you about a fabulous couple of days of running in Northumberland but I haven’t sorted the photos yet so for now – here’s today’s fartlek session. What possessed me to think it would be a good idea to do this after a night in Manchester with theatre and wine and a day looking at the People’s History Museum fuelled by mostly coffee and cake? Nutter! However, I will run for rhubarb and apple pie and it seems I will even do fartlek for that! I had a bit of a meltdown in the 4 minute section and briefly stopped and then got my act together and got on with the job (slowing down a little on the 5 minute section might help with that!). Quite happy with this really – previous attempts in brackets

  • 10 minute warm up: 11:47 (12.27, 12.20, 12.43 pace);
  • 5 minutes:  9.43 (10.37, 10.26, 10.27);
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 4 minutes: 10.50 (10.30, 10.11, 10.18) pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 3 minutes: 10.11 (11.03, 9.56, 10.18) pace;
  • (then 5.5 minute rest);
  • 2 minutes: 9.51 (10.17, 8.56, 9.52);
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 1 minute 30secs: 9.07 (9.41, 9.09 ,9.47) pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 1 minute: 9.01 (8.41, 9.28, 9.29) pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 30 seconds: 8.03 (7.39, 9.17, 8.37)  pace;
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds: 7.49 (7.38, 8.28, 7.39) pace.
  • 10 min cool down 12.34 (14.23, 14.17,15.16) pace

Overall 4.24 miles and an average of 12.08 pace  –  and coming home to this (made by Kath) wasn’t at all bad!


Speed work in the rain

Speed work is not my favourite. I’m not feeling it at the mo. I look back on January and having enjoyed the running  – at least in hindsight. In February I’m a bit ‘can’t be bothered’. I’m running because I need to. But speed work, really?

I managed to programme my Garmin to do the 8 x 30 seconds sprints with 90 seconds IMG_8493recovery. I added a mile warm up and a mile cool down either side. It took me a long time to persuade myself off the sofa. I kept doing just one more thing. But eventually I pulled my rain jacket and my rather lovely road shoes on and headed out. I slowly jogged down towards the canal – about 13 minutes per mile pace. Then I started the sprints. Well when I say sprints what I really mean is ‘going slightly faster than usual’. I did my 8 sprints and walked in between to recover. I tried but my heart wasn’t really in it and I didn’t even find having to hurdle some ducks funny.

I did have one spectator though and it felt like having my own little cheer squad of one. A cheer swan. Once sprint 8 was done I decided to stop being grumpy and enjoy my cool down mile by walking along the canal, spending some time with the ducks I had been grumpy about and saying hello to some more of the swans.

There is something sort of bleakly beautiful about the canal on a grey rainy day. It cheered me up and by the time I got home I was ready to have another go at my inbox.

So another 3.2 miles added to the total. 32.6 miles for February and slowly closing in on the first 100 miles.

Just keep running

Fiddlesticks Fartlek

Well well well. Today it said something a bit scary on the plan Kath has drawn up for me. It said: RW Fartlek. So that’s the structured fartlek I thought I’d outlined previously. I’ve just checked and I’ve outlined all sorts but not that session! Anyway, all will become clear below! I was a little apprehensive about it but I was also looking forward to seeing how I’d do. Kath has been doing fairly regular sessions and it seems to be helping her improve speed. So after a fairly lazy slow start to the morning we got up, had half a banana and set off. The first bit is a 10 minute warm up so we ran down to the canal taking it fairly easy. Then the first fast section is 5 minutes followed by a minute 30 secs break. I found that hard but ok, towards the end my tummy rumbled dangerously but was fine and then my mind went.

I walked after the 5 minutes and I started the 4 minutes but barely even did a minute before my mind shut me down. I just couldn’t make myself do it. I really wanted to do it and I really didn’t at the same time. There was the usual snot and tears of a meltdown and we sat on a bench for a while and watched some swans. Then I walked home with my tail between my legs. I wanted to just curl up in bed and ignore the world.

I hate that feeling of my mind getting the better of me in that way. It makes me feel weak and pathetic and quite a bit stupid. So I resolved that I wanted to try again later on in the day. We had a South American brunch and then I caught up on several back issues of Runner’s World and Trail Running Magazine. Eventually I was ready to go again. Apprehensive this time- well scared as hell that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I pulled my trainers on and off we went.

  • 10 minute warm up: 12.43 pace;
  • 5 minutes: 10.27;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 4 minutes: 10.18 pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 3 minutes: 10.18 pace;
  • (then 5.5 minute rest);
  • 2 minutes: 9.52 pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 1.5 minutes: 9.47 pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 1 minute: 9.29 pace;
  • 1minute 30 second rest
  • 30 seconds: 8.37 pace;
  • 1 minute rest
  • 30 seconds: 7.39 pace.
  • 10 minute cool down (mostly walked and stopped for picture with swans) 15.16 pace – yes I did sort of manage to get back up.


So what’s the lesson here? My mind is sometimes idiotic and stupid and sometimes I can’t do anything about that. My mind is also determined and focused and sometimes it can do pretty much anything. Anyway, that’s a total of 4 miles for the full fartlek session, another 1.5 miles from this morning and then the walking. It’ll be interesting to see how I do when I repeat this session in a month’s time. Funny sort of running day but it’s done and I feel good about having gone out again and done it. Black puppy dog put firmly in its place

Oh yeah, it’s Sunday – I was supposed to have a saintly week – I didn’t. The scales are still resolutely staying the same.