Tuesday, May 08, 2007

50 Minute Fartlek

*LOUD ANNOYING ALARM CLOCK MUSIC* It's 5:00 (eek!) and I fumble my way to the coffee maker. I press start (I set it all up the night before) and then fumble back to the bed. 5 not-enough-minutes later I hear it make it's final gurggley gasp signaling the end of its coffee-making process. I fumble back out of bed, let the cats out of their basement nighttime confines, and over to the now-quiet coffee-maker and pour myself a cup. I plop down on one of our hand-me-down yellow vinyl kitchen chairs (on wheels!) and click the remote to watch the morning news. About halfway through my cup of coffee mrp arrives in the kitchen all sleepy-eyed and bed-headed. He makes his way to the cookie bars as I wait with baited breath for the weather forecast.

With my head full of 5 days worth of highs and lows, I find my running clothes and suit up. White long sleeve. Check. Pink sports bra. Check. Lime green running shorts. Check. Goofy black running socks. Check. Green Mizuno Elixers. Check. Hair in a ponytail. Check. Forgetting anything. No. Ok. Oh, wait. Nerdy digital running watch. Check.

5:45, time to go. Pulled the brown-bagged lunches out of the fridge and peeled two bananas away from the bunch. One for mrp. One for me. Grab my gym bag all stuffed with work clothes for a change. Grab mrp and we're off for the 2 minute drive to the park.

The Jetta pulls into the park and the sun is rising right along. We lace up our shoes and mrp goes his way and I go mine. I am intelligent and follow the lady with the dog off its leash. The dog, obviously sensing my intelligence, jumps all over me sniffling and snotting all the way. I stand there dismayed at my choice in routes. Happy drooly dog realizes quickly I am no fun and scampers off after its rule-breaking mistress , while I scamper off in the other direction, lest my heart rate endanger my life.

Within minutes doofus dog encounter is a memory and I am awash in woodsy happiness. Up this hill, down that one. Look out for that stick. Ooo, that fallen tree is a fun obstacle on the course. Hello, Owl friend! 17 minutes makes a good warm-up. One minute makes a good 5k pace pick-up. Flying through the trees and over the dirt trails for 60 seconds of bliss. Then 2 minutes, relaxing soaking up the quiet and the possibility to see more deer eating tall grass in the meadows or leaping through the forest. Repeat 6 times.

Time to slow it back down for good now. Soak it all up before heading back to boring mctuesdayville. That way's almost two miles. Turn right. Looping around for a while and now there's civilization. Still need 4 minutes in the woods--phew, not done just yet! Keep going. Take the long way back. Darn. 17 minutes makes a good cool down too. Time's up.


GP said...

Wow: I admire your strength and will power. And the Jetta too (I had a blue 98 Jetta named Juniper before giving up on cars a few years ago... and then I moved down south here where cars are necessary and I am Jettaless).

I've spent years trying to run in the morning—it seems like a perfectly good chunk of the day I'm not using—but I just can't seem to nail down that rhythm. And if I make it to an early run, I'm energized all morning... and then I'm asleep at my desk by noon!

On a different front, I'm glad you've come around to see the fantastic accomplishment of your Boston marathon. Again, I'm no authority, but (bad conditions or not) I thought it was truly inspired.

Besides, if you were driving through a rain and crap storm, you would give yourself some extra time to travel. And proportionately, you traveled on foot faster and more efficiently than the average driver in those conditions. Right on!

How about summer kicking spring out of the way? Where did our four seasons go? Eh, I won't complain.

Jim said...

Welcome to the morning fold, oh gazelle-like one.

Pre-dawn really is a geat time to exercise, but it definitley takes time to get your body adjusted. (It means going beddy-bye an hour or so earlier in the evening and that's tough for some folks.)

I'm able to get up for a 5 a.m. run or roller ski about 3 mornings a week on average. Sometimes I just know from my body that it's not the right thing to do - usually it's the day after my long evening run (ooooh, that's tonight after work! Going for 12 miles again. Probably no a.m. action for me tomorrow.)

I love fartleks - so easy to get in speed work without the pain that you get with long, fast, hill repeats that take me days to recover from. Don't get me wrong, there's a place in my life for long, fast, hill repeats, just not as often.

I like our coach a lot!

Papa Louie said...

'Woodsy happiness', is a joy that can't be explained. You got to be there to experience it. Thanks for sharing your happiness with us.