Mr. Sweetie and I had a fun New Year's Eve celebration with friends last night. We were the only ones who either were not pregnant or already had children existing outside the womb yet we were one of the first to go home to bed. We were walking in our front door at midnight. Lame? Maybe. But it was quite nice to get a decent amount of sleep before heading out for a run this AM before Mass.
It was one of those run workouts that, when written down on paper, looks like a piece of cake. Fartlek run? I was expecting something a little harder to kick off the new year. Famous last words. Fartlek, according to Wikipedia (which, as we all know, is a prime source for information) means "speedplay in Swedish. It's a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems." I don't remember if I've already complained about this, but my HR monitor is currently driving me batty. It is giving me ridiculous readings like 232 bpm while I am running at a conversational pace. Or walking. There isn't even a HR Zone assignment for a heart rate that high. And judging how I usually feel during true Zone 4 or 5 threshold efforts, holding a conversation at that intensity isn't typically in the cards. So I've either gotten horrendously out of shape during the offseason. Or my HR monitor has gone off the deep end. Maybe the fix is as simple as a battery. Either way, it was difficult to be a slave to my HR during my warm up this AM when it was giving me these ridiculous readings.
Anyway, the main part of my workout mixed bursts running at a hard effort with easy recovery efforts in between. I felt a little creaky for the first few intervals, during the middle I felt like I had found my pace. The music was cranking, I was one of very few people out on the bike trail, it was a beautiful morning, and I was pretty thrilled to be out running. The last couple of intervals felt a little rough around the edges. I was more tired than I had expected to be and I was really taking the "recovery interval" to a whole new level with my slow shuffle. Speaking of recovery intervals, I always found it tempting to "power through" the recovery time - didn't want to see my average pace creep up or fall off some fast feet in the pool! But - you guessed it - I had a hard time truly going hard during the high intensity intervals. Everything flattened out into something mediocre. This was really brought home to me earlier last year when I was in the pool and swimming in a swim lane a bit outside of my comfort level. One of the triathletes I was swimming with, Chris Wren, is twice my age and he is twice as fast as me in all disciplines. In short - he's the illustration of rockstar. Anyway, during one of the swim workouts we were doing some high intensity effort swims combined with recovery intervals. I would be all up on Chris' feet during the recovery sets, thinking to myself look at meeeee! I'm keeping up with Chris in the pool!!! I'd also be in Zone 4 during these "recovery efforts" and get my butt dropped during the fast sets because I burned out too fast from not taking recovery seriously. I've learned my lesson. I now shuffle during all recovery sets and savor every minute of it.
So that was my morning - I kicked off the new year 7.5 hours after the ball dropped in Times Square with a run - no hangover, no procrastination, no laziness. And a run that definitely kicked my rear, even though it looked easy on paper.