Fartlek... A Humbling Experience

Yesterday evening was "fartlek" runs with the group. It's been 12 hours since we completed the run and I think I've almost got my breathing back to normal. Almost.

Our trainer had us do a structured fartlek run. We warmed up for 10 minutes then ran 30 seconds fast. Recovered for 90 seconds, then run another 30 fast. Recover for 75 seconds, 30 fast. 60 second recovery, 30 fast. 45 second recovery, 30 fast. 30 second recovery, 30 fast. 15 second recovery, 30 fast. Jog it in.

I made it to the 60 second recovery on schedule. Then I fell apart a bit. Although we're supposed to run fast, I think I took it out a little too fast in the opening sprints because my heart was doing things I'm not sure a heart is supposed to do. I ended up taking some longer recovery times and even walking in between some segments--bad!

I'm feeling frustrated. It seems like I'm "cheating" on more of the workouts lately and I can't figure out if it's because I'm physically tired or mentally not there. I think I'd prefer it be physical. I'm starting to worry I've lost a bit of "edge" and am choosing the easy way out versus pushing myself. Everyone was exhausted by fartlek but most did the exercise and made it back without walking. I need to buckle down mentally and start thinking about the marathon. Last year, the race was on my mind almost every day. Probably because I'd never run a marathon before and all the fear and anticipation was fresh. I need to find a way to bring that excitment about the race back to life. 

One way might be to focus on my time. I'm still determined to come in under 4 hours at the Richmond marathon. Which means I really do need to get my mental state under control.

I'm meeting a friend for a trail run tonight and this morning I was thinking about cancelling and just coming home and doing a treadmill workout. I've got work to do, I've still got this cough, I've been away from home all week... But no! I've packed my clothes and will do the 7.5 mile run as planned. No more wimp outs!