Days 137 & 138: My first fartlek!

Day 137: As I mentioned previously, I had to reschedule the Sunday run to Monday.
My dad wanted to run it with me, so, instead of a fast run, we run/walked at a very easy pace for about a mile. Sadly he could not continue any further because of pain in his foot.
I ran the rest of the distance on my own, going at a comfortable pace and pushing myself just a little bit. It was a chilly but pleasant run.

Distance: 5.6km
Time:       38:35

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Day 138: On Tuesday, my training plan called for intervals again. The last time I tried intervals, it did not go as good as I had hoped for. I asked for advice from fellow bloggers and I was quite surprised to hear from people that they don’t run intervals! At all! What is this madness? Is my training plan deceiving me?
I decided to try a fartlek instead, and it was fun. Below you can see my actual splits for the fast/slow intervals I ended up with, and I think the overall feeling was much better than when I tried to push for longer intervals. I figured, my time will come when I can run at a very fast pace for a longer period repeatedly without trying to spit my lungs out on the way. I will train towards that. For now, I’ll do my best in the way it feels good for me.
I averaged about 5 min/km on the fast intervals, what was really, really nice!

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Distance: 3.8km
Time:      23:07

How do you like your fartleks?

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Day 131: Oh dear intervals

Remember what I was talking about last time about the ugly side of Dutch spring weather?
Well, today we got a storm. A STORM. With rain, hail and 8-strength wind. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Perfect running weather! Well, the trains didn’t run… but I did. Please appreciate this beautiful picture made by @NoortjeArtz on twitter of how it looked like a bit south of where I live.

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Actually I was lucky to manage my run in between the heavy bouts of rain and only some strong headwind got in my way. Nevertheless: the intervals are difficult. It was supposed to be a 3x1km run + 2-5 minutes of jogging breaks in between (mine were closer to 5).

I warmed up first with the Spartan WOD (or as much as I could from it) and headed off to run. Despite the strong wind which was completely in my face at times, I managed to get 5:11 mins/km for the first km. The second interval, however, didn’t go well at all. I only covered about 600m at the same pace before I called it quits. Third interval I felt much better, but I also ran considerably slower – 5:42mins/km. In general I managed to run 2.6 km instead of the planned 3. The middle interval is my enemy at this moment, so I will have to concentrate to improve on that. In general, it went pretty similar to last week. The average pace was slightly faster, so I count that as progress!

Distance: 2.6km intervals
Time:       13:44

What is your strategy for interval training? Which part is the most difficult?
Do you have any advice on how to run intervals?

Day 103: Running with the Girls

Every Tuesday in my city two wonderful women organise a free running event open for girls only. There is no basic level required and everyone is welcome to join, as long as they want to run and are female. This week I decided to join them and it was really cool!

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There’s me in this picture, on the left!

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Day 101: Back to running! kind of….

So, how did your weekend pass? Mine wasn’t that great (I haven’t managed to do half of all the things I wanted to), but I did run, and it was blissful. For the first time, I ran outside any plan, any route, any time limits; I just set off and ran through the city and the park in here for as long and as far as my legs took me. I ran to the nearby park and then through and around it before coming back home. That was absolutely fantastic. The setting off to the area I never ran before, without a goal in mind, felt great, and so did coming back to the the familiar parts I ran through so many times before. Not to mention how nice and pleasant was it to run through the park itself!

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Day 85: Yoga and running work well together

We are having a busy schedule here, me and MRB, seeing friends and enduring yoga classes and running and doing stuff together. Leaves not much time for blogging! However, we are still following the plan, running easy 5ks every once in a while. The last 5k we run was actually a bit longer, and I need to say: running after yoga is wonderful!
On Friday, we took a long yoga class first, then set off for a run directly after that (what yielded a bit of extra distance) and I really liked it. I also like the feeling of total lack of pressure for time or pace. So relaxing.

Distance: 5.4 km
Time:       40:12

Day 74: What a day!

17:00
I went to my dance class. My teacher is back, and I enjoyed my dance class! That makes me a bit confused. Two more weeks to go, but I should finally make up my mind what to do. Actually, I feel like giving it 10 more weeks to try the classes with her. I am getting used to her teaching style, and I think I am catching up on the choreography. Maybe the only problem I had was with me and the new dance style?

18:30
I have some leftover parmesan soup from yesterday, so I transformed part of it into pasta sauce. The soup is delicious, but very, very heavy (however, it also looks gorgeous). I think it would make a great starter, as long as you don’t serve much of it – it fills fast!
You can find the recipe (in English) on this beautiful French blog.

I really had to be creative and wrap up my dinner quick tonight, with all the plans I had for the evening. Because…

19:30
Yoga! I was wondering if I should go or not, but I figured, it would be a good stretch before my run. I was not mistaken. It was great, we had a very small group tonight and the teacher had all the time to pay attention and correct every single little mistake, and answer every single little question. I learned so much, and it was a great experience. I am so happy I decided to go after all. It took about 90 minutes, and then, after some talk with the yoga teacher, I could finally go for my run.

21:15
Off I went. The yoga place is not far from my flat, but it yielded a couple hundred extra meters. This was another easy, comfortable, steady pace run. It felt so good! Was it all the yoga before? My head so clear, just the slippery pavements, chill air and the sound of my feet. I need to say, I haven’t done this amount of various activities in one evening since my last dance workshops (and it’s been a while at those, too). What a great run, I came home exhausted, but very satisfied.

It was certainly one busy evening, but I enjoyed it so much. Hope more like this will come… and I hope I can still walk tomorrow.

Distance: 5.5km (+3km walking)
Time:        34:14

Day 68: Go easy, girl

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My glutes were certainly voicing their disapproval of yesterday’s dancing class, but I took it easy and did my 4k on an easy pace. I felt somehow tired, but with my recent sleep issues that’s no surprise, as last night also wasn’t great.

I still see some people jogging/running around the place in here. It is good to see that, even though it is much less of them than at the very beginning of the year, I am happy for all who keep up with their resolutions.

Funny thing, two weeks or even a week ago I would consider today’s run a great success. No walking breaks, nice pace. Guess the last two speedy runs really raised my expectations; but I know I don’t have to go faster and faster and beat my last achievement each run. All in due time.

Distance: 4.1 km
Time:       24:43

Day 66: Thank God for the bike paths

Wow. Just wow.

So, I’ve been through some stress recently, partly due to an extremely disappointing delivery service by DHL. Seriously, how is that company still in the parcels business with their performance?
If you ever have to send something, I would recommend anything – everything, even pigeons – over DHL.
This and some other stuff kept me up all night between Friday and Saturday and I had a poor one last night, too. You can imagine I didn’t hold much hope for the 4k run today, even after the amazing 3k last time.

And then this happened:

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Day 64: 5:58 and two weeks to the “R-Day”

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Good news: I am feeling better, overall.

Bad news: I woke up with a sore throat. After work, I went to the pharmacy, and asked for something so I can still run and not get ill. Instead of getting medicine, I was told to buy some candy and drink a lot of tea to keep myself hydrated.

And with such advice, I went for a run today. I think it was the best run I had in some time. It felt good! It ran good! And I believe I am doing progress on my running form.
Result? Under 6 min/km pace!

Now, I don’t dream I could pull that off on the full 5k at the moment, but I am still very proud of this 3k. I shaved off a complete minute on this distance. Yay!

After submitting my run today, I noticed that my goal run is exactly two weeks from today. I knew that, but somehow I wasn’t aware of it until now. It is exciting and scary in a way, even though it is no official race. Getting so close. The mental countdown has started.

Distance: 3.2 km
Time:       18:56

Day 62: Everyone needs a break, sometimes

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Three days without running. Am I getting lazy or what?
Truth to be told, I am actually proud I did go for a run today, as I am not feeling very well, and the stress and workload at my job is not helping, either. I should have went yesterday, but I just couldn’t get myself to it. And I can say with absolute honesty that for the first time I completely did not mind going slower than expected.

Now I just need to convince my body that we should get some food.

Distance: 3.1 km
Time:       19:58