Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trinity River Trails Fartlek

AM: 40 min. w/u (5+ miles)
Target: 2x1 min.; 1x5 min.; 2x2 min.; 2x1 min. all @5k pace
Actual: Above, plus 5x30 sec. on/off ("Out" in 40 mins., "back" in 34)
1 mile c/d
Total: 10.5 miles
PM: 43 mins. (5.5 miles)

Brrrr, was it cold this morning! Despite my expectation of mild, if not warm, weather in Texas, it's been downright freezing since I landed in Austin on Monday morning. As someone who hails from this glorious state, I should've known that just because it was 70 degrees on Saturday doesn't mean it can't be 30 degrees and raining on Sunday, which it was. By the time I made the drive from Austin to Dallas on Monday afternoon temperatures were barely hovering above freezing, with the wind chill at least 10 degrees colder. Good thing I've got plenty of Craft gear for layering!

At any rate, come Wednesday morning there was work to be done. I spent Monday and Tuesday nights near the stomping grounds of my alma mater and was absolutely thrilled to put in some mileage along the soft surface trails that I know like the back of my hand. I woke up Wednesday a bit apprehensive about trying to run hard in the frigid weather, but fortunately the wind had abated and I had the luxury of waiting until close to sunrise before heading out the door. The mercury was hovering in the low 20s, and I felt every bit of it. The first few miles were dark and finger-numbing, but since the workout was designed as a pre-race for Friday's 5k and thus quite brief, it made perfect sense to indulge in a long, easy warmup before flipping a U-turn and cranking down the pace. And once I did, I felt awesome! Seriously, I have no idea what kind of pace I was maintaining as I don't have a GPS and the unpaved section of the river trail doesn't follow the mile markers, but I felt like I was flying. Once the sun began to poke its first tentative rays above the horizon, my body responded to the slight increase in temperature accordingly by increasing the pace even further. I felt good enough to take the liberty of adding on 5x30 seconds on/off at the end, with the final result showing that I'd completed the return trip a full six minutes faster than the outbound (which means I wasn't dilly dallying too much on my rest segments either). I finished up the run with a huge smile on my face, grateful for the rare moments like this one when the daily grind suddenly feels so effortless.

Next up: back in the car with Austin as my destination. The rest of the week will be jam-packed with The Running Event trade show, reuniting with dozens and dozens of industry friends, tromping the Town Lake trails, competing in the Indie 5k and of course spreading the Karhu and Craft gospel far and wide. It's sure to be exhausting but also incredibly rewarding and a ton of fun. See you in ATX!