What is this sound? I keep asking myself while I'm running fartleks with my local group in north Brooklyn. This is the sound of a slow heavy runner, a clydesdale right? That's what they call them in those running magazines I read. Who's doing that?
Surely it's not the runner ahead of me with the perfect stride, gripping the ground with her Lunaglides and pushing away effortlessly. Certainly it can't be the guy closest to me because he's not all that close. Then I realize it's me! I have some how morphed into this clydesdale, like something out of a horror movie. Suddenly these fartleks are beginning to stink.
So how did this happen, how have I become so damn slow? Last year around this time I was getting faster. I finished a rather hilly 5K in 22 minutes (5 minutes faster than the previous year) and my pace for the 4 mile was even better still. Yet here I am with my lingering injuries from before the summer. My piriformis is so tight they had to give it a name (piriformis syndrome) and then there's my partially inflamed foot that hates any kind of speed work.
Well what's a runner to do, I've tried just about everything so now I'm back to running.. slowly, even when I try to pick it up it's still slow ( for me anyway.)
Next week I will return to the 5K I ran last year in 22 minutes and run as well as I can. Let's hope this won't be too crushing for my ego. Until then I will gallop thru the streets of Brooklyn with the speed of one of those horse drawn carriages in Central Park.
And for anyone who thinks a 5K is no big deal because maybe like thousands of other people you run marathons, consider this. Most pro runners consider the 800 meter to be the most challenging. Why? Because unlike marathons and ultra marathons you are giving 100% speed a 100% of the time, and by the time you're finished you want to die, that is if you're doing them right. ;) Here's Shalane Flanagan talking about the 5K.