betterment personal running

SFA (Stop Fucking Around)

For today’s run, I decided to Stop Fucking Around.

I ran hard today. Sprintervals, I call them, though I can’t have been the first person to do so. Walking to the track is when I decided that this week would not be a deload week, as I had previously intended. Instead, I ran a full mile with a 11:46 pace, and then the 2nd mile was split into the Sprintervals — half a lap walking, half a lap running as fast as I could.

This Strava pace chart is interesting to me. (And maybe only to me.) A relatively even pace for that first mile, dipping towards a 12:00/mi pace at the end there, but once I start doing sprints, my pace jumps to around 9:30/mi for the first sprint and then 8:00 and 8:30/mi for the second two. What’s fascinating to me is that people can run faster than that for much, much farther. But what else is fascinating is that the first sprint was hard, but on the second sprint I purposely ran even faster, trying to really bump my heart rate into the anaerobic zone. I’m very good at keeping my heart rate to a max of around 160, which is good, but I do feel like sometimes you gotta push yourself beyond that. So I did, and I felt like I was going to die. But the third sprint, where I purposely tried to get back to the speed I ran on my first sprint, was faster than the first sprint, even though it didn’t feel like it. That is interesting to me.

So, on the way to my run I decided to Stop Fucking Around. Originally I was going to run a mile at an easy pace because I was worried I overdid it at the last parkrun. But I didn’t overdo it. I was just slow, and being slow means that I’m spending more time running, which means I’m more prone to injury or soreness. I think, instead of pushing myself to get better, I’ve been settling back, out of fear of injury or collapsing or puking or looking like an idiot at parkrun or on the track, I don’t know what.

But an average 13:30/mi pace is abysmal. It’s slow for me, which is saying something. I think the Race for Warmth made me realize that I’m faster than I give myself credit for. Yes, I’m also out of shape and heavy. But I’ve still got the muscle from years of squatting, just sitting there, deflated, ready to work again. My pace seven years ago was a full minute and change faster than today, but at the Race for Warmth, my pace was 13:07. That means I am well on track to get back to my old pace, and even faster, as long as I keep pushing myself.

Is every days a SFA day? No, of course not. Next time I run it will be slow and easy, for endurance and to recover a bit before Saturday. Parkruns will always just be whatever I’m capable of. Races I will push myself. But Mondays … Mondays are to Stop Fucking Around and kick my ass into high gear.