Tootleks, or is that hastighetleks?

This is a G rated blog after all.  We can’t say that other word here, especially not for a cheap giggle or snicker.

Of course you could argue, if I can say hell I can certainly say fart, right?  Except you can say hell in church.  ‘Nuff said.

This is where I put on my serious running blogger hat.  I understand there are probably some who are deeply confused right now by all of this.  Not that this is anything different than anywhere else in my blog, but at least in this case if you’re not into running lingo the whole Tootlek thing probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.  There’s a running term, Fartlek, that is a reference to speed training.  It’s a training method where in the middle of your runs you put in some intervals of running at a higher intensity.  It’s supposed to help your endurance but especially will help you gradually increase your normal running speed.  It’s not some whimsical funny sounding word, it’s actually Swedish for Speed play.

And this is where I stomp on that stupid serious blogger had and rip it to shreds.  Seriously?  It’s serious because it’s Swedish?  I’m sorry, but you cannot tell me with any sense of seriousness that that word has stuck around in our lingo for any other reason than because it gives us an excuse to use the word fart.  If that word were any different we would be using the term Speed play, plain and simple.  I’ll be honest in that the only Swedish I know comes from Ikea.  I say this because I have a Pello chair.  I don’t know what Pello means – in fact I tried Google translate and it doesn’t find anything.  Which makes me feel terribly misled because maybe I don’t really have a Swedish chair after all.

Pello chair by Ikea, courtesy of I know, it looks goofy, but it is pretty darn comfortable. It scares me to death though because I never know when those spindly little legs are going to break under me. I got the red cushion though. It’s a Nebraska thing. Is this where I stop with the description?

But seriously.  We don’t go out lopning (Swedish for running) or out for a lopp (run) because that just sounds like something that could get us arrested.  We don’t talk about the importance of sträckning (stretching) or pay a lot of attention to our hjart rate (you can probably figure that one out).  Furthermore, if I go to Google translator (which I’m sure is at least as reliable as Wikipedia) the first Swedish word it gives me for speed is hastighet.  Do we see them calling them hastighetleks?  I didn’t think so!  (and before you call me out with a rational explanation see my explanation above that I don’t know Swedish.  I’m totally aware I probably look like a fool right about now if anyone is reading this who knows Swedish or is Swedish or even who goes to Ikea more than they really should).  So I’m sorry, but I cannot give a pass to the word Fartlek.  It is what it is, a goofy sounding word that we want to pretend is serious, but it’s not.

Because really, if we wanted to sound serious, we’d choose something like German.  Not Swedish.  Because you know what we think of when we think Swedish (other than Ikea).

Having said all that, today’s the first time I seriously tried incorporating fartleks into my workout.  And yes, I do have to say that any sentence that has both the words seriously and fartlek does strike me as pretty oxymoronish.  But I’m trying to be a running blogger or blogging runner or something like that.

I used to refer to my running as shuffle jogging.  I’ve worked for a long time on my form now to where it’s not really shuffling, which is good because that’s a lot of wasted energy and probably harder on the body, but it’s still hard to call it running because I’ve lived my life thinking 15 minutes per mile was a pretty decent walking pace.  Now when I’m averaging 14:59 or better, I can start to justify that as running.  Maybe.  I read a lot of people lamenting they can’t get faster than 8 minute miles and I think…  I wish I could have that problem.  Maybe later.

(sorry, catching my breath after that outburst of laughter.  I found that “maybe later” comment more amusing than the word farttlek.  Yeah, and maybe… hmmmm…..   I found myself starting to write maybe I’ll get really skinny…  but then I’m thinking, why should I limit myself that way?)

Back to my run.  What felt really good though was I did these bursts of 15 to 30 seconds of really running and it felt good.  It felt like something I haven’t been able to do in forever.  I mean I’ve had times where I’d break out into a full out run but it felt very herky jerky and clumsy.  This morning just felt good.  My little Endomondo GPS record shows the fastest part of my running was about a 9 minute mile pace, which does reinforce to me how slow I’ve gotten.  It can be a little depressing to think that if I’m running my fastest around a high school track, Usain Bolt could lap me before I finish my first lap.  Maybe twice.

Guess how he feels about lapping me

Usain Bolt’s Google Plus profile picture

Dang, I was feeling pretty good when I started this.  Now I’m depressed.

That’s okay, I’ll snap out of it.  My 2nd mile of my 2 mile run was at 12:59.  I’m pretty thrilled to have a 2 in that second digit.  I’ll take it.  I couldn’t sustain that for very long, but… that’s okay.  It wasn’t long ago that I probably couldn’t even sustain that for as long as I did.  That’s the kind of thing I keep reminding myself.

If I remind myself enough I won’t be so depressed about that getting lapped part.

And with that, I’m thinking some Swedish meatballs sound good for lunch.


About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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