It's a real word, I swear. And it has nothing to do with farting. ...or Ikea furniture.
A fartlek is essentially a speed interval that can, for a beginning runner, last anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. An advanced runner might have 20-30 minute fartlek intervals.
I ran four miles last night! It was my "fartlek" day and I'm happy to say I made it through alive.
One thing I'm kind of worried about is that right now I'm running on a treadmill. Which is ok, but not great. I ran four miles last night at a controlled pace at a controlled incline. If I had to run four miles outside in the cold with hills and slopes, I don't know if I would have been able to do it. But when I get home from work, it's starting to get dark.
Mostly I think I just need to take the time to map out a course or two around town. I just don't like the idea of running outside in the dark. There aren't a lot of streetlights around town unless I stay on main roads. When I run on those roads, I get honked and hooted at so by the time I'm done with what should be a stress-relieving run I'm actually really annoyed and I just want to catch up with the honkers and shove their heads through a car window.