Archive for the ‘Treadmill’ Category

Three more runs down.  They didn’t quite happen on the correct days, or in the correct order, but they are done.

Wednesday: 4 Miles – Treadmill Interval Training (Originally Tuesday)

Thursday: 6 Miles – Outdoor Long Distance Pace

Friday: 2 Miles – Outdoor 5k Race Pace (Originally Wednesday)

Exhaustion and working late keep disrupting my plans.  In fact, as I am writing this I am nodding off.  Why are there only 24 hours in the day?  To be fair, everyone has 24 hours in a day.  It is how you allot that time that determines your success at anything.  Of course, my body right now is playing the veto card on my choices.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, during his speech to the graduates of the University of Southern California in 2009, addressed the issue of sleep.

“I’ve always figured out that there 24 hours a day. You sleep six hours and have 18 hours left. Now, I know there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute, I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well, then, just sleep faster, I would recommend.

Because you only need to sleep six hours and then you have 18 hours left, and there are a lot of things you can accomplish.”

Click here for the entire speech and transcript.

I am surprised to hear the Terminator needed to sleep at all!  All joking aside, the rules are so simple.  Why are they so hard to follow?

While on the night road I met only one evening runner.  The encounter occurred as I entered a dead end around the third mile.  He stopped his run, and stared as I approached.  For some reason he seemed fixated on me.  I don’t think he even blinked.  I noticed his drool formed a pool on the pavement beneath his small, dirty feet.  I closed the distance to the end of the street.  He waited.  A few steps closer my eyes adjusted and focused while his beady eyes reflected back the streetlight.  Then he bolted in a nearby bush.

This evening prowler was an opossum, a dirty, dirty opossum.  Its face was ghost white, its body a light grey.  They are some creepy animals.  They look like rats on steroids.  I would say I would not want to meet one in a dark alley, but I pretty much did.

I started the six mile run tired.  I ended tired. The pace was terrible.  During the run I felt terrible.  The wind was terrible.  I shall dub this run “terrible.”  But I got out there and finished it.  It needed to be done.  Sometimes training isn’t fun.  Sometimes it isn’t pretty.  Sometimes it just needs to be done.

With the run done and behind me, I felt great.  No matter how bad the run, I find it cleans out my stress and worries.  They may come back later, but for a few glorious seconds, my mind is free of all things save the sound of my pounding heart, and the deep breathing of my lungs.

My two mile runs are really meant to keep a close eye on my pace and beat out my previous 5k race pace.  Of course I should have checked before I left.  I figured it was somewhere south of 10’00” and that is what I kept an eye on.  The two-miler ended up at 9’46”.  Sadly the 5k was less than that, 9’36”.  Next time I will aim for 9’30”.  This run was a nice finisher to three days of running.  It was lite, just hard enough, and timely.  Being on a Friday, it was a nice way to end out the work week and clear the mind.  Typically I listen to music on short runs, this was no different.  I asked for music suggestions on a previous post and Queen and the Police were nominated.  I like to mix things up so for this run I ran with the Sucker Punch the Soundtrack.  More importantly I ran to track number 4, a mash up of “I want it all” and “We will rock up.”  It is composed by Armageddon aka Geddy.  I don’t know much about him, but I do know it is a fantastic mash up of two great Queen songs.

Looking over my marathon training schedule, I realized there is a crucial flaw.  A vital problem, it seems.  I am training for a non-existent marathon!  I have not signed up for one, nor even found a possible one.  I need help.  I need to find a marathon for the September 22nd or the 23rd.  I want my first one to be a good experience.  It doesn’t have to be a giant event, just a good one.  I need to start looking.  Any suggestions?

All and all, it was not an eventful week of runs.  Tomorrow is a ten-miler around my neighborhood.  It will be good to get above ten miles again.  The time commitment is going to increase, of course.  The longer the run, the more time it will take.  Solution?  Speed up!  Time to do some speed work.

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Question:

Does anyone have any suggestions for a marathon on September 22nd or 23rd?

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Two weeks are down, and only twenty six remain in my marathon training program.  I would say that I am feeling good, but I am not.  I am more satisfied than anything else.

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a rough week for running.  Tuesday went well.  I was scheduled for four miles, and I did four miles.  On Wednesday I was scheduled for two miles, and for some reason I failed to read my schedule correctly and I ran four miles instead.  Of course, an extra two miles is not a bad thing.  Each of these runs was on the treadmill.  I got to enjoy a nice episode of Game of Thrones for each.

The trouble began on Thursday.  I got home and headed upstairs to get changed.  Prepared to run, I sat on the couch to put on my shoes, and nodded off.  That’s right, I fell asleep in my running gear.  Not my most proud moment, but it happened.  All day Friday I kept promising myself I would run that night, no matter what time I got home.  I got home at 10.  The call of my bed was far stronger than my desire to log another 4 miles or watch an episode.

On Saturday I got my miles.  The kids napped, and I ran.  It was another treadmill run, but the miles got logged.  What is the point of all this?

The Sunday schedule had me running eight miles.  Not a crazy run, but not an easy one.  I woke up that morning and made breakfast for the family.  The entire meal had an oatmeal theme.  They had oatmeal pancakes, and I, merely oatmeal.  Well, oatmeal with dried apricots, honey, and flax seed.  After letting that settle, it was time to hit the road.

An entire week had passed since my last outdoor run, and every run since then had been interval training on the treadmill.  I put an episode of SWIC on my iPod, and stepped out onto the road.  The first three miles were miserable.  My calves and inner thigh muscles screamed.  They were tight and unyielding.  Did I not stretch enough?  Are my legs no longer used to the impact of the road?  Maybe I shouldn’t have run the day before?  Either way, I needed my eight miles.  Mile 1…mile 2…mile 3…  Each passed, and was more painful than the next.  As I moved further away from home, I thought maybe I should turn back.  Just one more mile…just make it to the next corner…  I kept giving myself little milestones to take my mind off the pain.  After the third mile, the muscles were loose, and the pain washed away to numbness.

I completed the run as planned.  The only two issues I have are why I had the initial pain, and why my pace was so poor.  I have lost about a minute off my 8 mile pace since the sprain.  My unscientific analysis is that I believe it is due to the treadmill.  I have spent the majority of my runs on the treadmill in these past few weeks.  The machine is designed to reduce impact, and my legs have become spoiled.  My friend, Keith, thinks it might be due to over training with the interval sessions.  My legs may not have had the necessary time to recover.  Of the two of us, he knows quite a bit more than I about running. Either way, I need to reduce the treadmill sessions and increase the outdoor trips.

This entire week I have not been following my diet.  Throughout the week I have tried to maintain a limited caloric intact.  I have eaten small “meals” every couple hours.  The problem is I get near the end of the day and I feel dizzy.  I can’t focus and my mind starts to drift.  It makes me think it is a blood sugar problem.  I eat and the issue goes away.  Since I have eaten more than scheduled, my weight hasn’t gone down.  Better luck next week.

My last frustration of the week is Nike Plus.  I currently use the Nike Plus Sportswatch with GPS.  Don’t get me wrong, I still agree with my original review.  Their site has been having some issues and I can’t review my runs.  They keep promising to fix it, but I am still frustrated.  I love watching the little green dot run around the map showing my speed and heart rate.  I hope they fix the problem soon.

This week my running schedule changes.  I am going to drastically drop the amount of treadmill work.

Tuesday: 4 Miles – Interval Training on the Treadmill

Wednesday: 2 Miles – Race Pace

Thursday: 5 Miles – Long Run Pace

Sunday: 10 Miles…

Now, Sunday should be interesting.  I signed up for a 5k for the same day.  The question is, do I run the 5k, and then add 7 later that day?  I think I will first wake up and run 2 to warm up.  I will then do the race, and round out the day with a 5 mile run.  Sound good?  By reducing the treadmill work, and increasing the outdoor work, I hope to gain back my outdoor pace.

Though it was my idea to get the office to do the 5k, I might end up being the slowest of our group.  Oh well, it’s about the charity, right?  Nah, I’m going to haul my sorry butt over that finish line as fast as I can.  3rd out of four would be good.

Question for my readers:

What do you use to track your runs?

I have completed my first week of marathon training. How many times have I said that? Three to be precise.  Or rather, this is my third attempt. Third time’s the charm right? It seems injury always finds me during a marathon training schedule. The first injury was a busted rib, and the second an ankle.  Well, the past is behind me and nothing but the road is ahead.

Maybe I should trick myself. I am not training for a marathon. I am training for two half marathons back to back with no break. It would be very sad if I could trick myself that way.

During this week I had scheduled three treadmill sessions (interval training) and an outdoor run of eight miles. Not only did I accomplish that, I added an extra treadmill session. I just had to see one more episode of Game of Thrones. We all need our little inspirations.

My pace on the outdoor run was less than spectacular. No excuses, I will take the fact that I got out there as a mild success and do better next time. That just sounds pathetic.  I got out there, I got it done.  On a Sunday night there isn’t much to see on the road.

I had two encounters on my run.  The first was a squad car. She paced me down a dark road, and turned away when I returned to the lite section of the neighborhood. I don’t know if she was bored, or wanted to provide me some extra light for my evening run. It was that, or she thought I was cute, or maybe worried that I might get mugged.  The other interesting sight was a young couple I passed on three occasions.  By the third time they finally acknowledged me.  It doesn’t matter.  They were too busy walking down the street, each keeping a hand warm in the others back pocket.  Strange events are the norm for my runs; every now and then I need an uneventful one.

I have decided to sponsor, or rather trick, my office into a 5k race on April 1st. I convinced three other people to join me.  We are attending the Chester Community Physical Therapy Clinic “Run like a Fool” 5k.  It is a small race, but I have the bug and I need to get out there again.

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Finally, I have two questions for you:

What is the craziest thing you have seen while running?

What do you do to entertain yourself on the treadmill?

I’m back!  Where have I been?  As many of you know, I sprained my ankle at the end of last year.  It did a number on me, both physically and mentally.  The road kept calling out to me, however, I was too worried about damaging my ankle further.  That and [insert any number of useless excuses here] I became couch bound.

I have spent the past couple weeks working on the treadmill.  I could have logged each of the sessions, but what would I write about?  The shows I am watching while acting like a gerbil (BSG, Game of Thrones)?  Should I write about the exposed rafters in my basement, or maybe that strange cobweb in the corner?

Obviously I had nothing interesting to write about.  Well now, not so much.  Last Thursday I was working on the treadmill.  Halfway through my run, and episode of BSG, my arm hit the kill cord, shutting the machine down.   Standing there, my heart pounding and frustrated, all I could think was, “1.75 miles isn’t enough.  I am not going out like that.”  I grabbed my IPod and headed out the door to finish out another 2 miles.

Something strange happened on the run.  I couldn’t stop.  I just kept running.  Each driveway I passed, and every turn made I got further and further from home.  As I moved along I kept saying, one more corner, or one more hill.  I looked down and my watch said…4.5 miles!   It was almost ten o’clock, it was time to head home and I still needed to run back.  By the end I logged 9.11 miles, from a run I took outside on a whim.  The ankle wasn’t an issue anymore, and neither was my mental block.  Time to do it again.

Thursday night I was on top of the world, and on Friday morning I suffered for it.

Sunday was my first 5k race.  I attended the Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5k in Baltimore, Maryland (Bib #3795).  I went with a good friend of mine, Michael, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend.  It was a fantastic event and a fantastic experience.  The energy of five thousand people in a sea of green, all ready to push themselves and accomplish something that many people think is unimaginable.

The skill level of the runners varied so much.  Watching that many people crammed in such a small area pushing their way forward was very interesting.  The first couple seconds can only be compared to cattle moving along for the slaughter.  The most you could do was jog in place.  After the first minute of dodging people, weaving through the crowd, and avoiding the runners flailing their arms, I found my place.  The first mile had slight downhill slope; a great way to start the run.

About half a mile in, Michael tried to cut around the crowd down the sidewalk.  Much to his surprise, a women in a wheelchair cut out from the spectators out in front of him, and he cleared her.  Yes, he jumped OVER the old lady.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t a full vault, only a partial.  From my angle it was hard to tell.  Either way, laughing while running hurts.  She seemed fine and only a little shocked from the experience.

Now, to say that was the only strange sight would be a lie.  I watched as a man tried to squeeze between another runner and a pole.  The pole won.  One kid kept bolting past me, stopping, and bolting again.  There were a number of green hats, funny glasses, and strange head gear.  It was not the most serious of races, the perfect kind to start you racing experience with.

The most interesting sight was the end.  After passing over the finish line, you could pick up granola bars, water, bananas, and beer.  Yes, beer.  Nothing like running a few miles and ending it with a beer.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and keep on running!

Sunday…my return to the great outdoors…at least to run.  Or at least that was the plan.  In order for me to leave the house for a run my wife needs to be home to watch the kids.  They are a little too small to leave behind while I travel the sidewalks of the neighborhood.  So instead I hit the treadmill again.  The scheduled run was 8 miles.  After the successful sessions with the treadmill, I decided to increase the difficulty and do the scheduled 8 miles.  Not the best move on my part.

After two miles, I had trouble keeping up.  If I only had a couple miles to go, I would like to think I could have pushed through it.  Self-delusion is strength of mine, it seems.  Mission aborted.  So my excuses were: I am tired…I aimed too high for my first long run…etc. 

That evening I decided make another attempt for an 8 mile run.  This time outside, and this time at my pace, not the infernal torture device that is my treadmill.  It was my first outdoor run since the sprain.  I checked the temperature, 32 degrees.  Perfect.  I geared up; running pants, jacket, gloves, hat, GPS watch, and IPod.  It is going to be a great run. 

It started slowed, but I moved my way through the neighborhood.  OK, I can’t expect to be right back to top performance after eight weeks off.  At mile two, I cramped up.  This isn’t the first time this has happened.  Last time, I pushed through it for a mile until it subsided.  Well, that was then, this is now.  By mile four I was done, and couldn’t push any further.  Time to go home.

By the next day my ankle felt as bad the week after I sprained it.  It seems the concrete is harder on my ankle than the treadmill.  Go figure.  Am I doomed to the life of a treadmill?  The treadmill means no interesting encounters.  If I stay inside I won’t see turkeys, storms, a live sitcom,or porn.   I pushed myself too hard too soon.  It seems that 8 miles on the hard concrete was too ambitious. 

Now I need to hold off on the training for a week.  I need to let the ankle recoup.  I plan to change my training from a marathon to maybe a half, or 10k.  It will limit my miles, and slowly build back up.  I wanted too much.  Foiled by the sprain again!

Next Run: Who knows?
Next Race: Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K

 

I am now three days into my marathon training.  To transition back into running since my sprain, I have exclusively used the treadmill.  About two years ago, I bought a Livestrong 9.9T  treadmill.  As with all machines, it has various programs ranging in levels of difficulty.  My plan is incorporate it into my training beyond just an introduction in order to force me to push my ability further than what I could accomplish on my own.   This first week I mixed up the programs just to get a feel for them and for where they may end up in my schedule.

Day 1: 3.27 Miles (Weight Loss – Level 5)

Day 2: 4.45 Miles (Interval Training – Level 7)

Day 3: 3.19 Miles (Rolling Hills – Level 5)

It’s time to break down each of the sessions.

Weight Loss Program – The Weight Loss program was easy.  It reminded me of simple jog around the neighborhood, just a mild workout.  The speed steadily increased to two miles per hour, than it slowed back down.  While speeding up, the incline decreased by one percent.  I need it to push me harder.  Time to level up! 

Interval Training Program – I really enjoyed the Interval Training program.  For 90 seconds, the pace was a mild jog.  If I had tried, I could have speed walked rather than jogged.  After 90 seconds, BOOM!  The pace doubled.  It was just near the top of my ability.  Next time I will run at level 8.  If I can get myself to level 10, my long runs can only get faster.  The only question is, can my legs go that fast?

Rolling Hills Program – I don’t get why it is called “Rolling Hills.”  The incline never changed.  It was merely the Weight Loss Program with the incline always staying at 0%.  If the Weight Loss Program was easy, this was a joke. 

I think I am now ready to get back out on the road.  My plan is to use the Interval Training once a week.  Slowly it will build my speed up, or at least it should.  One thing stood out to me this week, running feels great.  After each of the sessions I was pumped.  Why does running do that?  I don’t get the same feeling from the elliptical, P90X, or any other exercise.  When speaking with other runners, the debate of treadmill or outdoor running always comes up.  My question today is, which do you prefer?