Friday, August 31, 2012

Dreadmill Runs

Oh my.  My training this week is giving me a glimpse into the bleak winter months.  I have been on the treadmill the last two runs (and Tuesday's was not pretty.  I figured it wasn't worth it so much that I just wouldn't count it until I wrote up a better run and I'd squeeze the (small) mileage in then.)

I go back to school next week, and both kids are home all day with me.  So despite the beautiful weather (sun! blue skies! mid 70's!) I headed to the basement on Tuesday.  I was supposed to run 4 miles, and I just didn't want to do it down there.  It's gross.  It smells.  I'm pretty sure the mold killing that went down there last summer when we had it waterproofed didn't hold.  And I park in front of the house, so if I pull too far forward, I'm stuck looking out the window at my car tire instead of the horses across the street.  Oh, and I can't find the portable DVD player that works so I can't watch anything interesting while I'm down there.  Also, even though it's cooler than the rest of the house, it's HOT to run with no air flow.  There's a little fan, but it does nothing but make the air smell a little like plastic. 

Note the sunshine I couldn't be out in.  Insult to injury.
So I'm trying to be grateful I have the treadmill.  I'm trying to be grateful that I can run.  I'm trying to be grateful I have children who still need me at home.  I'm trying.
I took my phone down with me yesterday and hooked it up to the speakers on the treadmill.  There are some pretty great speakers down there.  I turned on Stitcher so I could listen to the Another Mother Runner podcast.  I tried once doing books on tape, but I enjoy reading so much that I just don't enjoy listening to someone read a book.  My playlists are old and tired and I don't have the internet capacity right now to download new music.  And I have found that podcasts help distract me when I'm on my long runs, so maybe a short treadmill run too?  The AMR podcasts are 30 minutes.  I gave myself permission to bail at the end if I didn't walk at all until it was over.  Also, I had an extra shirt hanging off the handles, so I used it to cover the display before I started.  Just a little experiment to see if I could run faster with less perceived exertion if I just settled into the pace with out knowing the numbers. 
I actually made it through the whole podcast.  Dimity and Sarah make me laugh so much that I did slow it down and hold on for a second, but I didn't slow to a walk.  And one point, when I felt like I just couldn't keep going (hello!  I've been doing 9 and 10 milers!  I can do a measly 30 minutes!) I turned on the incline and pumped up the speed and counted my foot steps.  I count outside sometimes when I need to get through the wall, so I gave it a try inside, and it helped too.
All factors combined, when the podcast was over (and I let it keep going in my favorites station, so it picked up in the middle of my Jillian Michaels podcast from the other day) before I dared to look at the display.  Turns out 'comfortably fast' was 6.7 with an incline of 2.  Huh.  When I was setting it before, to comfort, I would hover around 5.5 with a 1 incline, wishing I could push it down to 0, but not, knowing I had to at least keep it at a 1 to help it be more like running outside.  I also saw that I was pretty close to 3.5 miles, so I decided to suck it up and get to 4.  I did the run faster, count to 60, slow it down, then run faster again, then slow it and vary the incline to get me through it. 
In the end:  I made it.  I didn't enjoy it a whole lot, looking at the tire on my car, with the sunlight glinting off my treadmill display, breathing plasticy-dusty-musty smelling air.  I've also made it my mission to locate the dvd player and visit redbox before my next treadmill work out (that may be today...I'm not sure yet).  And, although the winter indoors looks bleak, maybe it won't be so bad.  It's easier to run down there when the weather is bad and I'm not wanting to be out there.  And once school starts next week, I'll be able to squeeze in 20-30 minutes between release time and leaving to pick up my kids, until the weather turns and I'll need the extra drive time to get them.  I can do this.  I have to, at any rate, so I have confidence going into the half marathon.  (actually, the two.  I'm registering for the local one today.  AAAHHHH!)  Then I'll pick out my October race (probably my school's homecoming weekend 5k).  I would love to do the Thanksgiving prediction run this year.  And then a Jingle Bell run in December (how much fun would that be!?)  I will need to go two more months of races to fulfill my New Year's resolution of running an event at least once a month since I didn't start until March last year.  So, the Hangover run January first looks promising.  And finally I'll just need to find a February race...then it starts all over. 
See....I'm getting excited already! 
Tuesday: 1.5 miles
Wednesday: 0
Thursday:  4.2
This week:  14.9
August: 66.7
I WILL be getting some mileage in today no matter what...I would like to bump that over 70.  My 'menu training plan' indicates I should be doing 3.5 plus strength or 8x400 repeats after a warm up and then a cool down...both will get me there.  I just have to decide if I'm dragging the kids to the track this morning before we hit 90 degrees, or if I'm doing the treadmill, or if I am going to run in the heat after the husband gets home from work.  


  1. You are right - your basement isn't very pretty! But you did it! I'm a music listener on the treadmill but now that you bring up the RLAM podcasts - I should try those out! Even maybe on my LR tomorrow!

  2. I'm a big fan of those but wish they were twice as long! And that they came out twice as often! I also enjoy Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know. :) Need a bunch for a long run!