I Don’t Hate the Treadmill

After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy and truth be told:

I don’t hate the treadmill.

Thinking out loud, I’ve spent plenty of winters training almost exclusively on the treadmill.  Before you say: “just get out there and run outside,” I’ll also let you know that I’ve slipped on ice and broken my arm just “running outside.”

While New Jersey is a lot easier to run outdoors year round, some places such as Upstate New York are not.  Some winters it has been -30 outside and you’re so bundled up you can’t get more than a speed waddle outside.

I love running, but I’m not going to run outside only to be miserable or be unsafe while doing so.

In fact, I don’t mind running on the treadmill.  I’m able to put in a certain pace, zone out and go.  There was a significant ice storm the night before my last my last twenty miler before Phoenix.  It was either run 20 miles on a treadmill or miss the run.  I watched 3 hours of Say Yes to the Dress, and it wasn’t bad.

But how do you run on the treadmill if you actually hate it?

First, change your mindset. 

If you call it the “dreadmill,” of course, you aren’t going to enjoy it. I should take this mentality with shopping and call it dreading…maybe I wouldn’t like that too.

Do a Workout You Couldn’t Normally Do:

Is your area hilly?  Use the treadmill to get a flat run in.  Or use the treadmill to run a more hilly run.  You can get a run that you aren’t normally able too.

Find a Friend:

Most runners aren’t the same pace.  With a treadmill, you can both run at your respected pace but still run together.  It’s a great tool to catch up with friends.

Netflix and Run:

I won’t tell you how many TV shows or series I’ve binge watched while running.  You can catch up on TV, the news or whatever and still get a run.  It’s a lot harder to do that outside.

The treadmill isn’t a bad training device.  Sadly, it does get a bad rep.

Questions for you:

Do you run on the treadmill?

What is your favorite treadmill workout?

Brooks Ghost 9 Shoe Review

I haven’t had a shoe that impresses me during my first run like the Brooks Ghost 9 in a while.  I am shocked of how much I like the shoe.

The Brooks Ghost is one of the staple running shoes in the industry.  At our store, it’s one of the most popular neutral shoes. Brooks is also a great company to work with too. For no real reason, I haven’t run in a lot of their shoes.  I’ve tried on almost every model, but the only model of Brooks I’ve put significant mileage in, is the Brooks Launch 3 (for speed workouts).

The Brooks Ghost 9 came out in June.  Recently, I fell in love with the new Galaxy color and decided it was the perfect time to give Brooks another shot. I was due to rotate another high mileage trainer, so that worked out well.

brooks ghost 9 shoe review galaxy
Even the shoelaces are decorated

The Brooks Ghost 9 has enough cushion for high mileage but is also light enough for speed workouts and races.  It’s a little more cushion and softer than the Launch.

As mentioned, I haven’t run much in any previous model of Brooks Ghosts.  I had a pair of Brooks Ghosts 7 as well as 8s that I worked in but I never took them to the road.

Fit:

The update from the 8 to the 9 is significant.  They have widened the toebox.  I wore a size 10 in the Ghost 7s, 10 wide in the 8s and I’m back to a regular 10 in the 9s.  Wider feet or those with bunions can appreciate the upper is now seamless, so there is no rubbing or bleeding (something that happened to me personally a lot with the Asics Nimbus).

The wider toebox is something I’m personally thankful for.  Your feet need to spread out while running.  If there isn’t enough room, you are much more susceptible to foot issues.

In summary, the fit of the Brooks Ghost is one of my favorite of any shoe I’ve run in recently.  It has a wide, seamless upper which allows my foot comfort.

Ride:

The Brooks Ghost 9 is one of the softer shoes on the market. As a company, Brooks uses a material called “BioMoGo DNA” which essentially molds to your foot like memory foam.

The cushioning from the 8 to the 9 hasn’t changed much. If you like a soft and well-cushioned shoe, this could be a great option.  I was always a fan of working in the shoe and it feels just as great when running.

I’ve put just over 100 miles in the Ghost now including a few longer runs of 10+ miles.  I haven’t run into any issues.

brooks ghost 9 shoe review galaxy

Similar Shoes:
Asics Cumulus
Saucony Ride 9, Saucony Zealot ISO 2

My Current Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Ghost 9 (Easy runs, long runs…replaced the Saucony Zealot ISO 2)
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (easy runs, long runs)
Nike LunarGlide 8 (Shorter runs)
Saucony Type A (speedwork)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite “long run shoe”?  

Training Last Week: Double Workouts

Last week was an interesting week of training for me.  Towards the end of the week, I didn’t feel great and for a number of reasons I skipped racing.

Monday: 7.5 miles easy
Tuesday: Workout: 6X800s
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy
Thursday: 60 minutes easy
Friday: Workout: 3X8 min intervals with 2 mins recovery
Saturday: 60 minutes easy
Sunday: 80 minutes Easy with a friend
Total 57

Workouts:

6X800s (splits ranged between 3:01-3:06)

This workout didn’t go as well as I would have liked.  I didn’t feel good the entire day. The track ended up being closed that morning, so I had to do the workout on the road. Generally, I like to do that more, but, I was hoping to get on the track.  Some of the 800s were up minor hills, into the wind or with a tailwind.  It was more similar to an actual race but lacked consistency.

3X8 minute intervals with 2-minute break (6:23 pace)

6:23 is my PR half marathon pace from Carlsbad and this workout definitely tested me.  I can’t say I felt great, but I was able to make the intervals. Feeling bad and making intervals is a lot better than feeling good and not so I’m pleased with how the workout went.

The rest of the mileage was easy.  Instead of racing the Loop Run (one of my favorite low-key races), I ran with my fellow spouse Katie on Sunday.

Next week the plan is to taper for the Dallas half marathon.  I’m hoping to be around 1:24 and my workouts have shown on a perfect day, I could be.  Judging by the weather of my racing during the last year perfect days are not on my horizon.   I’ll be happy with a more successful race than the Philly half.

Posts from the week:
How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race
November Training

Question for you: How was your week of training?  What was your best workout? 

November Training

November was a good month in the sense that I made it through the month both healthy and injury free. I just cranked through runs and workouts and hoped for the best.

Mileage: 250 miles
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: Philadelphia Half Marathon
Days off: 3
Workouts:5
Races:
Run the Bridge 10k (38:58)
Haddonfield Road Race 2X5k (20:48, 19:20)
Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)
Medford Turkey Trot (18:30)

Run the Bridge 10k me running

Random Thoughts of the Month: 

Last month, I ran fewer miles but more frequently. Instead of running 90 minutes most days, I ran 60-80 more frequently. I also ran a lot more workouts and didn’t race twice in a weekend.  It’s been a change for my running but I’m enjoying it, plus less time running means more time interneting…(kidding).

My body is taking the time to absorb the workouts and mileage.  Any change in workouts generally happens that way. Last November and December, I distinctly remember being in a running rut and plateau.  It wasn’t until January 1st (when I PRed wearing a prom dress) that I broke out of that.

Philadelphia half marathon was definitely a letdown.  I thought I might be in PRing shape, but that didn’t happen for a number of reasons.  The short story is that it wasn’t my day.

medford-lakes-turkey-trot

A few days later I ran my third fastest 5k at the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot.  I know my fitness is there, but I haven’t tapered or prepared for a PR.  I’m running the Dallas Half Marathon in 10 days, so I’m hoping to end 2016 with one last solid race effort under my belt.

What’s next? Through December, I’ll continue trucking along.  I’m going to run hard at Dallas and see where I’m at.  In October, I ran the Runners World Half in  1:24.17 so I would like to hope I’m faster than that now.

Running Related Posts:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review
The Importance of Rotating Shoes
If I Only Had One Running Related Outfit
How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
Do you have any December plans?

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad race at the Philadelphia Half Marathon. While yes, the course was challenging my personal bad race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.  While it stinks, I race so frequently to let one bad race ruin my day.

After thinking out loud and moving forward, I had a great Turkey Trot last week.  Like anything, you must take the good with the bad.

So what can you do after a bad race?

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Find the Positives:

When I finished the Philadelphia half marathon, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful, but I’m injury free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great but I finished healthy.  After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work.  I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of unenjoyment were only a small fraction of my day.

The entire race was miserable, my mental attitude was not great but I finished the race healthy.  After cooling down, I headed to my car and went to work.  I still had a great day and the 87+ minutes of morning unenjoyment was only a small fraction of my day.

It’s important to look at the positives of your race.  Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Was it faster than last year?  Could you smile afterwards and have a good day?

Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:

Immediately after Philadelphia, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.  Even if my training log, I said I didn’t have a reason of why the race went poorly.  Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons Philadelphia was not a great race for me. I hadn’t eaten well, slept well and my body was adjusting to new workouts.  Not to mention the course itself was a tough course.  None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t”.

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition or sleep patterns.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.  Set your sights on a new race or goal.

Maybe a marathon burnt you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

For me personally, while there were plenty of half marathons sooner, I decided to wait a few weeks and still focus on Dallas half. Instead of needing redemption, it’s important to wait and get full recovery.

Questions for you:

How do you get over a bad race?

What has been your least enjoyable race?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot 5k (18:30)

On Thanksgiving, I ran the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot.  I ran it last year and enjoyed the course.  Plus the race organizers are friendly, so I wanted to come back.  Until recently there wasn’t a “big” South Jersey Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

This year the Medford Lakes turkey trot had about 1000 people.  Medford is one of my favorite New Jersey towns, slightly woodsy and probably filled with plenty of wild turkeys…perfect for the day.

My husband and I arrived around 7:30 for the race at 8:30.  To my surprise, I achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in racing history.  Somehow in the 1000 person race, I was number 1.  This is a race number that will be on the fridge for a very long time.  Even though I was tired from the Philly half, it’s hard to be sad when you are race number 1.

medford lakes turkey trot
Image from Simply Photography

We warmed up, easily got to the bathroom and made it to the start line by 8:30.  Before we knew it, we were off.  I never saw my husband after the gun went off.  During the first quarter mile, I found myself as 10th women overall.  I thought, woah this year got competitive.  I said I would be happy under 19, but my dream goal was 18:35 (6 min pace).  Last year I ran a great race of 18:48.

We hit the first mile in 5:56.  It was a little bit faster than I anticipated and I wondered, would I regress and positive split? I was fourth women at that point and was running with a pack of males.

During the second mile, I kept waiting for my husband to pass me.  I knew he was in much better fitness, so it was troubling he hadn’t run past me.

I began running closely to the third place women.  My legs didn’t feel bad, but I could feel the Philly half in my legs too.  I felt as if I was working hard but still had gas left in the tank. I hoped I would be able to hold under 6:15 for the last two miles and told myself I would be happy with that.  I crossed mile 2 in 6:02 and found myself as second women overall.

I could see the first place women about 15 seconds in front.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her but it gave me something to focus on.  As we winded through the woods, I found myself running alone.  Someone chanted: way to go number 1.  I wasn’t first but it was motivating.  I became more confident and I was able to crank another 6-minute mile.  We made the last turn and I crossed the third mile in 6:00 exactly.

The last .1, I just focused on the end and crossed in 18:30 by the chip time.  At the very last second, I saw my husband, and I realized he was over and done.  He ran a 17:15 which is his fastest since joining the Air Force 5 years ago.  He had been in the lead pack the entire time which is why I never saw him.  Honestly, I’m more excited for him than me.

tim-and-i-turkey-trot

Thoughts:
I’m happy with my race, especially after Philly.  It’s my fastest 5k post injury, so I can’t complain about that.  In fact looking back it’s one of my fastest 5ks in 2016.  The only two 5ks I’ve run faster have both been PRs (at the time).
The Resolution Run (18:22) in a prom dress
My Current PR: The Flower Show 5k (18:13)

Questions for you:
Did you run a Turkey Trot?
How was your Thanksgiving?

Training: Easy Runs and a Turkey Trot

Training Last Week:

Short Version: In summary last week, I recovered from the Philadelphia half and had a quality week of training.

Monday: Easy 75 minutes/Deep Tissue Massage
Tuesday: Easy 75 minutes
Wednesday: Easy 80 minutes
Thursday: Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (18:30)
Friday: Easy 75 minutes
Saturday: Easy 10
 Sunday: Easy 70
 Total:  64 miles

All of my easy runs were easy and I enjoyed Monday-Wednesday better than I enjoyed racing the Philadelphia half.  I bounced back mentally and physically from the race.  My friend, Montana, was back in town for Thanksgiving so I was able to run with her on Saturday.

Montana and I

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (18:30):

I didn’t feel 100% during the race.  My legs still had the Philadelphia half on them but they didn’t feel bad either. My mile splits were a consistent 5:56, 6:02, 6:00. My hopeful goal was to be under 19 but my dream goal was to run 18:35 (6 min pace).  I’m happy I achieved that and it was a great race for me.

I didn’t know how the race would go.  Last year, I ran an 18:48 and was ecstatic (also after running Philly).  My hopeful goal was to be under 19 but my dream goal was to run 18:35 (6 min pace).  I’m happy I achieved that and it was a great race for me.  It’s actually my third fastest 5k ever (behind the Resolution Run 18:22 and the Flower Show 5k)

I’m happy with how the week went.  With the exception of the Turkey Trot, it was a boring week.

Running related posts:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review
Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)

Questions for you:
How was your Thanksgiving week?
What was your favorite workout last week?