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? 

Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)

Sometimes, we don’t have it.  Sometimes even with tapering, we don’t mentally have the race we hoped.  That’s exactly what happened to me last Saturday. While the Philadelphia half is not the most enjoyable race to blog about, you can’t have good races without bad ones.

To be honest, I’m also not surprised.  Throughout the week I didn’t feel good or mentally ready for the race.  My mind and heart weren’t into it.  But I paid $130 for the race, and I wasn’t injured.  I hoped by posting on my social media I was running that maybe I would motivate myself.  Yet, race day morning came, and I was anything but that.

I got to the race at 6:30.  While going through the security, they confiscated my Gatorade.  I’ve run 30+half marathons and hundreds of races, and I’ve never had my Gatorade confiscated.  So I was left without any fluids before the start.  They had water near the start, but I didn’t water, I wanted Gatorade.  I did drink some water, but the line was long.

So when I lined up at the start I was thirsty. I met up with my friend Paul and we started (and ended) the race together.  The race went off and out we went.  While I had a seeded bib, I started in the first corral.  There was no need for me to be in the elite corral…I wasn’t going to fool anyone. I had qualified to be there, but I preferred to run around people my pace, not be left alone.

During the first mile, I knew I was in for a rough race.  My calves were tight, and I looked down only to realize I had run half mile.  We hit the first mile in 6:40. I felt defeated.  Mentally I knew I was not in a good spot.  I told Paul not to feel obligated to stay with me (not that I would expect anyone to ever sacrifice their race).

Mile 2 gave me a lot of hope.  I got caught in a crowd, and I ran a 5:58.  During the second mile.  I didn’t feel any better, but I thought, oh maybe I will surprise myself…That feeling was short lived.

I ran mile 3-4 and began to notice my watch was clicking miles later and later past the mile markers.  I started to notice the mile markers were off.  I ran each mile at 6:19, 6:24.

My goal by mile 5 was to evaluate how I felt at halfway.  By then I knew I was not going to PR.  I got to the halfway point around 42:30.  I thought I  could maybe even split to a 1:25.

I thought wrong.

We climbed a small hill during mile 6, and I ran a 6:55.  I thought: “that hill really wasn’t too bad.”

Even though I felt awful, I was proud I climbed the hill well and passed several runners.

I came back and ran the next mile in 6:24.  I thought: “Eh it was the hill that slowed me down”.  This is still a great pace for me.

We began to see the elites coming back, and they looked like they were in pain.  I kept wondering: what exactly is back there?  Is it hilly?  Then came the hill.  I had mistaken the course to go elsewhere, and I realized just how hard the course was.  Because the hill was on an angle, you were running up sideways.  I couldn’t get a good rhythm, and my quads were burning.  It was one of the hardest “half marathon moments,” I’ve had.  The hill ate me up and spit me back up.  When we finally made it out of that section, I ran a 7:17 mile. I felt crushed and defeated.  I haven’t run a 7:17 mile in a half marathon in a very long time.

For the rest of the race, I focused on getting to the end.  I put my sunglasses over my eyes and just zoned out.  I wanted the race to be over.  For no reason, I wanted to stop.  However, I couldn’t do that…I wasn’t injured, and I needed blog content…(kidding).  The next three miles went by without much excitement, and I ran 6:36, 6:46 and 6:41.

The final two miles I ran alone. There was no one within 15 seconds of me.  Somehow I found a pocket of abandonment in a huge race. There was nothing of note.  I saw my husband around 12.5, and it motivated me.  I ran a 6:32 and 6:46 final mile.

I crossed the finish in 1:27.44.   I was 25th women overall and quite far off on any goal time I considered weeks before

Typically I don’t care much about GPS, but I ran a 13.3 race (which was actually much shorter than many people).  I don’t believe the course was accurate and for a big city race that is unacceptable.

I ran 2 miles alone during the race, and there was never a point I wasn’t running tangents. I was lucky I ran as short as possible even though I still ended .2 long.

Thoughts:

I haven’t had a “bad” race in awhile.  After my ankle injury, I’ve been building and running well.  In all honesty, this was one of the worst races I’ve had in the last two years. It “bad” because the course was hard but because  I wasn’t mentally into it and my body didn’t physically feel good.

Bad races do come with the sport.  

Am I disappointed because I do know I’m in much better shape?  Of course but there are plenty of other races to come.  I finished injury free which is the most important part of running.

There are plenty of races in the sea of running. I smiled post race and had a great day afterward. Philadelphia half marathon

So far my short runs recovering from Philly have felt more enjoyable and pleasant than the half so that is motivating.🙂

Question for you: Have you ever felt mentally unexcited for an event or race?

The Importance of Rotating Shoes

As most people know, I work at a running store.  One of the benefits is learning about different shoes as they hit the shelf or even before they are released to the public.  It also allows me to think about shoes before purchasing them.  I can try a shoe on, decide if I like the “feel” and then make an actual purchase.  Since working at the store for over two years, I’ve tried almost every brand.  I’ve personally had the most luck with Saucony, Asics, and Nike but I’ve also enjoyed running Brooks and Hoka.

Thinking out loud, a perk of my job is it also allows me to think about shoes before purchasing them.  I can try the shoe on, decide if I like the “feel” and then make an actual decision if I want to add them to my rotation.  There is very little guesswork.

It also means I’m able to rotate shoes in and out frequently through my rotation.  I typically post 1-2 shoe reviews every month.  Those shoes last in my rotation (normally) 1-2 months and then are donated.  So it’s hard to tell what is actually in my rotation at any given time!

I do well with high cushioned neutral shoes.  I’m always looking for a shoe with more cushion in the forefront, but unfortunately, there are very few shoes that have that.  The Asics Quantum is one of the few. I ran in it for a while, but at $180, it was a little more pricey than I would like.

In the last six months I’ve reviewed:
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Ride 9
Hoka Clifton 3 (I’ve retired for good)
Asics Cumulus 18 (I’ve retired for good.  Replaced with the Saucony Zealot 2)
Brooks Launch
Nike LunarGlide

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Easy Runs:
Saucony Triumph ISO 2 (I haven’t tried the 3 quite yet)
Saucony Zealot ISO 2

Faster/Shorter Runs:
Brooks Launch
Nike LunarGlide

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante (review to come)

Racing:
Saucony Type A

When Rotating Shoes it’s important to remember that you should use structurally similar shoes.

There are very few situations that you should be rotating through a stable and neutral shoe together.  Make sure that the shoes you’ve chosen are both right for your particular gait and feet.  I cannot stress how important it is to go to your local Running Store and get your feet analyzed.

So Why is It Important to Rotate or Have a Few Pairs of Shoes?

Increase the Durability of Your Shoes:

While it does naturally cost more to buy two shoes, they will both last longer.  (Always ask your running store if they give a discount for buying two shoes,  we do where I work). So why do shoes last longer? If you give shoes 1-2 days to “recover,”  the materials in the midsole don’t continuously compress.  Like a sponge, they fluff or bounce back closer to their original state.

Different Shoes are Made for Different Things:

Take the Asics Quantum versus the Saucony Type A.  The Asics Quantum has over double the weight and cushion of the Saucony Type A.  It’s made for a max cushioned run (recovery days or the treadmill).  The Saucony Type A is a minimal racing flat.  If you train in the Saucony Type A for every run, you will get injured.  If you raced in the Asics Quantum, your body and feet would be working significantly harder.  Every shoe has a time and place.

Rotating Shoes Can Prevent Injury:

While it’s not the sole reason or magical way to prevent injuries, you can decrease your risk by alternating appropriate shoes.  If you rotate two of the exact same style, then your feet are working in very similar ways.  Choosing different brands or models allow your body and feet to work just differently enough that it can decrease the stress put on any given area of your body.

It’s just fun.  This isn’t a scientific fact but running in different shoes is just fun.  

Questions for you:

Which shoes are in your shoe rotation? 

Are you loyal to same brand of shoe? 

Haddonfield Road Race 2X5k (20:48, 19:20)

Last weekend I ran a local 5k near my house.  The race day started before the race.  On my schedule, I had a workout of 2x5k.  I could have done the workout by myself at home but what’s the fun in that?  I knew a lot of friends running the race, plus my husband wanted to run…so why not?

The day before, we went flying.  The plane ride was extremely turbulent, and I ended up getting sick and puking midflight.  Luckily, I puked directly into a Nalgene and didn’t make a mess.  Apparently running hard the day after getting sick is not optimal.  When I woke up on Saturday morning, my throat hurt and I didn’t feel right.

I told myself several times; I had a hard few weeks of running plus getting sick is not optimal before a race.  It was time to check my pride and ego right at the front door.  To be honest, that’s always hard to do but I’m coming to terms with not every race can be my fastest.

My workout for the day was:
Warmup: 3 miles
2x5k
Cooldown: 3 miles

During my warmup, I knew I didn’t feel good.  I knew it would be a race with a surprise or magical PR.

After my warmup, I went into my personal 5k.  It’s hard to run a workout by yourself, especially knowing you’re going to race in an hour.  I ran my first mile in 6:45 and immediately felt defeated.  My goal was to be in the low 6:20s, but I knew my body was not going to cooperate.  The area was hilly, and I felt like junk.  I ran the second mile in 6:42 and the last mile in 6:31.  I finished, and immediately felt defeated.  I finished the first 5k in 20:48 and made it my goal to finish the second under 21:00.

So moving on to the actual race:
I lined up next to my husband and a few local friends.  All of a sudden we were off.  I found myself as fifth woman overall.  I knew one of the women was extremely fast so catching her would not be an option.  I checked my ego at the start line and raced in the moment. (which was not a great moment). During the first mile, we climbed a steep hill.  I focused on just climbing, and I crossed the first mile in 6:08. I was surprisingly happy.

During the second mile, I passed two women and found myself as the third lady overall.  I was running side by side by side with the second women who I eventually passed.  For the rest of the race, I ran alone.  The next person in front of me was my husband, and he was over a minute ahead.  It was a lonely race.  It was like I was doing a workout alone. I crossed the second mile in 6:18.  It was much faster than anticipated.

The third mile climbed a large and surprising hill.  I thought we had gotten the hill done in the first mile, but boy was I mistaken. Even though the race is a few short miles from my house, I had no idea the hill was back there.  I was in second place, but the third place women was not too far behind.  I was feeling sick, and my stomach hurt from the day before.  I was struggling to control my breathing.  I just focused on charging the downhill and getting to the finish line.

I crossed the third mile in 6:12 and finished in 19:20. I was shocked I finished 90 seconds faster than my first 5k, but I also needed that confidence booster as well.  After the first 5k and not feeling great, I was feeling demotivated.  I was happy with the workout as well as the second 5k.

I’m still recovering from that flight.  I don’t typically get motion sickness but we never expected it to be that turbulent.  I’m just glad we didn’t fly before a goal race!

Question for you:
Have you ever done a workout during a race?
Do you get motion sickness? 

Training: 200s and 5ks

Last week was a good training week for me. I feel like that has been my opening statement for the last few training logs.  Boring, but true?

As many people know (from Instagram), I was on the road most of last week.  My husband and I took a mini trip to Upstate, NY to visit our alma maters as well as hike in the Adirondacks.  The hiking didn’t work out as much but we enjoyed our time together

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 65 minutes
Wednesday: 12X200s
Thursday: Easy 45 minutes
Friday: Easy 70 minutes
Saturday: 2X5k
Sunday: Rest
Total: 60 miles

Running while on the road is always fun.  You get to run in new places and explore new routes.  While most of my easy runs were boring, it was still fun to explore new places such as Lake Placid, Potsdam and Syracuse.

me running lake placid

Workout 1: 12X200s
On Wednesday, I was at my alma mater, SUNY Potsdam, so I opted to use my old track.   It was windy but I felt pretty good during the workout.  Since it was about 1.5 miles worth of workout, it seemed to go by fast.

Workout 2: 2X5k
I actually did the second 5k at a race.  This workout has a lot going on.  I should mention the day before, my husband I went flying on an extremely windy/turbulent day.  I actually ended up puking on the plane so I wasn’t feeling the best going into the workout.

First 5k: 20:48

Second 5k: 19:20 (also a race)

Honestly, I’m glad I signed up for a race because it was much easier to push myself.  I was able to run 90 seconds faster and run harder.  I’ll have a recap of the entire workout and race soon. In summary, I’m glad I ran the workout but I didn’t feel great post flight.

Thoughts:
I’m happy with the week.  Even though I was traveling, I was able to get quality runs and workouts in.  Plus, I got many of them with my husband! Next week is the Philadelphia Half Marathon.  I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do there.

Questions for you:
Have you ever done a workout in a race?
Do you workout while traveling?