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?

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?

Last Weeks Workouts: When You Don’t Have”It”

motivation mondayPhiladelphia half marathon was not a goal race for me.  While I know I am currently in PRing shape, it wasn’t the race for that. I felt tired throughout the week, and I never felt physically motivated to run either.

I have a post about the race as well as biting off more than you can chew on a big race week.

To training: The week itself was a solid training and taper week.

Monday: 9 miles easy
Tuesday: 5X3 mins hard
Wednesday: 8 miles easy
Thursday: 7 miles easy
Friday: 30 mins easy
Saturday: Philly Half (1:27.44)
Sunday: 6 miles easy
Total: 53.5

Tuesdays Workout:

5X3 minutes hard (6:23 pace)

This workout went well.  The goal was to run at half marathon goal pace.  Running the workout felt moderate but not difficult.  I finished feeling confident that Philly half might be a PR race for me(My PR Carlsbad was 1:22.57).

As the week progressed, I fell into a funk.  I can’t pinpoint why but I wasn’t excited to run the race.  I went from “YES half marathon” to please get me through this week.

My legs started to feel heavy during each run. On Friday, I knew the race wasn’t going to be a PR.  It wasn’t going to be a miracle race.

Philadelphia Half:

As most people that follow me on twitter know, when I went through security on Saturday morning, they confiscated my Gatorade.

They gave me two options: to drink it on the spot or toss it.  So 45 mins before the race, I was forced to toss my fluids.  These are the same fluids I know have worked for me every single race.  After that fiasco and being thirsty at the start of the race, I made it to the start line.  At that point, I had mentally checked out of the race.

While I had a “gold seed,” bib with the elites, I chose to start with the first corral.  I didn’t want to run alone and honestly while I had qualified for that spot, on Saturday I didn’t think I had that time in me.  That was accurate, and I didn’t run below a 1:27.

During the race itself, I never felt good.  My legs were physically tired; I was mentally tired and to be honest, I just wasn’t into the race. As a “running” blogger, not wanting to run a race is hard to admit, but it happens to everyone.  When I finished, I felt as though I had run a workout, not raced a half.

Honestly, the course was harder than anticipated, and even if I felt amazing and perfect, I’m not sure I would have PRed.  Some races don’t go as expected and that is what happened to me.  I’m sad but I’m not devastated.  I’m looking forward to recovering and enjoying Thanksgiving this week.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race that you just “didn’t have it”?

How was your week of workouts?

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?

Run the Bridge 10k (38:58)

I’ve volunteered at the Bridge Run for two years now at the water stop.  This year I was the token employee that got to run the race.

Last week, I had a big training week, so I knew the race was going to be riding the pain train.  Since you’re running up the Ben Franklin Bridge and it can be windy, it’s not a “fast” course.  Since this is a race my work sponsors, I knew a lot of people running.  It wasn’t a local 5k and had about 4000 runners.

It’s hard to run a race you aren’t tapered, but with the amount of racing I do, not every race can be.  To be honest, while warming up, I felt like $hit. I was in such a bad spot mentally; I wasn’t sure I would even race.  I’m sure my husband wanted to drop me during the warmup since all I did was whine.😉

I ran up to the start and saw several of my friends and coworkers at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  Starting at the base of the bridge was surreal. The bridge was closed, and we stood right near the toll booths. I had flashbacks to New York City Marathon.  Before we knew it, the race was off.  I found myself running with friend Michele.  We were going back and fourth climbing the bridge.  Very early into the race, my legs felt exhausted.  I looked down expecting to be at mile 1…only to find out I was .5 in and not even at the top.  We crossed the first mile in 6:30.

We came down from the top and turned around on the Philadelphia side. The downhill felt nice, but it was windy. I crossed the 1.55 in 9:50.  As we turned around and headed back, we saw runners going in the opposite direction.  I saw a bunch of my friends and it was motivating.  I hit mile 2 in 6:09.

The third mile finished climbing the Ben Franklin and went downhill.  It was a beautiful view staring back into New Jersey.  I was running in a pack of 4 women, and we hit 3 miles in 18:50.

As I came down and back in New Jersey, I felt different muscles.  I no longer felt as if I was running uphill or downhill…just running flat.  The pack was pulling me through, and I ran a 5:53 mile.  There were no hills and no wind.  If only all of the miles were like that.

The next mile focused on getting to the mile 5.  I knew my coworkers and friends were at mile 5 doing the water stop.  It kept me motivated and focused.  Around mile 5, I saw them.  My good friend, Julie, captured this video of me high fiving her.  I hit mile 5 in 6:13 and focused on the final mile.

The last mile had a couple of small uphills.  My quads were toast.  Then the final mile had a headwind.  I crossed the sixth mile in 6:26 and was happy.  The last .2 headed onto Campbell’s field.  Michele cranked out an impressive kick and finished directly in front of me, winning for female masters.  My boss announced my name as I crossed in 38:58.

Thoughts:

I am happy with my effort.  I’ve always wanted to run the Bridge Run. Even though I wasn’t tapered or having the best morning, I’m glad I ran.  I highly recommend anyone local should run!

Questions for you:

Have ever trained through a race?

How do you mentally prepare yourself for a race?

Training: Need for Speed and Bridge Runs

Last week was a good week of training for me.  My legs felt tired, but I got everything I needed to be done.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: 8X1 minute hard
Wednesday: Easy 50 minutes
Thursday: 9 miles
Friday: AM: 4 miles
PM: 7 miles
Saturday: 11 miles easy with friend
Sunday: Run the Bridge 10k

Thoughts:

Tuesday’s Workout: 8X1 minute hard

The goal was to get a quick turnover.  I ran hard for a minute and then recovered. I haven’t done formal or quality speed work since my injury. Even before my injury, I was doing longer tempos and mile repeats.  Doing shorter workouts are going to improve my 5k speed.  I do all of my workouts on the road versus track (because that’s where I typically race).

Run the Bridge 10k: 38:57

As you can gather, my body was tired.  It was a rare week that I did not take a rest day.  Several of my runs were shorter. Lining up at the Bridge Run, my body was tired, and I felt it.  The course itself is difficult, and it was windy as well.

Ben Franklin Bridge
The Ben Franklin that the race runs over. Photo credit here.

I’ll have a recap later this week.  I’m happy with my time, and I do believe I’m in PRing shape.  The weather was beautiful and that is one step above where I have been.

Questions for you:
Have you ever run over a Bridge?
How many rest days do you take weekly?

Racing In Undesirable Conditions (Part 2)

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post about “How to race in undesirable conditions.”  Little did I know, my streak would continue after my injury and Lady weather luck would not be on my side.

In case you need a short recap of bad weather I’ve raced in this year: 

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:26.50) pouring rain, 40 degrees
April Fools Half Marathon (1:24.08) 50 MOH headwind
Broad Street 10 miler (1:01.59) pouring rain, 40 degrees
Newport 10k (37:59) 80+ degrees and unseasonable heat
RNR Va Beach (1:29.56) Hurricane and 40 mph winds
RNR Philly (1:27.37) unseasonable 80-degree heat and humidity
Base Half Marathon (1:25.28): 40 degrees, pouring rain and windy

Shamrock half marathon

I am beginning to think you should avoid racing with me if you want to run in good race conditions.  You can’t control the weather, and these are just the situations I’m handed.  Do I wish the weather was better? Of course! 

Since March wasn’t the end of my bad weather streak, I decided to revisit the topic and think about more methods.  To be honest, racing in bad weather is best covered by being prepared with the right clothing and layers.

Rain: 
  • Before the race: Have throw away clothing or trash bags.  The goal is to keep yourself as dry as possible before the race. Trash bags are great because they keep you dry and are inexpensive!

Trash bag your shoes and your entire self.  This year, at Broad Street, several people passed me at the end still wearing their trash bags.

  • Wear form fitting clothing and avoid cotton.The more tightly fitting the clothing, the less it’s going to chafe, rub and become a wet soggy mess.
  • Thin socks: This is a must. The goal is to keep your feet as dry as possible.  Thicker socks can retain more water like a sponge. There are a lot of thin socks, but my favorite is the low cut CEP compression because they hug your feet and provide support as well as compression.

In all of the races I’ve done this year, I haven’t gotten any blisters because I wore thin noncotton socks.

  • Hats: Before this spring I never ran in hats. They never stayed on my head.  This year I’ve found hats keep the rain off my face.  I like my logo Headsweats hat from work.
  • While I don’t race with a phone, I know many racers do. Put your phone in a Ziploc bag to make sure it doesn’t get water damage.  About a month ago, I got caught in a downpour, and my phone was toast (luckily I had insurance).
Wind: 

The problem with races along the shore can be the wind.  Races along the coast are typically flat, but you never know if you’ll face a headwind!

The last mile at Atlantic City was headwind
The last mile at Atlantic City was headwind
  • Run with a Pack: Running with a pack of people isn’t always possible, but it makes running a lot easier both mentally and physically.  You can remind yourself; you aren’t facing the wind alone.  During Shamrock this year, I got caught in a 2 mile stretch of headwind alone.  It was miserable.
  • Turn your head to the side to breathe. If you’re running through a headwind, turning your head to the side to breath makes it a lot easier.  I didn’t know that until this year!
  • Running into a headwind will cost you both time and energy.  It’s not a reflection of your fitness level and don’t worry too much (easier said than done).
  • Invest in a good piece of wind resistant clothing. The wind can be piercing and chill you to the bone.  Many companies make a light windbreaker that will keep you warm.
Heat:

While the cooler months are coming, heat is definitely something to deal still with.  The fact that it is 70 degrees is one clue!

If you want to follow in Rupp’s footsteps than try putting ice in your hat.  For the rest of us staying hydrated is usually critical.

  • Hydration, Hydration, Hydration: Even if you don’t feel like you’re thirsty, it’s important to hydrate before, during and after a race.  When I know the temperatures are hotter than I’m used too, I take Gatorade and water at every water stop in distances above 10k.

    How much is enough?
    How much is enough?
  • Less is More: I’m not saying run naked at a family friendly 5k, but dress for the conditions.  If it’s hotter than you are used to, wear a tank top or shorts.  Body glide and antichaffing cream will become your best friends,  (If we ever race together, believe me, I have a tube in my car you can borrow).
  • Sunglasses: Generally heat brings out the sun too. Find a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes.

I’m not getting paid to promote any of these pieces of clothing/items, but they are items I’ve had success with:

Rain: 

Gortex Running Jacket ($249.99)

broad street 10 miler 1

Hands down this is my favorite piece of running apparel I’ve ever bought.  From my last post: “It’s the most expensive piece of running apparel I own, but it’s worth it.”

Honestly, I feel the same way now as when I purchased that jacket and wrote my previous post.  My Gortex jacket is the best piece of apparel I bought last year to deal with the weather.

CEP Low Compression Socks ($20):

I like the low cut socks because I can use compression sleeves as well.  My shoe size and calf size are different, so the high socks won’t fit my feet and calves.  The socks themselves are thin, and if they do get wet, they won’t weigh you down.

Lululemon What the Sport Short (on sale): $29

I’ve raced in these in all conditions and never chafed.  They are long enough that my thighs don’t rub together but short enough that I don’t overheat.  Plus they have pockets.  They also don’t become see-through in the rain.

Hat: Headsweats Visors 

This is the hat I own, and you can get it logo’ed to whatever you like or need.  Should I get FueledbyLOLZ team hats (just kidding)?

No rain on my face.
No rain on my face.

Sunglasses: The Tailwind from Nike stay on my face. I have a round shaped head so finding sunglasses can be tough.

Roll Virginia Beach results

As I said last time, The best piece of advice for any racing is to stay positive.  At the end of the day, you can’t control the weather.  You have to make the best of the situation, and if you’re able to think positively, you’ll be able to stay positive throughout the race.

I wasn’t positive during Shamrock half marathon, and I truly believe that is what caused me not to race well.  I maintained positive for the rest of the races and dressed appropriately.  Now I shrug off weather and just think: “other racers are dealing with the same conditions.”

Questions for you:

Have you ever raced in bad weather?  

What advice do you have?