Tag Archives: treadmill

Dreadmill and Longest Run Ever.

27 Apr

Last night after work, I geared up for my 7-mile run. But in the time between getting home from work and walking out of the garage with pooches and Travis in tow, the skies changed from cloudy to stormy. Refusing to be scared by rain, we headed out anyway. A minute later, big lightning bolts streaked across the sky. Hmmm…

We revised our south-bound 4 mile run to a north-bound 1.5 mile run since the skies looked less menacing that way. For the entire run, lightning and thunder boomed at us from the east. Less than .25 mile from home, it started raining and the wind picked up.

Plan B was going to the gym. I convinced Travis to come along and as we pulled out of the driveway, it looked like the storm might have already passed. (Sadly, it only rained for about 15 minutes. Colorado is so dry this year!) But we figured we might as well just stick with the gym.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I seriously have not been back to the gym since my near brush with death by brussel sprouts in February. Ever since then, I have associated the gym with thick, warm air that smothers me until I can’t breathe. Not appealing for a 5.5 mile run.

But I sucked it up (because I realized I was being ridiculous). When we got there, one treadmill was open so I decided to snag one while I had the chance.

I set the incline to 1.0, the speed to 5.6 (10:42/mile), and tried to read my magazine, which was unfortunately near impossible. I could only read the ads, which, as compelling and persuasive as they are, didn’t do the trick in helping me zone out.

So I watched the people on the bikes in front of me, scanned the TVs for something interesting (the puzzle on Wheel of Fortune was ‘Fork of the Road Runner’…what the heck is that?), and went back to my magazine.

I tried to be patient and let plenty of time (and miles) go by before I looked at the distance (which was conveniently hidden by my magazine). When my stomach started to hurt, I thought maybe it was time to take my mid-run gel. So I moved my magazine and saw…


Seriously? Seriously.

I made a deal with myself that I at least had to make it to 2.5 so that I could get off and run an even 3 around the track to finish. I made it to 2.76 then the blasted treadmill went into cool-down mode. I restarted it for another .24, then jumped off and did 2.5 around the track.

You know how your legs feel after you’ve been running on a treadmill – like you’re just zooming everywhere, even when you’re walking? Well, that lasted for 2 laps (.2 mile). Then my legs alternated between feeling GREAT and speedy, and then feeling like I was trudging through a swamp. It was quite strange actually.

When all was said and done, though, I ran 7.05 miles in 1:13:50 – an average of 10:28/mile.

I’ll take it.


The Eugene Marathon is this weekend. If I had stuck to my original plan of running that race, this would be THE weekend! But alas, I still have 2 months to go until my race. Good luck to all of those running Eugene! May the running force be with you.

Instead of doing that race this weekend, I’ll be revisiting the course for the bane of my racing existence (this race).

Not only will this be my longest run of this training cycle, it will be the longest run of my life at 15 miles.

This is what the course looks like:

The lowest point is 5483 and the highest point is 5965 – a gain/loss of 485 feet. That race (the Ralston Creek Half) made me realize that I was not prepared to run any sort of hilly race. Since then, I have done 5-6 long-ish runs with 300-400 feet of elevation gain – since the Mayor’s Marathon gains 300 feet over 15 miles, I want to be prepared. And what better way to prepare than get my a$$ handed to me? (Pardon the language, but ‘getting my butt handed to me’ didn’t have the same ring to it.)

So unless I wuss out between now and 7 am, I am planning to run an easy 2 mile warm-up (while I still can) and then run an unofficial hilly half marathon to see if I can beat my February time of 2:38:24. I’ll report back this weekend if I don’t dissolve from sitting in an Epsom salt bath too long.

Do you have anything challenging or exciting planned for the weekend?

Workout ADD

1 Dec

Travis and I are flying out this afternoon for Minnesota. Since we will be in the tundra and (almost) in the middle of nowhere all weekend, I decided that I needed to get in all of my workouts before leaving – I almost made it. I won’t be able to fit in Sunday’s 60 minutes of cardio and strength and my weekly mileage will be short by 1.24 miles. But considering the busyness of this week, and my disdain for working out indoors, I would consider this a success.

But I had to be creative. I’m pretty sure I have Workout ADD because I get bored very easily.


Monday, I was scheduled to do 45 minutes of cardio + strength training. But 45 minutes on any single machine is my idea of torture and I refuse to use the pool on weeknights because of the swim team. So I did 20 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the stationary bike. Then I went home and did 2 rounds of this strength routine plus a little extra core work to make it to 20 minutes (gotta get my point for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!). Done and done.

Tuesday, I ran 3 miles during lunch. The area where my office is located is very hilly and I swear that even though the elevation is actually lower there than in Wheat Ridge (where we live), the air is thinner in Broomfield. Right away, my right hamstring felt really tight. Great. I stopped to stretch, walked a bit and then started running again. It didn’t hurt as much if I ran faster so I decided to do intervals – run 90 seconds, walk 30 seconds. This was a very challenging run. I felt completely out of breath the whole time and I even had to cut the run to 60 seconds and increase the walk to 60 seconds a couple of times. But I finished 3.18 miles in 34:02 (10:42/mile).

Since we’ll be gone this weekend and it was supposed to snow today in Denver (which it did), I decided to bump my long run of 7 miles to yesterday. I had planned to run it in the morning but I woke up with a pounding headache so I did my usual thing of brainstorming while lying in bed how I could fit the run in after work. I decided that if I left work at 3:45 (one benefit of having a job with nothing to do), I could make it home to do 7 miles and still get to Charlotte’s home by 6:30 to meet for Operation Christmas Child.

But the dilemma – sunset was at 4:36 and the end of dusk was at 5:06. Even if I started running by 4:30 like my plan, I wouldn’t have time for all 7 miles outside (and Travis doesn’t want me running in the dark). So I devised an ingenious plan: I took the dogs with me for 2.5 miles. I took them back to the house and grabbed my ipod, some Gu Chomps (I tried the orange and they were delicious!!), and my Rec card and ran the 1.5 miles to the gym. I ran 2 miles around the track and then ran home on the well lit, busy streets. I actually ended up running 7.48 miles in 1:25:29 (11:25/mile). After a quick stretching session and a dinner of pumpkin oats and a big hunk of asiago cheese bread, I headed to volunteer. Man, were my legs tired and sore by the time I was done standing on my feet for 3 hours!

Today, I was scheduled to run 5 miles. But I woke up a tad bit later than I had planned, I had to bring the dogs over to our friends’ house who are watching them while we’re gone, and because it snowed a couple of inches, I knew it would take me about twice as long to get to work (have I ever mentioned how much I hate driving in the snow in Denver?!?). So I headed to the Rec and pounded out another 3 miles… on the dreadmill. I know, I’m shocked as well.

But I staved off the incredible dreadmill boredom by doing something different for each mile. So here is my Guide to Not Getting Bored on the Treadmill:

First Mile

Walk 1 min at 4 mph

Run 2 min at 5 mph

Run 2 min at 5.5

Repeat once

Second mile

Walk 1 min at 4 mph

Run 2 min at 5.5 mph

Run 1 min at 6 mph

Run 1 min at 6.5 mph


Third mile

Alternate 1 minute of walking at 4 mph with 1 minute of running at 7 mph

I successfully completed 3.1 miles in 36:07 (11:39/mile) without poking my eyes out! Yay!

Unfortunately, in addition to all of the mixing and matching, there was another similarity my workouts shared this week: leg pain. I’ve been noticing pain and tightness in my glutes, hamstrings and IT band. As I sit here typing this, my left hip/IT band is throbbing. Gah! I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend: lots of stretching!

Alright friends, as usual when I go to BF Nowhere Minnesota, I won’t be posting. I hope you all have a great weekend and stay warm and healthy wherever you are!

Do you like to mix and match your workouts or are you more straightforward?

Treadmills are the enemy.

10 Nov

So last night didn’t go quite according to plan but I did get my 4-mile run in. My plan was to get home at 4:30, feed the dogs and quickly change into my running clothes, run 4 miles, change out of my running clothes, grab salad stuff and leave for care group by 5:45.

I got home around 4:50, let the dogs out, and then fed them. While they were eating, I started to change into my running clothes. Charlie came into the bedroom after she was finished eating and jumped on the bed. Not even 30 seconds later, she jumped down and started to head out to the living room but I didn’t want her to pee on the carpet and figured she’d be able to wait the 3 minutes it would take me to finish dressing. So I called her back in and she jumped back up on the bed. Then I noticed that the bedspread was a weird color – were her paws dirty from being outside?

Charlie moved out of the way and I realized that it wasn’t dirt – it was pee. She had just peed on our bed. A lot. And as I yelled, “Charlie, no!” she got scared and jumped to another section of the bed and peed there too.

Just great.

“Charlie, I don’t have time for this!”

I put the dogs outside, pulled the comforter, sheets, and mattress cover off the bed and then thought about what to do. I couldn’t wash the comforter in our washing machine. I couldn’t put a different comforter on our bed because that one was also dirty (Charlie also peed on that one and we disgustingly didn’t notice for a while). So I had to scrap my run for a trip to the laundromat.


I had been planning to go there this weekend anyway, to wash our sleeping bags and rugs from elk hunting, and the comforter and duvet cover that was already dirty. Now I just had more to wash. I still wanted to try to make it to care group, which started at 7 (we eat dinner together at 6 and I already let the leader know I wasn’t coming for that), so I hastily loaded everything into the car, put the dogs in the laundry room and headed to the gas station across from the laundromat for some cash.

I got the cash, drove across the street to the laundromat, and made 4 trips to bring in all the stuff I had. As I looked around for the quarter machine, I realized I had forgotten soap and this ghetto laundromat didn’t sell any. So I loaded the washers with the stuff I was pretty sure no one would steal (I mean, who wants bed comforters riddled with pee or extremely dirty rugs?), put the sleeping bags and linens back into the car, drove the mile back home, got laundry detergent and went back.

After all of the washers were started, I realized I would need more cash to start the dryers (is it just me or do laundromats rob you blind?), so I went back home to drop off the soap and grab dryer sheets and a laundry basket, brought the dogs with me, and went back to the gas station another time to get gas and more cash. Then I went back across the street to the laundromat, transferred what was done washing to the dryers, then brought the dogs back home. I don’t know why I brought them in the first place – I guess because I felt bad that they had been locked in the laundry room all day and they hadn’t gotten to go on their run? (Although I told Charlie that she really did it to herself.)

Travis called then so I asked him to pick up Subway on his way home while I went back to the laundromat to finish putting stuff in the dryers. So he did that while I went back, yet again. With everything in the dryers, I hung out for a bit reading my book until the comforters and rugs were dry and Travis was home with the subs. I put that stuff in the car, drove home, ate, unloaded the car, then Travis and I both went back to the laundromat to get the sleeping bags and linens.

By the time we had everything in the car, it was already 7:05. All of the linens and one sleeping bag were crammed into the laundry basket and some of them weren’t quite dry (I should never dry the duvet covers with sheets, but I always do because I’m too lazy – and in this case, cheap – to do two loads). So we just decided to not go to care group. It took us about an hour to get everything unloaded, dry, and folded or on the bed. Finally, around 8:15, I decided to go to the rec to run, since I wasn’t going to care group.

I was actually kind of looking forward to running on the treadmill, because somehow, when I read about other people running on the treadmill, it sounds nice. Just a nice little run on the treadmill. But I got on the treadmill and before I even hit .5 mile, I was bored. And staring at myself in the mirror, since I can’t handle looking at stationary things when running – my mind just can’t handle the conflicting signals. Running. means. moving. forward. Can. not. stare. at. a. wall.

I managed to make it to 2 miles, but then I just couldn’t take it anymore. Treadmills just make me hate running. I don’t understand how people run on them consistently and for so many miles. I realized that I would much rather run 100 circles around a 1/10 mile track than do 10 miles on a treadmill. And I swear that my legs/shins/knees felt achier from running on the treadmill than they do normally. AND I was running at a 10:30 pace at 1.0 incline on the treadmill and thought I was going to DIE. I got on the track and ran the same pace comfortably.

So moral of the story: Treadmills are the enemy.

But I digress…

I finished my 4 mile run in 43:21, stretched, went home and crawled into my nice, clean bed.

Do you like running on the treadmill?