Surviving 11 Miles on the Treadmill
Not unlike the majority of the country, our little town was hit with massive amounts of snow and freezing temperatures last week. And if you know me, you know my sun-loving-self was not too excited about the winter weather. Aside from moving my marathon-training-long-run indoors, I won’t complain about the blizzard too much because I know so many other people had it much much worse. I will admit, the thick fluffy snow photographs beautifully.
Last week I committed to a marathon and the weekly long runs that come with training. Sunday morning I woke up to at least 8 inches of snow and dark grey skies. I’d like to say I’m hardcore enough to run through the blizzard…..but I’m a snowbird at heart and take full advantage of the gym when temperatures drop below 50. The treadmill awaited my eleven-miler. First of all, I haven’t run in the double-digits since September, so I had a little bit of pre-run nerves. But the first step to surviving 85 minutes on a stationary machine:
I have repeated this to myself for years; it is a helpful mantra for any mental undertaking! When I hit “Start” I knew I would not be stepping off that machine until the screen said 11.0.
How to survive treadmill long runs:
- First of all, set the incline to at least 1.0% grade. This helps mimic running on land rather than a moving belt.
- Play with the speed! I always start out at a comfortable speed, but bump it up depending on what song is playing. Alternating your speed also mimics running outside when a machine is not regulating pace for you. For some reason when Masterpiece by Jessie J comes on, I hit up, up, up to 8.5 mph because that is my jam.
- Speaking of music…Fresh new playlist made the time flyyyyyyy:
- Basically the entire new Florida Georgia Line album Anything Goes
- Invincible and Someone by Kelly Clarkson
- Goodbye from Who is Fancy (<— love that name)
- Centuries from Fall Out Boy (not a huge FOB fan but this is a power song!)
- I’m Gonna Show You Crazy by Bebe Rexha
- Let Go For Tonight by Foxes
- Mid-run fuel in the form of Tangerine Sport Beans from Jelly Belly for caffeine (studies say you should have mid-run fuel for any outting longer than 60 minutes)
- Two nights before I had watched an inspirational running movie, which I pictured the race scenes from (runner-nerd alert).
- A bit of an odd one…I like to do math during my runs! Since the speed on a treadmill is set to “miles per hour” and I like to think in terms of “minutes per mile,” I spend a lot of time converting different paces in my head and estimating what my marathon time would be. Buuuut if mathematics tends to exhaust you, I don’t recommend this one. ;)
- Thinking about breakfast and/or dessert.
- Looking out the window at this view and appreciating my warm little fitness room!
And that is how I got through 85 lonely minutes on a treadmill in a blizzard. Forecasts show 50s for this weekend, hallelujah!
What is the longest you’ve run on a treadmill & what songs do I need to add for this weekend’s playlist?!
The Unpopular Sport
Last night, three of my friends rallied to watch the 10:30pm showing of McFarland USA, the cross country Disney movie about the true story of McFarland High School’s 1987 cross country team.
As a high school cross country runner myself, how could I not see this movie. There aren’t very many movies themed around long-distance running! (For good reason, I suppose…) We had the whole theater to ourselves!
Even I’ll admit, running is not an entertaining sport for mass audiences. You have to be a runner to really appreciate a movie dedicated to the sport. It’s not glamorous or commercial or suspenseful. Once, I raced a 10k at Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA, and my parents came to watch. There were EIGHT heats of the 10k and I was in heat #7. A 10k race = 25 laps around the quarter-mile track. About 40 minutes til the last person finishes. My parents sat through over four hours of laps so that they could watch me run for 37+ minutes. That is love! :)
McFarland was inspirational as any Disney flick, though I have to say my favorite Disney sports-themed movie is The Rookie. We did all definitely leave the theater feeling motivated to go for a run. But it was after midnight so we went to sleep instead ;)
*Side Note: the best trailer we saw was for the newest Nicholas Sparks movie, The Longest Ride. Yes, it looks exactly like all his previous stories. Yes, it looks predictable and cheesy. Yes, I will be going to see it. Trailer –> here.*
Training for marathon #2 is underway. I have a weekly schedule of workouts with ideal mileage, pace, hill repeats, speed intervals and strength training.Yesterday was some hill repeats, 60 second bursts up a steep grade with 2 minutes jogging in between.
Nutrition is especially important to fuel my workouts so I stocked up on some more protein and planned out weekly “mostly-clean” dinners. However I am completely exploiting the fact that more mileage = more ice cream.
We are in the middle of a couple winter storms. Snow = compromising on the treadmill. This weekend’s long run will test my mental abilities as I have 11 miles on the treadmill! Only some new music will get me through.
This song came on the other days as I pulled into my parking space. I’d never heard it before so I parked and sat in my car for 3 minutes, shazam’d it, and have been overplaying it ever since. :)
A reunion, an anniversary, and a mistake
Every day I read “The Hungry Runner Girl” blog. I love her enthusiasm for running (and eating) and the pictures of her adorable 2 year old. She is currently training for the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for last year. Reading about her workouts always fills me with inspiration to start training for my next marathon. She honestly makes it look like FUN.
I don’t know what state I will be living in in 16 weeks and I don’t know what my medical schedule looks like, so picking an actual race to register for seems risky. (Although the Suja Rock n’ Roll in San Diego looks pretty awesome.) However my Sunday “long runs” have fallen by the wayside in the past year, so I figure it wouldn’t hurt to get back into a more regimented running routine that would keep me in optimal shape when I can finally pick a race and start training.
Sunday morning I reunited with my GARMIN. Since I wasn’t focused on specific pace or mileage, I left the GPS watch at home for the past several months.
I’ve blogged many times about my love for long runs. They were my favorite component of cross country training. In the peak of my collegiate cross country career, a “Sunday long run” meant 12-16 miles. I haven’t gone on a double-digit outting since last summer because….well, I have no need to! I decided I would start with 9 miles this weekend, and try to add a mile each Sunday.
Immediately after walking outside, I regretted wearing a tshirt. It was 39 degrees with 27 mph winds, gusts of up to 40. The sun was hiding behind some clouds and there was not a single other runner or bicyclists on my route. But I didn’t charge that watch for nothin’! I ran out against the wind for 4.5 miles, turned around and ran back with the wind on my side. Average pace: 7:36 per mile (at 7,000ft altitude, just sayin’.) Good enough for me :)
This week is my one-year-anniversary since I decided to chop my hair off. Okay that’s not a legitimate anniversary, but I look for any reason to celebrate ;) I’m growing it out now, and I can’t wait until it’s out of this awkward-length stage!
It’s also been one week since my birthday weekend, which was a non-stop food and drink fest. Such a blast, but I also feel like it’s time to get some good-quality nutrition back in my routine so I’ve stocked up on so much produce and protein. Starting with this dinner inspired by Gina’s The Skinny Taste Cookbook.
Except I made one little mistake. Rarely ever will I cook meat (strictly for my aversion to touching slimy poultry, not a vegetarian). Sooo I don’t have much experience at the meat counter. I asked for half a pound of shrimp. You can imagine my horrified face when I discovered that I had to REMOVE THE LEGS AND DIGESTIVE TRACT OF THE SHRIMP MYSELF.
I was so excited for cooking a clean, balanced meal so I decided to suck it up, watch a Youtube tutorial and ‘devein’ the shrimp like a grown-up. If you have not done this, I highly recommend spending the extra few bucks for frozen, pre-cooked shrimp because the slimy strings that came out of that crustacean were unappetizing.
But it does look good on the plate.
The snowy conditions here are making me slightly less eager to dawn some spandex and pound the pavement but I am determined to start a more structured running routine. Treadmills, Spotify and Pinterest quotes are winter workout necessities.
I love that! Have a happy Tuesday :)