Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentines, Waffles and 4 Miles

Date: 02/14/12
Route: Treadmill
Distance: 4 Miles
Pace: 9:37 mile
Song That Started Me Off: “Hello” by Martin Solveig
Song That Brought Me Home: “What is Love?” By Haddaway

So for my amazingly romantic Valentines Day evening, I went to the gym. I would call that lame, but The Wife and I are celebrating our V-Day on Friday night. Life with a toddler works off of childcare availability, not strictly off the calendar.  

The gym was surprisingly full, but I was there earlier then normal, at about 7:45pm. Usually I am one of those people that show up when everyone else is leaving, around 9:30-10pm. There were even some couples there together…nothing like sweating together to make a relationship grow. I suppose it is better then Waffle House!

One of my goals for 21012, and honestly the one I think will be the toughest, is to run a 5K in under 9 minutes a mile. My PR was last year at the Jamesers 5K, where I ran 9:15 per mile. So some of my treadmill running has been focused on 4 mile runs, as I figure that will make the 5K's more tolerable. I also have been trying to run negative splits, and I was able to accomplish that tonight as well. 

The run was proceeding very well until that last half mile. I suppose that this is how you know you are pushing your body a bit, buy the fact that it protests that last little bit. I really had to focus on my breathing the last half mile. Personally, if my breathing rhythm falls apart my body quickly follows. So I was able to hold it together, and finished with a 4 mile pace of 9:37 per mile. See empirical proof below.

With the Corktown Races here in about a moth, I am feeling pretty good about matching my PR from last year, which is my goal for this race.  Hopefully as I keep training, I can start running some practice runs under 9 a mile. How is your spring race training going?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

9 Miles of Taylor Swift

Date: 02/05/12
Route:   Hines Park 6 Miler + Bonus 3 Miles
Distance: 9 Miles
Pace: 10:46mile
Temp: 40 (felt more like 50)
Annoying Song Stuck In My Head: Some mashup of all of Taylor Swift’s abhorrent pop songs.

I had planned a nice 8 mile run as I am slowly ramping up distance to my half marathon on the 25th of March. It was a beautiful day outside though and I found myself challenging my body to run farther. Usually at about the 4 mile mark, I start the turn around and head back to my house. Today I decided to just keep on running.

It was very rejuvenating to add some unseen terrain to my run. I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your running courses. I was to the point that I knew within about 20 feet where the mile marks were on my standard 6 mile course. It was definitely time to change things up a bit. Adding the distance was just a mechanism.

I was having a great time running in new territory, the only problem was every step forward would have to be duplicated on the way back. After running though a nice picnic area, I circled back and started to head home. While the last mile was kind of tough, and I needed a bit of downtime after the run to recover, it felt really good to cover this distance with a month and half to go before my first half of the year. I know for sure I was not running 9 miles in February last year, so hopefully this is a good sign of things to come. The only bad thing: Taylor Swift stuck in my head…..I mean really?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Treadmills…Yuck! Treadmills…Yeah!

I think hardcore runners despise treadmills. It is so EASY to assume the attitude that YOU (awesome runner person), are above the lowly treadmill. Treadmills are for the unwashed masses. Treadmills are what the flabby office jockey hits up for 10 minutes, boosting his ego and letting him eat another bag of Doritos.  The serious runner, well he runs, outside, in the elements. 60 minutes, the maximum time the gym overloads let someone use a treadmill, while adequate for the 5k trainee, hardly handles half of a real runner’s race distance. 

I was recently reminded why none of this is true.

I had gone quite a few months without a gym membership, but running at night has become difficult lately because there is a chance that there are icy patches I would not see. The idea of wiping out and breaking an ankle 3 miles from home was not a good one. For safety sake, I relented and signed up with Planet Fitness in Northville, for $10 a month.

 This has already made a huge difference with my running, allowing me to train more consistently at night, without the risk of a debilitating slip and fall accident. I also get the added benefit of being able to do some strength training and getting some entertainment in. I mean who does not want to watch a Gold Rush marathon on Discovery while running 7 miles?

So I have dropped my disdainful attitude regarding the treadmill. I still much prefer to run outside, in the fresh air, feeling the terrain under my shoes, but I have learned to appreciate what the treadmill offers. What about you, are you a treadmill snob, or a loyal user?