Week of 6/23/14 – 6/29/14

week of 6/23/14 to 6/29/14

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 3 miles (11:23 min/mi average)
Wednesday: rest day
Thursday: 2.25 miles of hills and speed on treadmill (11:06 min/mi average) and 2.25 easy outdoors (12:04 min/mi average)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: 6.35 miles (11:48 min/mi average)
Sunday: rest day

A pretty average week, with two higher mileage (than I’ve been doing) days. I’m continuing to up my weekly mileage ever so slightly. Almost to my 15 mile a week goal where I can resume normal training!

My 6 miler on Saturday went fairly well. I did 3:1 intervals and walked about 2-3 extra times in the second half because I felt some twinges in my knee, but overall it never really hurt. For the most part, I was maintaining around 10:30-11:00 pace on my running intervals. (I had a few slower ones due to the extra walking, but a few faster ones as well. I did my last one around 9:30 pace!)

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New Gym, New Machines!

I joined a new gym yesterday.

Yes, this is my third gym in a year. When I started at my current job, their insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield) had a thing where you could pay a monthly fee and get access to a bunch of different gyms across the country. My gym at the time wasn’t a part of it, so I dropped it and picked one off their list.

I like the Hermitage Fitness Center. It’s very convenient to my house and work. My only real issue is that it’s not a 24 hour gym like my last one. There have been times where I’ve shown up and it’s been closed because I forgot to check the hours beforehand. (They don’t open till 1:00 on Sunday. 1:00!)

So, while I will continue to go there when it’s convenient, I decided to add a 24 hour gym as well. I chose Anytime Fitness in Mt. Juliet. There’s multiple Anytime Fitnesses across the city (and I can go to any of them), but I chose the Mt. Juliet location for my first one because it was the newest one. And new gym means new equipment!

Their treadmills have individual TVs on them. And they have fans! (Something my old gym had that the ones at HFC don’t. I think it makes a huge difference!) And they have the Nike+iPod hookup, which I haven’t tried yet since I didn’t have my lightning adapter on me. I also like the little track simulator, which could be pretty useful if I do speed workouts on these treadmills.

I decided to try out some of the settings, and I was wanting to do some hill work, so I chose the “alpine” workout for 20 minutes. It had me input my max speed and max incline, and I put 6.0 for both. It basically had me run areas with 0.5 incline at 6.0 and whenever the incline increased, it would automatically decrease my speed. I never had to touch anything, which was nice! The only thing that bugs me is when you do workouts like this, I can’t seem to figure out how to add extra time to it, without stopping the treadmill, clearing out all your stats, and starting over.

So after the 20 minutes were up, I was pretty close to the time the Flyers were going to meet. I decided to go run with them, but I had a little time to kill, so I did 5 minutes of fast running starting at 6.0 and maxing out at 7.0 for a full minute.

treadmill funny ecard

Source: someecards

One thing to note is that my footpod, which was notorious for saying I was running faster/going farther than the treadmill at HFC said, was spot on with this new treadmill. Maybe actually even reading a little slower. But I felt like I was not working as hard as I do on the HFC treadmills (probably due to actually having a fan blowing on me). I had forgotten my water bottle in my car, so I did the whole 25 minutes without water and without walking (save for a bit of a warmup/cooldown built into the alpine workout) and didn’t feel like I was going to die!

Overall, I did 2.25 miles on the treadmill, then went and joined the Flyers for another 2.25 miles of easy running.

Injury Update: Cautiously Optimistic

I have now done two runs in a row of three miles or greater where I have had no pain in my right knee. I am cautiously optimistic that maybe whatever was wrong has finally healed.

fingers-crossed

    What I Have Done

  • Strength work! I’ve tried to do this every day, but things come up (Bonnaroo, I’m looking at you) and I don’t always. But some is better than none!
  • Limited my running to three days per week. I noticed the knee would start hurting sooner in the run if I ran two days in a row, so I decided to only do three runs a week (with at least one day of recovery between each) until I noticed some improvement. As soon as I start being able to manage higher mileage on those days, I will increase back up to four days per week and see how that goes for a while. I have no plans to go back to five per week at this time.
  • Ceased running within half a mile of feeling pain. I didn’t want to be stupid and make it worse by trying to run through it (not that I really could after a certain point). This is why I haven’t really done any running longer than 3.5 miles or so in the past month, except the five mile race.
  • What I Need to Do

  • Keep strength training! I have a tendency to stop as soon as my injuries go away, which is probably why I keep getting injured. (Duh…)
  • Physical therapy? I’m still contemplating going to physical therapy, just so someone can actually tell me if something is improving and to watch me run or do my strength work and let me know how I can improve.
  • Low heart rating training? I mentioned that I wanted to try this eventually. Maybe now is a good time? It would keep me slow (and I mean sloooooow), which would hopefully keep me from getting too much ahead of myself.

I’m going to attempt a longer run this weekend. The true test!

Week of 6/16/14 – 6/22/14

week of 6/16/14 to 6/22/14

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Treadmill ladder workout
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: 3.15 miles (11:40 min/mi average)
Saturday: 11 miles of canoeing (aka, cross training while drinking!)
Sunday: 3.53 miles (11:20 min/mi average)

I was still recovering from Bonnaroo at the beginning of the week, but I managed to make it to the gym on Wednesday. (It’s been in the upper 90s all week. Running outside is not happening.)

I decided to do the following ladder workout (I wrote this out in text and you would be scrolling forever so I decided to make it an ugly graphic):
Treadmill Ladder Workout

My OCD also kicked in and so I actually ran for about 3 minutes right before my cool-down at 5.0 just so I could get an even number of miles.

I also did another ladder-ish treadmill workout on Sunday where I didn’t walk at all. That one felt GREAT, and, bonus, my knee never hurt at all! That’s the first time since the pain started that it hasn’t hurt for a run over 3 miles.

Friday’s run was actually outside in the humidity. Ugh.

Highest weekly mileage in over a month! Ha. I’ve barely run more mileage in this entire month than I did in a week when half marathon training. That’s craziness. My goal is to get up to 15 miles a week (with little to no pain) before I start structured training again.

When does running become fun?

When I volunteered at the Dairy Dash in April, I told a lot of the runners to “have fun” after I gave them their bibs. I got more than a few scoffs at this, so I soon changed to saying “good luck” instead. But there has to be some element of fun, right? Why else would we keep doing it?

I was texting with my bestie a few weeks ago about working out. She’s trying to tone up for summer, and we started talking about cardio versus strength work.

Me: I hate all forms of exercise. I am terrible at doing strength work even though I need it. The only reason I have stuck with running is because it strikes the competitive nature in my brain that makes me want to constantly compete with my past self. Like at mile 12 of the half marathon I just did, I was cursing and swearing that I would never do another one. Got home and immediately made a list of five more I want to do so I can better my time.
Her: Yeah I don’t have that problem.
Me: It’s weird. I spend 4-5 hours a week doing something I don’t enjoy all that much just to have a feeling of accomplishment when I finish a race about once a month. Sometimes after a hard workout too but mostly just after races.

So when I came across a Runblogger post entitled, “When does running become fun?” and he talked about competing with himself and the sense of accomplishment, I could relate. I’m still not sure I would call it “fun” though. My inner monologue during a typical run is, “This sucks. How much longer do I have to do this? Does my knee/hip/ankle/calf hurt more than normal?” Then I will inevitably try to get myself to stop being negative and to enjoy the moment, which will last all of about 15 seconds before I start wondering again when I can stop.

Races are different. My thoughts start out with, “Wheee! I’m racing! Keep a good pace! You’re doing great!” and end up with, “Where is the freaking finish line? I might die.” But when I don’t die, I’m very happy. Is that considered “fun”?

As I said in my text above, this also happens sometimes on hard speed workouts. I almost always start out speed work by thinking that I won’t be able to do whatever workout is prescribed for that day. But, in reality, most of the time I can, and it makes me feel great when I accomplish what I didn’t think I could just an hour earlier. Google tells me the definition of fun is “amusing, entertaining, or enjoyable,” and I would definitely consider that feeling enjoyable. So maybe running is fun after all?

All of my runs can’t be races and speed workouts, though. How can I make easy runs fun? The only way I’ve found so far is to do them with other people. The catch to this is that most of the people I tend to run with run a little faster than what I consider “easy” pace, which makes the runs harder but not to the point where I feel any satisfaction at the end. It’s a delicate balance that I’m still trying to figure out.

running ecard

What makes running fun to you?