New Treadmill – Now I Have To Use It

Today we went and got us a new treadmill. This was something we have been saving some money to buy. The old treadmill got hit by lightening a year or so ago. It has never worked right since then. However, it would work sometimes. Just frustrating to try and use. But, how can I complain much when the unit only cost $10 at a garage sale?

Picture of the treadmillThe new treadmill is a Spirit Fitness XT685. We bought it from Used Gym Store near Hickory, NC. It took the better part of the day to get there and back, but I think for the quality of treadmill we bought and the price we paid, it was worth the trip. The lady who owns the place was very patient while we asked questions and did some research on our phones to make sure we were really getting what we were expecting. Would highly recommend a purchase from them.

I know most people don’t like running on a treadmill. I don’t know that I would prefer it over an interesting place to run. But, I have found that I am pretty bored with my neighborhood. To give me the motivation I need to do something consistently I have gotten to where I am depending more on the treadmill.

I find that if I plan a trip to the beautiful state park that is just 10 minutes down the road to do a run, I tend to never make it there. In fact, I think I have planned to run at the state park 4 times in the last few months. I never made there a single time.

As I mentioned in a recent post I have a challenge going with some folks that I work with to walk or run at least 1 mile every day for the month. The treadmill is definitely a help to that challenge during these colder weeks of the year. I am excited about having one I can depend on.

Marathon Training: Week 4

Monday: 5 miles easy
I ran just over 5 miles at about 30 seconds per mile faster than my training schedule called for.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy
It was Wednesday that I realized that I was on an easy week. My training did not do this last year, but this year I have every 4th week (I think) that scales me back a bit. I ran the same route as Monday a bit faster.

Thursday: XT day
I intended to ride my bike 30 minutes or so since I had not been on a bike in several weeks. I was having so much fun that I was a long way from home before I got turned around. I ended up being a 15.8 mile ride which took me an hour. The interesting thing about this ride was that I did not have to stop for a single light until I was 1/4 mile away from home. The very last light caught me. But that also meant that I did not get a chance to stop and let my backside rest. I was a little sore the next day.

I bought a mirror a few weeks ago (before leaving on our last trip) but never got a chance to use it. It is the kind that clips onto my glasses and I can see cars coming from behind. It was very nice. It gave me much more confidence while riding.

Friday/Saturday: 5 miles easy
The long run for the week was just a 5 mile easy run. But I know I will not be able to run a long run this coming weekend, I decided to mix up my plan a little. Since I had to scrub the 10 mile run from the previous week, I decided to run 11 miles this week. I ran on Friday because it worked better for my schedule. My next long run was to be 12 miles, but I will be on a 45 mile hike when I am supposed to be running that. So I will pick up the next week with a 14 miler to get me back on target.

Shamefully my 11 mile long run this weekend was the longest run since my half marathon (13.1 miles) PR back in November. I can’t believe I have not been more consistent with the longer runs. I used to always feel like I could get out and run 8 miles any time someone wanted to go out for a run. It is embarrassing that I have let that slide. But I am determined to get back into good form.

Friday I also bought me some new shoes. I got a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Sprint. I have already done 3 miles in them. I have been reading and watching videos about running form and how the barefoot running is supposed to help me run more efficiently. I look forward to the bio-mechanical benefits more than, necessarily, an increase in speed. I don’t plan to run my marathon barefoot (or shod with FiveFingers), but I might. It depends on how the transition goes with these shoes. I need to build some muscle strength in my legs to be able to go the distance in the FiveFingers.

Pre Marathon Thoughts

I have been asked many times what goals I have for tomorrow’s race. Some people have a specific time they are striving to achieve. Others are just trying to finish. My goal for tomorrow is a bit different.

I really don’t have a time goal, though I expect to finish between 4:30 and 5:00 hours. I have trained with the 4:45 time in mind.

And my goal is not just about finishing. I feel well trained without being overtrained. I have completed two runs of 20 miles as well as many long runs leading up to that. I have no thoughts that the distance is unattainable. My body is prepared and very healthy. Mentally I am ready. I have teased about being nervous, but really am not. I am totally confident about being able to cover the distance.

So what is my goal for tomorrow?

To totally enjoy my first marathon. I am not trying to race it. I have no plans to hurt my body in getting across the line in a fast time. But, if I do get through faster than anticipated, or even slower, I plan to have fun with the experience.

I realize that I can never run a 5K race and have it be my first one again. Also, I will probably never go to a 5K and just jog around the course for the experience. I will always be chasing a number. Always trying to beat my previous time.

I have a chance to do something tomorrow on that course that I will never be able to do again. This one is all about the experience.

Shirt: I will be wearing an ASD Athletes shirt for the race.

Running break

I took a couple of days off of running on Monday and Tuesday this week. I just felt like I was over doing the running. I was horribly tired on Sunday. I know I had just run a very strong race and Sunday is also my busiest day of the week, but that is when I always run races and the busyness never gets any easier. I was just run down.

I did not even get out of bed on Monday to call my running partner and tell him I was not going to be able to make it. I left instructions for my wife to call him as I planned to sleep in. I rested Monday and had no desire at all to run.

Tuesday I thought about doing a very easy run, but just did not feel motivated.

Today, Wednesday, I met my running partner and he started into his regular diatribe about how he feels like he is not improving. He took a few weeks off while I was away on my trip to the US and he thinks that now he is not doing as well as he was before. (We have this conversation just about every time we run). I try to convince him we are running 20 to 30 seconds per mile faster now than we were before. He refuses to believe that running slower will also mean he can run further and longer. Because Ryan Hall runs marathons at 4:45-5:00 per mile, my running friend feels like he is being lazy if he does not do 6:00 per mile himself. As much as I try to convince him that he is not going to be able to compete with Ryan Hall when he has only been running less than 6 months, he just does not hear it.

But, miracle of miracles, he decided to keep a slower pace and run with me today instead of ahead of me. We ran at a 9:18 pace instead of the 8:40 he wants to run. When we had been going at it for 29 minutes he asked me how far we had run. I told him the time and that I thought we had run about 3.2 miles. He was surprised that we had run that long and far. It is one of the longest runs we have done in the last several weeks. And we weren’t even worn out. Surprise! Running a bit slower really is helpful.

Did he learn anything? I don’t think so. He will take this experience today and probably feel guilty that we ran so slow. I say this because he then pushed the pace up to a normal speed for the next 7 minutes to finish the run.

Why don’t I just let him run at his pace and I run mine? Often I do. We start together and by the time we are done I am many blocks behind him.

We are going to run a race together in 2 weeks. It will be his first race. I am going to go for an 8:00 pace and try to kill him at the end.

Thursday is normally my long run day or speed work day. I run alone on that day. But tomorrow will be another day off for me. I still need a bit of a break.

Maybe you can help me troubleshoot my run

I had a rough run this morning. It could have something to do with one or all of the following reasons. I thought I would put this out here and see if anyone has any suggestions.

I ran 4 days in a row last week. To finish off the running frenzy I ran a race on Saturday. I also recorded my longest single week of running since I started running just over 2 years ago with 32.2 miles. Normally I run 18 to 22 miles in a week.

It could also have to do with the fact that I have been doing some great running lately. Anything less than a great run seems tough when you are coming off of a running high like I have had.

However, I think the biggest possible culprit might have to do with what I ate last night. Normally we have supper, if we eat much at all, by 5 or 6 in the evening. After church another family invited us to eat dinner with them at the mall food court. This meant that we had a choice of many different restaurants. I decided what I wanted and headed over to the taco joint to grab some tacos. The rest of the group decided on pizza.

I sat down and ate my 3 tacos and 1 gringa and was happily satisfied. Then the pizza arrived. A piece here and there and before I realized it, I had eaten 3 pieces. Enough for another meal. This all taking place around 9:00, 3 hours after we normally eat supper.

Our daughter needed something to eat, so we decided on a bag of fries. There was a hamburger place near where we sat. My wife ordered a small fry from them. It was enough to feed everyone at the table. I helped myself to more than my share.

I had at least 3 meals last night.

Is it any wonder why my run seemed almost impossible this morning?