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Run 3, Week 7 (BOHR): Some Late Night Treadmill Running

Posted Oct 18 2008 4:08pm



I took the advice of a runner-blogger pal of mine, Steve (Cymrusteve of the blogs Cymru66 & Run Bull Dog Run ), & decided to give the treadmill a whirl tonight. It's good to shake things up every now & then. And also a great way to stave off the darkness & the cold outside!

In truth, I'd waited so-ooo long before I went out & ran, that I had no other choice. It was already very late at night before I finally motivated my carcass to go out & run, & I knew that I just wasn't realistically going to be running outside at 11 pm tonight. Not happening!

I'm already a bit behind in my running schedule, as tonight's run was actually supposed to be Run 1 of Week 8. Oh well, I'll just have to do that 30 minute run tomorrow before I run with my friend. (Thankfully, she & I are doing minimal mileage, so it hopefully the two runs together won't take a toll on my knees.)

That also means that I'll unfortunately have to run a few days in a row, in order to squeeze in all of my runs for the week, as this Saturday I'll be selling my jewelry all day at my company's Ferlanti Couture & Wildfire Designs.)

But back to the real issue at hand: I need to get back on track with my sleep schedule, which is still way off even more than a week after my California trip. The problem has been that I don't want to run until later in the evening & then I keep going to sleep at the same insane time every night! I'm too hyped up after my runs, & then I don't want to go to sleep. Thus, repeating the cycle & continuing to throw my off my entire schedule.

Anyhow, the good news is that tonight I did my 45 minutes of running on the treadmill. Finally! (OK, so I ended up running at 11:30 pm, but atleast I got in my workout, without causing my family & friends to worry about my safety!)

The not-so-good news is that the knees weren't liking the treadmill very much; so I decided it was best to take it easy on them tonight. (That's one of the main reasons I typically avoid treadmill running whenever I can; it tends to be harder on my knees for some odd reason. Road-running doesn't seem to bother them nearly as much!)

I warmed up with a 10 minute-walk, did a very slow, 12 minute-mile pace for 45 minutes, & then cooled down with another 10-minute walk.

And right there is the other good thing about running on a treadmill -- All of the stats are right in front of my face in all of their undeniable glory! ;-) While I seem to be more resistant to measuring my running times than the numbers on the scale (which is probably the opposite of most people's modus operandi), I know it's a good exercise for when I'll actually need to pay more attention to those facts & figures later down the road. As I've mentioned on numerous occasions, right now, I'm just trying to sock away the mileage, so I'm less concerned about times at present.

Speaking of measuring & recording, I also have more or less stopped recording my warm-up & cool down walks, because at this point, they are par for the course & I always, always do them! Plus, it gets pretty repetitive & dull to have to detail the obvious little details like these every single time I workout. So, if you don't seem me writing about it, it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It just means that I'm lazy about recording the tedious stuff! ;-)

The only reason I mentioned them tonight is because I wanted to show that sometimes longer walking times are necessary to ensure better outcomes, especially when the body is feeling sore or tender, or needs the extra time to warm up due to colder weather. As I always like to say, it's so important to listen to what your body's telling you. The larger important point is that if you do what's right for your body, & allow it time to recover properly, you'll be able to extend the duration of your running career quite considerably.

All of us know one person or another who got a little bit too carried away with their fitness expectations & goals, & then, as as result, injured themselves to the point where they can no longer run! I love running so much that I never, ever want to be in this situation. If I couldn't run anymore, I'd cry my little eyes out! I have a few friends who can no longer run (ACL tears, bad backs, bad knees, foot injuries, etc.), & I can truly understand their sadness over it. Thankfully, most of them were able to take up alternative sports (i.e., martial arts, walking, swimming, tai chi, etc.) that were fulfilling enough to them to make them happy! After all, they were still able to exercise & continue reaping the benefits of physical fitness.

So all in all, it just seems to be a way to realign yourself & your expectations, & still gain a positive outcome from the situation. As the saying goes, "Sometimes, when one door shuts, another opens." The trick is to find the possibilities in a situation, even when, at the time, it might not seem like many exist.

Although I don't want to face it now, I know there'll come a time -- hopefully not until I'm atleast 100! ;-) -- that I probably won't be able to run anymore. But until that time, I'm going to make the most of my running while I still can.

When I was 6 years old, I ran my first 5 mile race in 60 minutes. OK, so I was a kid. But I'm not a kid any more. Those 12-minute miles I ran tonight are just not good enough anymore. Now tonight I'm going to cut myself some slack because of my knees, & also because I'm not supposed to be focused on times right now. Plus, I just ran a bunch of 8.5-minute miles not too long ago, so I know it's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm just having an off night. It happens.

But I'll tell you this: After I work my way up to 10 miles or more, I'm going to start re-gearing my focus. I'll break out the Garmin GPS stopwatch I own, strap on a heart rate monitor, & start thinking about my splits.

I realize that if I'm going to make any major improvements in my times for any upcoming 8K races I plan to run in about 5 months time, that I've got to switch gears, focus on this quantifiable data, & slowly whittle down my times with mechanical precision.

I'm typically running anywhere between 3 and 6 miles on any given day, so I think it's very reasonable for me to build up to 10 miles over the next 5 months or so. After all, it's only been almost 4 months since I first started the CT5K program, & since then I've progressed from zero to 6 miles. So, I'd only be adding another 4 miles, which is a lot less additional mileage in a slightly longer period of time. But of course the trick is not only to be able to cover the mileage, but run it well!

I figure that running 10 miles every so often in conjunction with shorter, faster tempo runs (which are also interspersed with other types of runs & interval training), should help to increase my endurance & my times, & adequately prepare me for an 8K race. And of course, let's not forget the added benefits of the strength training that I'm supposed to be doing, but have (whoops!), once again neglected this (past) week. ;-) Well, to be entirely fair, I did do my leg lifts last week in several sets of 20 reps for each leg. But that was about it. (No free weights, pushups, or situps happened last week. Atleast not by my efforts!) Well, tomorrow is a new day, & there's always a future opportunity on the horizon to do some strength training.

Good night/good morning! Hope you're having a great week.

-C

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