living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: treadmill

A new approach to October

October wasn't about the finish ... it was about getting back on track. For the past few years, October has been about winding down. It's been more about ending something rather than starting something.

This year, though, it's been all about a change of pace, quite literally. With this being the first full month of being a father of two, all I was really striving for was making sure I ran 3 or 4 times a week for 30-40 minutes. If I had it in me, go for 10 miles or so on the weekends.

It turns out this extremely loose plan with no major goals was exactly what I needed to make this October completely different than previous years. And the more removed I am from the Runner's World Festival weekend, the more I realize how important those few days really were to me.

A few things about this month:

  • I ran 78 miles, the fourth month in a row of increased mileage since a really low mileage month in June.
  • My combined running and biking mileage was more than 100 miles for the third straight month.
  • My streak of running 1,000 miles in a calendar year will end, but in November I'll still cross a combined 1,000 exercise miles for the year. I'll take it.
  • I lost 3 pounds of my "baby weight." September and early October were a bit rough with everything that involved eating. I got things under better control in the past few weeks and feel much better because of that. I'm back to 30 overall pounds lost since early 2004 and I feel a stronger desire than usual to get to my original 40 lost before the end of the year. I can't obsess about it, but I can certainly stay on this path.
  • After writing about setting a goal of a PR in the 10-miler, I realized I need to actually run at and below that goal pace. A renewed effort with speed work started this week by including 2 miles on the treadmill at 15:21. That, too, is a path to stay on with more and longer speed work.

Now it's on to November. No major goals other than to build on October.

Let's go ...

I ran on a treadmill and the world didn't end.

I hate getting emails with a sentence as a subject line and nothing in the body of the email. It would be like writing a headline with no blog entry. That's kind of how I feel about this blog title. I don't need to provide context, but then I'd hate myself later on.

So a few things about running on a treadmilll ...

* My outdoor-only running streak has ended at around 4 years.

* I joined a cheap gym.

* I joined that gym because I've been very tired in the early mornings with my baby working his way toward a schedule and with the sun setting earlier this time of year my neighbor hood is crazy dark at night.

* I actually liked it. Sure it was only 10 minutes, but I was quickly reminded at how I can do a variety of speedwork on the treadmill that I may not normally try on the road.

I have several other reasons for doing all this, but what's important is I survived and don't feel any worse for having run on a treadmill. And the world didn't end and hell didn't freeze over. At least not yet.

Details, please

One of the unexpected things to come out of doing the 100 push-ups program is how much more it is making me pay attention to my other workouts. I've admittedly been frustrated with myself for getting into a dull routine of things this summer, but now that I've put the Rock 'n' Roll Half behind me and moved on to something new, I feel more focused. Perhaps it's a quality vs. quantity thing ... or maybe it's a quality AND quantity thing. Whatever it is, each workout feels like it has a meaning to it and I feel like making each workout different from the previous one. And I feel like writing more about each workout too. I feel like I'm holding myself more accountable when I do this. So that leads me to last night. I wouldn't exactly call it a speed workout, but in a roundabout way it was. I headed over to the gym, hopped on the treadmill and started off at a leisurely 10-minute mile pace - 6 mph. My goal for the workout was simple - run 2 miles and increase my speed by 0.1 mph each tenth of a mile. That meant slowly increasing my speed to 8 mph, a 7:30-minute mile pace. While this was a relatively short run, this was a high quality run. My main goal was to push myself and run faster, but do it in a comfortable way. A treadmill allows me to do such a thing, even if I really don't like it. It was a good transition run to get used to the treadmill again and it was nice to have that steady increase.

As far as the quantity side of things went last night, I then got off the treadmill after a cool down of about a quarter mile and then got on the bike for an easy 5 mile ride.

***

Tonight my focus once again turned to the 100 push-ups challenge. I did sets of 14, 19, 14, 14 and a max of 20, and sweated like I ran 5 miles. All in all it went pretty well. It is amazing to me to think that not even a month ago I could only do 15 push-ups -- 15 that weren't even that good -- and tonight I did 81 total. I'm not one to pat myself on the back, but I love this program. I've also managed to get a few virtual friends on Twitter to do this too -- I'll have a blog entry on that soon. So ... what's your excuse to not do it? :)