Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter sets in: Treadmills: 34.2 Miles

All week long I had been looking forward to a nice mid-distance Friday run and a really long 34 mi run on Saturday- 20 of which I would have great company for. And Then I get the text from my dear friend who was planning to come visit on Saturday when I'd finished my crazy adventure; "Meg, I don't think I can make it with the snow/ sleet this weekend......" I was like... snow? Sleet? So i checked to forecast and NOoooooo! All of a sudden at 34 miles to coordinate into my weekend alone. Not to mention the temperature outside was NOT pleasant.

I actually got this text while I was biking ... after my 8 mile run, I was feeling good and right on my very planned out "day off from work" schedule......When I realized I'd better start ticking the miles off. So I jumped on the treadmill and grabbed 14 more miles finishing up with just enough to time to stretch briefly, stuff my face, shower and hit the road for some appointments and errands.

A common question:  How do you do you train on a treadmill?
  I utilize the change in speed and the change in elevation often, fooling myself into creating intervals of time that make it seem faster (I've also trained on a treadmill in the past exclusively for almost all of my 3yr stay in Northern NJ- and practice helps). If you know you're going to be on there more than hour I suggest chosing a show or movie you actually want to watch.... subtitles- where exhausting actually create a better distraction. Music helps as long as it changes pace enough to keep you feeling like "Hey, I like this song, I can handle 3more minutes and 27 seconds....".

 Also, in my opinion... change sneakers every 10-14 miles.... on a treadmill there's NO variation so you're pounding the same bones in your feet and fatiguing the sam muscles OVER and OVER and so on.

Ppl  might think this one is nutz, i guess it depends on your comfort level on the treadmill, but play with your gait once in a while a few wide steps, and few high knees... maybe pretend you're running around a shallow bend in the road and stay to the more-right side and then the more-left side of the belt (like i said it sounds crazy) but you'll feel the difference in your legs. Take the time to shake your arms out, the positioning of your arms on a treadmill is somewhat restricted by space/ your minds perception of space... be sure you're not running with your back muscles and shoulders tights, let your arms be loose, shoulders in the sockets and relaxed. Keep your lower belly lightly contracted (in & up) to protect your spine from the consistent pounding and finally, since it can't be said enough- practice, get to know your body. Notice your breathing, utilize your lung capacity to oxygenate your cells and breath of waste, not to mention, find relaxation in your efforts.

So my day went on and I made it home with 15 min until a friend came by, so i figured why not grab one more mile... so i did that... now at 21mi complete and the likelihood the I'd meet up with my running buddy- the only one possibly insane enough to try to weather the storm was slim. Once social time was over I downed a little mountain dew and went to rock out the last 13.2 miles of my run.

During treadmill training runs (aka- I'm a wimp, and I don't run in under 28 degrees (unless I have company and a lot of "Hot hands".)  I often try to avoid thinking how long I've been on there and how many people are thinking "What is wrong with her.... how long has she been on there" I often hope they just don't notice I exist.... but the gym in my apartment building really isn't big enough to not notice.

Anyway being indoors this run was less exciting than most, around 32 miles I was done... I was bored and hungry and didn't want to go on. So you start ticking off every 0.1 with a lot of pride, reminding yourself that this just an important step... in the process of learning how to run ultra-distances.  Anyway I made it, and felt good- great actually, only mild pain in my Left ankle...which means despite my efforts the muscles in my Left leg are still not aligned/ coordinated and my gait remains off by a cm or maybe millimeters... hard to tell, frustrating, but this was the least pain I'd been in- SO I'm happy with that.

Coming up:
SF: Golden Gate Trail 50k on Feb 11th!!!

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