Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hydration, or lack of.

Excited again by the warmer weather, I couldn't wait to get out. The honey oat bread and peanut butter worked well for me on Tuesday, so I slammed another serving down and bolted out the door. Uncharacteristically, my Magellan watch took a long time to find a signal. Since it was 41 degrees, I dressed as if it were 60, so I was cooling off rather quickly waiting for the gps to start. Runmeter was like a horse at the gate, ready and willing - when I felt the familiar vibration on my left wrist, I knew I was all set with both devices. About 40 yards in, though, I glanced at the watch and noticed it was still in 'lift' mode, and it would not be recording splits. I just stopped for about 50 seconds to reset the watch, and started off again.
I had no particular plan in mind when I started out. I knew that I wanted to work on my form again, especially my posture. I needed to lift my rib cage to facilitate increased lung capacity. I also forgot to put on a breathe-rite strip.

 Note to self: I've got to bring them downstairs and leave them with the other running stuff.

Even before 2 miles were run, I had the feeling that my heart was throwing irregular beats. At around the same time, I was coming up to the part of my route that was fast - level with a brand new road surface, and limited debris, especially after the previous rain and wind storm from yesterday. I decided to slowly speed up my pace, run just under max effort, and slow down again. I did that 3 times, I think. By the last time I was wiped, only really running about 20 seconds each time. It was taking me way too long to recover from each sprint. My mouth and the back of my throat was really dry. My heart kept skipping beats. Then, it dawned on me, that I must be dehydrated. I don't remember drinking that much water yesterday, or even taking a glass of water with me to bed last night. With only a cup of coffee as liquid this morning, it pretty much explains what the problem could have been.

I felt immediately better after my recovery drink, and I plan on taking a bottle or two of water with me during my home care outings today.

Looking at the data, Runmeter does a great job graph-wise showing when I picked up the pace and slowed down.

I'm hoping for good weather for the weekend, as I'd like to get at least a easy 10 miler in before the week is through.

Magellan Data

Runmeter Data

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

..On the road again..

For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking it was warmer outside than it actually was. I did not think of looking at the thermometer (is a digital readout still called a thermometer?) while I was drinking my coffee. I decided to try something different for my pre-run snack;  a slice of oat bread with a tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter. It's sure less expensive the P90X bars I've been eating. As I was feeding my maw, pulling out my gear and gadgets and lining them up on the counter, I glanced at the temperature. 30 degrees? Crap. But it looks so WARM outside! Arg. No chimes ringing? Good. I just about bounded upstairs to get dressed, because for a fleeting second I thought I should jump on the treadmill instead. Nope. I knew as soon as I got dressed, I was committed. (I LOVE that!) 
I dressed as if it were 50 degrees, and headed out. I turned on my watch first - battery low. WHAT? That's never happened before.  We'll see how far it gets me on 17%. (Turns out, 1.25 miles) Soo.. Runmeter became my primary data collector.

Well, it felt SO good to be out on the road again. How freeing. And the more I ran, the more I felt in tune with what my body was communicating to me. I found myself really paying attention this morning. I decided to slow down on the inclines to conserve energy instead of pushing through. I took advantage of the declines and sped up instead of letting gravity do the work. This all resulted in a pace faster than a regular run, but slower than my 5k race pace. 

I'm a happy runner this morning.

Runmeter Data

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Last minute race..

..on the south shore of Long Island, literally. Less than a half a mile from the ocean, but buffered by dune and buildings. I was glad to be there, especially to hear the announcer say "Long Beach is back!" - after hurricane Sandy's assault.  It was misty and windy, but around 40 degrees. I would say we had 10 mph gusts at times. We ran into the wind the first 2 miles, and I was delighted to get helped along a few times by gusts on the way back. I did walk for 30 seconds around mile 2.6 - but that gave me the rest I needed to keep my pace under 9:00 for the rest of the way.  I remained slightly uncomfortable after that, my heart rate really higher than it should have been, but it was the first time I was out on the road in 3+ weeks, and then racing, no less.

I finished under 40 minutes for my first 4 miler. I'm pretty happy. The crowd was great - it was interesting watching the 5-6 minute pacers pass us on the opposite side of the road at about 1.5 to 1.75 miles in. Boy. They were fast. And I smiled when I saw a woman in the mix. Awesome.

I came in 5th in my age group. It would have been nice to have placed, but I'm just glad I decided not to wimp out because of the weather. It really wasn't too bad.

My Magellan shut off during the start of the race, I guess I had it on too long before I hit the start button. Also, it defaulted back to the setting I had it on for just lifting weights, so it did not record my splits. At least the date and time is now correct. Runmeter seems like it did it's job well, but I was concerned during the run that the tall buildings would screw with the gps signal. And it looks like it paced me faster than the actual chip timing. That could have been the result of the signal, I suppose.

Another thing that made me happy was how fast I recovered from the run. It might have taken me a minute or two to feel completely comfortable with my heart rate after crossing the finish line - and getting out of the car after a 40 minute ride home was unremarkable. Granted, it wasn't a 13 mile run, but I felt energized and not stiff at all. As I sit here typing, I'm feeling almost a second wind.. serene and relaxed, my breathing feels deeper and effortless. Could this be a runners high after the race? I think this has happened to me before. I love the feeling. It only means I should perhaps push myself harder when I train, if I want to feel it more often.

Ok. I think it's a Chipotle and Target afternoon. In the rain.

49th/209 women
5th/18 age group
8:46 pace

Runmeter Data
Magellan Data

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My intentions were good..

On the treadmill at 6:30 this morning. My intent was to run for an hour, or about 6 miles. I was feeling really good the first 30 minutes, using profile '15' again, starting at 4.5 and bumping it up to 5.5 myself, and letting it do it's thing - taking me to 7.0. I intentionally turned down the temperature in the house, but I worked up a terrible sweat anyway, making me really, really uncomfortable. Then making matters worse, I was chaffing under my left arm - WTF is that all about?
 I started fussing with the controls, trying to keep my heart rate lower while my cadence increased. That wasn't working. There seems to be a direct correlation with cadence and heart rate. Makes sense to me now.

The heart rate monitor kept crapping out. Perhaps it's time to change the battery again. God knows I was sweating enough to make a good connection. And again, the date and time was off on my data because I failed to let the watch make a connection to a GPS signal to set it. I'm pretty sure it should work for the next time.

I was sweating, chaffed, running with a faulty gadget, and my heart just wasn't in it. All I kept thinking about was a shower. I stopped at 45 minutes, quite tired and discouraged that I WAS tired.

I'm thinking about going down to Long Beach on Saturday and signing up for the Snowflake 4 miler - but it will be the first time I'm out on the road in what, about 3 weeks now? I was supposed to have run a 5k the day of the snow storm 2/9/2013. They postponed it to a date I can't make because I'm working. I really wanted to get a race in during February. But, 40 degrees in the rain? And along the ocean?  Hmmm.. still thinking about it.

Magellan Data

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Catching up...

February 17th Treadmill Run
I get a few migraines a year. The cool thing about it, and the ONLY cool thing about it is that funky little visual aura I get about 20 minutes before the headache strikes. It starts out in the upper quadrant of my vision, either eye, and then makes it's way directly through the center of my vision, and slides on down to the opposite quadrant below. Then comes the headache. If I have access to some Advil, the sooner I take it on the first glimmer of light, the better off I am. 

An artist's rendition (the closest to mine I could find)

 On Sunday, I thought I saw that warning fractal shimmering about 22 minutes into my treadmill run. I was watching "You've got Mail". I closed my eyes for the BRIEFEST of seconds to darken my vision to see if, indeed, a migraine was coming on.. and BOOM. I rolled right off the treadmill. Yup. On my knees, caught between the 8 inch space between the door behind me and the end of the machine. Ouch. The good news,  I don't know what I saw, but it wasn't my funky little aura. The bad news, I banged myself up fairly well. I skinned both knees, and bruised the inside of my right shin/calf. I had the Treadmill CAM on, so I don't know if anyone was witness to it. If they were, no one has said anything. What a show.

Ouch. I'm too old for skinned knees..

I got right back to running, but after about 40 more minutes, I started feeling really sore. I was sweating in my contusions, (burn, baby burn) and my shin was really starting to hurt.   
The date is off on the data of this run, as I updated the firmware again and I forgot to check the time and date before I used it. But I got to about 6 miles out of the 10 or 12 that I had wanted to do. I managed to squeeze in a 45 minute upper body lifting workout that evening.
Magellan Data

February 19th Treadmill Run
This was my usual morning for running, and although I was still sore, I jumped back into the saddle, so to speak. I did an acceptable 4 miles, at an easy pace of 9:24. The room was very warm at around 70 degrees, and the 'mill fan and the standing fan were not cutting it for me. The treadmill was changing inclines and speed all on it's own. It's possessed, I tell ya. I didn't change the activity on the watch from when I was lifting weights and calculating calories burned, so the splits are weird.
Magellan Data

February 20th Treadmill Run
I was really itching to get outside today after work, but it was SOO cold and SOOO windy. I got back on the treadmill today after work, before dinner. I was tired and hungry, but I wanted to do SOMETHING to make up for the fact that I couldn't get outside. It didn't last very long. I set it to profile '15' for 45 minutes, and turned on the food network (bad idea when you're hungry). Since the treadmill has turned into a sentient being since I started using it, it started out at an incline of one, and a speed of 4.5. I went to 5, then it took me to 5.5, 6.0, 6.2, 6.8, 7.0 and 7.2. Whereas on the "You've Got Mail" run it was clocking 5 minute intervals and taking itself up to an incline of 2, this time, profile '15' was staying at incline 1, with 2:00 intervals. I don't get it. Except that perhaps changing the duration of the run has something to do with it.  Plus, I've since found out that I can only set it for 99 minutes. Pfft. Well, I quit after 2 miles. I had reset my watch incorrectly.  I wasn't seeing my heart rate, and I wasn't seeing my pace. I was hungry, and I guess I was looking for reasons to quit. And quit I did. But at least I got to run up to 7.2 for a bit, and it wasn't even a scheduled run day.
Magellan Data

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Treadmill and Negatives

This morning I really wasn't feeling a run. I slept poorly again, probably because of that single Corona Light I had when  got home from work. It was actually a celebratory drink. A patient I have been working with for a few weeks had his first breakthrough, and he actually attempted to walk about 10 feet with a rolling walker with two people helping him. The thrill of it for me is the look of joy on his face after he finally triumphs over defiance and apathy and fear - I'm so grateful I can make such a small difference in a person's life.

Anyway, that beer. Kept me from falling asleep, and woke me up too early. I was shot this morning. The only thing that got me to run was the idea that I still wanted to try negative splits. Again, once I was dressed and ready, I couldn't imagine doing anything else that morning. Vacuum? nah. Clean the bathroom?? Double nah.

The intervals on the treadmill are set to 2:00. So far, I haven't figured out how to change that. My attempt was to stay at a 1 to 2 incline to simulate more of a road, and then increase my speed depending on my heart rate. I wanted to increase my HR in a controlled manner. 
Every thing was going smoothly until I tried to get to 7..  I don't know what I did, but it jumped back down to 5.1, and there was no way, no matter what I tried, to get the console to respond to any buttons, except the button that said 'Power'. Major bummer.

Total suckage. But, as you can see, I was on my way, and I was enjoying it. If you're interested, you can check out the entire data profile to see how I did with my HR too. Overall, I'm happy.

The weather is warming up, but melting all the snow we had. There are lots of small streams and puddles on the roads around here. Combined with the narrowing of the roads by snow piles, I'm not ready to head out there yet.

I'm going to try and video my form on the treadmill next, maybe this weekend, to see if I still have that medial heel whip on the right.

Magellan Data

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hmm.. I thought so..

Q: Is treadmill running easier than running at the same speed outdoors?

Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Treadmill running may feel more taxing, but physiologically it's actually a bit easier than running outdoors.
In his book Treadmill Training for Runners, Rick Morris explains, "Running on the treadmill, you don't have to overcome the effects of wind resistance and you also have that assistance of a moving belt doing part of the work for you." 
To more closely simulate road running, set your treadmill's incline at one or two percent.

This I just found on the site, by Alissa Hardiman from Runners' World.

I would also suggest have a fan blowing on you.

A BIG fan.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Treadmill and Lifting

The treadmill run this morning was uneventful, except for the heat. The fan on the unit doesn't work well, and the fan that I brought up from the basement isn't cutting it either. I set the treadmill for 45 minutes, and only completed 30. It had gotten too warm in the workout room, and I was STARVING for some reason. I'll have to turn down the heat perhaps before I start running in the morning.

I ran without an incline. I got used to it - it wasn't so bad. I started at 5, and varied back and forth between 6 and 6.8 depending on how my heart rate was running. As I get more comfortable on the machine, I'll attempt to spend more time in the 7's.  Magellan said that I stayed pretty close to under a 9:00 pace for most of the run, which makes me ever so happy. However, when calculating my average pace for the run, it told me 9:28. There was a firmware update the day before, and I'm wondering if there is a new bug in the watch now. When I sent the numbers to DailyMile, it told me I ran a 9:40 average pace.  Weird. 

I also found time to do an upper body workout this evening. I can't wait to be sore tomorrow. I love that feeling.

Magellan Data

Saturday, February 9, 2013

On embracing estrogen..

I planned for a long treadmill run today, and it worked out just fine.
Today's feature presentation for said run was "French Kiss" with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. 

After owning it for many years and watching it countless times, it still makes me smile. 

I played around with 0 to 1 inclination, and 5 to 6.8 speed. I kept my heart rate mostly under 160, although toward the end it was up in the low 170s. My average heart rate according to Magellan was 154, with a pace calculated using the cadence pod - 9:49 min/mi. I'm pretty happy with that. I would like to complete 10 miles in an hour 30, so I can potentially run a half marathon in under 2 hrs. I think I'm getting there. I just hope that the treadmill isn't giving me false hope. I really need to run Bethpage again to make sure.

I'm hoping I can find and run my first half marathon in the fall. I'm signed up for a 10k in May, and I'll probably run Cow Harbor (a particularly challenging 10k) again this year. 

Just found the Diva's Half Marathon in October. Sounds like a plan. (But $75 dollars?) If the route is the same as last year, it's fairly nondescript, but it will do. And all those gabby women. Sheesh.  Wait. I should not be so judgmental. Perhaps I'll dress up this time and even accept the boa and glass of champagne that I declined last year at the finish line of the 5k. I can be such a wet blanket at times. I think this year I will embrace the estrogen laced festivities. God knows my estrogen levels dried up a few years back. Maybe I can increase my levels through osmosis or something. Hey, you never know.

Magellan Data

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sleep deprived Treadmill Run

Continuing on the treadmill this morning, I forgot that I was going to do negatives. I played around with the settings while I was running..(which I don't recommend) - found the '5k' program, and finished up with that.  It takes me a hella long time to run 3 miles on the 'mill. I feel like I'm dragging ass. My times are close to 35 minutes! What's up with that? I realize I'm going to have to keep it up and over 7.0 with a 1.0 incline to get closer to a < 9:00 training pace. I need to leave it on an incline to make up for the fact that the tread is speeding under me. If I leave it level, there is no resistance at all. I feel like the road runner with my legs spinning frenetically beneath me. 

I need to feel that I'm working! The pace on the treadmill is about 20 seconds per mile slower than what the Magellan is telling me based on my cadence. Which device do I believe?

Spending more time above 6.5 today made my Magellan numbers look a little better. Because of birthday festivities last night with my daughter, (I'm still in the 50-54 age bracket, if I can earn a couple more 1st in AG I'll be thrilled)  I only got 5 hrs of sleep last night. 

Consequently, I wasn't pleased with the fact that I was feeling beat within the first 10 minutes.

The impending storm has forced the postponement of my Bethpage Restoration Village 5k on Saturday. Now, it's a mad dash to try and get someone to work for me on March 30, the new date. I may need to find another February race.

That's all I can think to report right now. Now that my Saturday is free  I guess I'll try a long run on the treadmill and forget about the differences in pace between devices. But I'd feel so much better if I could run the road.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Treadmill Run

With another treadmill run under my belt, I'm beginning to feel more confident that I can start to increase my speed. I ventured into the 7.0 range today, while keeping my incline at 1.0. I found that if I did not add the incline, I tended to be all over the treadbed..and I kept whacking one hand or the other on the console. I remember that when I used to walk on it, I would almost fall off the back of it if I wasn't careful!

I set it to 45 minutes at program #6 which was just an interval run of some sort. I needed to keep increasing the speed, because it was bringing me back down to a 4.0, which was basically a fast walk. I think I really need to seriously sit down with the manual and take notes. 

My friend told me she's putting her treadmill out to the curb on Saturday, and if I wanted it to come get it. I checked the manual on that one again, and it indeed can be set for any timed interval at any speed and inclination (plus it does declines up to 3%). This is exactly what I'm looking for.. but the bed is so short! (55 inches).  I think I have to pick it up, if I can find someone with a truck and 2 more strong friends. *sigh* Doubtful. If I can get it, it will have to go upstairs in a spare room for now.

My next 5k is getting close, I'll have one more run on Thursday morning, probably on the treadmill again. I'll try and do some negatives, as that's going to be my M.O. for this next race.

I'll be wearing my Sherry bib in support of safety for all runners.
Never forget!

Magellan Data

Monday, February 4, 2013

On Potential and Participation..

I spend a lot of time with people who are frightened of moving.  Or who have given up the desire to help themselves.  This happens for a variety of reasons. It underpins the majority of my days when visiting patients in their homes.   

On an other note, today at the clinic, I was perched on top a plinth with one of my patients lying below me while I stretched his hamstrings. A co-worker walked by and mentioned something about running a race I had planned.  My patient looked up at me and asked, "Are you a runner?"

Surprisingly, in the first second of self evaluation,  I was about to deny the fact that I was a runner. That I was only training to be a runner. Or perhaps, well no, I'm really not a runner because I've only been running for less than a year. But in between that first and then second heartbeat, thoughts flooded back to me of my latest long runs, countless 3, 4, and 5 mile runs, and my newly acquired treadmill skills.  I resisted the self deprecating reply I had initially formed and rewarded myself. "Yes", I said. "I am a runner".  For me, at that moment, I was aware of what a powerful (and empowering) statement it was. I have said it before digitally, but it's another thing to answer outright and believe it when asked up close and personal.

I'm not just a runner because I run, but because I enjoy the process. 
I enjoy who I've become, how I feel during and after the run. How my thinking continues to become clearer despite the ravages of menopause. I run because it makes me better - in all contexts. I run because through it, I'm finding out more about who I am, what I'm capable of - what I can become. This is what I have learned because I run.

 We are all organic machines of flesh and blood designed to move.  We are born to move. To deny ourselves that fundamental process condemns us to apathy, vulnerability and disease. Movement is the bridge that unites our consciousness and physical body.  We are all so worth discovering our potential through this evolutionary gift. This is what running has also taught me.

So, coming back to my opening paragraph- oh, my home bound charges, if you could just see yourselves as I do - a body that has aged, yes - but has the potential to improve, regardless. Movement is healing to both body and mind. Your body needs to move, it is yearning for it.. please, resist sitting on the sidelines. 
Participate in your recovery!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Today's Treadmill Run

A much better run this morning. I set the treadmill to it's pre-programmed hill setting, and it took me through 40 minutes of inclines between 3-8 and speeds between 3.5-5.5. I was able to adjust things on the fly, but the only thing I changed in the last 2 minute interval was the speed, to 6.5. At that point I was parallel to the ground again, and I thought it was so much easier than the previous 43 minutes. Those inclines are killers. And I sweated. Yay.

I tried something new. I moved one of my surveillance cams to the exercise room. It's just kewl. And perhaps I might help motivate someone to get moving.

Treadmill LIVE

Treadmill Live
Because I can.

Not pretty, but amusing none the less.
Username: guest
Password: run

Apple users download this app
Address is http://
Use above username and password

Saturday, February 2, 2013

But I'm grateful for what I have..

I went for a 40 minute preset 'interval' run on the treadmill after work today. I was able to set the time myself, but the machine alternated between 4, 5, and 6 mph. Each interval was 2 minutes long. No incline. I certainly didn't feel like I was going very fast. My heart rate never went above 150, which is actually what I try to achieve on the road during my slow runs. I wonder why I'm able to achieve that steady state on the treadmill, and not the road?*

After reading the manual a bit, it seems that as a custom program, I can either run for time, distance, calorie burn or heart rate. I can not pre-set intervals or inclines or speed. I have to do that all on the fly while I'm running. Bummer.  
But, I'm grateful to have this machine for only the moving fee of $200.
I covet the NordicTrack 2150.

Maybe one day I shall own one.

I watched Star Trek while I ran. The time flew by.
I also covet Chris Pine..

but I shall never own him.

It's supposed to be very cold again tomorrow, and the winds are still supposed to be high.  Maybe I'll try the incline program next.

Magellan Data

*Following being distracted by thoughts of Chris Pine, I thought about it a little more. It's because the treadmill does not ALLOW me to run faster than the belt. So, on the road, I speed up, heart rate goes up, I get tired, I slow down. A little.  It stays elevated, because I still don't know how to slow down enough. I guess.