I really don't like to run on a treadmill. It is sooo boring. The only comfort is the discomfort.
Yeah, I mean that.
I am comforted by the fact that my discomfort/pain on the treadmill is making me better/faster. Which is more than I can say for the discomfort/pain that I felt about 8 hours after I ate at Taco Bell the last time.
When I am on the treadmill it is all about the workout. There's no scenery to look at. No change in terrain. No weather to worry about. It is just me and the stupid machine.
Oh, and the heart rate monitor.
My adversary is the treadmill. The HRM is the moderator/negotiator.
I go too slow and the HRM is there to tell me I can give more to the treadmill. I push it too hard the HRM tells me to ease up on the machine. I hate the machine and I want to get the damn workout over as fast as possible, thus I tend to want to go just slow enough to ward off heart failure.
This is a common theme with me and the treadmill. If I wrote about this last year I apologize--but I am going ahead with this post anyway. I have a hard time just going slow and easy on the treadmill. I get bored and then I start to play with the speed I am running, usually going up higher and higher until I start to get way too close to my max HR. Really, this is probably a great way to train less-effectively. Especially for a longer distance triathlon. I should be doing a lot of base miles at a lower effort. But, that just plain sucks. I am pretty sure that both DTP and Fish do the base mile thing much better than I do. But, then they are both probably more patient than I am, too. And they will likely do better than I if I continue workouts like this one.
Tonight I went to the gym with the goal to only run 2 to 3 miles. Afterall, Monday was my first run in months and I didn't want to do much more tonight than just reset my muscles and loosen stuff up. Just an easy mid-week run before I run a longer distance later this week.
I did the first 2 miles at a nice slow pace that bounced from 5.5 to 5.7 mph. My HR was in the upper 130's to low 140's. But that made me itchy. Once I hit 2 miles I ramped it up. I went to 6.5mph for about a 1/2 mile but my HR wasn't moving much so this mental conversation went down...
"6.5 mph and still at 145-146 beats per minute? Let's see what the engine can do."
Right index finger furiously hits the "up" arrow to ramp up the speed to 7.0 mph.
At about the 2.7 mile mark (.2 miles after I ramped it from 6.5 to 7.0) I felt good. A little discomfort, but there was more pedal left to push I could tell.
"Man, I am fitter than I thought...my thighs feel it a bit, but my HR has barely crested 150..."
"Should I do it?"
My right index finger even more furiously than before hits the "up" arrow on the treadmill speed to bring it all the way to 8.0 mph.
I realize that this is probably pretty stupid.
My second run in months and I am running at around a 7:45/mile pace.
I worry about my knees which initially tonight had some slight pain, but which has since gone away.
I worry about where my HR will top out at and if I am wiping away any of the good I did running for 2 miles at a nice and easy pace.
But I don't care enough to back off the throttle because my HR never got above 164 and I am feeling good about that.
At 3.6 miles I back off because I have run more than I wanted to--my common sense finally managed to catch up. Well, that and the fact that I had become bored again since the thrill was gone. I dipped to 6.5 until I hit 3.8 mile mark and then stretch and head home.
The fact is that the engine is in pretty good shape considering where I was last year. I think that the Voodoo singlespeed has done me a great service so far. Otherwise there is no way I could do what I did. My running muscles need some work. My knees aren't used to the pounding so I need to probably take it slower than I am. But, crap considering I don't feel like I am in good shape--I am in pretty good shape. Now if I could just lose another 15 pounds all would be well.
Oh, and if someone could do my swim in the 70.3 for me, that would be great too.
Infatuated with myself picture:
I found this pic of me posted on the net from the Villebois Cross Crusade Race back in early October. Back when I still was shaving my legs. Here is the link to the site. www.gallery.me.com/gretchenhayhurst
Packfodder watch: It has now been 15 days since Packfodder.org was killed.