Thursday, March 31, 2011

PB&B and the bus

Riding the bus into school today with my peanut butter and banana sandwich tucked safely away in my backpack, next to an orange and a graphing calculator, brings back childhood memories. The only difference now is the stakes are higher, the stresses greater and a lot less singalongs. No "Wheels on the Bus" for this trip. Instead I witness a heated debate about the direction of the state's diminishing social support system. A woman talks loudly about the government taking away welfare and how it effects "the black woman" but I can't see who she's talking to. There's nobody with a counter argument. A man with a fat faced baby in a snowsuit pipes in that it effects white people too. I tune out.
Too many things to think about. There is so much on my plate in the next few days. I'm behind on my studies with 2 exams next week, a paper due today (not finished), and another 16 hours of work before the week is out. Somehow, if I can find the time, I've gotta fit in 11 miles by Saturday and another 12 on Sunday.
I'm taking a break from the bike today considering I was on it the last couple days. My body's holding up to the challenges I set so far this week (fingers crossed). Hill repeats didn't take as much out of me as I had expected. Everybody seems to hate them so I just assumed. I lost a toenail but my mom says this is pretty normal for marathon training. I ran 5 miles on the treadmill before 9:00 yesterday at an easy clip. Still holding out for my 12 miler on Sunday. I'm pretty excited about it.
I will be able to let my legs rest a little today because I can't get a run in until 4:00. Only 4 miles, I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Over this hill

My hill repeats went fairly smoothly today. I found myself cramping after the first lap so I had to stop and stretch. I think my pre-run stretching routine needs a little work. The last few times I've run outside, I've had to stop to stretch again after the first mile or two. I timed my laps today since I had some sort of reference point. It was an average 10min/mile pace and my laps got quicker as I got the hang of it. This hill will be perfect for the majority of my hill repeats over the next few weeks. Unless I get bored, of course.
Why is it that once I get close to or past the halfway mark in my workout, everything just seems to get easier? I start to open up my stride and pick up the pace. It seems more like liberation than torture. This is when I love running. My legs/joints will be a little sore and I'll feel like I want to stop, but with every step I take, my confidence grows. I find myself at the end of a run sweaty, sore, fatigued and wanting more (just a little).
I'm pretty sore, but it's only muscle aches (no knee pain!), so I'll just have to stretch more before tomorrow's early morning run. I found a dynamic stretching routine on the Runner's World website and I can't wait to try it out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A closed mouth gathers no feet...

Saw that quote earlier today and I had to laugh. So true, pretend fortune cookie fortune, so true.

I have been up since very early this morning so I'm in a silly mood. I love my sleep, but I also love early mornings. I love the pinkish hue the clouds take on, the way the air smells fresh and new, and the feeling that I'm not missing anything. I always feel as if I've missed out on something when I sleep in. If I could live on 4 hours of sleep a night, I absolutely would. Then I wouldn't miss anything and I might actually have the time to do all the things on my agenda (theoretically). Probably never going to happen. I need my rest. Despite all the books and articles I've read on health in the 25 years I've been reading, I have yet to find one that says less than 8 hours of sleep is good for you. Oh well.

I got up early enough for breakfast and a bus ride to campus. I left my bike overnight because my boyfriend was kind enough to offer to give me a ride to work. I'm working on accepting help when it's offered. I got here at 7:15 with every intention of hitting the gym before class today (one of the only reasons I come here early). When I got here I realized that I had planned on doing hill repeats outside today. I won't have time for that till early evening. I have class until 3:30 today. No harm done. I'm getting down to business on my homework before class. I'm feeling pretty good about how this has worked out. 

Yesterday's rest day wasn't restful enough for my muscles to relax. I'm still a little sore from Sunday's run. Yesterday's mile on the treadmill probably didn't help much. I couldn't help it. Even though it was a rest day I just had to run, for a little bit. I'm wondering how I'll handle the 5-6 mles of hill workout later. It's about 1.25 miles to the base of my hill, and I've got 4.2 miles of repeats. Hopefully it warms up well enough. It's not supposed to rain today and the neighborhood is beautiful. I'm sure I'll be good as new after a little stretching. Besides, I can't complain now, I'll be doubly sore tomorrow morning!

 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday!

It's sunny again today. Yeah! Perfect for a bike ride in to class, which is where I'm headed in a few minutes. It's still 28 degrees but it's supposed to be almost 40 today so I'm pretending that time is now.
Today is my rest day, like every Monday. Good thing too, because I've got another exam tomorrow to study for  and a paper to finish up on. I'll still get a little sweat on while riding the bike.
Yesterday's long run was really hard at first, looking towards the end of a really long run was daunting. I stopped and walked a few times to rub out some cramps. I overdressed a little too. About 4 miles in, I stopped and left half my warm clothes with someone so I didn't have to worry about losing anything. Little did I know I had already dropped the gloves I had brought with me. Meh, winter's almost over. After that short break, it was on.
I started running and didn't stop for more than a couple of steps the whole rest of the way. Then I really started to enjoy myself. When it came time to turn around, I decided not to. I kept going and made the extra loop past the UW hospital and back around. I ended up running 10.4 miles yesterday! I totally surprised myself. Yesterday morning I was dreading the run because a part of me was afraid I couldn't make it the 9 miles required for my workout, because I hadn't ever done it before. Now I feel like this week's 12 miles will be a piece of cake. It's only 2 miles further than yesterday.

On the schedule this week:
Tuesday, 5 mile hill repeats
Wednesday, Yoga,  5 miles, easy pace
Thursday, 4 miles, pace run. Goal, 10:00min/mile + warm-up and cool down
Friday, 4 miles, outdoors?
Saturday, 3 miles easy
Sunday, 12 miles!  I may switch my Saturday and Sunday runs this week because it's supposed to rain again this Sunday. We'll see. I don't run too fast and I don't want to be running in the rain for 2 hours.
If I reach my quota, I'll be running 33+ miles this week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunny Sunday

Looking outside this morning, I was almost fooled by the sunny weather. It looks so nice. Wisconsin weather can be deceiving, it's really below freezing and breezy. I guess I can't complain too much about the weather. It's not raining like last week. If I can't have warm weather I'd rather have sun. The cold still makes me lie in dread of my run to come, but I know I can handle it. I still wonder, even though I've been living in this state for ten years and know for a fact that it doesn't bother me too much. I'm sure I won't even notice the cold after the first 2 miles.
Other than the slight fear of the cold, I'm pretty excited about my run. Today's nine miles will be the furthest I've ever run in my entire life. I think that may be adding to my hesitation a little as well. Part of me wonders if I'm even capable of running that far. Taking a couple of walking breaks may be an option, but I'm prepared for that possibility and I'll try my best not to overexert my self to the point of having to walk.
I can do this. I am prepared. I spent the whole week indoors and it will be fantastic to find myself back on the road again.
I don't have a fancy GPS and I still can't find my pedometer so I'm back to planning my run on GoogleMaps. Half the fun of running outside these days is plotting my path. I get pretty excited to run down new streets and into new areas. I am becoming aware that as my runs get longer, There will be much more of the city to see. The view from the road as a runner is an interesting perspective which I never thought about before I was a runner. There is so much more to take in. Running through the neighborhoods of my city gives me an incredible sense of belonging. It feels as if I have become intimately acquainted with my surroundings, more connected in a way. I have seen parts of this city from a perspective not many people share. Riding around in a car allows you to miss those little things like the smell of spring quickly approaching or the sound of the wind through the trees. If you are interested in seeing my course, it's a public map and just an addition to the one I shared last week. You're welcome to check it out. If you happen to see me running down Gorham in about an hour. Give a shout!

Other than running lately, I am getting used to this whole blogging thing. I'm new to the game, so my blog may not be one of the most polished but I am aware that I now have a few followers. Thank you. In addition to writing about running, I have also been reading about it more. I was surprised to find so many amazing women  sharing their experiences online as well. I have been enjoying everyone else's blogs as much, if not more than writing my own. I have a lot of respect for those women out there that can work, run a household, be there for her children, and still find time to train for a marathon. You rock!
My mom has run marathons since as far back as I can remember. The jogging stroller and weekend races were just a part of what made my family unique. The crowds and the early mornings were a norm. I grew up in this lifestyle but only now am I beginning to fully embrace it as way of life.
I am looking forward to reading more about other's experiences in training and gleaning as much inspiration as I possibly can.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easy

Getting used to riding a bike in this weather is definitely a challenge. It was pretty cold and wet this morning on the way in today. I'm just glad my commute is only 2.5 miles, easy.
On the treadmill again today warming up for 5 miles. I'm shooting for a 10 minute mile. Nice and easy.

It's on...

I skipped out on riding my bike to campus today. It was near freezing and raining steadily with no signs of slowing. I took my dog out just before I planned on leaving home on my bike. By the time I was out the door I had decided to ask for a ride.
I was feeling prepared  as I walked into class a few minutes before the first exam. I've studied for this, it'll be easy.
Suddenly... test anxiety hits, and you find yourself staring at the same question that you were staring at twenty minutes ago. I left the classroom feeling defeated. I had never wanted to run more. Had my workout been any later I would only be allowing myself more opportunity for rumination. The gym is just down the hall from class, so I was on the treadmill in no time. After 13 minutes walking to warm up, I did a few easy intervals. It felt really good to run. My knee didn't hurt at all and it was liberating to just let myself sprint, sweat, lose my breath and repeat. There were a couple lingering thoughts but soon the stress melted away and I started to enjoy the ride.

4 miles on the schedule today, I traveled 4.6 (including warm-up). No biking but I'll make up for that tenfold before the week is through.
Tomorrow is 5 miles. Treadmill again probably, it's supposed to snow.

This was my kick in the butt today, perfect...
Feel the flow of your dance and know you are not running for some future reward—the reward is now!
Fred Rohe, The Zen of Running

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A little sore

Having a bit of trouble getting moving this morning. Started out with a little yoga. My muscles are still a little stiff from the 15 miles on my bike yesterday.
Rode home from work in the dark last night; that was interesting. It's a little scary sharing a space with speeding cars when it's difficult for them to see you.
Today's workout consists of 4 miles of hill repeats. I'm new to this whole marathon training thing so I guess that means I'm supposed to run up and down a hill several times until I reach my mile goal? I'm still not quite sure about that. It's a good thing most of my runs include hills anyways. Madison is built in such a way that you can't go too far without encountering at least one small hill.
I'm opting out of the hill workout to today to spend some time on the treadmill. It has been so long I think I might miss it. Maybe.
I'm definitely not going to miss the rain. It's about 35 outside and raining. That's not good. An indoor workout is just what I need.
With the exam I have today and the other school activities, it's better I stayed on campus anyways.
I'm going to shoot for 4 miles at a steady 9.5 pace. I never said I was fast. 9.5 is a reasonable goal for me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

rest day?

Today is my rest day. Yesterday's run in the rain surprisingly took little out of me. I must have stretched five times last night before bed and once before I left for class this morning (just to make sure). I'm not crampy or over tired. On the whole, Monday has been a pretty good day so far. It wasn't very cold this morning and the sun came out before class was over.
On the agenda today:
#1 Rest. If there's one thing that I'm good at, that would be it. I am an excellent napper. I rarely have trouble falling asleep, getting up is a different story. Waking up at 0600 this morning proved to be a challenge. I ended up hitting the snooze until 6:30 and wasn't fully awake until 7:30. I think I may have been dreading the ride in today. It's only 2.5 miles from my house to Madison College but it was cloudy and I was reluctant to go out in the cold
#2 Class. The first day back from spring break is the hardest. One week is hardly a break. It is more like a teaser. You blink and it's over, you don't get near as much done as you hoped and you can't allow yourself much relaxation because you know you'll be back in a week. I have an exam tomorrow, a paper due, and another exam on Thursday. Hello again, college classes, I've missed your late-night study sessions, endless paperwork to keep organized and STRESS. not. No really, I love it. I just wish (like many others I'm sure) I was allotted more time in the day to get everything done.
#3 Xtrain. I was going to swim today but I didn't get to the gym early enough this morning. I'm sure I'll get some quality cross training on my bicycle these next few months. I lost my car to a drunk driver last summer. A friend of mine let me borrow his car through the winter. It totally saved me from the elements more than once. It has been getting warmer here in southern Wisconsin.  Here, anything above (or hovering around) freezing after a winter of sub-zero temps feels like summertime. Hey, the days are getting longer. That's good enough for me. First time back on my bike was last Friday. I've been on my bike 6 out of the last 10 days. It's been amazing! When the call came in asking for the return of the borrowed wheels, I didn't hesitate. I gave it back yesterday. My car today is a 70's steel frame Gitane road bike with whitewall tires. I think I owe my lack of knee pain lately to my bike.
#4 Work. The ride here would have been a lot shorter had I not pulled a move so typical of me this morning. I forgot an essential piece of my wardrobe at home so after class I headed off in the opposite direction of work just to turn around and come back ten minutes later. It was sunny so the ride was great. Apart from the .2 mile stretch down the side of a busy highway, my first bicycle ride to work this year was smooth and uneventful.
All in all, my day has been pretty full. Rest-ful? I'm still not sure. I definitely don't feel overworked. I think that's good enough.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Running in the rain

It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I was definitely soaked through by the end of it. Although there was the possibility of skipping the run today because it was raining, or it was cold, or simply because I didn't feel like it, I sucked it up and ran anyways.
It stopped raining right before I began my run so I thought I may just escape the bad weather. By the middle of mile 2 I knew I wasn't so lucky. It only sprinkled at first then turned into a steady downpour before I reached mile 3. This lasted for the duration of my run. By the time I reached my destination my gloves were so wet that I didn't see the point of them anymore and I took them off. My fingers were frozen, still clutching my soggy, useless gloves. It rained just enough to make little rivers, flowing swiftly down the street in all directions, and giant puddles that could not be avoided. My shoes would inevitably be inundated with muddy rainwater at some point so I ran straight through them. I experienced a measure of childlike joy in sprinting through the puddles as fast as I could go. Like when you're small and your mom tells you to stay inside because you might catch cold, but you run out into the rain anyways, feeling defiant and ultimately free for the first time. It was totally worth the cold that set in the next day no matter how many I told you so's you had to endure.
Can't be sunny every day.
I think the rain, despite the minimal discomfort, helped keep me going. I knew if I stopped I would only get wetter because I would be out in it longer. Calling someone to come pick me up was not an option (although that thought did cross my mind). I don't claim to be a die hard, rain or shine runner, but I sure felt like one today. As with any of my long runs so far, there was a constant clamor of self-talk going on in my head. I can do this. No, I can't, I 'm cold. Why am I running in a downpour? Because I'm awesome. Yeah, awesome. My knee hurts. Don't think about your knee. Walk it off you'll do great. The faster I run the quicker I can have a hot shower. Of all the things that went through my head today, the thought I took away from this experience was at the end of the run, when I hadn't given up. I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment in sticking with it till the end and for actually going the distance, in a thunderstorm no less.
My knee wasn't cooperative the whole time but every time I started experiencing pain I stopped, stretched and rubbed out my crampy muscles. I would walk it off for a few steps, then continue with my run. Overall (considering), I felt pretty good today. The work I've been doing on the bike has helped keep my endurance on track and I was rarely out of breath. Good thing this helps because, as of the beginning of my run today, I am car-less. My only vehicle is one of the two bikes parked in the garage, or these two feet of mine. School is only 2.5 miles from my house and work is just a little further. It'll be nice out in no time at all so it will only be a noticeable change in overall travel time (and the size of my laundry piles).

This has not only been the longest run so far, it was also the most challenging. And therefore the most rewarding experience of my training yet. 

Rain...

I know I should like it because it's the rain that brings all the lovely growing things that I like so much. Flowers, farmers' markets and all the leaves on the trees that shade my summertime runs.
It's just under 40 degrees out right now but it seems colder because it's so dark. It's not like a monsoon rain where I might fear being swallowed up or washed away but it is just enough for me to think twice before going out for a run in this. I know people do it but I'm just not sure how. My dog doesn't even want to go outside today.

I've got 7 miles planned today and like I've said before, I am determined to run the whole distance. I've even got my course all mapped out. I'm a big fan of Google Maps. I have the app for my iPhone and it has come in handy so many times. I don't even need a GPS. I have been mapping my runs so I know how far I'm running when I run outside. It gives me a chance to see more of the city and keeps me on top of my mileage. Yes, I do have a pedometer somewhere, if I could find it. I just think it's more fun to map it out.

Here is a link to my maps in the Madison area the last couple days: weeks 5 and 6 - Google Maps
I will be adding more to this before week 6 is over. Next Sunday is 9 miles, my longest run so far, and you better believe I won't be spending that time on a treadmill.

Friday, March 18, 2011

No more Spring Breaks.

Today marks the last day of spring break. No more sleeping in till 10 am. I'm also nearing the end of week five of my marathon training. Just thirteen short weeks to go until race day!!

This last week has been a tough one for me. Since school is out, and I can't justify buying a gym membership just for one week of use, I haven't had access to a treadmill this week. This is bothersome since the impact of the roads is too tough for my sore knees and the trails are still either covered in ice and snow, or immersed in puddles of muddy water. I tried running down a trail near my house today and it had the anti-traction trifecta, mud, ice and snowy slush. Although the weather has been fantastic, I have not been able to accomplish the daily mileage on my training schedule this week. My knee was giving me trouble so I decided to give my legs a little rest from the impact. I was worried that one step out of my training routine would just mess it all up but I can't afford an injury right now either. I took out my bike for the first time in 2011 a week ago and boy was that just what I needed. It's still a workout but avoids putting any undue stress on my joints.

I have been going more for time than distance on my rides, paying attention to how my body feels. Most days this week have been sunny and nowhere near freezing, ideal weather for the bike. I almost forgot how awesome it feels to ride my bike around Madison. You get to see so much more of the city on a bicycle and usually you're going slowly enough to take it all in. My goal was to stay limber and maybe try a run later in the week. My first run was yesterday, 3.6 miles down Wisconsin backroads.

I went to visit a friend of mine for her birthday in the Lone Rock area yesterday. Her house is out in the middle of nowhere in a hilly area deep in farm country. Perfect place for a mid-afternoon run down a deserted country road. The sun came out just in time to shine on me during my first outdoor run in over a week. I ran 3.7 miles in about forty minutes (I'll not claim to be a fast runner). It felt pretty good, my joints were a little stiff at first but the knee gave me no problems! All the treadmill, elliptical and bicycle work this week has paid off.

I've got 7 miles planned on Sunday and I really want to be able to run the full distance so tomorrow's five mile run will become a ten mile bike ride. Wish me luck...

 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 shamrock shuffle





Everybody sported the full st. Patty's day getup, right down to the green shorts and shamrock socks. 

Sam and I after the race.
Nick was the man and kicked both our butts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roadblocks

I'm posting from the elliptical trainer this morning. My days have been quite full so far this week. I added another 8 hrs of class time to my schedule. However busy I am, I have still been able to find time to train. Much to the dismay of my knee.
I took it easy on Saturday so I could save up strength for the six mile run I had planned for Sunday. Sunday was a beautiful, partly sunny day. I had to work in the morning so I didn't get on the road till mid afternoon. It was cold but really good to be outside. I look forward to the days when I can be outside most of the time. You can't even imagine how badly I'm pining for a good bike ride. My knee started bothering me around mile three and by the middle of mile five I had started walking. This was about the time when my run started going down hill, literally. It's always the downhills that bother me. Down hills, down stairs, etc. Sometimes I chose to walk up the stairs, then take the elevator down just to care for my joints. It makes me feel a little old to be saying this.
Needless to say, a round of ice, and a hot bath was in my future.
My mom, and personal marathon guru, told me it will be necessary for ice to become my best friend throughout my training. I take any advice from her very seriously because not only has she been running since high school and runs from 5-100 miles on any given day; she has also been doing physical therapy, sports medicine for over twenty years. On Monday, I invested in some Dixie cups to freeze large cubes of ice for ice massages. Mom says direct ice is best. For anyone who has never had an ice massage, it hurts. It was hard to inflict pain upon myself like that but it is a necessary evil if I want to prevent future pain and injury.
Monday was my off day so I rested and recovered with an easy ride on the stationary bike followed by 45 minutes of lap swimming. I used to swim quite a bit when I was younger, but now I'm hardly ever in the pool. I did six sets of 200m free with 200m kicking in the middle. At the end of the day, I was noticing a big difference in the overall fatigue I was experiencing last week. I took this as a good sign of progress. Yesss!!
Yesterday was a different story. I had planned a 3 mile run outside between classes down the Starkweather Creek bike path leading away from MATC. It was somewhere around 40 out with no precipitation. Seemed almost perfect. Then I started to run...
My legs did not want to cooperate yesterday at all. By mile 2 I was experiencing shooting pains in my left knee. Every time I started to run it was like my knee was saying, " no, no, No, NO, NO! NOOOO!!!" My discomfort seemed to increase with every stride. I ended up walking the last mile and a half. When I came back to campus, someone from the athletic department gave my a delightful bag of ice. In addition to the knee, my ankles and lower calves were giving me trouble. It was then I committed to a low- impact workout today. Yesterday, I invested in a dish tub, just big enough to rest my feet in, and half bag of ice so I could soak my feet. Oh boy, was that horrible! My feet hurt more in the ice than they did before! I wussed out in under a minute. I couldn't hack it. I ended up just cooling my heels, literally. I rested my toes on the lip of the tub while my heels sank gradually deeper into the icy water. It still hurt, but it was a lot easier to take when one half my foot was still warm. One of these days, I'll be able to handle it. Hopefully.
My easy 40 minutes on the elliptical today wasn't too bad. The knee is still sore, but I feel a measurable amount of confidence in my ability to stick with my workout despite the necessary modifications.
Tomorrow I may have to stick with the low-impact, but I won't be skipping my workout.

Friday, March 4, 2011

1% Inspiration....

Instead of focusing on all the things I can't control, I am enjoying the moments in front of me.The marathon is going to be an amazing journey and I get the chance to write the ending

Shalane Flanagan, 2nd woman finisher at the 2010 New York City Marathon

Minor Concessions

Today's run was the toughest of my training so far. My legs were sore even after stretching today. I tried to run but couldn't keep it going for any prolonged period of time because my right calf kept cramping. I must admit that I walked for most of my four mile run. I have run through the pain before but today just wasn't the day.

I felt a little like a quitter until I saw this month's issue of runner's world. A happy reminder came in the mail today that it is normal to feel muscle pain and fatigue in the early stages of training if you are really pushing yourself. The article advised slowing down and assessing the situation. If you are experiencing pain, walking or stretching might help.

Rain

Yep, I'm definitely running in the gym today. It looks yucky outside. everything is gloomy and wet. One more day on the treadmill shouldn't kill me.

Thursday

Ran on the treadmill again today. I did four miles today to make up for the mile I lost yesterday. I felt pretty good at the beginning, but sore. My right calf and left upper quad were a little tight even after stretching. Not bad enough to stop me from running my required distance non-stop. I took it easy on speed today by only running a 10 min/mile pace. It took me a little longer but hopefully I'll be able to do the same distance tomorrow. With an extra long warm-up and cool-down, I traveled 5.1 miles in total.
It was a little easier to stay on the treadmill today. The people next to me were not bothersome and my boredom was abated by my netflix app for my iPhone. It's a teeny little screen but I got to watch something other than the lame TV shows that are usually broadcast midday. I must say, it does make a difference to have something to look at while running in place for 40 minutes.
About two hours after my run, I started to experience stabbing pains in my left knee. I was just walking back into school to attend my afternoon class and it hit all of a sudden. Then it went away. When I got to class and sat down it started to hurt again so I flexed my knee a few times and rubbed it a little. I planned on icing it when I got home but I had some reading to do, but shortly after I sat down to read, I was asleep. I'm icing it now and hopefully that will be enough to keep me going through the weekend. I've got only 3 miles on Saturday, so that should be a good enough rest.
I'm planning a run outside tomorrow because it's supposed to warm up a little. Hopefully I'll be able to stick it out, It's so much more of an adventure outside. The impact is much worse on roads so there is a chance I might just give up and hit the elliptical. There's no shame in that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday

Today's four mile run turned into three, partially because I forgot and partially because of time restraints. I didn't bring my goals to the gym with me so I wasn't sure. I'll just have to add a mile tomorrow.
I opted for the treadmill over road running for both today and yesterdays runs. The gym is so close to my classes that it's more convenient to fit my workout before or in between class duties. Plus, it was cold out and the gym was available. Yesterday's run felt great despite the apparent knee pain I experienced while walking from my car to the gym. After a 10 minute walking warm-up and minimal stretching (shame on me) I ran two miles in roughly 18 minutes while fluctuating between an 8 and ten minute mile. With warm-up and cool-down, my total distance was 2.9 miles. Not bad.
Today's run was a little harder. My iPod was low on batteries so I had no music. I plugged in to the treadmill's TV but the picture kept freezing so I gave up on that soon, and the guy next to me was S-T-I-N-K-Y! It wasn't just sweaty stinky either. It was the world's worst cologne plus sweat, Eeeewww, Gross. I had eaten just over half a bagel about 40 minutes before my workout so as soon as I hit mile two, I felt like I was going to puke. Despite these setbacks, I was able to keep up a consistent 9min/mile pace for all 3 miles. All in all, I think I did pretty well. I did have to do a considerable amount of self talk during that last mile. I was repeating phrases such as, "You're a big girl, You're not a quitter, I'm a little powerhouse and this is something I can do, and I'm more than capable of owning this run!" over and over in my head. At the very end, I broke into a sprint for the last .2 miles. I was proud. Showered and made it to class one minute early. YESS!! Go me!

I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. On one hand, the treadmill can be quite useful. The time and the distance read out right on the screen and it's very easy to keep a regular pace on a treadmill because you can just set it and go. Plus, it's always cool to know how many calories you burned an any given distance/intensity. On the other hand, the treadmill can be very boring, you have to deal with stinky people on the machine next to you and (I don't know if anyone else has this problem) it is so much easier to quit early. I find that since I'm not really traveling anywhere I don't have a destination. So if I stop, no matter where I'm at in my workout, I'll still be in the same place as where I started. Now if I plan a five mile out-and-back and I feel like quitting halfway through, I still have 2.5 miles to go before I can make it back home. Makes it a lot less easy to puss out and give up before it's over.
Maybe it'll get easier. I hope so.

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