So, no real whining for me about the weather. Too many good things going on to take to whining. BUT, it's still cold for us and what we are used to. Cold and windy. So much that school was canceled again in anticipation of what the weather could turn into today. So far, I'm not seeing any reason why my kids shouldn't be in school but whatever...it is what it is. When they are home from school and I have training runs I want to fit in, I count my blessings that I have options with a treadmill in the basement and a membership at the YMCA.
The treadmill. So many strong feelings out there about this fine machine that so many of us use for much of our winter training.
As I look back to my past years of marathon training, I'm often in disbelief that I actually trained for them with mostly treadmill running except for my long runs. Even in the gray and cold rain that was so often an every day reality in the Pacific Northwest, running outside was better than a twenty miler on the treadmill. However, the treadmill didn't seem to bother me so much in the past. Not like it does now.
The past couple of weeks of winter break has meant most days on the treadmill. Some of these runs were on the treadmill at the gym but many of them were in my basement on my home treadmill. It's a very nice (expensive too) treadmill and has given us many happy and hard miles so I'm not complaining. Very thankful for it! Even if it has felt a little OFF lately. As good of a treadmill as it is, it hasn't felt so accurate and leaves me feeling kind of discouraged! For example, last week's run that included 2 miles@7:45; short jog; 2 miles@7:30; short jog; 2 miles (turned into 1)@ 7:14 kicked my butt instead of leaving me feeling strong and confident. It made me feel like I have a loooooong way to go! The next few runs did felt the same. Even the runs that were supposed to be easy pace felt a little harder. I was starting to really be convinced that my treadmill was off on speed! Especially since the treadmills at the gym didn't feel as fast. I mean, my ten 800's@3:15ish pace with the last one at 3:09 at the gym last week felt almost easy in a moderate pushing it kind of way. I felt so strong and ON. If I would have done these same 800s at this pace on MY treadmill, I would have DIED!
Today, my treadmill speed assumptions were confirmed! It wasn't all in my head. Thank Goodness!!
5 x 1mi @ 7:00 w/1min I
When I started my workout, I had just heard from my husband that we would be home soon to finish his work day just in case the weather got worse. I thought about bundling up and doing my workout outside but I decided to give the treadmill a whirl.
First 2 miles@8:49 (NOT an 8:49 for real). Texted my friend mid run (sorry for those of you that get offended by my word choice):
Shortly after that text, I wrapped up our text convo with a random picture that made me laugh. Come on, admit it, it's funny.
After my texting and easy portion of this treadmill run, I put my phone away, and started the tempo portion. I set the speed at 6:59 pace 1% incline and settled in for my first of 5 miles. It didn't take more than .25 of a mile to start thinking WTF?! I mean really? This is a 7:00 pace?! If this is a 7:00 pace, I was in trouble! Not to mention discouraged and disappointed.
At that point, my husband came home. After my first tempo mile was done, I was ranting on and on about how this can't be right. This treadmill was so OFF! How could my 800's at 6:30 pace with the last of 10 at 6:18 pace feel so strong and spot on last week when this felt so hard for what it should feel like for this sort of workout??!
So, after a longer than 1 minute recovery due to my rant, dynamic stretching and gearing up for 4 more, I got back on the saddle and set the pace to 7:04 and put the elevation down. Still. Too hard for a tempo feel. I stopped after .75, grumbled a bit more until my engineering husband got to work on researching how to testing the speed to see if it was really off or if his wife was just making excuses. I got bundled up and ready to finish my run outside but before I left the house, the results were in...SURE ENOUGH, I was right! I wasn't just right about it being off...it was way off in my opinion. A 6:59 pace on that treadmill was actually a 6:31 pace. And my 7:04 was actually 6:34. This makes me feel so much better about this workout and my past two weeks on that thing!
I ran another 6 miles outside with some speed play and a couple of 7:30 miles thrown in the mix. The cold, sunshine and light flurries weren't so bad. They were actually quite nice for this born and raised Colorado girl! I'll take running in 20's with the sunshine any day over running in the Portland winter with rain and gray.
Well, this was quite the long ramble just to talk about my wacky treadmill. But for some reason, just typing today feels good. Even if it is just for me.
1. How's weather where you live? What's the coldest temperatures you will run in?
2. Do you ever suspect that your treadmill is OFF on speed and needs calibrated?
3. Are you training for anything specific? What? And do you feel like the dedication and hard work that you give to reaching your goal carries over to being effective in other areas of your life?