December 11, 2014

16.8 Miles on the Dreadmill

This week has been kind of a mess of not-planning and then totally changing my plans when I do have them… which as you know, I really hate! However, it started out great – I was in LA on Monday for some training, and got to have an amazing dinner at Seabird’s in Orange County with Jen afterward. Oh my gosh, it was so good – and yet totally reasonably priced!

Chaffle at Seabird's Kitchen
I was plenty full from dinner until I heard that they had something called a “chaffle” for dessert – a churro-style fried waffle, topped with coconut ice cream. Um, SOLD! Jen and I devoured this and all but licked the plate clean.

Tuesday morning, I had to be up at 4:30am in order to get to Denver for the Aerotropolis Americas conference, which was really fascinating and also a lot of fun. However, the gala dinner on Tuesday night kept me out so late (it was a blast!) that between that and not enough sleep on Sunday and Monday nights, there was no way I was getting up at 4:30am again on Wednesday to do my long run. I ended up skipping my workout altogether (so unlike me!) and just waking up, showering/getting dressed, and heading to work. Fortunately, while I did originally have dinner plans last night, they got canceled and I ended up with a quiet night at home. I was super psyched about getting to bed ridiculously early, but after putzing around (and writing my blog post on tools for relaxing my back), I didn’t end up falling asleep until 10pm – much later than I wanted. Still, I knew that no matter how little sleep I had, I really couldn’t push my long run back yet another day… which meant that my long run was back on for today.

10pm sounds reasonably early to go to bed, but not really when you have to wake up at 4:30am. I mean, don’t get me wrong, 6.5 hours of sleep isn’t terrible, but I had only gotten about 4-6 the two previous nights… and these days, I just really need 8 hours most nights to feel good. I woke up and wanted to crawl back under the covers and hide from my alarm and my long run responsibility… but I sucked it up and dragged myself up and over to the gym. Oh yippee, 17 miles on a treadmill! </sarcasm>

I think it’s all too often that running bloggers write about the magic of a great run, and ignore the crappy runs that aren’t so inspiring. (I include myself in that count.) Well, I’m going to put it right out there: this run sucked. Because the treadmills at my gym don’t let you go longer than 60 minutes before going to cool down mode (but my gym isn’t crowded so it’s not like there ever aren’t enough machines), I decided to split my run up into 5 miles, 6 miles, and 6 miles. I had a few Energems to try to pep me up before I started, and the first five miles actually went pretty well. I had the incline at 1.0% to simulate flat ground with natural wind resistance, and finished that leg in 45 minutes, for a 9:00 average pace. (Especially good when you consider that I walked for a solid two minutes at the beginning to warm up – so that’s actually faster than a 9:00 pace for the run.) I spent that leg of the run catching up on an episode of State of Affairs with Katherine Heigl, and the show was reasonably entertaining to where I really wasn’t checking the clock all that much.

But after the five miles, I ended up needing to take a quick bathroom break. I guess that is one advantage of being on a treadmill rather than running outside – there are nice bathrooms just a few feet away! I headed back to the treadmill for my next leg of 6 miles, and from here on, things just sucked. The next episode of State of Affairs was really boring, causing my eyes to drift over to the treadmill’s time and distance screens. Eventually, my eyes were more glued to the time/distance than they were to the show, and I couldn’t believe how slowly they were creeping up. Meanwhile, that “flat” 1% incline felt like a major hill on this leg – I was totally exhausted, and kept wanting to take walk breaks like every minute.

I had originally planned on a walk break after each leg (so one after 5 miles and one after 6 miles), but then I bargained with myself that I could take them every 3 miles if I cut them in half. And then I bargained with myself that surely I could take a walk break every 1.5 miles, just to pass the time. I guess this would have been okay if I had actually kept the walk breaks short, but no matter how short I promised myself I would make each one, I just kept saying “screw it” and continuing to walk long after my walk interval was over. I think the worst was when I planned on taking a 30 second walk break and it turned into three whole minutes before I could will myself to go back to a run. Oops! It was just not my day.

Whether it was “my day” or not, though, I finished – and with an overall cumulative time of 2:40:21 for the 16.8 miles I covered, that’s an average pace of 9:33/mile. (Admittedly, that does not include my bathroom break, but it does include all the walk breaks, during which time I was slowing down my average pace a ton. So sorry, so don’t care.) 16.8 miles was exactly what was on my plan for the day, but when I had first jumped on the treadmill, I optimistically thought I’d bump it up to a nice round 17, because I like round mileage numbers when I run 🙂 But by the end of the run, there was absolutely no way I was staying on that darn machine any longer than I absolutely had to. Plus, I had taken so long dragging myself over to the gym and then going slower than I wanted that I actually needed to dash home fast to get ready for a conference call.

17 Miles On The Treadmill
Sweaty and proud and DEFINITELY in need of a shower before I could even think of being a professional at work.

On the plus side? It was a reasonably-early 8am conference call… and I had conquered nearly 17 miles before that. Hooray! My run might have totally sucked, but I was proud of myself for dragging myself out there and getting it done no matter what. Not at all runs are magical, but you test your mental strength by sticking with it even when it totally sucks. That mental component is as much a component of running a marathon as all the physical work, so I think this was a training success!

…but I still hope I’ll have a happier time on my run next Tuesday.


11 thoughts on “16.8 Miles on the Dreadmill”

    1. Haha my training plan is incredibly basic. Literally, increase the long run by 10% each week 🙂 So while I started at 6 miles, now I’m getting into wackier decimals as I go!

  1. 16.8 miles on the treadmill is a long workout. Psychologically, it’s much tougher than running outside. Way to stick with it. Walking breaks are OK.

    1. Thanks, Jessie! It’s funny – I tend to break up a marathon into smaller segments, but never really thought to do that on a training run before.

  2. I have tried to read while running I usually wind up with a headache! I download seasons of shows usually – right now I am running through 24 series so sucks me in and I forget how long I’ve been going

    1. I am about to go through multiple episodes of “Madam Secretary” tomorrow morning… I love getting to just keep going through a series like that with no waiting!

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