Weekly Wrap – Embracing the mill

Happy Sunday!

As I type this, the wind is picking up and the snow is falling. The second significant snow storm in just 4 days. School’s already been cancelled for tomorrow, and I’m trying to re-configure my work day.

But before I get to dealing with that I’m linking up with Holly  and Tricia for the #WeeklyWrap. Please be sure to head on over and check out all of the great ladies sharing weekly training and life happenings!

Between the snow, icy conditions and a hectic schedule, it was all about the gym and time on the mill this week. And, the 5 min/day planking streak continued!

Monday — Rest Day
Tuesday — Speed work- While I’m not a fan on running on the mill in general, I don’t mind doing speed work on it. Just set the pace and go!
Wednesday — Strength day followed by a much needed massage!

Thursday — Shoveling snow counts for cross-training right?
Friday — Back to the mill for 800 meter repeats
Saturday — Rest day
Sunday — 4 more mill miles as once again the left knee/calf wasn’t really not interested in doing a long run – which is problematic when you’ve got a half marathon just 5 weeks away….but let’s not think about that right now!

The left leg was pretty unhappy all week and required a lot of special attention. At the urging of my massage therapist (she’s convinced I’m out of alignment), I’m going to try to squeeze in an appointment with the chiropractor this week. I really don’t want to take any more time off from running, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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AlterG – Treadmill Love!

I have finally found a treadmill I could love!

Yes people…for those of you who’ve been around here for a while and know how I feel about treadmills this may come as a shock…but I’ve found just such a treadmill! The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

AlterG

I got to meet my new love last Friday at Functional Fitness and Physical Therapy in N. Easton, MA. There I met co-owner Sarah Anestam, a licensed physical therapist, who walked me through getting set up on the AlterG. I slipped on a pair of neoprene shorts so I could be zipped into the AlterG’s pressurized air chamber. Sarah started the machine and I could feel the air chamber begin to fill with air. The machine then calculates your weight – (I love that they don’t rely on you to tell the truth!) – and once it calibrates you’re ready to run. Sarah first reduced my body weight to 80% – I instantly felt light and quick. She then took me down to 50% explaining that this closely mimicked running in a pool – but without any risk of slipping or getting stitches wet if recovering from a leg/hip surgery. Sarah soon left me to my own devices, encouraging me to play with the weight, speed and inclines.

On the AlterGRunning on the AlterG felt smooth and effortless. I easily pushed the pace, at one point hitting the 8 min range, while still chatting with Sarah (only in my dreams people!). I could focus on form and turnover without any undue stress on my legs – my cranky ITB was silent!

alterG backThe AlterG allows you to walk and run from 20 – 100% of your body weight making it an ideal tool for rehabbing from surgery or coming back from injury. Sarah also pointed out that time on the AlterG was also very beneficial for runners looking to train longer and faster  – building both endurance and leg strength without undue stress. Yeah sign me up!

In fact, at Functional Fitness, runners can buy time on the AlterG, $25 for 30 minutes or a 10-pack for $200. Sarah noted she sees a lot of runners come in during peak Boston Marathon training! I am thrilled to have discovered this great training resource and, with Functional Fitness a short drive away, I will be putting this to use in the future.

A huge thanks to Outside PR for arranging this demo for me and to Sarah at Functional Fitness and Physical Therapy for being so generous with her time!

 

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Weekend wrap-up

Since we were heading out of town for a hockey tournament this weekend, I decided to move my long run to Friday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided on 20 degrees with the wind chill of 9. Now I’ll do almost anything to avoid the ‘mill, but given the frigid temps I really felt like I had no choice. So this would be a first – long run on the mill!

I played every mind game I could think of, varied my pace and the elevation, alternated between music and ESPN, and people-watched the handful of people in the gym who came and went. It took everything trick I could come up with, but I got it done….10 miles….a new treadmill distance PR!

Next we were off to the hockey tournament. While the boys’ didn’t win, the games were hard fought. Truthfully I think the boys all enjoyed the time between the games more – the beauty of staying in a hotel with an indoor pool and arcade! We also got to catch up with family – J’s parents live about a half hour from the arena and my sister-in-law and nephew drove down from Upstate New York to meet us.

Unfortunately, we got home on Sunday to watch my beloved Patriots implode last night in the AFC Championship game  – so I will be running my #MilesofShame this week. (Pavement Runner and NYC Running Mama organized a little runners’ wager on this weekend’s games – if your team lost, you run the point differential. Luckily for me, you had the option to cap your miles, so I’ll only be running 10 instead of 15!)

The kids are off today for Martin L. King Day….and yes of course that means there’s another hockey game! Otherwise, we plan to spend the day hanging out and I’m hoping to get J to come with me to check out a new gym.

How was your weekend?
What’s the farthest you’ve gone on a treadmill?
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Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

This morning marks Day 2 of watching the big yellow bus whisk my “baby” off to Kindergarten. Why is it that they never look smaller or more vulnerable then when they’re climbing up those bus stairs?

With both boys now on the same school schedule (cue the angels singing!), I’ve now got a big block of time for client projects, house projects…and to up the ante on my running. Following the Providence RnR, there was major mileage shrinkage in August. But let’s be honest, it wasn’t only the mileage that went down, my enthusiasm for yoga and strength training was non-existant. I was tired and I was getting my tail kicked by ragweed. I was happier just hanging out and enjoying the last weeks of the summer – cocktails were enjoyed and I pretty much ate what I wanted. But, I did jumpstart my training last week and am feel pretty good about the effort I put in. And now, I have more flexibility in getting my workouts in, so I’m expecting big things for this month!

With the weather faucet in what seems like the permanent “on” position, I’m fully embracing the treadmill. I have been known to whine in the past about the ‘mill, but I’ve decided I need to change my attitude. So when I hit the gym now I remind myself to be grateful that I have an alternative to pounding the pavement in sloshy running shoes. The attitude adjustment helps – the runs haven’t felt like such a chore, and I actually like doing my hill work on the ‘mill. Besides, it all gives me a chance to get my fill of ESPN and all things football!

Season kicks off tonight – Go Saints!

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Treadmill hills

Driving rain combined with a little thunder and lightening meant I was heading to the treadmill this morning. To keep it interesting I decided to do a hills workout. I picked the “foothills” workout from Running Planet that I’ve mentioned here before – I like it because it stairsteps up and down through a couple of inclines for a total of five miles, which was the perfect distance for my training plan today.

Basically, after a little warm-up, you pick an incline to start, run 1 mile then increase the incline by 1 and run 3/4 of a mile, increase the incline again by 1 and run a 1/2 mile then increase the incline one more time by 1 and run another 1/2 mile. You then decrease the incline in increments of 1 to return to your starting incline, while running another 1/2 mile, then 3/4 mile and then final mile. For me, this workout really makes the time on the ‘mill fly by! If you’re looking to mix it up a little on the treadmill, I say give hills a try!

Short easy run on the decks tomorrow before my first double digit run on Friday! I hope the weather cooperates, ’cause there’s no way I’m doing my first 10 miler on the lovely ‘mill.

Do you have a favorite treadmill workout?

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New Day, New Attitude

Thanks to those of you who indulged me in my little pity party on Friday – I really appreciated the encouragement!

So I’ve shaken off my mini funk, tweaked my plan and am ready to get going again! After a week off, I wasn’t sure how the run was going to feel this morning or how far I was going to go. It was back to the treadmill and after the first couple of funky miles, I finally settled in, found a rhythm and decided that running a 10k would be good for my psyche. 6.2 miles done!

This week’s revised plan:

Monday — Yoga
Tuesday — Easy 4 miles
Wednesday — TRX/Pilates class
Thursday — Speedwork
Friday — 3 miles
Saturday — Pilates Reformer
Sunday — Long Run (7 or 8)

Looking forward to a good week!

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Best laid plans….

The plan was to kick February off with a bang!

After a step back week, I was going to up the mileage this week, I had my strength workouts laid out and the plan was to start and end every day with a little yoga. Sounds good, right?

Yeah well…the combination of Mother Nature, early school closings, no school and the dreaded stomach bug quickly turned this week into the week that wasn’t. So now I sit here, almost two pounds lighter (but I would strongly advise against this diet approach) trying to tweak my plan so I can stay on my goal to improve my 10k time at Hyannis at the end of the month. I must admit that I’m not feeling very confident. I honestly feel like I’ve been getting slower on the treadmill….is that possible or am I just psyching myself out? Well, whatever it is I’ve got three weeks to shake it off…hmmm, better get back to tweaking….

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January rewind

Good things this month:
  • Logged 56 relatively pain-free miles – ice and foam roller helped to keep the ITB in check.
  • Did not miss one scheduled run despite weekly snow storms of biblical proportion (ok slight exaggeration… or not if you listen to our local weatherman!)
  • Added TRX to my weekly routine and I’m loving it! It kicks my arse in a good way.
  • Finally took on hill work, and on the treadmill no less!
  • Added yoga to my training….ok on the last day of the month, but technically I did add it
  • Completed the first week of the Chopra Center’s 21-day Meditation Challenge. I’m not zen yet, but I’m working on it.
  • 63 of you now following my madness…er…journey — I appreciate the support!
Things I could do without:
  • Treadmill as my new BFF….I need to start keeping better company. I miss the road. I will take the bitter cold temps if Mother Nature will just give the snow show a rest!
  • Shoveling as a form of cross-training…ok I’m done whining.
  • hmmm…that’s it…short list!
On the decks for February:
  • More…more TRX, more yoga and more miles…more ice.
  • Want to do a better job paying attention to what I’m eating – I don’t eat a lot of junk, but I could fuel and hydrate better, especially as I hope to increase my miles.
  • Hyannis 10k

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    Today I learned….


    …. how much staying up with a sick little one can take a toll on the next day’s run

    …. it is important not to short-change hydration just because it’s the dead of winter
     
    …. I should not pick the treadmill closest to the wall at my gym because there’s no air circulation

    The Bourne Supremacy (Widescreen Edition)…. how much I miss Patriots football

     …. watching Matt Damon (ala Bourne Supremacy) certainly helps to pass the time

    ….  some days running is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other

    …. and sometimes it’s as hard as putting one foot in front of the other

     …. I would be in big trouble without ice, compression socks and a foam roller 🙂

     What did you learn today?

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    Odds and Ends

    I’m trying to not let cabin fever set in here! We got more snow yesterday so instead of running I cross-trained by shoveling and playing in the snow with my dog – always a good workout!

    It was back to the treadmill today – I had thought about running outside but most of my routes are still being dug out and I just wasn’t up for playing Frogger with the morning commuters 🙂 I’m just trying to look at this time on the ‘mill as an opportunity to work on maintaining a consistent pace….but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m starting to go a little stir crazy. I’m crossing my fingers I can get outside for Sunday’s run. My hubs and I were laughing the other day about the fact that it’s turning into one of the snowiest winters on record and we’ve got a race on the decks at the end of February! Truthfully I’m really glad I’ve got this race coming up otherwise it would be just a little too easy to hibernate and wait for spring.

    Speaking of races, I’ve just added another race to my 2011 schedule. Jeff at Detroit Runner is sponsoring the “I Just Felt Like Running” virtual 5k on March 5th. He’s got a good group of participants so far and is trying to get at least one runner from all 50 states. Stop by to check it out!

    Also, I have been meaning to say a big thanks to Jake at Broken Hearted Runner for including me in his list of top Running Blogs. He’s got a great mix of blogs on the list and I’m honored to have been included. I really enjoy reading about others’ ups and downs, challenges and successes and I can always find something to draw inspiration from!

    Have a Great Weekend!
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