Thursday, April 2, 2009

18 on the tread...

I woke up in a funk this morning and couldn't really shake it. I didn't want to run and I especially didn't want to put on 15 layers of clothing to combat the 20 degree outdoor temperature to run. I'm so sick of the cold and I just couldn't do it. I know once I geared up, piled on the layers and headed out to get some fresh air with my dearly beloved sport, I'd be fine. I'd be better than fine, I'd be great!!! But something was nagging at me, something was bothering me about my run today .... and that was pace. Since I spent 2 days listening to my instructors preach the rewards of proper pacing and slowing my pace down to about a minute and a half per mile slower than you want to race your marathon, I felt I had some investigative work to do. I really do not know my exact pace and as I have mentioned before...I don't own a handy device to tell me so (but my birthday is in two weeks, if anyone is inclined to buy me one! I'll even share it!!!! Not that this is any sort of hint or anything... but the Garmin 405, Green, with hr monitor attachment is super sweet!!). So okay, treadmill idea came into play last night and now has reentered my head - this would provide the answers to my pacing questions so off to 24-hour fitness with a deluge of excuses (logical or not) that this was a more viable option than the snowy outside trails:

1) I wanted to pace myself between a 9:20 and a 9:30 with hills, both up and down, intermixed. I didn't want to slow my pace on the ups nor speed on the downs. (okay, I know this pace is a wee-bit faster than a minute and a half pre mile slower than my marathon race pace...doesn't one need to ween slowly??).

2) I wanted to not take off too fast, like I tend to frequently do.

3) I wanted to have easy access to water and bathrooms.

4) I wanted the temperature to be warm, in case it is in Boston.

5) I wanted to emulate the first half of the Boston course, as best as possible.

6) I just didn't want to carry a water bottle; it's heavy at times and my back's been aching some.

7) I didn't want to deal with GU and Accelerate in my pack; I wanted easy access to it at arm's reach and not having to twist my pack around and readjust my clothing each and every time.

8) I didn't want to deal with layers wrapped around my body, causing excess weight and I didn't want to wear any gloves.

9) I wanted to see if I had enough in me to pick up the last few miles of my run and maintain it.

I have to say, I was a bit perplexed with my treadmill decision; I generally can't stand them. But a seed was planted yesterday when I was talking to Rob about the possibility of doing this run on one due to predicted forecast of 8" (turned out it was about 1")...but as I thought about it and the luxuries it could provide for my last long Boston run, the idea became more appealing with each passing hour. I think that's why I woke up in a funk this morning; when I saw the inaccurate forecast, the treadmill idea was suddenly crushing all my pacing ideas and other reasons and plan B was having trouble being implemented. As the morning lingered and I attended to my overflowing email inbox and laundry (Brendan now has clean jeans...thank the Lord!) I thought there was no reason why I couldn't go do to the gym regardless of favorable outdoor weather conditions and treadmill thoughts suddenly reentered with a smile on my face.

I've never treadmill-ed more than about 10 miles...and those 10 had to be well over a year ago...and I'm certain I hated every second of it. So this long-distance-treadmill concept was new to me and I'm certain when I unloaded 3 GUs, Sport beans, water bottle, half a banana, bandanas, and iPod, the people around me probably wondered if I was camping there for a few days. I kinda wondered myself. I was suddenly having my doubts why I was doing this. Dennis asked me if I was feeling okay; Rob told me he never would have guessed and couldn't wait to hear my explanation; Janet questioned my sanity. I guess my reputation for treadmill hatred is well-known.

Decided that since the treadmill will only allow me to run 1-hour, I'd run up to that hour and then take a break for potty, water bottle refill, GU and whatever else, then restart the treadmill, repeat, times 2.8. That would give me 18. It worked well and I actually ENJOYED this little experiment and can honestly say, in my 100% sweat-soaked attire, I had a great time on my treadmill excursion. I had my iPod on full-blast while watching 3 episodes of TLC's 'What Not to Wear' (and I will say that every single female down the treadmill line was all watching the same thing!! And what a cute coat this one chick bought...I need it!! And PINK SHOES...every girly-girls dream!) And the best part? Okay....I didn't keep my pace at about a 9:30 (even the 9:30 pace was only 1 minute slower than my marathon "wish" pace of 8:30) but did keep it between 9:10 and 9:22 for the vast majority of this little jaunt so that was great! My instructors would shun me for that pace but I'm sorry...I cannot run a 10:00 pace, it'll kill me. But the treadmill taught me to slow it down some and it kept me consistent. Until I get that little wrist gadget to tell me real-time pacing (and that's not a hint!! Really! ahem.). I picked up the pace the last 3 miles....after all, that's the name of the game, isn't it? I'd like to think least the game is that I want to feel strong to the end of ever race. So mile 15 I ran a 9:05, mile 16 was 8:30 and mile 17 to the end was an 8:00. And I felt incredible!!! So much for my funk! I celebrated with a post-run Tokyo Joe's rice bowl, yum! It was 1:30 by the time I showered and I was hungry!!

I ended my day with a very nice dinner with running friends celebrating my Atlanta victory. Thanks guys, it was very special!!

It's officially Boston taper time!!!!!
18 miles run

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