I’ve been struggling with my running (and blogging) lately. Ever since I finished my last race of 2014, The Great Go! Halloween 10k, I’ve lacked the training schedule that keeps me working out on a regular basis. The problem compounded with the end of daylight savings time. Now every day when I leave work it looks like this:
Which means running outside is out. Running outside is fun. I can choose different locations and never get stuck in a rut. Now I’m relegated to the treadmill. I used to run almost exclusively on the treadmill (trying to take advantage of that Y membership) but now it feels boring.
I try to make it interesting. Monday I brought my iPad and read a book. I started out walking and increased speed by .1 for every two or three pages I read. That attempt to keep myself mentally engaged worked for a while, but when I was almost to two miles I was bored and just done, so I walked. I walked for a while and then convinced myself to amp up the speed a lot for the last mile or so. I stopped reading and did the increase by .1 method, but every 20-30 seconds. At the end I was running at a pace in the high 7:00s, which post stress fracture is unheard of for me. The whole workout looked like this.
I do think running really really fast on the treadmill is fun (and a little scary if you’re not watching your footing, which is why I stopped reading), but I can’t do that for a whole workout, so on Wednesday I attempted a pace I could hold the whole time. I started walking while watching Parenthood on Netflix on my iPad using the Y’s free wifi. I’ve recently discovered Parenthood and it’s so wonderful–funny and touching and filled with drama–it’s no wonder I’ve almost completely abandoned reading in favor of binge watching this show. Anyway, that show helped me through a great workout that included a walking warm up and cool down. I’m not too concerned with pace on the treadmill right now; just trying to focus on training myself to stay running on it however I can.
Yesterday was a beautiful day. It’s cold in St. Louis now, but it was in the 50s with sun so it didn’t seem so bad, even with the fall wind. I love running when it is in the 50s, but I was at work until 5 (aka, the end of sun). I planned to go to the Y after work, as I try to do when we don’t have plans on Friday because it is not crowded, but the sun I could see through my boss’s window was calling my name. I’ve read about people using their lunch hours to run but never tried it before, knowing I have no access to a shower and I sweat pretty heavily. But it was casual Friday, so I didn’t have to look too professional. I figured if I took my lunch at 2 I’d only be visible to coworkers for a couple hours…..
So I did it!
Fortunately I had the jacket and ear warmer and gloves with me. I was wearing shorts, but that was fine. I just really like to have my ears and hands covered, at least in the beginning. I did get hot after a couple miles so I just held the gloves as I ran down Lindell toward Kingshighway. I came back on West Pine, a 1.5 mile route I used to run from SLU to Forest Park when I was a student. It’s a cute street with lots of apartments that students use, including an international student who stopped me and asked me to take a photo of him and his family in front of his building. It was fairly adorable.
Then I cut over to Laclede so I could run around SLU, not through it. (No need for sweaty Nora to intermingle with 15 years younger students!)
Laclede is steep and I did walk for a small amount of time, but knowing I needed to be back to work by 3 was really motivating so I didn’t walk long. I got back to work right at 3 after completing a nice rectangular route.
My Garmin had no battery (apparently that happens after weeks of no use), which I discovered when I began, thus, I used my old Nike+ app.
I was pretty covered in sweat, especially my hair, so I sat at my desk in my running clothes for a while to cool down before changing back into my regular clothes.
It was so satisfying to be done with my workout during the day, and being able to sit at my desk and hydrate as I worked was great too. I’m not sure how much longer we’ll have cold weather + sun before it changes to cold weather + cloudy gloom, but if the sun sticks around I might try this again on Fridays. Running outside is so much more inspiring than the treadmill, and I love the efficient use of my time!