Tready the treadmill that is! I did it! Knocked out 10.8 miles in 90 minutes (approximately 8:20 pace)...it was pouring rain when I arrived at the Naval hospital gym and no one was there! It was great, this gym is big enough for a lot of equipment, but no one really uses it so it's never crowded and slightly less smelly than other gyms. I got on the treadmill and I immediately noticed that the t.v.'s were faced behind me. Ok, so, I guess I won't be watching t.v. And, I can't use an iPod when I run because of my hearing aid--those little ear pieces don't fit in my ear with my aid so the only time I ever use my iPod is in the car or with old fashioned headphones (the foamy kind). I try to make myself feel better by saying that you can't race with iPods anyway, so I might as well get used to it right? I get on the treadmill and I just started to move slowly. Legs were really tired from the long ride on Saturday.
Set the treadmill at at 1% incline (thanks to the other bloggers I read, 1% is like flat ground, 0% is almost like a slight downhill?) I warmed up at a 9:05 pace, then 8:35, 8:20 and then settled in at 8:13 or so. 8:13 was a challenge. I found myself throwing the towel over the computer screen, then yanking it off, counting minutes til my shot bloks (didn't use that many but gave me a reason to think about something else). With 15 minutes left, my thighs were slightly aching. The thing is, my legs were tired, my lungs were totally great....I found a good breathing pattern so felt good. But, it was definitely hard for me...though, reassuring I could maintain that pace for some distance! Did I want to stop? Yes. Did I try to make deals with myself to stop? Yes. But, I didn't, I kept going, I actually pictured a miniature sized Amanda cheering me on and saying "Come on Mer, you're almost there, this is EASY. You can do this!!". She probably thinks i'm nuts, but as soon as I saw the imaginary Amanda--I perked up my form and just pushed (oddly she had on a rain slicker and was waving her arm to make me go faster----similar to what she did when I ran track with her in the pouring 30 degree rain weather last year in Boulder). It hurt and my legs were so tired and when I was done, the backs of my knees were thanking me for stopping.
Today--calves hurt.....thighs feel fine. Go figure. It's SO weird. I was really feeling it yesterday in the run and today my legs don't hurt as much as I thought they would! My calves are tight, but go away with some walking..
My motivation? Dave. All those months he ran hundreds of miles on a sweaty, hot treadmill on a ship in the middle of the Persian Gulf....he would tell me stories of his shoes literally sloshing while he ran. Even when I told him I ran 90 minutes on the treadmill, he even said "wow, that is a long run on a treadmill"...even after all the hours he ran. His result: qualifying for Boston...and then he ran a 2:58 6 months later--so in April we'll go celebrate by watching him run Boston as a "sub-3" marathoner =0.
It always amazes me, people who have blogs and routinely run in the low 7:00's or sub 7:00's and they say "i'm not a strong runner," or "running is my weak sport." Or, people say qualifying for Boston or Kona, Hawaii isn't difficult. Well, I think it is. Maybe because I find it physically impossible right now to run a sub-7:00 mile pace for ANY distance. I suppose it's all relative--for me, a 9:00 minute mile is easy the same way someone else's 8:00 minute mile is easy.
Why am I obsessed with getting faster at running? I don't really know! Maybe because I see solid progress in swimming and cycling--but running, I just plain have to work my ass off to get even the slightest results!
Back to work! Today is my day OFF and i'm loving it. NO bags to pack this morning and very excited to go to Target later!! Crazy, I know! At least training prevents me from random Target and mall runs!