How I made the treadmill tolerable + Pretty Muddy Giveaway!

How I learned to love the treadmill

Okay, so love may be too strong of a word, but it’s no lie that I spend a lot of time on the treadmill. It’s convenient and reliable way to run when the outside looks a little like this:

slush

I thought I would share some tips on how you too can learn to love, or at least become buddies with this “evil” device.

How to Love the treadmill

Make a mental change – If you keep talking/thinking negative thoughts about the treadmill, you will hate the workout. Instead, stop calling it the dreadmill and thinking about how much you hate winter and the treadmill and yada, yada, yada. Just tell yourself you love the treadmill, and you can’t wait for your treadmill date. Say it enough times and you might believe it. Hey every change starts with a change of thought.

Give yourself something to look forward to – The treadmill is a great time to catch up on plenty of guilty pleasures. Have a new album you want to listen to? Perfect time to do it while running. Save your favorite podcast or audiobook for your run. That way, when it’s time to get busy on the treadmill, you can focus more on the audiobook and less on how boring your run is. My personal favorite thing to do on the treadmill is to watch TV teen dramas. Vampire diaries, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl and anything in between are perfect for the treadmill where you can listen and partially watch, but if you zoned out, you really didn’t miss too much. I have Hulu Plus for that main reason. Netflix also works, and even xfinity cable works on ipads/iphones but not as well.

Give your workout meaning I still haven’t found the trick to doing long runs on the treadmill without dying of boredom. Running continuously and steady in one place is absolutely boring to me. Instead I save my speed workouts for the treadmill. Pushing yourself to hit speed targets on the road can be difficult with people, lights, cars and if you say the running 400s on the track is more exciting you are cray cray. Instead, I find that pushing yourself after setting the speed on a treadmill is much easier. Tempo runs, interval runs, progressive runs and any other speed play is my game.

Recognize the treadmill benefits – I think realizing the benefits of the treadmill vs. the road can make you appreciate this evil device a little more. For one, it’s a lot more forgiving than the road. I don’t know how the roads are in the rest of the country, but in Boston/NYC they are old, cracked, bumpy, uneven and concrete in general is purely unforgiving. I’ve been running 50-70 weekly miles for 2 years now with no injuries (knock on wood) and I think a large portion of that is that 50% or more of my miles are on the treadmill. There’s also the fact that you don’t have to worry about snow, rain, heat, coldness, cars, people, dogs and just the annoyance of the outside world in front of you. You can focus purely on your miles and form without those distractions.

I hope those few tips will get you started on appreciated the lonely treadmill just a tiny bit more.

Pretty Muddy Giveaway

As I hinted in my Pretty muddy against cancer post, I have some goodies. I have four entries ( 2 regular and 2 family edition) for the following cities/dates to giveaway

  • Dallas, April 26th
  • Sacramento, May 3rd
  • Chicago, August 16th
  • Richmond, September 20th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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I have a million excuses but the truth is, I run because it makes me happy

  1. Its hot
  2. It’s inhumanely humid
  3. The AC is broken
  4. I’m bored
  5. This should be my taper week
  6. I’m covered in more sweat than I’ve had in a while
The list of excuses of why I stopped my second run today at 7 instead of 12 can continue but the truth of the matter is I run because it makes me happy and when I’m not happy (such as when its hot, intensely humid, and boring) I stop running. B I’m not an elite athlete and I’m beyond the recommended 30 minutes of exercise; therefore, sometimes I accept my excuses and call it a day. B I think a big part of me mentally has checked out for the week in the excitement and anticipation of my DC Marathon weekend.
The runs today were actually good. B I knocked out 6 miles during lunch at incline 3 in under 52 minutes which is my new record on these new treadmills.
I took it slightly easier for my post work run with 7 miles (although when I started I intended on 12), 62 minutes, on incline 2 and I just could not stop sweating. B I swear I could have saved a drought in all my sweat!

I also started researching in anticipation of worst caseB scenarioB in DC –B torrential downpour of rainB

The best running in rain advice Ibve read so far:

b Once you are wet, you are wet. Itbs really not going to get much more uncomfortable…b

Some tidbits I intend on following:

Dress in layers but DONbT over dress b Rain can make the weather feel a lot colder and yet hot and sticky at the same time. B The most important layer is the one closest to your body so make sure it’s a technical fabric (not cotton), which will wick water and sweat away from your skin. COTTON KILLs!!! Although I tend to wear cotton tank tops during summer races (Theybre cuter!), they will never dry and I definitely donbt need the extra weight of rain water. B Your outer layer (if necessary) should be a wind- and water-resistant jacket or vest.B Ibm packing my REI rain jacket if it gets really bad, but will try to avoid wearing it as it looks like high of 70s and even with the air vents I canbt imagine it not feeling stuffy. Donbt over dress as more layers just means more wet weight.B Dress as you would have for a dry but cloudy run.

Lube yourself up! b Chaffing becomes a bigger problem as your clothes get heavier and wetter.B Bodyglide/Vaseline and anything that will keep your skin from getting those clothes burns and don’t forget the toes!

Shelter yourself with a garbage bag and a hat b A garbage bag as a poncho seems like a simple solution to minimize clothes wetness while you wait in your coral for the race to start.B Once the horn goes you can toss if off to the side (donbt be rude, I hate when runners shed layers mid-course, give up those 2 seconds and throw your crap to the side of the course) Meanwhile a hat with a brim (finally a purpose for those baseball caps) will minimize some of the rain that will slap your face.B

Protect your gadgets b I canbt run, especially in rain without my music or podcasts.B Ibm reading that ziplock bags do wonders so Ibm going to bring a few.B Waterproof fancy cases work too. =)

How dare people use MY TREADMILL at the gym!!!

Summary 2 Runs Total – 18 miles – Total Time 2Hr36min

First question: Is it normal to eat 3 cups of mushy oatmeal at a time? Is it normal to dump half a canister of cinnamon and take a blurry photo of your breakfast?

I have a problem. B I get attached to everything especially inanimate objects (something to do with having a younger brother who destroyed all my toys as a kid?). B I’m also a creature of habit. B Therefore its no surprise that I have what I consider to be “my treadmill” at my work gym.

I’m spoiled with my work gym, I’m also spoiled because “my treadmill” is almost always open. B However, today as I was walking in for a 5.6 mile 3 incline run at lunch, another individual was in my way. B Yes, he had every right to be there, if not more…

Okay, fine, there’s other treadmills. B However, as I walk from one to the other (there’s only five in total), I keep noticing the incline is off. B I keep running,B watchingB the guy, hoping he’s coming to the end of his workout. B Alas, he did not. B End result my speed was 7.7 miles vs usual 7.0 on “my treadmill.” B I have a feeling my speed was correct just no incline.B I’ll accept my lunch run as 6 miles @ 8 minute miles total time 48 minutes.

Can I also mention that I have a work gym for reasons like this:

And yes that chocolate mouse cookie thing on the left was amazing and worth every empty calorie!

Worry not, this was all part of my fuel for my second run!B 108 Minutes 12miles! Incline 2 that I got to run on “my treadmill.” Pretty much unless you hear me whine all treadmill runs are done on “my treadmill”

You know you’ve come a good way when you end your treadmill run not because you’re tired and want to die/puke but because you ran out of new episodes of RadioLab podcast to listen to and decided you’re bored.

Dinner – leftover drunken noodles with added sauteed baby spinach.B I wonder if anyone else pounds away baby spinach faster than me?

Do you have a certain treadmill, elliptical etc that you designate as your own at your gym?B Do you have a gym membership?B Which one?

10 Days until DC!!!!!

You know you’re a runner when you give up a really good hair day to do your interval speed training during lunch…

6 miles – 49:37 min – 2 incline – 7.3MPH

.2 increase from last week’s 7.1 onB Friday! B Not bad after my 16 mile run yesterday.

Some motivation from this week’s Runner’s World Email Quote:

“You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line. It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.”

Maybe I’ll do some weights when I get home, probably not though. B I have a Doc’s appointment for a foot issue maybe I’ll discuss later. B Therefore, no Bikram =(.

I should finish that GrandB CanyonB Research… We’ll see!

Every runner has those moments where you hop on the treadmill with a plan and you realize at mile 3, you did not fuel enough or correctly…

That was my situation this evening.B B As the mileage went up to 4, I went over my options.

1. Stop, shower and go home

2. Stop, run to my cube, inhale a Fiber One Bar and continue

3. Keep going for another mile

Out of stubbornness, or realization that due to Tax Season this may be my last week of having enough time for workday longish runs, I kept going.B You know what?B 5 miles slowly turned into 6, which led to 7.5 and then to 9.B At that point, I took a minute walk break every .75 miles and before I knew it, I saw 11 miles on the counter.B Yes my heart rate was off the charts compared to my normal pulse, I felt clammy and cold, but I survived and as far as runs goes it wasn’t that worst I had in a while.

I know what I did wrong today; I skimped on my lunch.B I did a normal person portion sandwich instead of a giant blend of Liana wants to run 14 miles post work portion.B I ate too much oatmeal for breakfast and wasn’t really hungry for lunch.B However, by 5:30 my metabolism burned through everything.B Post run 1.5 granola bars were consumed at record breaking pace.B I think hungry stray cats eat slower than me post run.B Upon getting home I followed with a big bowl of veggie, tempeh and pasta.B I think I lacked the green stuff in my diet for the day.B My tummy feels complete at last, my pulse returned to normal.B B My legs feel great and ready for my run tomorrow.

A summary of my runs, I went double duty today

Lunch Time Run

5.6 miles – 3 incline – 49:39 – 6.8MPH

Post Work Run

11 miles – 2 Incline – 100:33 – 6.6MPH

Why the double duty?B Sadly, Boston Marathon and US Tax filing deadline happen around the same time.B That means within a week or two I’ll be pulling some late nights at the office.B I was thinking of trying to see if I can run 14 miles at 5AM, but I don’t think I can handle that with my sleep pattern and the hour long public train commute to my gym/office.B Moms/Dads and all you early risers always make me gasp in awe when I hear how early you run.B So my current plan is to try to go double duty, build up mileage and build up a tolerance for running while tired.B Then focus on true distance and speed during my weekly long runs instead.

Have your ever trained for a race during a busy work season?B What was your plan?

I love sweat, I love beets, I love the beet-red sweaty face I wear with pride

Today’s workout 6 miles – 2 incline – treadmill – 51 minutes – 7.1MPH

It’s always a bit awkward when I make my away back to the cube with a red face, a gymbag and hair slightly less styled then it was earlier that morning.B The downside of lunchtime work-out!B The best part though, I feel fully energized to plummet into the second half of my work for the day.B If only I was that productive with everything else in my life.

I gained a .1MPH speed.B Last week I was at 7.0.B Working towards an 8MPH!B Okay, I must confess, I’m also secretly training for a 10K.B I registered for a local one that’s the weekend after my DC Marathon.B I’ve only ran one 10K before and that was for the same race last year.B I finished in 51:34, 3rd in my age group. Okay to be fair, less than 118 people ran, but still I got my eyes on first place.B That involves cutting a minute of each mile.B So not likely, but I still want to improve my 10K PR.

Today is Friday.B Which is awesome in of itself.B Sadly the weather did not cooperate.B However, you know what else I love about Fridays is office free food.B Sometimes after Friday lunch meetings there’s free food and I rejoice.B This works out perfectly when I get back from my run and just want to eat at my desk so I can do work.B Greek Salad, rice pilaf, and gyro meat from Jaffa Cafe.B I could be a normal person and make a gyro sandwich with my pita, but there just isn’t pita to fit all the food I want in my belly.

Today is also the last Friday of the Monday.B That means Birthday Cake!B Happy birthday February people!B And yes, if you cover up your double chocolate cake with strawberries, it magically becomes healthy.B I don’t know why I had the yogurt there, I think I had some idea of using it for cream and then got lazy.

Any fun plans for this weekend?

Just another 20 miler!B Hopefully the weather will clear up.B I’m also trying to catch up on my March magazine issues pile that keeps growing on my desk.B B Maybe even finish Girl with Dragon Tattoo.B I know, I live a crazy life.

Short Post for a lazy day

Today’s run 14.1 Miles – 130 Minutes – 2 Incline – Boring treadmill

How do I keep myself motivated?

  • I remind myself how scary and cold the streets of Boston are for a 5ft tall girl and I’m just not into the whole running group thing on weeknights.
  • Plus, I want to wrap things up faster, so I can head home faster.
  • So I listen to podcasts.B This American Life kept me cozy for the first 7 miles, I finished 10 miles in 92 minutes with Planet Money for 3 more miles.
  • My last 4 miles I must admit were a struggle, I was tired of podcasts, I was sick of my music, Pandora wasn’t distracting me, but I stuck with it.
  • I told myself, you can either run these next 4 miles or walk them, but running will get you home to dinner a bit fast.B So I did both to an average pace of 10.5 min miles.B Not my target but I got it done with!

Post running snack and post dinner dessert is my new addiction Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola.

I’ve been popping it all week like candy.B Which is not the worst thing in the worldB compared to the white chocolate bits I was munching last week.B Costco had a double box set on sale for like 5 bucks.B So if its on sale near you and you have a membership, go get some! For two little people, Tony and I eat the equivalent of a 4 person family.

Do you listen to podcasts?B What are your favorites?

Do you ever shop in big wholesale stores like Costco?B Which ones? What do you get there?

I load up on household things on sale such as papertowels, TP, Lysol wipes.B The giant salsa jar is a weekly staple in our household.B They’re grapevine tomatoes. The frozen veggies.B I’m currently into the stir fry mix.B Frozen seafood like their cooked and peeled shrimp.B I don’t have enough room in my fridge/freezer so I have to alternate with my purchase decisions between the weeks. B Plus I get to try new samples each time I go.B Everyone loves a costco lunch date!B Okay, maybe just me.B I guess I’m a cheap date.

The perfect muffin

I had quite the great start to my day today. B After my usual giant breakfast of half a bagel, 3 egg-whites and a pound of cream cheese I decided to go to the cafe once again before the clock even hit 10AM. B Healthy start I know, I grabbed one of our cafe’s “low fat” blueberry muffins. B I say low fat in quotes because our low fat soft serve frozen yogurt has 160 calories per serving so there’s lies in the labeling. B Anyways I digress on my rants of low fat labels that still mean high calorie. While I went to town on the muffin. B Hold and behold I had the perfect muffin.

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The inside of it was all blueberries! B I think that counts as a healthy dose of anti oxidants.

My lunch time workout went great. B IB squeezedB out a 6 mile run at a 7MPH on 2incline. B I alternated between 7.5MPH with 7.3MPH to 7.0 MPH with 6.8MPH with a few 4MPH walk catch of breath when I felt really winded.

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I’m part of runners world daily quotes and early this week they have the common quote of:

“If running is important to you, then your mind-set shifts from Can I find time for it? to When can I find time for it? You think in terms not of Will I run today? but When will I run today?B (Scott Douglas)”

Which as i become more addicted to this running world, I’m finding out that my grand debate in my head is not will I run, but when can I find an hour to make time for one? B Will I have time at noon? B Do I need to go after work? B Maybe at 3pm I can carve out that hour if I have work meetings during my lunch time? B Will it be indoors or outside? B But I never question will I be running this week anymore as I used to a few years ago. B I guessB that’sB just part of the addiction.

A couple of other interesting reads I got from my running emails lately are:

Alternative carb sources keep you fueled on runsB – From runners world, if you’re like me and just can’t stomach Gu. B My favorite suggestion was using gumdrops instead of energy chews as they have 4grams of crabs per drop vs. 5grams of crabs in energy chews.

Commuter Workouts!B – Which is linked with this article How sitting killsB – I love the the scary but true charts they have showing the facts. B “Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. B Even if you exercise.” One option for office workers they suggest is to always take the stairs. B We all know that. B While I am not about to go up 39 flights of stairs and break my knees, I do try to take every staircase when I useB train stationsB for my daily commute. B I am also trying to take the article’s suggestion on sitting at a 135 degree angle as I do sit at least 8 hours a day (and that’s on a low key slow day.)

New Geico CommercialB – A co-worker showed me this hilarious new Geico commercial which pretty much defines half my eating lifestyle…. I know, I know, B EewwB seriously…B that’sB so gross…

Do you have a long weekend? B Any good plans?

I do have the awesome Monday off! B Mine are to eat, run and nap. B Maybe try to plan a few vacations for 2012. B Tony and I are going out to dinner tonight for a date and on Saturday we have a couple double date. B So yup lots of eating, some kitten cuddling andB definitelyB a 20-miler for my marathon training.

Do you say soft serve or creamies?

I say soft serve, while myB VermontB friends same creamies and I just think it sounds dirty. B Spell-checkB agrees because it gave me a red squiggly over the word “creamies.”

How do you try to make yourself less sedentaryB in an office environment? B

I take the stairs when I can for my train commute. B Everyone once in a while I try to stand vs. sitting on my train but usually get lazy and sit down once a seat opens up. B I try to walk if I need to be somewhere less than a mile away. B I’m lucky for living in such aB walkableB city.

TV Catch-up time

Today I kept my workout short to just my usual lunch time run.B The results are still in a struggle disappointment.B 5.6 Miles 52 Min 10 Seconds Incline 3. This set me at an average of 6.4MPH.B I”m struggling to go back up to 6.9MPH I used to be able to.B You figured with my increased endurance I would be able to increase my speed for the short runs.B Maybe I’m just tired, or my legs prefer flat surfaces.

This morning I woke up with a craving for oatmeal… I know, that’s a bit weird for me… So that’s what I had some simple plain oatmeal with a ton of raisins and cinnamon.B After my run I munched on some extra salty peanut butter and fruit.

Which was followed by lunch 20 minutes later…

Looks familiar?B That’s my salad from last night with the leftover lunch chicken…. organic spring mix, organic baby arugula, organic celery, orange pepper, organic carrots, asparagus and cucumbers.B I last minute decided to nuke up the salad so I can pretend to have a warm meal instead with a side of sour cream and onion pirate booty.

The 3pm snack was some vegan carrot walnut cake and peppermint tea… Which ended being disappointing due to the frosting.B Not sure whats in vegan frosting but it did not make my mouth happy and after digging around for the cake part I gave up and threw it in the trash and reverted to my usual bag of M&Ms.

As for dinner, I’m actually quite excited to write about!B Although not as excited as I was about eating it.B That’s why midway through my munching I remember I should take a picture.B I actually do own a nice SLR and a nice point and shoot but I prefer iphone photo for speed.

Yup that’s my dinner half gone already. Tony’s mom kindly offered us some chickpea/veggie patties so I graciously accept (that’s the bitten up thing on the bottom left.) They’re quite yummy.B The rest I made myself!

I chopped and baked sweet potatoes, turnips for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.B I then added some asparagus to the baking bowl for another 15 minutes.B To which I ripped up some organic Kale bumped the over temp to 450 and kept it all baking for another 10 minutes.B Retrospectively I should have only did the Kale for 6 minutes or so, o well live and learn; don’t partially burn your food.

Tony made some hummus that I snacked on with pretzels as I continue to catch up on tv for the night.

What was your most recent day of TV bingeing?

Today I practically ran home so I can catch up on some of my weekly shows:B Once Upon A Time, Desperate Housewives, Pretty Little Liars, and Biggest Loser.B I’m a hulu addict.

Prepping for another 14-miler treadmill run

Today’s workout 14 miles, much too long at a too slow pace on a treadmill. To be fair, it was on an incline of 2-3 with a short phone call break not a good excuse but I can whimper.

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So how do I survive a long(ish) boring treadmill run after a long work day? Yes 14 miles is long for as before last two months my regular routine was just 5.5 miles on a treadmill at a time with a painful long run of 7 miles. It takes a full eating day, because if I don’t eat well, I don’t last beyond 7 miles maybe 8. I guess I can try to integrate Gu but just writing makes my insides curl up for now.

I carbo-load for breakfast. Giant sesame seed bagel smothered in peanut butter with extra salt from my amazing work cafe. This picture is stolen as I ate mine before I decided I’m going to blog about what I ingest into my belly. My bagel is bigger with a lot more peanut butter and 3 salt packets. I usually leave 1/4 of the massive bagel to nimble on later.

I skip my regular lunch break/workoutB to catch up on work so I can go up to the gym a little before 530. Most importantly I usually grab lunch from cafe as its all you can grab for 6 bucks and I found out that when I try to run post work on my regular from home lunch I burn out quicker. Although my work lunch is very fairly priced for the balanced options on the days I don’t run long(ish) I still make my own as the work cafe makes it way too easy to overindulge.

So here’s part one of what I grabbed. A gyro sandwich and coconut curry soup. I ate half the soup and put the gyro on the side because I had my eyes set on the next part of my meal.

My baby spinach salad. Did I mention I’m a baby spinach addict like Popeye! He had to get strong and so do I. I love the sweet taste of baby leaves compared to bitterness of a spring salad or plainness of romaine. Yes I might have went crazy with adding goat cheese and feta cheese. B Not sure where this lately crazy cheese craving came from.

Yup, I really load up those to go container, cafe staff and my bosses must think I’m feeding a third world country underneath my desk.

I did leave myself some surprisesB at theB bottomB in caseB i’m still hungry post-salad. B To the left, is some eggplantB potatoB dish that I ate without looking. B It was creamy, veryB pureeB eggplant and perfect potatoes I assumeB GreekB style as that was the theme of today’s menu. B I skipped the chicken kabob on the right as I tried a small piece and it tasted a bit too lemony. B Needless to stay the gyro sandwich got skipped as well. B The meat tasted a bit too processed for my evening plans. B I always grab a little bit ofB everythingB because I never know what I will like and I want to avoid being hungry. B I know wasteful, but I do try to reuse some of the things I don’t eat later in a way that I can stomach so its not too bad. B Right? =)

Around 3pm, one of my amazing coworkers got us some cupcakes from the South End Buttery. B This awesomeness is created with a “traditional Southern recipe, made with cocoa powder and aB hint of vinegar, topped with cream cheese frosting.” Did I mention this is the first time I liked frosting on a cupcake! I had half with a nice cup of mint tea. B I saved the other half for breakfast. B Can’t wait!

I’d like to sayB that’sB all I ate, but I did munch on some berries and a pack of peanut M&Ms (250 cals pack). B Yes my teeth will rot, but my coworkers will beB gratefulB because sugar keeps me perky and not the crazy cranky Liana monster that can appear when tried.

I concluded my 14 milers with someB FacebookB catch upB and foam rolling joying. B Best part of running 14 miles is taking those extra few minutes to roll out some kinks in the legs. B Anyone else want to scream when theyB foam-rollB their calves? B I guess mine are super tight. B

I fully wrapped up with someB GreekB yogurt and more berries for refuel as it was already 7:30 and I had an hour commute back to my palace aka apartment and I hear passing out on trains never leads to a good night.

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Dinner was another boring low key salad as I was slightly tired by the time I made it home. B I reheated the other half of my coconut curry soup and ate that gyro from lunch. B Process meat is fine by me as long as its at the end of my day and not the middle =).

There might have been some more pretzel sticks as I was making my salad and a few pieces of Trader Joes darkB chocolate with some organic ginger peach tea.

Overall, it was a good day through and through. B Hope yours was too!

Do you ever run after work? B How many miles? B Ever do long(ish) runs on weekday evenings? B Outside or inside? B

I try to do 1-2 long(ish) runs in this part of my training during the week with one long run on the weekend. B I’m terrified of running outside and I think lack of light leaves me a bit depressed so I stick to indoor post work workouts. B On the downsize I find the treadmill a lot more tiring than the pavement so I try to pay closer attention to what I eat on those days. B It’s my first marathon and I’m a bit on the rush to build up my base from regular 5 mile runs to 26.2.