Sunday, December 12, 2010

Going long.

It seems that the treadmill and I have decided to be friends this year. This is not to say that I will be forgoing my outdoors runs in favor of the 'mill. There's no way that will happen. I can't imagine a more dreadful season than one spent running every mile on the 'mill. It's more that I think I won't hate every mile that I have to run indoors. And that's a good thing.

I found a bit of a treadmill groove this week. After taking a few days off after the 5k race, I was itching to run, but I had little interest in running in the cold and dark this week. So, the 'mill it was. And it wasn't horrible. The key to my decent runs was starting slow -- and I mean S. L. O. W. The problem with me and the 'mill is that I always jump into my regular run pace and, for some reason, that doesn't work. I can do that outside, but not in. So, this week, I ran the first mile at a wicked slow pace and then a bit faster for the second mile and got into the groove of my regular pace for the third and fourth miles. I don't know why it takes me so long to warm-up/find a rhythm on the treadmill but it does. It's too bad my time was short because once I was in the groove I felt as if I could have run many miles more.

Yesterday, though, was an incredibly beautiful day -- really warm (for December!) and sunny -- so I was happy Owen was home so I could get outside for a run. I ran a nice 5-miler at 9:20 pace and felt great! Today, I followed up with a 4.4 miler. With more time on my hands, I could have gone much longer for both runs.

All of this "I could have gone longer" is leading up to the inevitable: Training for a longer race. Now that I'm feeling like 5 miles is an easy-peasy run, I'm getting more confident in my (95% sure) decision to run a half marathon this spring.

You read that right. I'm going long!

I haven't run a race longer than a 15k since I ran a marathon in 2004. That's a long time and two babies ago. What am I thinking?

I'm thinking I can do it. The race is in April. Yes, I'll still be breast-feeding but my little guy will be almost 6 months old, so he should be able to handle being away from me for half a day. Yes, I'll have to train in crappy winter weather but I'm at peace with the treadmill (this week). And I have a head lamp. And warm clothes. So, basically, no excuses.

I've started putting together my plan. It's a combination of a bunch of different plans that I've seen, mushed together and tailored to fit my style, goals and time constraints.

So, there you have it. I'm friends with the treadmill, better friends with the warm December weather and hopeful that the 13.1 distance will be friendly to me come April. We'll see how that works out.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


~ Felice

26 comments:

Doctor Blondie said...

I think you should do it!

Carlee said...

Yay! You should definitely do it!!!

trifitmom said...

go for it !!!

MCM Mama said...

Sounds like a great choice! Which half are you running?

Lisa said...

Great idea. Have fun with it!

macnic said...

Well, I hope to heck you can do it because I'm planning on running my first half in May at exactly 9 months PP. Good luck!

Tim Wilson said...

Good on you - I look forward to watch you (even if you run on the mill)

RunningOnCoffee said...

I'm a little further south than you, but still in the north east- I'm signed up for an early April half too.

After running my first two half marathons this year (April & September), I have decided I prefer training in the winter. No problem getting speed work done in the winter (vs summer), and cooler temps on race day. Both were fast and flat courses, and I was faster for my first in April!

ajh said...

Excellent news! What half are you going to do?

The Happy Runner said...

ROC -- Hope that's what happens for me, too!

MCM -- The 13.1 NYC half in Queens. It's 4/2.

Marlene said...

YAY! So excited for you tackling the long distances again! Sounds like a great goal.

I'm the same on the treadmill... it takes at least a mile or two for me to feel comfortable on that thing and I run MUCH slower overall. My 5K pace on the treadmill on Friday was slower than my 27K outside today on some crazy hills in a snow storm.

Aimee said...

You can do it! It is a great goal. I will be running my first half, 5 months PP and my first full 9 months PP and I am nursing too. I'm currently 4 months PP and put in 16 miles this weekend. You have a waaaay longer running career than I have. Good Luck!

Leah said...

I agree with RunningonCoffee. I much prefer training in the winter. I feel like I get an extra boost from the cold and I use the treadmill as a good opportunity to monitor my pace and work on picking it up.

Go for it!

Manderz said...

The weather this weekend sure was strange!! It takes me awhile to get warmed up on the treadmill too. If I dont get into the NYC Marathon I'll be running with you in april :)

The Happy Runner said...

Amanda -- I hope you get in to NYC but kinda hope you run w/us a little more!

Denise said...

oh, i definitely think you should go for it!!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Wil Travel said...

I think it sounds great! Which half are you thinking of?

misszippy said...

First, I admire you for making friends with the treadmill--I seem to be stuck with a grudge against mine! And go for the 1/2! You'll be in great shape by then to not only run it, but run it well!

Darlene said...

I survive the Jan 16 half, I may do the Apr 2 one. Does it close out?

J said...

That is so exciting!! The treadmill definitely comes in handy when training for a race in early spring. Hopefully the winter wont be too harsh so you can get outside for most of your runs!

Elizabeth said...

I love my treadmill and using the following programs makes it a whole lot of fun.

http://www.itrain.com/program/iTREAD/

http://www.cardiocoach.com/

http://www.motiontraxx.com/

http://www.djsteveboy.com/mixes.html

GoddessLibrarian said...

As you know, I'm on the treadmill more often than not. Do you use the incline when you're running to make it more like running outside? I found a chart somewhere on the interwebs (http://anonrunnerrunning.blogspot.com/2009/01/treadmill-pace-calculator.html) that broke down what speed/incline you need to use to simulate a particular pace on the road. I've been doing it the past month or so and it seems to be working well.

onelittletrigirl said...

GO FOR IT!!! You will totally rock a half marathon!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

complete and total faith in you because you have the right attitude and enjoy what you're doing!

Suzy said...

You will rock the half! It is good to be friends with your treadmill, especially this time of year.

Quix said...

I went from never running over a 10k to 13.1 in 3 months, so considering you have experience, I have the utmost faith in you.

I'll be jealous - I promised myself no more race training until spring but every half that passes me by it's like AAAARGH, another chance for a PR and to get closer to a sub 2 hour! :) I won't be jealous of the cold and dark runs though...

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