2017: January Running

January is over already! I can still vividly remember my first run of 2017, in Cloverdale, Indiana of all places!  Let’s get right into January’s running recap!

I ran 55 miles in January, which is way lower than I prefer, but I spent a week and a half too sick to run and had a very busy month, otherwise.  Overall, I had pretty solid runs, just not quite as often as I would have liked.  My unofficial goal this year is to reach 1000+ miles again.

I started 2017 in Detroit, with Chris and his family.  We had a 12 hour drive home on New Years Day, so naturally, we stopped about halfway to run a mile.  I had told Chris we would have to stop and run at least a mile, because one ALWAYS runs on New Years Day!  He was thrilled, just like I knew he would be. 😉

photo-jan-01-1-44-09-pm

My longest run in January was 10 miles, which happened on a treadmill, unfortunately.  I needed to get a good solid long run, but it was drizzly and hovering around freezing, with icy spots, so I opted for inside, and had my longest treadmill run to date.

photo-jan-15-2-48-37-pm

I ran with friends a couple times, ran solo several times, and ran with Chris a bunch too in January.  I had 15 runs total in January, which isn’t terrible.  I like to have 1-2 days off from running each week, so I’m looking forward to picking it up a bit in February.

photo-jan-19-6-39-44-pm

photo-jan-29-12-03-36-pm

I finished out January with a strong 5 mile run, which felt great. My goal for February is to add strength training 1-2 times per week over my lunch hour, in addition to my running.

photo-jan-30-6-34-28-pm

How was your January? Any goals for February?

The Treadmill

Just about the longest I’ve run on a treadmill is 6 or 7 miles.  That’s not long, in the grand scheme of things, but over the last several months, I’ve had a decent amount of treadmill runs.  When the weather is too bitterly cold, or when it’s too icy or snowy, I opt for the treadmill instead of running outside.  This week, since we’ve had some ice and snow, and since my two weeks of no running ended, I have had a few dates with the good ol’ treadmill at the gym.

The treadmill is definitely not my favorite way to run, but if it comes down to running on the treadmill or not running at all, I’ll take the treadmill every time!  One of the very first things I did when I started to run more on the treadmill was to stop calling it a dreadmill, or Satan’s sidewalk, or a hamster wheel.  Calling the poor thing names doesn’t help you one bit, and just puts a negative spin on the whole thing before you’ve even started.

The treadmill can be a great tool to help you keep up your runs and workouts when the weather is crappy, or if you’re in a situation when you can’t or shouldn’t run outside.  Just think, you get to have your water, gu, towel, etc. right there at your fingertips!  How convenient!  This week, I have a few tips and tricks to help make the time go by faster, or at least not make the treadmill quite so boring.

Photo Jan 20, 7 45 01 PM

 

My #1 go to option is to watch something.  Almost all treadmills have a little stand for a phone or tablet, so my first option is to watch an episode of something on Netflix, or a movie, or something to keep my mind occupied while I run in place.  Many gym treadmills have a port to listen to what’s on the TV’s on the walls, so this is a good option too.

If I don’t have anything to watch, then my second best way to make the time pass is to listen to something.  I don’t run with music when I’m outside, but on the treadmill, I can zone out while listening to music or a podcast.  You can also read!  It’s a bit harder for me to read while I run, but it is possible!  Get a good book on your tablet, and increase the size of the font a bit, and off you go!

Find a treadmill with a fan built in, or try to aim a fan at you.  I don’t know about you, but I overheat quickly.  With no air movement, it becomes stiflingly hot, real quick.  My favorite treadmill at the gym has a fan built in, so a gentle breeze is blowing on my face the whole time I’m running, and boy, that’s the difference between a comfortable run and a miserable run.  If I get on a treadmill which doesn’t have a built in fan, the minutes seem slower for sure.

Cover up the time and/or distance on the screen.  That time ticking up or down just makes time stand still.  That mile takes forever when you watch it crawl up by .01.  Cover up the screen so you don’t have to look at it!  I don’t usually cover up the time if I’m watching a show on my phone, but if I’m just listening to something, or if I have nothing else to occupy my mind, I definitely have to cover up the screen so I’m not just staring at the numbers.

Play around with speed and elevation.  Move the speed by .1 every so often, up or down; it changes up your stride, makes things feel a bit more like if you were outside.  Same with elevation, run a couple small hills here and there, and when you drop back to 0 incline, it’ll make you feel even faster!  The treadmill is a fantastic way to make yourself focus on your form.  Watch this elbows in the mirror, and check out your foot strike.  Work on increasing your cadence.  All of these things are more easily done on a treadmill than outside.

Close your eyes.  Now, be careful, I don’t want anyone falling off the back of the treadmill because of me!  If I really need to zone out, I try to run close to the front, so my hands are lightly touching the front bar, and sometimes I can zone out a bit by closing my eyes while I’m running for a couple minutes.  It makes you really feel what your body is doing, and can really connect your mind and body.  Be sure you keep your stomach or hands lightly touching the front though, so you don’t drift backwards or off to the side.

Count backwards by 3’s, or count forwards by 7’s.  Or practice saying the alphabet backwards.  Name all the states you can in alphabetic order and count them to see how many you miss.  Try to recite lines in your head from your favorite movie or book or play.  These mind tricks really take some concentration, and keep your mind off the task of running in place.  I’ve tried all of these things, and I actually got quite good at counting backwards by 3’s and saying the alphabet backwards.  Give them a try!

Put a sticky note on the treadmill with names of people or events you would like to think about or pray for during your run.  Each mile, or each minute, can be for a different person or thing.  This really makes your time on the treadmill feel like it’s meaning something more than just sweating and breathing hard.

Bring a friend! Running with a buddy is always funner than running solo!  Running with a friend on the treadmill next to you is a surefire way to make the time go faster.  Plus, if you have a friend who runs a different pace than you, this is a fantastic way to workout together without one of you having to run faster or slower than you really want to go.  Win/ win!

Photo Oct 05, 11 08 09 AM

Just think, in no time, your run will be over, and you will feel so accomplished!  Treadmill runs have made me a stronger runner, not just physically, but mentally.  If I can get through a tough run on a treadmill with nothing to look at and nobody to talk to, just saying states to myself trying to reach all 50 states, think about what I can do when I get to run outside!!

I’d love for you to share some of your favorite treadmill tips with me!

Monday Mentionings: August 17

Another week! My mom celebrated her birthday over the weekend, happy birthday Mom!

This is basically how Jasper and I spend our evenings; Royals baseball on TV.  I’ll be sad when baseball is over for the year.Photo Aug 15, 8 00 53 PMTuesday and Thursday nights were spent with the Groupies!Photo Aug 13, 7 44 55 PMFriday night I went to the Royals game with my work friend Carmen, her husband, and father in law. Our seats were great, the company was great, and we got to see a fantastic win! I had the Best. Drink. Ever.  It’s called a Royal ‘Rita, and it’s frozen lemonade margarita and frozen blue raspberry margarita mixed together.  Ahhh-Mazing.  I also ran into my good friend Kristen, who recently moved to KC! I can’t wait to see her again soon, and can’t wait to see another Royals game in just a couple weeks with Mom!  We also stayed for summer fireworks after the game, and the picture below is from the Royals Instagram, because my pictures look like poop compared to the professional ones.Photo Aug 16, 1 53 11 PMPhoto Aug 16, 1 54 29 PM

Photo courtesy of Royals Instagram.

Photo courtesy of the Royals Instagram page.

Saturday morning was spent changing all my passwords, because some jerk in California tired to hack my Google and Verizon accounts Friday while I was a the game.  Luckily, no information was stolen, and the password protection verifications saved me a lot of headaches.  But alas, Saturday morning was spent changing everything.  Once I was finished, it was hot outside! I took to the treadmill, and listened to This American Life to get me through 7 miles on the treadmill.  It was a nice change, because I don’t like listening to music while I run, but I needed something to get me through 7 miles staring at a blank white wall.

Sunday morning, Amy and I ran with the Groupies for 5 miles, which puts me at 55 for August so far.  If you remember my goals for August, with 55 miles, I’m on track to get to 100+ miles this month! I need to get on the foam rolling train, because I’m failing at the 5x per week goal.  =(  I’ve been getting my water in though, at least 120 ounces per day!Photo Aug 15, 2 20 18 PMMy TimeHop and some gems this weekend! First, I found some pictures that I took of my little cousin Ava when she was almost a year old.  So precious.  I remember going out to the sunflower fields south of town to take these pictures.  She was so itty bitty!Photo Aug 16, 1 50 02 PMI also came across one of Jasper’s first meetings with his Uncle Cooper.  Cooper bopped Jasper on the head a few times, just to make sure he knew who was boss.  Jasper was so itty bitty too! He would have been about 6 months old in these pictures.Photo Aug 16, 1 48 02 PMThis was Jasper yesterday, sleeping away the dog days of summer.  I had to take a picture, he was just so fluffy! He opened his eyes when I came over, and of course, rolled over as soon as I took the picture.Photo Aug 16, 2 56 05 PMSomething to think about for this week.  I saw this quote last week, and it really kind of resonated with me.  Photo Aug 15, 8 08 53 PM