Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Importance of Being Flexible, Among Other Things

So, I just noticed that someone who Googled the query, "what causes a slower marathon than expected?" was linked to my post about my last underachiving marathon.  Thanks a lot Google for putting me at the top of that list.

Last week I was reminded of the importance of being flexible.  And I'm not talking about something out of the Kama Sutra, or turning the act of pooping into an ab workout.  No, I'm talking about forces of nature conspiring to keep me from hitting the pavement.

My most recent week of running started out great, much like the week before where I hit the 80 mile milestone.  Until Wednesday that is.  At 5:45am, I was 3 miles into my 15 mile run on my gym's indoor track when I got a page over the loudspeaker.  I was lucky to even hear my name being called because my gym has those cheap, old fashioned loudspeakers around the track that sound like someone yelling into a kazoo.  Turns out my wife Lora was on the phone and she needed me to come home stat since she woke up sick (strep throat) and we have 3 kids who have to have adult supervision.  And after my wife, I'm the closest thing to an adult in our family.  Honestly, I was a little upset/letdown at first because my run got cut way short, but I didn't let on.  In the big picture, this was the first time I got called home during a workout, and that includes the times Lora was pregnant.

Here's where the flexible part comes in.  I ended up making it home before anybody needed help, so I put in another 3 quick miles on the treadmill.  I could've put in more miles that day, but I was content to play Mr. Mom mixed in with a little Betty Crocker, and tack some miles on to the next day's run.

So Thursday, I planned on hitting the gym for another attempt at 15 miles.  Only one kink.  When my alarm went off, Lora was still sick  (who would have thunk antibiotics take more than a half day to get rid of strep throat).  Hence, no gym for me.  I must have a little OCD since I was a little frustrated getting taken out of my routine again.  Can you say Rain Man?  The good thing is we have the aforementioned treadmill and I hopped on it again for 6 miles where I had to stop and get our oldest off to the bus stop.  Then I came back and ran 9 more to get my 15 for the day.

Who still enters their age and weight when they climb on the treadmill?  As a computer programmer, I would love the chance to put some code into a treadmill that gives some feedback.  Someone enters in 24 years old and 106 pounds.  My mill could tell them their time would be better spent hitting some weights and eating something, or "Quit making everyone else look bad."  If somebody enters in an age of over 90, I won't even consider the weight, I'd have the treadmill put a little IM scrolling across the display, "You've put in your dues, you don't need to do this anymore.  Hope you can still read this."  Under the "Calories" column, I could blink the text, "Not enough" for all runners.  Finally, anyone who's been on the treadmill for 3 hours straight might get told to get a life, or that this treadmill will self destruct in 5 minutes.  How about, "Why don't you show this much stamina in other parts of your life?"  Hey, I resemble a few of those remarks.

What else could a treadmill tell a person?  Would anyone buy my treadmill?  I don't know, I'm just saying I've got ideas.

Now back to my point of being flexible...

Friday I'm happy to say was back to my normal routine, then BAM!  The weekend hit and it was all effed up again with schedule conflicts.  Surprisingly to me, the spell checker doesn't complain about the word "effed", huh.  Blogger must have sprung for the deluxe slang/urban dictionary.  I spent a little time stressing Friday night about how I was going to get my long run in:  Here's how my options played out:
  • Plan A was to wake up early Saturday and complete the long run in time to take my 4 year old to swim lessons at 11:00a.  Didn't happen.  Lora went out with her parents leaving me babysitting our 2 youngest.  
  • Plan B, wait until after lunch.  Run my long run outside.  Didn't happen.  The weather was nice except for the wind which was blowing 25 -35 mph with gusts over 40.  Running into that could be just 20 mph shy of the hurricane experience.  No thank you.  Besides, Lora wasn't back yet to watch the kiddies.  Next!
  • Plan C, run downstairs on the treadmill again making it the third time this week I 'got' to be flexible. Plan C it was.  

Looking back, I was shooting for another 80 mile week, but with all that happened, I can't complain about ending up with 78 thanks to being a little flexible.  That is still the second largest training week I've ever had.  Here's my recap:
12 miles total: 7 x 1 mi. intervals @ 6:45 avg., 3 mile tempo @ 7:30 pace.
6.74 miles in 20 minutes on stationary bike

15 mile recovery @ 9:00 avg.

6 mile recovery @ 9:00 avg.

15 mile treadmill tempo run @ 8:00 avg.

7 mile recovery @ 9:00 avg.

23 mile long run on treadmill @ 8:45 pace


Well, less than 3 weeks until I run in the Dallas White Rock Marathon.  I guess that means I need to start thinking about a taper.


Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I'd encourage my gym to buy your treadmill, as long as it yelled at people for holding on to the sides as well.

Jill said...

I've done 21 miles on the TM but never 23 - woohoo for the blog world TM PR I think! Oh wait...EMZ did 100 (no lie), sorry but your PR has been revoked. Hope you enjoyed the title for the brief micro-second you held it.

Hopefully DWR won't have any gale force winds as it usually does...otherwise, you missed a great opportunity to train outdoors last weekend to prep! Ha.

Would you make the treadmill at the gym - at least the "good" treadmills - tell people who are just walking and lollygagging to get the eff off the thing so that some of us who actually want to RUN can do so? Thanks!

Indi said...

Wow!! amazing miles and that crazy mileage on the treddy! way to get it done!

Teamarcia said...

Wow Mr mom and Betty Crocker? You sound like quite the prize!
Way to work the mill instead of being all thrown off by the emergency call. Not an easy task sometimes.

Meg O @watchmegorun said...

so crazy, nice work getting in crazy miles on the mill. I get annoyed after like 5 miles now

Nelly said...

Wow, you've put in some huge weeks recently! I think a PR is coming at Dallas! Lol on the pic above, haha

And yea the 49ers have been playing amazingly well this season - they have an awesome defense, combined with a good running game and capable passing game. They don't have a ton of big victories - but some good ones (Philly, NY Giants, Cincinnati, Detroit). They only play 2 other hard games the rest of the year (Bal and Pit). The other 5 games are against the woeful NFC west. I'm shocked how good they are playing!

And you're right, the 49ers beat all of Dallas division rivals, except for Dallas, haha

Dallas is looking better now, I think you guys have a shot at the playoffs if they keep it up.

Amanda@runninghood said...

HOly Moly!!!! What do you do for that long? do you listen to music? watch t.v? or just stare at a wall? Not so sure I could do it. Do you change up the elevation?? I could see myself getting to LOVE this treadmill. Seriously scrolled through youtube right on my treadmill screen while running. Pretty cool.
Congrats on another great week of mileage!

Char said...

I'd like a treadmill to refute dishonest claims. 'No way you're 110 lbs lady. Try adding the other 20'

Hope Lora's feeling better.

Coy Martinez said...

80 miles in a week and I would need a walker! I've topped out in the high 30's and I felt like I could eat Ibuprofen like Sweet Tarts. I envy your sound legs!!

I know what it's like having kids and trying to get all those runs in! Nothing ever seems to go as planned for me. I swim while my daughter is at swim practice. Guess we have to make do with what we've got!

Good luck in Dallas!