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Archive for the tag “trails”

A Huge Runcheap Weekend Thank You To… The Treadmill.. Yep I said it

This weekend’s thank you goes out it to that dreaded run machine that we all find ourselves attached to from time to time. It is more useful than you know. Easy to find, convenient to use, whether while traveling, at home, or at your gym. It means you dont always have to go huge distances to find a good run. Yeah,  it may not be the track in Eugene, or the Big Sur Marathon Route, or in my case even Flatwoods Park; Yet I find it to be an extremely helpful tool in my training. You could too

Thank you Treadmills!

Thank you for your convenience! Thank you for your reliability!

Thank you for your ability to always give me whatever type of run I am looking for, no matter what the conditions are outside!

Thank you for starting me off on my running path!

I was bitterly disappointed this morning when my navigational failures deprived me of a great opportunity. A chance to run the Croom Trail up in Brooksville with old friends and a chance to meet new ones. It is supposed  to be one of the premier running spots in the area for trail runners and it fit my run week perfectly. I missed it today because I couldnt find it. I was angry. I was pissed. I was furious. So what did I do? I went back to my gym, and blasted out 8 miles of hard ascending hill repeats on the treadmill. Then after a spin class, I jogged out 4 more on the treadmill. Frustration over.

Words cannot describe how angry I was at missing out on these beautiful trails this morning. I was happy to stomp that anger out on some hard treadmill miles

Im grateful to treadmills even though runners hate them. Treadmills, if you are runner, are super easy to develop a variety of workouts from. Florida doesnt have a lot of hills? Treadmill has a hill option. Want to avoid the heat for Intervals? Treadmill has speed intervals on it. I use them to build a pretty intense Fartlek workout on Fridays. I also use treadmills for pure speed workouts, gradually increasing speed over a set time. Treadmills are cheap to me because they are found at every gym, lots of peoples homes, and in hotels. No extra time or money spent in search of a good run when you want to stay indoors or your plans fall through.

Somedays indoor running just makes sense, and Im thankful that the treadmill exists for those moments

Treadmills are safe and convenient. I dont have to worry about cars, potholes, and stray animals. They are always close to the bathroom, which comes in handy all too frequently. They have TV so if I dont have to make the decision between a good workout and watching an amaziing game. They are near weights and spin rooms if you want to stack workouts or mix runs with fitness classes. The ability to get one full varied workout involving all of those elements in 1 locations helps hugely with gas and expenses.

When I started running, I was only doing one day a week outdoors and the other 3 on the treadmill.  Iw as intimidated by the wide variety of runs available to me outdoors. The wealth of workouts overwhelmed me by its sheer size. So I used the treadmill to keep my fitness and build my confidence. The outdoors I left for marathon base building. For me and others, I think the treadmill can be a good option for people who dont want to jump into the deep end of the pool when they start to run to stay in shape or get into as a hobby. I didnt want to spend tons on a watch or fancy running sneakers until i was sure I could handle it. My work on the tready convinced me I could.

While I love going up to San Antonio to work hills, it isnt super easy or convenient to always get up there. The only other hill workout option is on the treadmill

The treadmill isnt perfect. I crave the outdoors many days. I crave trails, amazing veiws and scenic locations. I always crave the crisp smells and fun sounds of the open roads as much as anyone. And you certainly cant run in a group on a tready. But its there when you need it. When you live in the disturbing heat of Tampa, that occurs quite frequently.

One of my favorite blogs (runstrongereveryday.com) described the treadmill as a “sometimes workout”. I would agree. Even though now, I run on the road far more often, I know I have that option of going back to that infernal machine and blasting off a good hard run. It may not be exactly the same, but it does work and it is effective. So a huge weekend runcheap thank you to the treadmill, for its reliability, convenience, and possibly variety.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wednesday… Fuel and Food Favorites

Remember when I said that the Wish List Wednesday posts mostly wouldnt be simply about running gear that I am craving that I cant really afford? This week is one of those cases where it will be. This is an item I really need, and I crave having one as much as I crave the other item on the nutrition part of the post.

For my running wish…..

I wish that I had a Fuel Belt….

Set up- So much to carry, so few hands

I want to start going longer distances and building up to try my hand at further marathons, trail runs, and ultra runs. In order to better prepare/ perform in these races and training runs, I need to a way to refuel during my run. I need to be able to carry food, water, cell phones, keys and other items in a convenient way so Im not death gripping six different items while going distance and checking pace on my watch. Although I have resisted, I know I need one. The problem is they are a little out of my price range.

One of these would be so helpful to improve my running

The Ideal Wish-  Love Ifitnessinc

I know exactly what I want is this case and here they are. Either one or the other would be fine

http://www.ifitnessinc.com/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=14

http://www.ifitnessinc.com/index.php?_a=viewCat&catId=15

I wish that I had one of these so I could strap it on, ram all the stuff I needed into it and get running. I wish that when my nutrition fails me I could reach into my pouch for another gel, or some other tasty treat I prepared for my run to boost my energy. I wish that I could put my phone safely away so I wouldnt be worried about dropping it and breaking it. I wish that I could put my keys in their so they didnt hurt my hands when I grip them on lengthy runs. I wish I could put my credit card in their as a just in case type deal. I wish that I actually had water with me on long runs to keep hydrated and train better. I wish that I had a fuel belt that would allow me to stay hydrated/energized/refreshed on these long runs so I could perform my best.

The Reality- Dehydrated and uncomfortable

I dont have one. On runs longer than 17 miles, I carry gels (or granola bars) with me in my hand, along with my keys, my gate opener (sometimes), and my phone. Its quite a pair of handfuls. Its uncomfortable to run with. Plus-notice something missing? No water. I rarely do distances between 17-20 with water. I know its not good for you and it limits performance but I simply cant carry anything more. I have to make those decisions beforehand. When I go longer than 20, I water place. I go out the night before, find 2 spots and place water bottles along the route. This is extra work and extra gas and gets me creepy looks late at night. There have literally been times when I have become so hungry and/or thirsty while running that I looked at the side of the road for water bottles and such. Seriously. Only a couple of times but still. Im sick of carrying everything in my hand. It is frustrating and limiting.

I have no free hands to carry one of these. On really long training race, I have to hunt for spots to hide them on my running route

The Possible- A Shoe Solution

Stuck on this one. I tried one at the expo for Gasparilla where I believe it was on sale. I was THIS close to buying one, but I had to resist the urge. It is a good thing I did. What stopped me? Uh, 1 pair of broken glasses and 1 severely bent pair. Plus, a cell phone that badly needs to be replaced. None of those have been fixed about a month or so later. Tack on having to pay $300 dollars to get the sideview mirror of my car fixed after I knocked it off on parents gate like an idiot. I certainly dont have the money for it. There is a 10 dollar device that they sell at Fitniche (a local runners’ store) which attaches to your shoelaces and is probably good enough to squeeze in a few things- a gel, a key, credit card maybe-  to free my hands of some of the stuff. It is not ideal, but it would be a step in the right direction and I can probably justify that expense

One of these for 10$ will probably be a purchase I make soon

Forward to my nutrition wish……

I wish I could have a real NY Bagel!!!!!!!!

Set up-  Cheap, yummy, and perfect for runners

I love bagels, absolutely love them.  Not to mention that for a runner its an excellent (and usually cheap) nutritional source in a variety of circumstances. It is good during glycoloading phase before big runs, good to replenish after runs, good as a breakfast before a big workout. To a runner it is an excellent source of needed carbohydrates. To a non runner it is fine too. Despite being labled by the South Beach and Atkins inspired Carb Police as an unhealthy food because of the caloric count and carb heavy nature, bagels can play a healhty role in a well organized, well thought out diet. I used to eat them a lot after my long runs, but the quality of bagel down here is so lousy that I miss the real deal. The ones I grew up with. The bagels down here are not worth the price they put on them however small.

The Ideal Wish- I miss that NY flavor

That I could enjoy a bite into a nice fresh, Long Island made bagel after a hard saturday of cross training, or a hard 17 mile long run. That I could replenish my carb supply with that delicious bit of NY flavor. That I could glycoload using one of those huge tasty bagels you can find any where on the streets of New York City. That as a treat, I could smother some peanut butter on half of one and use this as a quick, delicious, energzing breakfast. That I could enjoy the tasty product I grew up loving, that I took for granted when I was there, and that came in that white bag with the pungent yummy smell most weekends of my childhood… so good.

Totally craving a nice fresh LI bagel

The Reality-  A huge bagel snob

I dont refuel, carb load, or treat myself with bagels down here any more. Why? They are terrible. Im a huge bagel snob. I genuinely dislike bagels from just about any chain place ( 1 exception). When someone tells me about a delicious bagel from Panera Bread or Dunkin Donuts, I literally cringe. I look down my nose at bad bagel eaters the way my sister the beer snob looks down at me when I sip a hard cider or Miller Lite. Publix makes tolerable bagels, but even after running the marathon in Gainesville, I really didnt want to eat those mini offerings. When I was unhealthy I use to eat 7-11’s bagel with cream cheese most mornings plus a muffin and feel ashamed of myself both because of the excess of what I was eating and the poor quality of what I was eating. These bagels are brutal. To me this could be a useful, delicious food source as a runner. Another connection of a food that I love that also serves a cheap and effective purpose in my running. Instead, I almost never touch them anymore down here in the F L A.

Panera calls this a bagel and while it may be tasty to some, it doesnt work for me.

The Possibility- One acceptable place

Not planning any NY or metro area trips anytime soon due to expense and time purposes, so that option is out. Unfortunately visitng family from Connecticut did not smuggle down a bunch of those delicious goodies during their visits this year. Colossal, galactic sized fail on their part! Occasionally one of my fathers business friends shows up with some from NY, but I feel badly taking from my parents since they miss the bagels almost as much as I do. It looks like for the near future, I am going to have to be content with the closest possible substitute- Big Apple Bagels. Big Apple Bagels is a decent chain down there that stresses that they sell NY quality bagels. NY style bagels can really only be found in NY (ok maybe Jersey and CT as well) but BAB makes a bagel that is pretty good. It is the only acceptable substitute within driving distance of my place. They are not good enough, but will have to do for the time being.

This is the only place I will eat a bagel from in Florida. Not quite NY, but not close enough.

Oh wow, now Im really craving a bagel! Damn!

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day :0

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