Running quote of the week

“It’s an honor to hit the wall… If you hit the wall you know you gave it everything.” – Lauren Fleshman

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter workouts, shovel and machine

Yesterday's workout (elliptical) 25 minutes
Today's workout (treadmill): 4.3 miles

I awoke Saturday morning at 5:00 AM to a coating of snow on my driveway. The neighborhood looked very pretty from an upstairs window and the streets were still untouched by foot, car and plow. I briefly considered getting out and trying a run before the world woke up. As tempting as it looked to run on this virgin snow, I knew it would look less appealing at ground level.

The weather reports called for late morning rain followed later by more snow. I wanted to get the driveway cleared before the rain so I wouldn't end up with a sheet of snow and ice later. I put on my snow shoveling gear (double lined track pants, Timberlands, new Rails to Trails hat...) and opened the garage door to see what I was dealing with.

That snow, that looked so pretty from the guestroom, turned out to be pretty saturated with water. Unlike the fluffy snow that I can push across my driveway with moderate effort, this stuff was pure slush. I approached it strategically, moving small amounts with each pass. I got into a rhythm, but it took a long time to get through it all. My daughter came out to help but the snow was really too heavy for her. She stayed outside and kept me company and that made the time go quickly.

When I finally got inside, I considered whether pushing a few metric tons of slush constituted a real workout. I decided it did - but only to a point. I gave myself a break and did a 25 minute elliptical session, following that with 10 push ups. I would have liked to do more, but enough was enough.

Neither the rain nor snow ever came and I was hoping that SIOR, TPP and I could do our planned timed mile on Sunday. Although the snow wasn't happening, we acknowledged that the track would be in poor shape. I wasn't feeling all that well and questioned whether I'd be up for any workout today at all. We decided to reschedule the Runsketeer Mile until next weekend.

This morning I felt well enough to do a moderate treadmill run and had the brilliant idea to use earplugs to suppress the treadmill's noise. The Sole now sounds the same as standing 20 feet from a 747 at takeoff. Those plugs made a big difference. Although it didn't result in a whisper-quiet experience, it reduced the noise to a tolerable level.

Considering that I went 1.3 miles beyond my mental threshold for enduring the treadmill, I did fairly well with it. In fact, I carefully increased my speed in tenth of a mile increments and managed to get my HR to 87% of max for the last third of my run. Pushing pace on the Sole is tricky, because the tread slips and jerks more as speed is increased. Here's a tip: don't buy a Sole treadmill. Even if it's on sale.

We're supposed to get a ton of snow starting tomorrow night. That will provide the opportunity for another upper body shoveling workout. I'm predicting that I'll need to work from home on Tuesday based on reports. That could give me the chance to do a weekday treadmill run, unless we also lose our power during the storm. At least the elliptical is self powered.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Lordy, I will be very unhappy if we lose power. Say it isn't so!

    A is a good kid for keeping you company while you shoveled. My freighbors shoveled my sidewalk before I got up which was a nice surprise. I prefer fluffy to slushy, too.

    I like Snow Safety Tip #6. I could stay in bed until spring. Speaking of which, NASA is looking for people to stay in bed for 90 days. They will pay you, but you cannot get up except I think to go potty. I'm sending them my resumé. When I was younger I was very good at that.

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    1. I added the 6th tip because I thought it was important for people to know. I'm glad you have good neighbors who take good care of you. Mine would more likely put their extra snow on my driveway.

      The NASA job sounds great, but they'd probably make you do all your sleeping in Houston.

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  2. I just got snowshoes for Christmas so I'm ready for anything! I can't wait to try them out. I may need them to get me from the house to the garage ; )

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    1. Every winter I wish I had snowshoes but I always figure if I buy them we won't get any snow. I hope you have fun. Let me know what it's like to run with them. Snowshoe racing is a big thing now.

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