Treadmill Running

I've been doing almost all of my wintry runs outside lately. However, yesterday, my sick child stayed home from school with strep. She was on the borderline of contagious/not contagious because she had been on antibiotics for 24 hours, but I think she was ready for a break from her grueling kindergarten schedule. Until yesterday, she'd had perfect attendance.

I debated on skipping my run, but we were forecast an ice storm last night and I knew running on Tuesday might be out. So, I took her to the YMCA. Before you think, "bad mom, " I didn't put her in childcare or anything. She was feeling completely back to normal and happy after being on antibiotics for two days, but I found a bench for her to sit on away from any people (old or young), brought markers, paper, etc., and she entertained herself for about 30 minutes while I ran. After being housebound for two days, she said it was fun.

My plan called for 3 easy miles, but sometimes I feel like those "easy miles" are a little pointless. I wanted them to MATTER, so I decided to do a tempo run instead. I was in a rush, so there was not much time for warm up. I walked about 20 seconds, then jogged for a third of a mile. Then I did one mile in 9:33 and another at 9:00 minute pace. My last 2/3 mile was supposed to be cool down, but I found myself comfortable at a 9:40 pace for most of it. When did 9:40 (or anything under 10) become comfortable?

The good thing about treadmills is you can easily try out different paces and see how they feel. I experimented (briefly!) with 8:40, 8:54, 9:05, etc. just to see what they feel like at this point in my training. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh, I did do something else slightly different---caffeine. I drank about half a frappuccino mocha right before going into the Y. I could tell a difference around the 2nd and 3rd miles. Maybe I should always integrate caffeine into my runs!

Two of my friends have been drinking 5-hour-energy drinks before runs and can definitely tell a difference. That one scares me a little, though I assume it's safe. I think I need to do some research.


I don't drink coffee but sometimes I drink half a can of Diet Pepsi, but then I worry I will pee my pants. Oh the joys of having children.

Good job on pushing your speed a little. If you never try you will never know if a faster pace will work for you. It sounds like you are def getting faster and stronger. Way to go.
Bethany said…
You had a good little run! And way to push yourself. That fast on a treadmill??? That just scares me! Maybe one day I will be able to do that, but I'm not counting on it this year ;)
Run Mommy said…
I agree with you about the treadmill. They definately have a place that can occassionally be useful! Great run.
MCM Mama said…
Nice run!

Caffeine definitely helps me with my running. Gives me a little lift and keeps me going longer.
Katie said…
I noticed from your about me that your training for a marathon. That's awesome! I just ran my first marathon this past October. I liked it and would do it again!

Sometimes I feel like those easy miles are pointless too. Of course, that attitude can get me into trouble (in the way of injuries).

I've also noticed that caffeine can have an impact on a run, but I generally try to limit caffeine intake (which has nothing to do with running just a personal choice).

I've also heard about the 5-hour-energy drink (although I've never tried it). The advertisements makes it sound like there is only a small amount of caffeine, no sugar, and relies mostly on vitamins? You'll have to let us know if you do try it!
I know what you mean about the easy miles. I'm following a modified FIRST training plan for the marathon in May, but I'm adding some easy miles here and there (yesterday I did some). I just feel that there are days when, psychologically, I need the easy miles even though the FIRST plan would have me not running.

Playing with speed on the treadmill is definitely a benefit!