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Cold Weather Running

7 Jan

It’s very cold and snowy outside, and it has been for a couple of weeks now.  I haven’t even contemplated running outside and am grateful for my treadmill which allows me to keep up my fitness regime without having to endure windburned cheeks.  I’m getting pretty familiar with my new treadmill’s 17 programs.  I’m able to get a good sweat going, and I hope my fitness is continuing to improve.  Because I am trying to focus on speedwork – something I think a treadmill should take a lot of the thought out of compared to running outside – most of my treadmill workouts are interval based, so I’m only running at my top speed for a couple of minutes or so before I’m in recovery at a slower speed.  My worry about this is the treadmill says I am only going about 6.5 mph, and that is a fairly average pace when I’m outside, not top speed.  Somehow it feels so much faster on my treadmill.  I think tomorrow I might wear my Nike+ while on the treadmill so I can see if it (which is what records my speed/distance while running outside) shows the same pace and distance as the treadmill.  I know my last treadmill thought I was going slower/shorter than Nike+ did, but I use Nike+ during the (rare) races I have participated in and it has been accurate for those distances.  Regardless, it’s supposed to warm up some this week so I might be able to get out and see how my treadmill workouts have translated to outside running – although I think when it warms up it will be with rain, so I may have to prolong my curiosity!

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Newtons

19 Dec

NewtonsI hit the 300 mile mark with my first pair of running shoes (Asics) a couple of months ago and knew it was time for a new pair.  I had been having some typical running pains, particularly in my IT band.  I’d been consciously trying to neutralize my hips while running, and that was helping some but I wondered if the Newtons I had read about could also help.  I also had plantar fasciitis and a suspected stress fracture in the spring, which I attributed to striking my heel when I ran.

These shoes are designed to keep you on a midfoot strike.  They feel strange at first wear.  It’s like there is a launchpad in the middle of your foot.  This makes it nearly impossible to land on your heel when running.

I was curious to try these after reading an article in Runner’s World about them, but also a little nervous upon purchasing because they (like many running shoes) are expensive.  However, there is a 60 (or 90?) day grace period offered – try them, run as much as you want in them, and if you don’t like them return them, presumably no questions asked.  I won’t know how good that return policy is, because I am in love.  First, I LOVE the look.  The colors are so fun without being too shouty.  But much more importantly is how my body feels after 2 or 3 months using them.  My IT band issues are gone (just to be fair, I want to reemphasize that I consciously have tried to change my running gait to keep my hip from dropping as well as shortening my stride), I have no plantar fasciitis issues, no pain anywhere.

I wouldn’t have even thought to write about my shoes if I didn’t get asked about them so often.  A month or so ago I was running near my home and a neighbor caught up to me to ask me how I liked them.  She said she knows she is a heel striker and feels the effects of it so was thinking of trying them.  I ran the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving morning, and I had two people strike up a conversation with me about them.

In summary, in my humble opinion, I highly recommend Newtons.  They have been really great for me, and I have no reason to believe my next pair would be anything but Newtons.  (This is only my fifth or so post on this blog, so rest assured no one is paying me to say this! 🙂 )

Two Hobbies Collide

18 Dec

I got an email over the weekend about a second quilt camp in May, which happens to land the same weekend as my first half marathon!  I had such a great time at quilt camp the weekend before last, and I would have done everything I could to attend the next one, except sacrifice something as special as my first half marathon!  As my husband said, “two hobbies are colliding.”  It is also my husband’s birthday weekend, so I felt guilty enough carving out a morning for myself for the half marathon (although he has been 100% supportive) much less missing the whole weekend. 😉

So, there was never any question that I will carry on with the Mini Marathon as planned – I just found it funny that two such big, fun things were happening at the same time.  Incidentally, I had planned on the Mini being my first half marathon, but since signing up I’ve been considering doing the half for the Carmel Marathon.  I wondered if I would be crazy for doing 2 only 2 weeks apart, but after talking to a more experienced runner she thought that if I was training I would already being doing at least 10 miles 2 weeks prior to the race, so it should be ok.  Still haven’t signed up for the Carmel one, but as long as my schedule holds then I expect I will at least be doing the 8K.

New Treadmill

13 Dec

I live in Indiana, where the winters are cold!  For some reason I decided to take up running last November, just as the mercury starts falling.  Even though it was a pretty mild winter by most standards, once December came around the idea of running into a bitter winter wind didn’t do much to motivate me to keep going with my new running hobby.

I started wondering if I should get a treadmill.  Maybe it would deprive me of an excuse not to run on cold and/or rainy days.  Maybe I would get extra motivation knowing I had paid for the darn thing and should really get to using it.  I was discussing this with someone at my company holiday party (my husband’s boss, actually, even though it was my and her husband’s company party), and she mentioned they had a treadmill they never used that we could buy for cheap.  Perfect!

So for a year I’ve been using a Pro Form 770 EKG treadmill.  It was great for what I needed it for – to keep me from giving up on running in the beginning.  Once spring came around last year I went back to running outside, and due to the exceptionally (and horrifically) dry summer we had, I never had reason to use it again until temperatures started dropping again this fall.

As I’ve progressed in my running (and learned more and more about it via my Runner’s World subscription), I use techniques such as fartleks to increase my speed.  These are easy to work through when running outside because I just need to listen to my Nike+ to tell me when I’ve reached a quarter-mile to change speed.  However, on my treadmill I found it cumbersome to have to manually adjust as needed.  So I started looking around for an upgrade – something to give me more programs to choose from, in addition to some other advancements like better shock absorption (although I had no complaints about that with my Pro Form).

My search ended recently with the purchase of the LifeSpan TR 1200i.  It has 17 programs, each with 3 levels, as well as 2 customizable programs.  It also has a USB port where you can store workout data and load onto your PC for use with the LifeSpan Fitness Club.

I’ve only used it twice so far, but I like what I’ve seen so far.  Assembly wasn’t too bad.  When the box arrived it was all torn up and shredded like it had been attacked by a puma, so I was worried about the condition.  But once we got it out of the box we could see there wasn’t any damage.  We managed to get it into the basement, and as I mentioned assembly was pretty straightforward.  I did it all myself, but there are two bolts at the bottom which just spun around as I tried to tighten them that I’ve tasked my husband with securing.

I’m excited to get some more time/mileage on it!  It’s the perfect companion to my “Daily Show” viewings! 😉

A Sewing and Running Blog

12 Dec

Hello, and welcome to my first – and hopefully not last – post on my new blog!  In addition to my primary joy – raising my two wonderful kids (follow me doing this on http://haydengoodwin.wordpress.com or http://laylagoodwin.wordpress.com) – I have a couple of other hobbies which I thought it could be fun to chronicle in a blog, sewing and running.  I also work, so I have my doubts about my ability to keep this up to date, but I guess I won’t know unless I try.  I find it difficult to find time for my two hobbies as it is, much less to write about them, but it’s fun to pretend my time and talents are limitless so let’s give this a whirl.

I started sewing a little over 3 years ago.  I learned to sew originally in home ec in middle school and loved it then, but didn’t pick it up again until I was inspired by my friend Faith at http://www.freshlemonsquilts.com.  I mostly do modern quilting, but also enjoy smaller projects such as pillows or occasionally garments.

I’ve been running for a little over a year.  I honestly really used to hate running and couldn’t understand why anyone would choose to do it, but I had a few friends who enjoyed it and I started asking them why.  I decided to give it a try, and with my handy Nike+ app on my iPhone I was able to see my improvements.  It also felt great to feel (not just see on my phone) how I could go farther and faster.  I remember in the beginning feeling like I just had to stop because I needed to catch my breath, as well as feeling extremely thirsty.  As my body got conditioned I could run longer without stopping, and I never really get thirsty anymore on my runs.

So that’s just a little level-setting to get started.  My plan from this point forward is to separate the running and sewing into their own posts, as in life the two topics don’t really intersect very often apart from the fact that they are enjoyed by this one individual.  🙂