Denial of both service and stimulation

Treadmill data more stimulating than treadmill

Today’s run (treadmill): 4 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.1 miles

This weekend’s weather isn’t great for running, but I managed to get in a couple of workouts today and Friday. Yesterday my friend and portfolio advisor (Steve) came by for one of our periodic financial reviews. Before we got down to business, we hit my neighborhood roads for a tidy 5K run.

Steve is a Crossfit guy whose workouts focus primarily on strength training and high intensity activities. Cross-fitters incorporate running into their training, but it’s typically 400 meter intervals between squats, push ups and other dynamic stationary exercises. I imagine it would be hard to adapt from intensely anaerobic workouts to an aerobic training event like running. Steve said the first mile is always his slowest. I’m guessing that’s due to the heavy cardio aspect of running.

Steve and I ran my typical Friday route and the pace we set seemed challenging to us both. We were surprised to discover that our speed did not reflect our perceived efforts. After Gmapping the route, I calculated that we’d averaged about 10:30 a mile. We did talk the entire time and that’s an indicator that we weren’t pushing all that hard. According to Garmin Connect, I averaged 76% max HR which is about nine percentage points lower than what I’ve recorded on recent high 9:00 runs.

After Steve and I finished up, I settled into my work, only to discover that my company’s email system was down due to the massive DDoS attack on Dyn. That was fine as I had plenty of non-email work to do and, fortunately, our other systems were accessible through the VPN. By 5:00 PM, our mail server started pushing through messages. I caught up with the most important stuff and left the rest for Monday morning.

This morning the weather had taken a turn for the worse. I’m willing to run in sub-optimal conditions but the howling winds, steady rain and chilly temperatures forced me to accept the treadmill as my only real option. My enthusiasm for today’s run dropped a few levels, but I dutifully got on board.  I set the speed to 5.6 MPH and edged it up to 6.1 throughout the run. Unlike running outdoors where you can see your progress, the treadmill provides very little sensory stimulation. I spent the entire time thinking about the wonderful moment when I would hit the stop button.

With humidity close to 100%, I felt all used up at the end. I’ve been hoping for more dramatic improvement in my performance but I’m leveling right now. Still, at this level, I’m running almost a minute per mile faster than I did in September. Yesterday’s humidity was 94% and today’s was worse, so I’ll blame that for not pushing any harder.

I’m excited that I’m going to see the Runsketeers tomorrow. Per my opening reference to the weather, the winds on Sunday are supposed to be fierce, with gusts up to 40 MPH and a real feel in the high 30’s. Should be fun.

Gearing up for a mid-day run

It’s another cold day with strong winds that are making it feel even colder outside. This is the last full workday before most people leave for the long Christmas weekend. I wish things felt more holiday festive but at the moment it’s not much different than normal. Actually that’s not entirely true. I left my suit and tie at home today and brought in my running clothes. I have noontime city runs planned for both today and tomorrow.

Today’s run is with my friend Steve, who is also my financial advisor. He’s currently into Crossfit, an exercise method that involves short but intense full body workouts. Steve and I have not run together for a few weeks and he is curious to see how, or if, Crossfit will help his speed and endurance. We’re targeting around 5 miles in the park and I’m undecided how I’ll dress for this cold. Normally I’d error on the warmer side in this type of weather but overheating could work against me today.

With no post-run shower option and meetings with colleagues in the afternoon I’m not going to want to sweat as much as I normally would. I’ve brought enough gear to allow me to decide what to include – or not – based on current conditions. My biggest concern right now is my level of energy. I’m not sure I’m fully through the effects of last week’s flu shot.