Sunday, December 27, 2009

Long-ish Run On The Treadmill

I again was a wimp and did not want to run outside this morning. The temps were a bit below freezing and with the rain and melting snow from Saturday there were going to be some icy patches - but truth be told I just didn't want to run in the cold today.

I got to the gym when it opened at 7am and after a little stretching got started on one of the TechnoGym treadmills.

Over the summer when I was in marathon training craziness, there were a few mid-week "longer" runs which I ran during my lunch break - and since it was summertime (and HOT) I ran them on the treadmill. However, most of the treadmills at my gym have a 60 minute limit programmed in. So I would have to stop after 60 minutes and then re-start the treadmill. I complained to the manager to see if he could "un-program" the treadmills and remove the 60 minute limit.

After a few weeks of asking he finally told me that they were able to remove the limit on the TechnoGym treadmills - but not the LifeFitness ones. Ironically, by this time it was already late September and I never ran a long session on the treadmill after they were changed.

Today - nearly 4 months later - was the first time I actually ran more than 60 minutes on the treadmill. As I neared 60 minutes I was watching the clock and the screen to see if the 'mill was going to stop me, but the clock kept on going past 60:01. Hooray!

I ended up going 7 miles in 77:17 - a nice, easy 11:03/mile pace. I kept the incline at 1% and the speed between 5.3 and 5.5 mph throughout the entire run.

At the beginning of the run I had thought that the heart rate monitor was giving me some high false readings. My heart rate was in the low 160s - and at this pace it is usually about 15 bpm lower. After the first mile - and the readings not changing - I figured it out...I had donated blood on Wednesday! It usually takes me a good 2 weeks to get my HR down to my "normal" training level after giving blood.

Later in the run, though, I realized that the HRM WAS giving me false readings. At around 4.5 miles, the HRM on the treadmill was showing in the low 140s / high 130s. Then it would jump to the 160s. Then it wouldn't show up at all for about 30 seconds.

I finally had enough of this nonsense and took the heart rate strap off. If I wasn't going to get an accurate reading, why should I wear the darn thing! To top off the nonsense - every 2 minutes or so, the treadmill's HRM would pick up a signal from the heart rate strap and display a really low HR (in the 100s or 90s) for about a minute.

Bottom line - I really need to get a new Polar heart rate strap to run with at the gym.

I normally would be bored to tears running a steady pace on the treadmill for over an hour and 15 minutes. However, this morning I ran to some new tunes. Yes, I have been a faithful viewer of Glee since the pilot over the summer (I was in my High School's chamber choir and the UofM Glee Club) and I finally broke down and bought the music (both albums) on iTunes. I knew I would need something to get me through this run!

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