Tag: snow

Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday ~ 2/23/2012

Today I’m switching things up and doing my Things I’m Lovin’ Thursday a little differently. I decided that instead of posting about something that I’m currently loving, I’m going to post about something that I have mixed feelings about. It’s always more interesting to talk about controversial topics anyway :P

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I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the dreadmill treadmill. While I appreciate it’s usefulness, I find running in place to be so boring. I sometimes even feel like a hamster running on a wheel.

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Plus (and maybe more importantly), I also think that I stride differently when I run on a treadmill. My step seems longer and I feel bouncy. It’s totally different from running on the pavement and my constant fear is that the difference in my stride will eventually lead to an injury

As a result, I try to run on the treadmill as little as possible. I mean who wants to get injured right?

Recently I started to wonder if my concerns were justified. Do runners stride differently outdoors vs. indoors? Is training on a treadmill equivalent to training outside?

I did some research on the topic and here’s what I found:

  • Running on the treadmill offers similar fitness and caloric benefits to running outside but it differs in that you don’t have to deal with wind resistance or uneven surfaces. The result is slightly easier running conditions (approximately 2-10% less workload). You can overcome this by setting the treadmill to an elevation level of 1 or 1% (source).
  • Runners often let the treadmill change their stride to a more upright, bouncy form with a shorter, less powerful stride. Other runners may lean too far forward when on a treadmill in order to “keep up with the belt”. Both of these alterations are detrimental to running form and may increase risk of injury (source).
  • The most common problem associated with treadmill running is the tendency of the moving belt to “grab” your feet and pull them back under your body. This can result in a stumbling, shuffling stride that places excessive stress on your knees, hips and back. To avoid this quickly lift your feet off the belt,  your goal is to of have a quick, compact stride (source).
  • Running outside gives you greater variability and challenge because of the different terrains, but running on cement can be risky when it’s wet or icy outside and cement sidewalks can be jarring on your knees and ankle joints (source).
  • Treadmill runs are less difficult than outdoor runs because they require less muscle fibers, coordination, and balance and the treadmill belt actually propels you slightly forward so you do less work (source).
  • When you are training for an outdoor event, it is advised that you do at least 60% of your training outside so that your body is prepared for both the extra demand of running outdoors as well as running in different weather conditions (source).
  • Benefits of treadmill running include: no weather or terrain issues, can stop whenever you want, can workout and watch t.v., a smooth and cushioned surface that is better on the joints, and no concerns about personal safety (source).

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I also came across a great article from Runner’s World called The Upside of Running on a Treadmill that listed 9 reasons to embrace running on a treadmill:

1 It’s the only way to do a tempo run on a cold, sleety morning without cursing your existence.
2 No need to obsess over your mile splits since the belt demands an even pace.
3 Get your legs used to Boston’s hills even if you’re in Boise.
4 No more rushing out the door to squeeze in a run while there’s still daylight.
5 Less layering, less shivering, and less laundry to do.
6 You don’t have to shove 45 pounds of child and jog stroller up a hill in front of you.
7 You can do hill repeats without having to find steep grades—or pound down them.
8 A cushioned treadmill belt is more inviting when coming back from an injury.
9 You feel less guilty watching Gossip Girl when you’re running.

So after reading all of this information, I have to say that my perception of treadmills has changed a bit. I definitely now can see some of the benefits of the dreadmill and understand why many people prefer the treadmill to running outside.

Does this mean my personal feelings for running on the treadmill have changed? Probably not, but at least now I’m informed about the benefits and risks of running on one :)

So how about you, treadmills: love them or hate them?




Boston Marathon: 18 miler

Just checking in to say that despite the snow, ice, and wind this morning, I completed my 18 miler in Michigan! It certaintly wasn’t my fastest (I averaged an 8:10 min/mile) but given the slippery sidewalks and the unpacked snow, I’m happy to have been able to run at all!

Before I left this morning I had half a piece of toast with peanut butter and chia seeds, a dried fig, and half a coconut water.

I also had two dried figs while running for fuel. They seemed to work just as good as dates. I’m definitely preferring dried fruit to shot blocks right now.

When I got home I threw together a quick yogurt mess (we’re heading out soon) with a honey Chobani, pumpkin spice granola, honey nut o’s, coconut, a chopped fig, and peanut butter.

I also snacked on some cereal because the yogurt bowl was not enough.

Off to Ann Arbor for the Michigal-Illinois game, GO BLUE!




Boston Marathon: 17 miler

My schedule called for a 17 miler this weekend but I wasn’t sure it was going to happen. The weather did not look like it was going to cooperate (think snow, wind, ice) and in my opinion it is really unpleasant to run 17 miles on the treadmill. So, I kept a back up plan in mind in case the weather decided to prevent me from running outside.

When I woke up though, the skies were clear and there was basically no snow on the ground, it looked like my run was actually going to happen.

I fueled in the usual way, a piece of bread with some sunflower seed butter and chia seeds,

Said goodbye to the kitty,

and headed out the door!

My luck ended there though. My garmin crapped out (apparently I can run a 40 second mile?) and I got hit with a flash snowstorm around mile 5 that left a nice powdery covering over the icy sidewalks. As a result, I had to shuffle over random ice patches and drastically reduce my speed to avoid falls.

Not having a reliable Garmin also really bothered me. It kept telling me my pace was way out of normal range and I didn’t know how  accurate the distance would be. I had mapped a route on gmap-pedometer.com and followed it exactly, but still it undershot by a mile (according to the Garmin). I ran the extra mile for my own sanity, but I don’t know if I actually ran 17 or 18 miles today.

It was so frustrating! Even though my marathon is not until April, I’m getting nervous that I will be slow on race day because I haven’t been able to train at marathon pace yet. Ugh.

Anyway, I don’t have any splits today because of the Garmin fail. Sorry guys!

Breakfast
All I wanted to eat post-run was something warm and comforting. Yoatgurt to the rescue!

I cooked 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, and 1 egg white over medium heat. Once the mixture thickened, I added 1/3 of a banana and some cinnamon, I then topped it with 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt, blueberries!, cookie butter, and some crumbled mixed berry scone.

I also had some coffee with my new favorite peppermint mocha creamer.

Last Night
The last thing I wanted to do last night was cook food. I was super antsy from being cooped up in the apartment all day and felt really uncreative food-wise. So when Ian suggested we grab a quick bite to eat somewhere, I didn’t protest :P.

We went to Villain’s which is much of a bar than a restaurant, but they also just happen to have amazing food.

Take a look at the beer menu, it’s front and back!

I tried the Slumbrew Happy Sol and Ian got the Golden Monkey. I was jealous that his was served in a challace and kept stealing sips.

For dinner, I ordered the Garden Delight wrap: roasted portabella mushroom, guacamole, roasted red pepper, grilled red onion, lettuce, swiss, and thousand island dressing.

I haven’t had Arby’s fries in maybe 10 years? But these fries definitely had similar seasonings. Villain’s knows what they’re doing ;)

After dinner we made a Walmart run. I know that everyone has mixed feelings about Walmart and I am in no way supportive of their policies or their effects on local neighborhoods, but everything these is just so cheap! And for a couple trying to save some $$, you can’t beat the prices in terms of cleaning supplies etc.

Some of the loot

We also picked up this for the little guy.

He obviously didn’t like the cat on the box though, look at his puffed up fur!

Once it got out of the box though, he was a big fan.

My little furbaby is a climber!

Sorry for the long post, but lots to catch you up on!

Have a great Sunday :)




Escaping the Snow {Dinner at Hackneys}

When I left work last night we had accumulated about 4 inches of snow, it was still coming down, and the roads were miserable.

That’s traffic at a green light. Insanity!

Dinner
We didn’t have much at home in terms of dinner so we decided to head over to Hackney’s because their food is good and it’s close enough to our apartment that we wouldn’t have to rely on a car, cab, or public transit.

I started with a glass of Merlot and had two throughout the evening. This is why I was unable to blog last night. When did I become the ultimate lightweight?

Ian was playing with the camera settings and said something funny which is why I’m laughing. No worries, I have no shame of looking dorky on the blog :P

Ian’s favorite type of soup is clam chowder, so when he saw it on the specials menu, he ordered a bowl of it for us to share.

It was really good and there was a lot of clam meat in the soup. No skimping there!

For dinner, I ordered the Fresh Salmon BLT salad without bacon.

It was okay. The lettuce and tomatoes were fresh but the salmon was dry. This was a special salad and I think they were trying to go the healthy route with the fish but it tasted bland. Where were the spices?

Even still, I finished most of it and helped Ian with some of his fries. Next time I’ll order my usual, tilapia tacos :)

We were home early and watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights before I promptly passed out. My college-self would be so embarrassed!

Plans for today include a run (I’m still deciding if it will be inside or out), some errands, homework, and maybe a trip to Piece later.

Have a great Saturday :)

Did you get snow where you live?




Welcoming 2012

Happy New Year! Did you all have a great time celebrating the start of 2012? Ian and I enjoyed a great sushi dinner and then came home and watched movies until the clock struck midnight. Pretty exciting right?

But, I do have to admit, it was soo nice waking up this morning sans hangover and feeling refreshed. I really don’t like hangovers!

2012 started with a baking project, Five and Spice’s Warm Custard Spoon Bread.

I followed all of the directions except I subbed maple syrup for vanilla extract (we’re out). I was also a little nervous that the recipe wouldn’t turn out after reading the directions “scrape the batter” and mine was runny.

However, I shouldn’t have worried. The bread turned out and you could even see the different layers! I took a bite and then drizzled maple syrup on the rest (as suggested).

Yum! The bread reminded me of french toast and quiche at the same time. It was savory but still sweet and definitely hit the spot for a New Years day brunch!

I started to get antsy hanging around the apartment so Ian and I decided to go out and walk around the city. At the time of our decision it was sunny and my phone told us it was 40 degrees out, it sounded like the perfect walking weather!

My phone was wrong. It was cold out, spitting snow, and gusting wind. We decided Starbucks was necessary to combat the weather, and I had my second and last skinny peppermint mocha of the season. MMmmm…. goodbye holidays :(

The city was pretty dead this afternoon but I had heard that there were lots of “activities” going on at Navy Pier, so Ian and I decided to walk down there.

But when we arrived, we couldn’t find anyone. Where were all of the people?

Still, we trekked on to the end of the pier and took a picture near the anchor.

How does this compare to 2+ years ago? :P

Finally we ducked inside and found some people. Whew. But still no activities. Did public televison lie to me?

We walked for about 2.5 hours before stopping for lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery.

We must have waited too long to eat because I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of my lunch until I was halfway through.

I had a seafood cobb with citrus vinaigrette. It had shrimp, crab, avocado, an egg, tomatoes, mandarin oranges, and cucumbers. It was delicious and light. Just what I wanted. A salad can still be delicious without bacon and cheese ;)

We decided to quit being heroes and took the ‘l’ home where upon arrival we turned up the heat, sat on the couch under a blanket, and watched the movie Hanna. It was good but very strange, not at all what I was expecting!

Now we’re trying to decide what to do tonight. We feel like we should go out because neither of us have to work tomorrow, but the weather is so nasty out!

How did you start 2012?