Sunday, January 19, 2014

Treadmill Pace, Green Smoothies & Dessert

Our treadmill was delivered shortly after my last post.  Hooray!  We have had it for about 2 weeks and I feel like I can't imagine life without it now.  The convenience of a treadmill being in the basement combined with Netflix and Hulu at my finger tips have been making it much easier to stick to my training plan.  I still have to plan for the runs in the early morning or late evening as our basement isn't finished and I can't set the kids up with entertainment down there yet, but it has made running 5 days a week much easier to fit in and has especially opened up some time for me on these winter weekends before the husband heads off to work.

As for the specific model of treadmill, I went for the Sole F80.  There are so many treadmills out there, which made it hard to decide.  I used the treadmill doctor website and read the posted reviews, best buy recommendations in each price range and used their treadmill buyers guide.  I found this website incredibly helpful.  So far so good.  This treadmill had good reviews for durability but I played it safe and bought the extended maintenance plan to ensure it is maintained properly.  Mechanical maintenance is not exactly a strength of mine!

My first post-baby half-marathon is coming up at the end of next month.  Although I decided to approach this race without a time goal and focus on building mileage and getting used to running distance again, I have been surprised at my paces thus far.  Surprised, as in, they have been slower than I thought they would.  Pre-pregnancy, 10 minutes per mile was my comfy, stroller-less running pace.  Thus far, I have been struggling keeping a pace of 11 minutes per mile on the treadmill.  My long runs, which is up to 8 miles as of this week, have been in the 11:40 per mile or slightly slower pace range and I can't say those runs have felt easy.  I am not upset about it- just surprised.  I thought I would be faster, especially on the treadmill where I am not using the incline or contending with the elements. 

With these paces in mind, I had an opportunity yesterday to run outside in the afternoon.  It has been weeks since I ran outside and I guestimated my iphone would be telling me a pace of 11-12 minutes per mile based on how my workouts are going.  To my surprise, I finished my snowy, icy and a little bit hilly run in exactly 10 minutes per mile feeling good. Huh???  Does anyone else find significant differences in their treadmill versus outside pace?  I always thought treadmill pacing tends to be slightly faster.  Perhaps this was a fluke run or just a really good one for me lately.  I guess we will see when this half marathon rolls around!  Paces aside, I am feeling good getting regular mileage in.  I am up to about 22 miles per week and aiming to head for 30'ish as training progresses.

On the food front, I have been keeping up pretty well with the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  I did miss 1 or 2 days, but most of my mornings are starting with a breakfast like this:
For those that may be on the fence about green smoothies, give it a try!  They do not taste like spinach or kale or avocado.  The fruit dominates the taste of the drink and I am loving them.  It's great heading out for the day with 5'ish produce servings already consumed!  For those busy mornings, I have been making the smoothies in batches of 2 and storing the second smoothie in a mason jar in the fridge so it is ready to go for the next day.  Just add a straw and DONE!  Any old blender will work to try them out!
Oh- and on the dessert front (as you know, I can not forget dessert!), I had a chance to meet up with some girlfriends at a new favorite place of mine, which is a bakery/pastry shop/cocktail bar that makes homemade hot chocolate, desserts etc. etc.  Check out this beautiful apple tart:
So pretty and so delicious and fresh.  I want to go back!
Any treadmill pacing thoughts?  Favorite green smoothies?
Have a great week!

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