JogBlog: Week 8, Day 1

December 21, 2009

Monday morning. The week of Christmas. Kids are on break from school. I’m taking some time off of work. I have some holiday baking to do, some serious house cleaning that needs to be done, and at least a little Christmas shopping that I ought to take care of. Oh… and I’m supposed to do my C25K workout today.

I almost skipped it. Thought of about a million reasons to blow this day off, to do other things. Any other things.

It’s a cold day, but not as bad as some recent days. There are some meager remains of snow on the ground from the weekend. We only got a dusting, really… maybe an inch at most. Nothing ever stuck to the roads. The kids went to play in it and made a muddy mess of the yard.

With all the things I’m supposed to accomplish today, I’m not sure I want to take the extra time to go to the park for my run. Maybe today I should do the treadmill instead.

I dread it. Not only do I dread the thought of increasing my jog time to 28 minutes this week, but I also dread the thought of doing those 28 minutes on the treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have a treadmill. It’s really a handy thing to have. But in the past when I’ve used my treadmill, it’s always been on my own terms… and I’ve never used it for a lengthy run before, I’ve mostly only ever used it for walking.

As the morning dragged on and I tried many different ways to excuse myself from the workout, I finally told myself to just do it. Get on the treadmill, get it over with. At least try!

I thought about using my playlist to run with, but decided I’d watch something on the TV instead. The music would be nice, but even the best music isn’t going to do much to improve on the boring scenery in our basement. No, at least with the TV I could have something visual to distract me from watching the time tick down…

So, I turned on the treadmill and got started. The TV was on and I was watching the last half hour or so of the movie, “Never Been Kissed” on AMC. That’s a fun movie.

I walked my 5-minute warmup at about a 3.5-4 mph pace. Incline set to 2%. Yawn.

When the time came to jog, I bumped the speed up to 5 mph. Whooohoooo, we’re rockin’ now! Ha ha. Yes I know it’s kind of slow… but I’m the one who has to keep this up for 28 minutes, so I get to pick the speed, mmmmkay?

It’s funny because 5 mph feels really slow. And yet, I know that my average pace is pretty close to a 12-minute mile, so I want to keep it there. I’m not feeling energized just yet. I’m already thinking, what? I have to do this for 28 minutes? I don’t think I’m going to make it.

I will pause here to say that I think the reason I love to run outside so much more is that when I run outside, I know I have to get somewhere. I have scenery to look at and hills to climb and people to convince that I am a runner. I have a car or a house that I have to get back to when the workout is done. But on the treadmill, I just have the clock. Watching TV is nice, but it’s not the same. Also, when I run outside I know I am constantly making adjustments to my speed… a little faster on the level spots, a little slower on the uphill climbs. Sure, I can adjust the speed on my treadmill when I want to, but I’d rather not bother with it. I’d rather just be able to settle in to my run and not worry about other details until it’s over.

So I’m doing my jog and after, say, 5 minutes I am at least loosened up a bit. I’m watching the movie, but then the commercials keep coming on. Do you own life insurance? What about medical insurance? You should have both of those things, otherwise you will end up like this older couple, where the man was supposed to fix the kitchen cabinet door but he hasn’t done it yet, because he has other things on his “to do” list that he needs to finish first. But his wife points out that buying insurance is so easy! And it will only take a moment on the phone, or something. And by the end of the commercial, they have acquired the insurance they need, even though they are old. And now the husband can fix that cabinet door. These daytime commercials, they are just priceless.

I am not even sure where I am in my run now. Somewhere in the middle. I keep looking at the time on  my treadmill timer, and subtracting 5 minutes for the warmup, and figuring how much longer I have to go. Even though before I ever stepped on the machine, I could tell you that I needed to walk until 5 minutes and then run until the 33 minute mark, I still needed to look and check and recalculate all the time.

Somewhere around 15 minutes of running, I told myself “maybe I’ll just do 20 minutes today.” I tried to convince myself that it would be OK to do some shorter runs this week, that is was silly to ever have tried to do this running program during the holiday season. So yeah, 20 minutes will be fine. Just get to the 25 minute mark on the timer, and then you can walk. No one will condemn you for it.

The movie is good, but these ridiculous commercials keep coming on.  I remember how a long time ago I used to try to do interval workouts at night, and I would speed walk during the show segments and then try to jog during the commercial segments.  I did it because I really wasn’t a jogger, and so I wanted to walk but then do some shorter intervals of jogging just to get the heart rate up.  I realize that if I were doing that same thing during this movie, I’d be jogging more than walking because the commercial segments are SO LONG AND SO MANY. Sheesh. And they are mostly about insurance.

I reach 25 minutes on the timer; 20 minutes into my run. OK, I say, you’re doing all right for the moment, how about try to make it to 25? Then at least you will be where you were on Week 7, you won’t really be falling behind so much as just repeating a week. No big deal. And look, here’s another commercial to watch while you think about it.

So I keep going. But really, I’ll stop at 25 minutes. I’ve been tweaking my speed and incline a little bit, just to keep things interesting and maybe give myself a little break now and then. My running speed was 4.9-5.1. The incline was at 2% most of the way, but then closer to the end I went to 1.5, and eventually to 1. And these are all fascinating numbers, aren’t they? Get out your graph paper and be sure to make a chart showing my progress.Then make a commercial about it… maybe I’ll get to watch it next time.

Finally I reach 30 minutes on the timer (25 minutes of running). Hey! That’s the length of last week’s run. I can stop now. I give myself permission to stop…

Oh, poo. Just keep going, it’s only three more minutes. Stick it out to the end!

Two more minutes… one more minute…

We’re at about 30 seconds left. Let’s go nuts. Let’s up the speed a bit! Whoohoooooo! SIX mph, baby. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. For all of 20-ish seconds, I was running 6 mph.

I ran several seconds past that 33 minute mark on the timer. You know, just to be sure.

Cool down time. Movie credits are rolling. No commercials now, because they would never want to keep you from seeing who the Best Boy or the Key Grip was.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. 🙂



  1. Good for you! I think I like running outside better too.

  2. Exactly the same thing goes through my head on the treadmill. I will be so happy when the snow melts!! Congrats on getting to week 8!!

  3. You are so funny. My thoughts exactly, but I kept saying only….more min. way to go.

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