Indoor vs. Outdoor
Prior to last year, I hadn’t run much AT ALL since mid-2017 (pre-knee injury), and even back then I wasn’t at all consistent with it. Maybe a 10K every once and a while.
But over the past year or so, I’ve really found a consistency with it and have enjoyed running twice a week. It’s a good way to break up the walking days (especially since there’s only like two routes I walk anymore due to pandemic-driven fear of public transit) and it lets me get home faster when I’ve got a lot of work to do.
But one thing I’ve really noticed is that running outside is SO MUCH EASIER than running on a treadmill. I had been going to Anytime Fitness at start of 2020 and had been running about six of my 15 daily miles on the treadmill, but of course once COVID hit and the gyms shut down, I spent all my walking/running time outside. My outdoor runs started around 10K in April/May of last year and increased to 14 miles, which is now my consistent running distance. And it’s pretty easy. Some runs are a lot harder than others for various reasons, but in general 14 miles is a nice achievable distance for me.
But inside on a treadmill? There’s no way I could do 14 miles. As an example, the weather was supposed to be pretty cold and crappy here today, so rather than risk getting stuck in wet blowing snow, I decided to just use my treadmill and walk my distance instead of doing the usual walk 2 miles/run 14 miles that I typically do on Thursdays.
Well, I HATE skipping a run when I can avoid it, so about four miles into my treadmill walk, I turned off my Kindle and decided to run a few miles. I did a 10K and it was really, really hard to finish, haha. It’s probably a combination of how warm the house is compared to outside and the fact that you use slightly different muscles (or use them a different way at least) when on a treadmill than when running normally, but BLAH. It’s depressing that I can’t go as far inside as outside.
Anyway. Just complaining.
So as you may know from reading these blog posts, I’ve really gotten into running over the past year. Blame the pandemic, I guess.
Anyway, counting today, I’ve done a total of 110 runs since the beginning of 2020, so let’s see some stats, shall we?
Note: I am counting a “run” as an activity where all I did was run (no walking) and the distance is at least six miles. Just to give “run” a specific definition.
Here are some summary stats for distance (in miles), average heart rate (in bpm), and time/duration (in minutes):
Here is average heart rate plotted against distance:
Note: a lot of those sub-12-mile distances were early on in 2020, which may explain some of the higher heart rates. I wasn’t used to running yet. However, I’ve noticed that it takes me a good three miles to really get into a run – that is, to get to a point where my breathing calms down and my heart rate seems to slow down a bit. That is, I hit a “groove” that I seem to stay in for the rest of the run. So maybe on those shorter runs I spend more time getting into the groove than in the groove itself?
Here is distance plotted against “run,” which is just the nth run I’ve done since January 2020. For example, “1” represents the first run I did, while “50” represents the 50th run I did. Easy!
Observe the “screw it, let’s go from a 10k to a half marathon” jump around runs 20-23. I’m actually pretty consistent with doing 14 miles. The 18 the other day was an aberration; I don’t think I could consistently do 18 like I can do 14, but who knows. Maybe I could build up to it.
Here’s average heart rate plotted against “run”:
The slope coefficient is significantly less than zero, by the way (α = 0.05), so I guess there’s been a significant decrease in my heart rate as I’ve gone for more runs. Though distance is likely a confounding variable.
ANYWAY. Cool, huh? I’ll probably do more posts like this as I keep running. Lucky you.
I ran 18 miles today!
That’s the furthest I’ve ever run by about three miles.
I normally don’t run on the weekends because there are way more people out on the path, but my usual running day (this upcoming Monday) is supposed to be cold as hell, so I figured I’d try to run today instead.
It turns out that the weather was just right for running and there actually weren’t that many people out. I felt like I could easily keep going after I hit my usual 14 miles, so I just continued until I did an additional four.
Supa cool. Here’s the map!
Now I just have not do 18 every single time I run, haha.
It’s FINALLY warming up here, which means I can FINALLY run outside again.
You don’t know how much you’ll miss something until it’s gone.
Which has been the theme of basically the past year.
Anyway. Sorry for a short blog. I am worthless.
It’s so cold it BUUUUUUUUUURNS
Hey so LOOK HOW FREAKING COLD IT IS
It’s been like this for too many days in a row. It’s sunny, sure, but that makes it even worse because my brain’s like “lawl sun make warm. Go outside!” And then I go outside and my brain’s like “THE FUCK WRONG WITH YOU GO BACK IN GO BACK IN”
Anyway, 16 miles on the treadmill gets super tedious even with Kindle books, so I said SCREW IT and decided to walk to North Hill Mall and back to get my last three miles in today.
Got my mega gloves on, my mega jacket on, my scarf, and my headphones to cover my ears, and went outside. It was cold but it surprisingly wasn’t unmanageably cold (probably because the sun was out and I wasn’t walking directly into the wind). The sidewalks were also covered in compact snow which was too cold to be slippery, so I decided to just run to North Hill and see how that felt.
It wasn’t too bad.
My nose got really freaking cold on the way back because I was into the wind in that direction, but I had little hand warmers in my gloves which helped to protect my fingers and I ALWAYS produce a ton of body heat while running, so it was okay.
I don’t know if I’d want to run 14 miles in it (and my iPod would almost definitely not make it that far), but it was okay.
BRRR RUN BRRR
It was 10 degrees outside today but I WENT RUNNING ANYWAY.
Well, okay, I didn’t do my full running distance because I didn’t think my iPod could handle that amount of cold for that long. When I walk, I put my iPod in a protective insulated case and then put the case in a side pocket on my cold weather shorts that I wear beneath my cold weather pants, thus keeping the case next to my body to give it at least a little bit of body heat to keep it warm. But when I run, I can’t fit my iPod in its little protective insulated case AND fit it in my running pants’ pocket, so I either have to forego the case and hope that my body heat alone is enough to keep the iPod warm or I have to put it in the case and put the case in my running pack thingy, where it does not get to sit close to my skin and thus does not get any body heat.
BUT ANYWAY, 10 is pretty cold, so I figured both of those options were kind of iffy. So I did some of my distance on the treadmill and then did about 10 miles running outside. It was brr. Even with the massive amount of body heat I produce while running, it was brr.
But it’s good to know that I can run that far in that kind of cold weather, I guess.
Happy New Year!
As always, January 1st is dedicated to reviewing last year’s walking mileage. So let’s get to it! But before we do, a quick disclaimer: I am including my running mileage in all of these totals, too, but I’m just going to refer to everything as walking mileage because it’s easier.
Here are my walking stats for January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Total number of walks: 347
Total mileage: 5,160
Total number of steps: 11,687,919
Total calories burned: 355,903
Total walking time (minutes): 78,727.87 [that’s about 54.67 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.80
5,160 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Juneau, AK and Barcelona, Spain or between Naples, Italy and Cape Town, South Africa.
And for anyone who’s keeping track (probably no one), yes, this is a new yearly mileage record. I beat 2017’s record of 5,100 by 60 miles, which isn’t a fantastic jump in distance or anything, but it is a new record.
If you know me in real life, I probably have never struck you as someone who would ever say they loved running (especially if you knew me pre-Vancouver).
But I LOVE RUNNING.
I’m addicted to it now. I’d go 14-ish miles every day if I could. The only thing stopping me is the thought that I do NOT want to go through another injury, either with my knee or with something else. So I’ll stick with a few times a week with the 16-mile walks in between.
But holy freaking crap, running feels so good.
It’s felt even better these past few weeks. I don’t know if that’s my body finally just getting used to 14 running miles the same way it got used to 15/16 walking miles or if the colder weather is just that much easier for me to run in.
It’s so relaxing and so freeing and so empowering.
If any of my readers run and are looking for good running clothes, I’d suggest Baleaf. I bought a pair of running leggings from them and a running jacket/coat thingy and they’ve both become my favorite things to run in. The leggings actually stay up around my waist (my other pairs are all too big around the waist and the Baleaf ones are just tight enough to stay in place but aren’t too tight) and the jacket has zippable pockets to hold gloves/music player, little thumb holes in the sleeves, and has a small fleece lining which makes it good for running in the 20-25 degrees range.
It’s December in Calgary and I just went running in shorts and a tank top.
It’s like 50 degrees out there.
I’ve actually kind of enjoyed running in the 30-40 degree range; I don’t get nearly as hot (running is like the only time I produce actual body heat) and so I feel like I can run longer and easier, at least most of the time. When it’s in the 20s it’s a little rougher because my legs start off being really cold and thus feel really heavy and slow, but I can still do it.
I haven’t run in anything below 19 degrees yet, but I’m sure I will at some point.
But yeah, it is unseasonably warm here and it’s weirding me out. It legit feels like September.
GAS GAS GAS
So today was the warmest day in like a week and a half and I was SO SICK OF BEING INSIDE that I decided to try running in the snow.
By “snow” I mean the compact snow on the river trail. I’d walked on it yesterday once things warmed up a bit and I felt like it was something I could run on, so I got on my winter running clothes and went to try it out.
I have no idea how people can run on compact snow, because I certainly can’t. I don’t know if I push off harder with the balls of my feet than most people, but it was definitely very slippery and hard to get a good footing. So super frustrating.
Once I got to the first point in the trail where I could get back off (which was like 0.2 miles, haha), I crossed the street and went back to the other side of the road where there was just a sidewalk. This looked relatively clear, so rather than give up on running today entirely, I decided I’d go a few miles on the sidewalk to see if that was better.
And it was.
There were a few snowy/icy places where fartbags hadn’t shoveled, but it was much clearer than the path. So I ended up weaving up and down a bunch of the side roads and going back and forth on the main road until I got to my standard 14 miles. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of walks because of the ice/snow, but the temperature was actually a nice one for running and it definitely beat running on the treadmill.
Plus, it’s only supposed to get warmer this week, so hopefully the sidewalks (if not the trail) will be clearer by the time I run again on Thursday or Friday.
Edit: I have about six blisters on my toes and my quads hurt like hell. I definitely have a different stride and toe grip on the snow/ice than on regular pavement. Which is to be expected, I guess, but still. Ouch.
S W A G
I got my stuff from the half marathon today! Check it out:
Super cool. The last official race I did was the Vancouver Sun Run back in 2011; we got a bib (obviously, since it was in person) and a t-shirt (which I gave to my mom), but we never got a super cool medal.
Let’s try the full marathon next year!
Virtual Calgary Half-Marathon = DONE!
This was the one I really wanted to do in person back in May, but ALAS…
This was not my best run. For whatever reason my legs felt like they weighed like 80 pounds each, so I didn’t end up with a super great time. But it’s probably faster than I would have been able to do it back in May, anyway, so yeah.
Next year I’ll hopefully be able to do the actual factual marathon, and it would be super nice if I could do it in person rather than virtually.
I don’t have high hopes about that, though.
Virtual Bloomsday = DONE!
YAY, I did my virtual Bloomsday run today. After much deliberation about how many miles I should walk today (reasons for that will be explained tomorrow), I eventually decided on 10.7 miles (I know, I know – not my standard 15 or 16…again, that will be explained tomorrow). But then I decided that since it wasn’t too hot out (and kind of cloudy) that I might as well use the shortened mileage to do my Bloomsday run today. So I walked for a bit and then ran the 7.46 miles (12k) to represent the Bloomsday distance.
I actually didn’t even run on the river path (a first for me!). The path is usually a LOT busier on the weekends, especially in the middle of the day. So I just ran behind the hospital, back behind the Children’s Hospital, towards campus, and a little bit north of that. The route wasn’t super hilly, but it definitely wasn’t flat, so I think that inflated my time a bit. But hey…the Bloomsday route isn’t flat and I’m sure whenever I’m able to do the Calgary Marathon that that route won’t be completely flat either.
So yeah! I should be getting my Bloomsday shirt in October sometime.
Hey so let’s do Bloomsday
Remember how I said yesterday that the virtual Bloomsday window had closed? Well, apparently they extended it to September 27.
So I signed up for that, too.
Now the question is: do I run Bloomsday “on its own” – as in, it 12k and be done with it – or do I just do one of my normal 14-mile runs and just take note of how long it takes me to hit 12k? The latter sounds like I’d be “cheating” even though I would be running the 12k like everyone else, but just burying it in a longer run. I definitely don’t want to bury it in my Calgary Half-Marathon run, though, because that WOULD be cheating.
At least, to me it would.
Hey so let’s do the Calgary Half Marathon
When I was talking to my dad the other day, he mentioned that he’d done (virtually, of course; thanks to COVID) Bloomsday before his surgery. He said he’d thought about calling me but ended up not doing it, which is a bit sad, ‘cause I could have totally pulled off a virtual…how many miles is Bloomsday?
*looks it up*
12 kilometers? Dafuq kind of weird distance is that?
Anyway, yeah. I can run that, no problem.
But that got me thinking about the Calgary Marathon, which, had this been a normal year, would have been held at the end of May (I think I mentioned it in my blogs way back then). So I looked it up to see if they’d had a virtual version and LO AND BEHOLD, you can actually participate in the virtual version up through September 27.
So I registered for the half-marathon!
I shall do it this week and hopefully will have a good finishing time. There are no prizes or anything for speed (not like I’d even have a chance, haha) because nothing is really “official” this year, but I’ll get a t-shirt and I’ll be able to cross off “run a half-marathon” from this year’s resolutions.
Run, Forrest, Run!
So somehow I managed to shave three minutes off of my half marathon time today. Three minutes is a lot of time, especially considering that I’ve only been beating my record time by like 10 or 20 seconds at a time, and have only set new time records three or four times since I started consistently running 13.1+ miles at a time.
I have no idea why I was so much faster today. Maybe it was a combination of good running weather (~50 degrees, only very light wind, overcast) and new shoes…though both of those things held last Friday and I was nowhere near a record time.
Maybe it’s the smoke. Maybe I’m smoke-powered. I honestly wouldn’t discount that; my body is weird as all hell.
Also, my dad have to have hip replacement surgery today, but it sounds like it all went well. Yay!
Two Things Today!
1. I did my longest run ever today: 15 miles. That’s no marathon or anything (obviously), but that is my standard daily walking distance…a distance I never thought I could run. So that’s kinda cool.
2. The case for Kondle came today! Check it:
Now he’s pretty AND protected!
Run-a Run-a Ding Dong
So today should have been the Calgary Marathon, but with COVID, that’s obviously not going on. Hell, people are still afraid to be out on the walking/biking paths, I think.
I wouldn’t have been able to do the full marathon, but I definitely could have given the half marathon a shot. Assuming we’ve got all this virus madness under control by this time next year, maybe I can build up my running and do the actual marathon itself next year.
Y’ALL I ran a half-marathon today.
That’s the first time I’ve done that since 2017. In 2017, I did it on two consecutive days and gave myself a really bad case of runner’s knee, but that was probably because I jumped from 10k distances right to 13.1 miles. Not the smartest move.
But I’ve been building up to it a bit more this year. Also, for whatever reason, running in general this year is a lot easier than it’s ever been before.
So that’s cool.
Let’s see if I can do more of these!
FFFFFFFF RUNNING FEELS SO GOOD
I forgot how nice it feels to run outside.
Like, running on a treadmill is fine and dandy and a great way to deal with the urge of “NEED TO RUN” when it’s in the negative Fahrenheits outside.
But holy hell, running outside is a completely different experience. It’s so…relaxing? Natural? Calming?
I love it.
Today’s run was probably the easiest run I’ve had in a long while. I set a new fastest 10k time which I’m not going to post on here ‘cause it’s embarrassing how slow it still is and is nothing to be proud of.
But hey, I’m all about the distance more than the speed, right? And now that I can run outside and have more free time due to working from home/the semester starting to wrap up, I can start increasing my distances.
Yo, check out this website.
Basically, you find a challenge with a distance you want to complete, set a goal date, log your miles, and if you succeed in your goal, you get a shiny medal!
I wanna do one. ‘Cause we all know I like shiny things.
I’m going to try for the longest distance one (of course I am): The Route 66 Virtual Challenge. I want a pretty medal!
Edit: hahahaha I completely forgot I signed up for this. I logged a grand total of 30.9 miles and it’s May now. Oops. I wonder if they’ll let me do a mega-update?
I Ran a 10k for the First Time Since 2017 and It was Glorious
I wasn’t planning on doing it.
I’d already walked 12 miles and was just planning to do two running miles on the treadmill at Anytime Fitness.
But I got to two miles and nothing was hurting, so I figured “hey, let’s try three.” No pain. So I figured “hey, let’s try four.”
Since I got hurt back in 2017, I have not run more than four miles in a stretch. But today, once I hit four, I was still feeling fine.
The next step? Seeing if I could do a 10K.
Which I could.
No pain, no issues…everything seemed fine.
So that’s freaking awesome. Now I’m going to have to try my hardest not to a) do a 10K every day or b) try to do even more tomorrow, ‘cause I have a bad history of doing that kind of crap (which is why I ended up with runner’s knee in 2017 after doing two half-marathons in two days after never having run more than a 10K at a time).
MY BUTT RUNNETH OUTSIDE
Today’s original plan was to stay home all day.
I DID NOT
The weather was too nice to stay inside, but by the time I decided to drag my lazy butt out of the house, it was already like 11 AM. That’s too late to do a full walk and still get some time to myself at home in the afternoon, so instead I put on my gear, walked down to the river path, and did a 4-mile run.
No pain in my leg at all.
This makes me really want to start running more frequently. Of course, I pick the worse season to pick up running again, but I suppose I can go to Anytime Fitness and use the treadmills there until it warms up enough and I can consistently go running outside.
THE LEG: TWO YEARS LATER
Today marks two years since I busted up my leg/quad/knee whatever walking to Pullman. At the one year mark last August, it was still giving me a decent amount of trouble. Twinging on and off and the like. I was still pretty scared to try running.
Now, though? I barely even think about it. I start my walk and head down the hill toward the river without that fear that I’ll somehow mess up my leg on the hill (going downhill had always been the most painful). I’ve spontaneously started to run (with my backpack on) on some of my walks, barely even worrying about the injury. I am seriously considering trying to get back into running enough to be able to do the Calgary Marathon next year. Like I’ve said, the cardiovascular endurance will probably not be the issue—the only issue might be the injury. But I’m feeling so confident in it now that I feel like I can finally stop using that as an excuse.
So that’s pretty awesome.
Hopefully I won’t hurt it again.
Hopefully I won’t hurt anything else.