Saturday, January 15, 2011

When Does a Ladder Turn into a Caterpillar?

When I wimp out, that's when!

So today I had the option of my last medium-long run outside- 12 miles at an easy pace- or a 5 mile hill run on the treadmill. Despite the sunny, reasonable 24 but feels like 11 degrees outside, I opted for the treadmill. Turns out that was definitely the harder of the 2 runs!

I intended to do a homemade hill ladder. A 'ladder' workout is where you start easy and then progressively made the run harder either by increasing incline or pace or both until about half-way through the work-out, then descend by relaxing the pace/incline. That was my intent. But I totally underestimated how hard my ladder was going to be. Oui!

I planned to do (all in 0.5 mile increments @ 9:31 pace):

Sounded tough, but not crazy. After all, I'm tapering. But it was HAH ("hard as hell", I'm trying to bring this into the running vernacular. Like it?)! I was huffing and puffing, uncomfortably so, at the beginning of the first 2.0 so I knew I needed to adjust the plan or I was in danger of bailing on the whole thing.

So I rearranged a bit and ended up with this:

Looks like a caterpillar! Yes? No?!? You have no imagination! :)

Next time, I'll try to keep it a ladder....we'll see if I can pull it off!

Now off to see an entirely different animal...The Black Swan. Finally.


  1. I've been doing my treadmill runs at a 3% grade lately. It has slowed my pace considerably, but I am gradually getting the speed back.

    I was getting to the point where I preferred my treadmill runs to my outdoor runs, and that is not what I want. I want the treadmill runs to be challenging, and the outdoor runs to seem easy by comparison. Then, too, I read that running on an incline equals less pounding on the joints, and I figured that's probably not a bad thing, either. So your ladder (caterpillar?) would be perfect, but I'd probably make 2% the lowest point on the ladder if I wanted to maintain an incline throughout the run.

  2. My training partner wants to run the Chicago half marathon. I have family in Indiana, but none of the family has been in the Chicago area for a very long time. Would you mind telling me a little bit about what to see and do while we're there? Also, lodging - the lodging options seem to be a long way from the start, and parking is $50 a day. That seems awfully high - do you know if there are any other options out there?

    I completely understand if you're too busy to answer these questions, and we appreciate any and all information!

  3. I totally want to see that movie! Let us know how it was