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2012-366 Day 222 – Indoor Running

Those of you paying attention to my Facebook feed have probably noticed that I’ve started running on my lunch break (which is really a misnomer, because I eat my lunch all through the day and play ultimate frisbee and go running now on my break), and, if you live in Southern California, you’ve probably also noticed that we’ve been having a heat wave. The wonderful thing that allows me to go running on my lunch break without frying to a crisp or melting into a puddle is the new indoor track they built in the Student Rec Center. It’s an eighth of a mile and situated on the third floor with a giant window along one of the sides that overlooks the East Valley.

Initially I was hesitant to rely on it as I figured that the repetition would get old very quickly. Since each mile requires eight laps, and I regularly do between two to four miles, that’s 16-32 laps as a time. A whole bunch of left (Monday through Wednesday) or right (Thursday and Friday) turns. Keeping track of my laps would also be difficult, as I have yet to acquire the technology to do so and must rely on my brain at the moment. Both problems have been solved, however, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to use the indoor track and free some of my evenings up (especially since it’s not cooling off as much right now). I’ve also taken advantage of the track by doing a couple two a days to pump my mileage up a bit.

How did I solve my two problems (boredom and lap counting – you thought I forgot, didn’t you)? My mindset on the laps has actually flipped with increased exposure to the track. The shorter laps make the sense of progression faster, even though I have to run more laps, I’m getting to the next one faster and feel like I’m moving up my total fairly quickly. An eighth of a mile translates to roughly one minute, fifteen seconds at my pace, and those laps go by pretty quick. As for the counting, I actually moved through several iterations before using my current method of keeping track (heh). Initially I would count the laps completed and recite the lap number I was on (internally “12 done, on 13”), but that kept getting shortened until I was just repeating the numbers back to back (“12, 13”). A few runs ago I had an epiphany and started counting every quarter of a lap instead of the lap number I was currently on, that way I wasn’t confusing myself with two whole numbers or worry about extra words (“12, 12.25, 12.5, 12.75, 13”).

Why don’t I just use a treadmill like everyone else, you ask? With the tension in my neck and shoulders, the pounding and exaggerated up and down motion, and the give in the belt, I always end up pretty light headed for a minute or so after using the treadmill and like to avoid that sensation if possible. The added bonus of being able to control my own pace without interacting with the control panel cancels out the lack of elevation control (the track is, of course, flat).

I’m thankful for the opportunity to have such a nice track at my disposal and am glad I’ve been able to fit it into my routine. I’m pretty sure everyone there thinks I’m nuts, particularly those in the workout area next to the track that see me go around for the twentieth time, and I’ve yet to see anyone do more than eight to ten laps while I’ve been there (and most are far less). Yes, I may be crazy, but at least I’m a comfortable crazy and am getting my prep in for the half marathons coming up.

Weight: 229 Loss: 11 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 247.1 miles (+4 miles)
Volleyball Match Record: 5-3 (13-11 Game Record)
Fitocracy Level: 23 ID: disciplev1

Posted in Matt 2012-366, Matt General. Tagged with , , , , , , .

4 Responses

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  1. Tony Lewis said

    It took you 7 plus months, you training for, and running Ragnar (sp?) and now the approaching Disney half, and me nursing an IT band injury, but you finally caught and passed me in YTD mileage, 247.1 miles to 245.47. From here on out all I expect to see is your tail lights and be eating your dust!

  2. Heather Gearhart said

    Wait, indoor track? Do I have access to this?

  3. Matt said

    If you are taking classes, yes, your fees cover it. Alumni who where here when it was being built get special rates. Otherwise, it ain’t cheap.

  4. Mom said

    Counting out loud, very loud, works in knitting, too, even if it takes 5-10 minutes before the number goes up one. Unfortunately, asking your significant other to “remember this number” is not as reliable. Love, Mom

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