Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, February 22, 2008

Funkytown

Well, it wasn't the seventh circle of hell, maybe the second or third.

It snowed this morning. Enough so that I got up at 5am and went right back to bed. Enough so that Tony didn't have school but I did. But that meant that the athletic center was open so I went down there to get my workout in instead of running the snowy streets.

Here we are almost through February and this is only the first time this winter I can remember where I was forced inside to do a workout. Not bad.

Ran the half mile down to the ARC. The city gets claustrophobic when it snows, as cars, runners, pedestrians, etc. all get pushed closer together. Once inside I see that there are now six treadmills. One of them is out of order, one of them has a sign on it saying not to take it faster than a 10-minute pace, and the other four were occupied by co-eds, including two who were walking but for some reason declined to ride the impaired hamster wheel.

I sighed and started doing laps on the 1/10th mile track. When I got out my iPod I noticed the headphones were missing an earbud. One end was just chewed off chord with some wire peeking out. Since Tony ate five donuts last night, my chief suspect is Twinkie (my obese cat).

So I go round and round the track unable to block out the 80s-era electro music (hence the title of todays entry) that permeates the gym and provides the soundtrack to the PE class on the basketball court that is obviously doing its badminton unit. 16 college kids languidly playing badminton on two courts while at least as many sit along the sidelines waiting for their turn. I play around with changing speeds, partly to keep me amused and partly because of the sharp unbanked turns.

32 laps (3.2 miles) later a hamster wheel finally becomes free. I pounce on it and notice that its different from the ones they've had. I say different because its not the brand of the others, but it doesn't look or feel new. I take it down to 7-minute pace pretty quickly and it feels too easy. I wonder how accurately treadmills are calibrated and decide to take it at face value. I take it down to 6:30 and note, ironically, that it was all I could do to take it down a bit faster on yesterday's run. This hamster wheel has a heart rate feature and I use it every half mile. Average is around 140.

After about two and a half miles on the hamster wheel I had to see if the mill would exceed a six minute pace. Much to my pleasant surprise it would. I brought it all the way down to 5:30 pace and hung on for about a half mile. 3 miles in 19:52. My pulse here came in 156.

I cooled down until the tm hit 3.8 miles and jogged the extra half mile home. .5+3.2+3.8+.5= 8 miles for the workout. No watch, no iPod.

PS - If any of you heart rate monitor wonks can offer any insights based on my heart readings I'd appreciate it. Can I assume 156 (after half mile at roughly 5k pace) to be my max rate? If so, is 140 going hard... moderate? My resting pulse is 44, and I (for another month and a half) I am 43 years old.

1 Comments:

Blogger Joseph P. Wood said...

Seebo,

I wouldn't make that assumption. For one, that reading just seems quite low to me. Also, from the little I know, people tend to hit the MHR at 5k toward the tail end of 5k races--when you're in wicked oxygen debt. Third, to boot, it sounds like the TM was not calibrated correctly, so who knows if you were even working at a 5k pace?

If you're truly curious, I'd say one of the simple tests is if you ever do those Lydiard race sharpners--like a mile race pace--you'll hit it. Also, the tail end of hill work might do it as well.

Also, to get a good approximation, a less taxing method might be to walk a mile as quick as possible on a track/tmill and then, on the final quarter mile, get your avg. HR and add 6o.

1:58 PM  

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