Photo by Ben Sutherland, from

Because I’ve not blogged about it (or anything else for that matter for most of January), you may have wondered if I was still running Indoor Track this winter.  Short answer: yep! Longer answer: just haven’t been able to make it to all the indoor sessions due to work, board meetings, etc., so I’ve had to do quite a few of them on my own in the early a.m., on the dreadmill. But not this past Monday, when I had Presidents’ Day off (THANK FREAKIN’ GOD!)

This week, indoor track is cancelled due to a (possibly Massachusetts only?) school vacation week. So, I begged one of the coaches for a suggestion to do on the dreadmill. She told me to do 8-10 600s (.37 in actuality, but for easy math because that’s what you need while sweating, .35), with .20 distance recovery jogs in between.  Each of the repeats was to become progressively faster, so she advised I start out conservatively.  Well, I end up putting the treadmill to 4.0 mph for the recovery periods, which is kind of like a fast walk for me. I rationalized it was alright to do that today since the gym was so hot, and also being on the third floor, it was really, really hot in there.

Oh, and guess what??!!  The lady on the treadmill to my left was chugging away at a very fast speedwalk pace.  She didn’t have headphones on, nor did she have her own individual TV like I did, so I leaned over and told her that if she put her treadmill up to 1.0 incline, it would be more like walking outside.  She thanked me saying she could always use tidbits.  Later on, during a recovery break, I told her she should enter races, as she was a really fast speedwalker! She smiled and laughed.  Well, at the end of her workout, she said “you got me!” I thought she meant I had hit her with sweat (I’m a big sweater, this is not a stretch of the imagination, unfortunately.)  I apologized, turned off my headphones, and asked her to repeat herself, and she said “thank you! You got me to run and it felt amazing! I ran the last 5 minutes, at 4.8 mph!)  She laughed out loud when I told her what I thought she’d said.  VERY COOL!  

I am happy (and a bit proud of myself too) for getting through 10 of them. Keeping the treadmill’s incline at 1.0, I started at 7.1 mph, and worked my way on up from there. I usually start the 600 at one speed, say, 7.6, and then halfway through it, I’ll bump it up to 7.7. For the next repeat, I then start at 7.7, and bump it up to 7.8 halfway through.  It makes the speed jumps less painful and it’s easier for my mind to work around. If we were running around the indoor track, a 600 would be somewhere between 4-5 laps, I think. It’s much easier indoors to gradually work up your time. On the treadmill, every .1 that you increase your speed, you’re going about 7 seconds per mile faster. So, that’s why I started so much lower than I ended (my last repeat worked up from about 8.3 to 8.5.)  At the very end, I have to admit, I felt like “ok, any more of this and I might hurl.”  I’d say that’s the sign of a good workout, no?

Total running on that workout:6 miles, including warm-up and cool down.

Did I mention this workout came on the heels of my 6K race, and what I intended to be a light cross-training session, but which ended up being 30 mins. on the elliptical, 20 mins. on the bike, and some weights, plus a 3:06 plank?  Needless to say, a planned rest day comes right after this workout!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know this, but it was during my recovery break between repeat 7 and 8 (or was it 8 and 9) that the guy next to me on the treadmill farted?!  Holy Moly.  One advantage to running outside(that cannot be overstressed in this instance)  is you can always run away from whatever stink you come across. Indoors, not so much. There I was, minding my own business. Then, because both of our treadmills had the fans going on full blast, the malodorous stench blew across my face.  Now, I’d seen the guy looking at my treadmill screen from time to time while I was running. Suddenly, his eyes were only, and I mean only, looking straight ahead with intense concentration.  Oh yeah, it was him.

Now, this is not to say that I think I’m better than him or that I’m above all that.  I’m human.  But, GOOD GOD.  Probably the only smell worse than that is my adorable dog Ruthie’s farts.  Which are always silent, but oh so deadly.  Just sayin’.

No Farts sign, photo by ab9kt, on