The Pandora Treadmill Game

You all should know me well enough to understand how I feel about the treadmill. I have never really HATED it, but I have always strongly disliked it. I prefer running outside and enjoying my surroundings rather than running for miles without going anywhere. However, there are times when a dreadmill is your only option.

This past month, our area has been hit with unique weather conditions. On most nights, our temperatures have dropped into the single digits. On occasion, they will even dip into the negatives. For my own safety, I have avoided running in such cold weather. Even in 20 degrees, I tend to lose all the feeling in my fingers even with appropriate gloves on. Also, having 2 injuries back to back, I thought sticking to a treadmill and hoping off at the first sign of pain was a better idea than being stranded on the C&O Canal with a messed up foot. So, the treadmill it has been for the past month.

Now, my feelings of the treadmill have turned from disliking it, to loathing it. No matter what I do, I cannot enjoy my workouts. I have tried watching movies, blasting music, or cutting the workout into 2 sessions. I have even made Peter keep me company to help distract me from going crazy. Nothing has really helped. Until today.

I decided to cover the screen that shows the time and mileage just so I could focus primarily on how I felt while running. Since I had nothing to track how long I had gone, I used each Pandora song that played as an indicator of where I was in my workout.

That is when I decided to make a game out of it.

Here are the rules...
If you are using an iPod or MP3, make sure you set it to shuffle
  • Song #1: This is your warm up. Start at a slow pace. My warm up pace was 5.7 mph.
  • On song #2, begin to increase your pace, reaching your typical "low" pace (the pace you don't want to fall under during your workout) by the song's end. Mine is 6.0 mph.
  • By song #3, you should be warmed up and ready to go! If you LOVE the song that begins to play, increase your speed by 0.1 mph. Then, every time the chorus plays, increase your speed by another 0.1 mph. Keep increasing until the song ends and then return back to your "low" pace. 
  • If you do not like the song playing, or only somewhat like it, increase your incline every time the chorus plays by 0.5%. By the end of the song, go back to your normal incline. Mine is 1.0%.
  • If you feel tired on any song, use this time to keep at your "low" pace without speeding up or increasing incline. This time is going to be used to recover. Start increasing your speed or incline with the next song.
I did this for 5 miles and absolutely loved every second of it. I only peeked at my mileage twice to get an idea of when to stop, but other than that, I did not track my distance or time. Though, I did end up finishing faster than I expected.

Here was my playlist/workout:
"Work It, Bitch" - Britney Spears (Warm Up)
"Blow" - Ke$ha (Increase to "low" speed)
"Satisfaction" - The Biz (Speed)
"Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus (Incline)
"Shots" - LMFAO (Speed)
"Breathe" - Dev (Incline)
"Top of the World" - The Cataracs (Incline)
"Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj (Speed)
"Till the World Ends" - Britney Spears (Speed)
"Love You Like A Love Song" - Selena Gomez (Speed)
"Good Feeling" - Flo Rida (Incline)
"Paparazzi" - Lady Gaga (Speed)

I will definitely be repeating this game tomorrow.

Will you try my treadmill game? If you do, tell me if you enjoyed it!

What are some things you do to help make a treadmill workout fun?

Lesson Learned, Lack of Marathon Training: Week 9

Training has resumed. Finally!

These injuries are really quite tiring. Once one foot injury went away, another appeared. I went from having a big toe issue, to having what I thought to be a cuboid issue. I never was officially diagnosed, but because I treated it like cuboid syndrome, the pain was alleviated in a couple of days. After taking off Thursday and Friday, after getting tremendous foot pain after my Wednesday run, I was able to do a slow 5 mile run on Saturday with little issue. I was more impressed with the fact I was able to do 5 miles all in one session, when all the previous runs had to be broken up because of exhaustion! My foot hurt a little after, but nothing that some ice, massage, and manipulation didn't solve.

 Anyway, if you are interested, here is what my last week of marathon "training" looked like...

6 Miles 6 MilesRest5 MilesCancelled Run
for Injury
Rest, Still
5 Miles

Not my best, but hey, it could have been worse.

To be honest, I am quite embarrassed by my injury. I am fully aware of why I got it and it was simply because...I was stupid.

I was super excited to try my new Vibrams. So excited that I disregarded all warnings. Every runner, every article, even the Vibram website stated "take time in transitioning." Of course, I considered myself an exception. I ran in them a day after getting them. I ran a mile in the morning with no issue. So after doing 3.5 miles on the treadmill that same evening, I decided to do the remaining miles in the Vibrams. Once I hit 4.5 miles, I started feeling pain where my cuboid is located. That lead to another stupid decision...I decided to keep on running.

I should have shed the shoes at the first point of pain, switch them out, then finish in my Mizunos. But I thought I wasn't going to hurt anything too badly by going just another half mile. Well, I could barely walk once I finished. I was sure I screwed myself up pretty well. I completely deserved it, too. I would not learn otherwise unless I got hurt.

So the Vibrams will be put to the side for a little longer. I will not attempt them until after surgery.

I took another break on Sunday, taking a full-on, no messing around, rest day. I literally laid on the couch all day watching the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy (the extended edition, at that!). I did do some squats, but other than that, I was LAZY. It felt good though, not gonna lie.

I resumed my normal training schedule yesterday with another SLOW 5 miler. Again, happy to finish all in one session without a nagging foot. I more focused on hills because I hear there is a killer one in the marathon. I am resting again today, like I normally would. I am not going to try to make up for lost miles. That will just give me another injury at this rate. I am just hoping I will be able to do my planned 20 miler after missing my long run this last Saturday. Though, I will be happy if I can manage 16-18. I have time to get in a 20 miler if it doesn't happen this weekend. Still, I am optimistic :)

So tell me, how is your training going?

Any injured runners out there? How are you coping?

Quick Update: Injury Prone

When your foot starts to hurt on a run, you are supposed to stop running. So why did I keep going? To answer that question nicely...I was an idiot!!! My cuboid bone was in severe pain after my treadmill run last night. It was a bit less severe this morning, but I was still emotional about my stupidity. I have been limping all day and researching what I can do to fix it. So far, there has been some success with self manipulation. Until I find complete relief, I am taking off from running. I am even considering seeing a podiatrist (and if you know me, you know I avoid doctor's if possible!). With my exhaustion and random foot injuries, I do not think my current running schedule will help me in the marathon. I give it a week, at most 2. If I can't get through this, I will have to reduce my planned marathon to a half. Though, I hope to avoid that if possible!

But that is where I am at right now! It is a short update, but I wanted to check in and inform you all!

Ever have cuboid issues? Have any self-treatment methods?

Marathon Training: Week 8

I am really good at falling off the face of the earth, aren't I?

Well, if you are like me, you have good running weeks as well as bad ones. This past week fell into the "bad week" category.

7 Miles AM1 Mile AM
3.5 Miles PM
1.5 Miles PM
1 Mile AM
Rest PM
1 Mile AM
5 Miles PM
1 Mile AM
5 Miles
Rest13.1 Miles AM

First, the treadmill and I hung out on every run for nearly 2 weeks. After spending that much quality time with each other, we easily got sick of seeing each other. I could not make it to 5 miles in a few of my sessions. I was exhausted. However, by Thursday, I was determined to run outside. I thought all I needed was fresh air to cure me of the funk I was in. I had my reasons in avoiding the outdoors, but it mostly was due to the inconsistencies of my foot pain. Some days were better than others, but by Thursday evening, I could not fathom the thought of running another 5 miles inside. I got my cold gear on and went to my parent's to run.

It felt great...with exception of the first mile. I was so used to the treadmill absorbing the impact of my body that I forgot how unforgiving pavement was. It really messed with my vision, actually. But once the sun was down, it was no longer an issue. I finished happy and refreshed.

On Saturday, I revisited the trail for the first time in 3 weeks for a 13.1 mile run. It had just snowed earlier that morning, but nothing was going to stand in my way. I NEEDED to return to the trail.

Lucky for me, my foot stayed quiet, but I was absolutely exhausted by the end. Alpha and I cuddled for some time while I tried regaining some energy.

That same evening, I did a lot of thinking. My confidence had really gone down. Running had not been this difficult since my surgery in July. It has left me wondering if I will be prepared for this marathon in time. I quickly snapped out of it though. I am almost 2 months away from the actual race. I think that is plenty of time to gain back some of the confidence I lost. Running will get better again, I am sure.

And to brighten my spirits, I decided to fork out the extra money for an upgrade to VIP at the Rock n Roll Marathon. I think that will help motivate me.

Some of that confidence did return on Sunday. I had a 6 mile run planned and although, I did not expect a great performance...that is what I got.

During the first mile, I noticed my pace was much faster than anticipated. I told myself several times "Don't do this, Lindsey! This is madness!" However, instead of slowing down, I kept speeding up. I went with it and finished strong. But like all of my recent runs, I am just left completely exhausted.

I am curious if I am getting sick or have a deficiency in something. Either way, I hope it gets resolved so I can feel normal again. I want to get this training back on track asap!!!

Are you off to a good start this week?

Marathon Training: Week 7

I did not have the best training week. My foot/toe really brought my mileage down.

Here's the breakdown...

0001 Mile AM
2.5 Miles PM
2.5 Miles PM
1 Mile AM
2.5 Miles PM
2.5 Miles PM

I also had to deal with treadmill running all week. I wanted to stay away from the roads/trails just in case my foot decided to act up. I did not want to be stranded, but luckily, I remained pain free.

This week, I hope to keep to my running schedule close to what I planned.

7 PM1 Mile AM
5 Mile PM
1 Mile AM
Rest PM
1 Mile AM
5 Miles PM
1 Mile AM
5 Miles PM

I already ran my scheduled 7 for Sunday, which felt nearly impossible on the treadmill. When it comes to running indoors, I just have to think about the mile I am currently running. With each one complete, I just kept telling myself "just one more mile then you can stop and run the rest later." Eventually, I was at mile 6 and figured that I finish it out without doing a round 2 later.

NOW, on to some gear news. I LOVE talking about my new running purchases. My most recent...

Vibram FiveFinger Bikila
I am determined to find a way to eliminate my frequent running injuries. I know this is going to be a challenge and I hope I do not give up on these so quickly. I pray they actually make a minimalist runner out of me. I plan on using these on my morning mile treadmill runs to start. I understand if you start wearing these on all your running expeditions, you may find yourself hurting something terrible. So I will still use my other shoes as well. Especially, my Brook's PureGrits for my trail runs. But my goal is to completely convert to using Vibrams for my weekday road/treadmill runs. Though, it may take some time.

This purchase was definitely not something I randomly acted on. I have wanted a pair of Vibrams for quite some time. It wasn't until recently that the injuries led me to fork out the cash to do it. I can't wait until I get them. I should have them on my feet before the end of the week and will be sure to tell you all about it. :)

What does your running week look like?

Do you run in minimalist shoes? Do you find that your running form/injuries have improved?

Sesamoiditis - The Pea-Sized Pain In My...

Your sesamoids. Those cute little spheres of bone that are located just below the big toe. 

You would have never noticed their existence until you aggravate them. 

Sure, I am self-diagnosing. Sue me. But there are only a few injuries that can occur in your big toe. I have researched fractures, turf toe, metatarsalgia, and arthritis, but the only thing that makes perfect sense is sesamoiditis. If I truly wanted to give myself a wrong diagnosis, I would have chose tendonitis, the least painless and easily treated issue. 

Sesamoiditis is inflammation of the bones and it is sometimes difficult to treat. However, since believing that this is my problem, I have immediately taken action on healing this injury.


I bought cheap insoles by Dr. Scholls. These happened to be made of memory foam. I took the pads, stacked them on one another and cut around were my sesamoid bones are. After adjusting and readjusting for 30 minutes, I placed them in a pair of my running shoes and took them for a test drive. Because the pressure was taken off that area of my foot, the majority of my pain was relieved. This had led me to believe even more that the problem would be in my sesamoids.

Even prior to this discovery, my pain was lessening, but at least with this new insole, I can run with significantly less annoyance. I was also able to run for more than 2.5 miles at a time. Today, I made it to 8.5 on the treadmill without any pain. 

I didn't even have pain then, I was just tired and hungry.

So I took a break, had pizza and water, then went for another round. It was more difficult the second time through. I was really getting tired... or bored. I have never run 15 miles on a treadmill in one day and it is definitely not my favorite place to run. But the important thing was that I did it and it was painless.

Tomorrow, I have a 7 miler planned, which will most likely be limited to the treadmill again. The trail is soaked and I am afraid to run the road with my foot. We will see though!

Have you ever dealt with sesamoiditis? 

Toe Woes

I went 3 days without running, then...I got bored. I had dabbled in weight lifting and ab work during my time off, but ultimately, I wanted/needed to run. So, I did. Sure, maybe it was stupid. Anytime you feel pain, you are supposed to rest, right? This time, did not seem like the case.

On Wednesday, I woke up at 5:30 am and thought a slow mile would not kill me. Although, it didn't, it was oodly tiring. It was more than likely from the excessive thought I put into my form and gait. If I didn't that morning, however, I am sure my foot would have been furious!

It did ache upon finishing, but strangely, it felt better than it had all week. Still, I was obsessively researching the anatomy of feet and what could possibly be my foot's problem. The more I researched, the more I worried. I always assume the worst (I thought I had turf toe). Yet, I found myself running again that evening. I did a 2.5 mile run, rested, then did another 2.5 after dinner. Again, my thinking exhausted me, but I did...okay. I had more minor aches, but some trigger point massages helped. I've also been living in a single compression sock to help with circulation.

Today, I did another 5:30 am run. I was able to go a little faster, but I still had the same annoying pain. It wasn't until my lunch break that it dawned on me to "body sense." It is a technique I learned from Chi Running. When you feel pain, you focus on that part of your body, and find what needs to change. I found that my feet, ankles, and calves were incredibly tense from trying to prevent pain, which ended up causing more. I focused on letting those areas of my body fall loose. When they did, I could not feel the pain.

I cannot describe the relief I felt to walk like a normal person, but I knew running was going to be a bit more difficult to loosen up on than walking. So I stuck with the same workout as last night: 2.5 miles then another round after dinner. I focused on keeping my ankles relaxed and it worked out well. I still experienced some pain, but it wore off quickly. I also started to work on toe exercises to help the extensor tendon.

This was very beneficial! If you have tendonitis in your first metatarsal, consider doing this!

Tomorrow, I am taking off. Don't want to over do it, but I will keep you guys posted!

Any current running woes?

Marathon Training: Week 6 - When Life Gives you Injuries....

First, I would like to thank those of you who have left me comments, private messages, texts, emails, etc about my last entry. Although it is sad to hear that some of you are suffering the same issues, I am relieved that I am among many strong women! We will get through this!

Now on to my training...

It was a rough week. I started to experience some "top of foot" pain, right on my first metatarsal. Because 1.5% of all stress fractures are within the first metatarsal, I figured I was not that special. But, because there was pain, my miles decreased from being in the 40 mile range, to sticking within the 30s.

81 Mile AM
1 Mile PM
1 Mile AM41 Mile AM
5 Miles PM

A lot of the pain that I had was tolerable. It would flare up after runs. It was never really painful enough during the run itself. Still, I was very mindful of it. I was icing and massaging when I could. It wasn't until my long run Saturday when the pain became a little more than a little nag.

I was forced to road run because of snow. I ran nearby mom and dad's up and down one of the longer main roads. The camber was a bit severe, but I would only stick to the shoulder if a car was coming. If not, I was in the street where the road was flatter. However, each time I was forced onto the shoulder, my foot felt like it was on fire. I pushed through and once I got to mom's, I was massaging like crazy.

Unlike many runs before, the pain did not let up. After icing, medicating, massaging and resting, the pain remained just as severe. I can apply direct pressure to the painful areas without feeling much pain, it is only when my weight is pushing on the ball of my foot, that both the first metatarsal and big toe joint feel horrible.

Needless to say, I am currently not running. Instead, I spent most of my day resting and nursing my injury. I bought insoles for my shoes and a cushion for the ball of my foot to help reduce the weight impact on that area. I also included ACE bandages in my purchase, which has ultimately been the biggest relief.

I am prepared to miss most of this week of running due to my foot, which is okay, I suppose. I will be happy to dedicate this time to yoga and pilates.

I will keep you posted on any updates :o)

Are you currently dealing with any injuries?

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year!

- Run Freckles Run

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