From Dread-mill to FUN!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Footpod to review Zwift as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


Wintertime is here and for many of us and that makes it all the more hard to get outside and get a run in. This is the time of year where a lot of us, reluctantly, turn to the indoors and the dreaded treadmill, or the dreadmill, as I like to call it.

The treadmill is not my favorite but I also don’t like running in the frigid cold. It’s a conundrum and thus, Winter is really hard for me to keep my motivation for running and exercise. I’ve learned a few tricks to keep me on the treadmill for a decent run and now I have another trick up my sleeve… Zwift!

This is the footpod!

Zwift is a digital platform that matches your speed on the treadmill to an avatar of you in a virtual world. You can run on your own, touring the virtual world of Watopia (the Zwift world), while other people, real people, are also running or biking in the same world. You can also join a run club or group run.

What you need:
-A treadmill (nothing special needed)
-A foot pod (Zwift makes their own) or supported blue tooth treadmill (like these)
-A device to connect to Zwift (Computer, iPhone or Ipad – right now Zwift is not compatible with Android devices.)
-Optional: a separate device or phone to connect to the companion app, which makes it easier to chat while doing a group run.


My Experience

The first time I tried Zwift was for the BibRave 5k group run. All I had to do was to sign up for the event by clicking it and then when it was time, you join the event and it stages you at the virtual starting line while everyone else pops in. When it’s time to start, you start running on your treadmill and your avatar runs your same pace in the virtual world. If anyone else is running your pace, you’ll see them next to you or if they’re faster, you’ll see them pass you, just like in the real world. You can wave to them or give them a thumbs up while they run past. It was pretty cool to run with fellow BibRave pros from across the country.

The second time I tried it, I just picked from the pre-made courses/worlds (I chose running through a volcano) in the Zwift app and did my own thing. There were other people running and biking at the same time and you would see them zip by in real time.

My footpod and the iPhone I was using paired really well; I had no problems (I know some of the BibRave pros some difficulty getting their footpod to stay connected while in the run). I do really hope Zwift will soon be compatible with Andriod products. I use an Android phone and tablet and the only way I could connect to Zwift was on my boyfriend’s tiny iPhone. I think having a larger device that I could bring to the rec (like a tablet) would make Zwift even more enjoyable. Zwift does work with a computer, but I thought that would be really weird to bring my MacBook Pro to the rec center and set it in front of the treadmill.  😛


Innovation

I think Zwift is really on to something.  I think it is really cool that you can organize a group run with people from across the country and actually run with them at your own speed. This could mean meeting new people, spending time with friends and family that don’t live near you, and even connecting like-minded communities from around the world.


Practicality

Besides connecting people, I also love the idea that this brings new motivation for running and exercise. Like I said in the beginning, I have such a hard time getting outside for a run in the cold months and the treadmill never sounds appealing either. Zwift takes the dreadmill and makes it fun (or at least bearable for those that REALLY hate the treadmill). Instead of counting down the tenth of each mile, I spent the time watching my little avatar running through different, beautifully crafted scenes.

Right now, the Zwift Run platform is free. Zwift did start as a cycling platform and I know they have a monthly membership but I’m not entirely sure what is included. I don’t know if the run platform will eventually move to a paid membership but I definitely think that it’s worth the cost of a footpod to give some more motivation to running on a treadmill.

I know there are a ton more features that I have yet to discover, but I’m excited to have this in my so-called “bag of tricks” to keep me motivated this winter.


Get started:

Visit Zwift online to learn more.

Get a footpod! Use coupon code BibRave15 to save 15% (available for the first 1000 sold).


See what the other BibRace Pros think:

RunNerd Girl | TmilesandRunning | The Running French Prof | Running with Log | The Marathon Lady | Running Through Life | Run Katy Run | Elbow Glitter | With Purpose and Kindness | Bluegrass BAMR |

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 7 and 8 Recap(s)

We have all talk about “the wall” we hit when we are actually in a race. I think I have hit that wall in my training. I’m having a hard time finding my running motivation and I’m not entirely sure why. A lot of it has to do with the below freezing, and even into the negatives, temperatures we been having here in Colorado. I tell ya, I’m a pretty tough runner. I’ll run in the snow, rain, sleet, wind, super hot temps, etc. But this cold of weather is not ok. It’s not that I don’t have appropriate clothes; most of me stays plenty warm. Sure, my face and hands will get cold, that’s bearable. But really, it’s about the breathing. It burns!!

So, I haven’t run much in the last two weeks. I also don’t have that easy of access to a treadmill, even though I hate the treadmill with a passion. I used to have a 24 Hour membership, but I cancelled it back before I was even done with school. I occasionally use the gym where I coach boot camps out of, but due to recent changes to our agreement with the community college, it is not as appropriate to use the gym for my own fitness. Let alone is it a little too far for me to drive there just to work out. Driving there for work is one thing, but it is fairly distant from my house.

I’d be lying if it was just the weather decreasing my running motivation. And even though I know that it’s not just the freezing temps and lack of a treadmill, I don’t honestly know what else IS contributing to it. I think this happened last time I was marathon training, if I remember correctly. I hit the same training “wall.”

Running-Motivation

Even though I’m kinda sad, bummed, and curious as to why I’m having trouble running, I’m not discouraged because I know that a) I’ll regain my motivation and break through the wall and b) I’m still fine when it come to marathon training, especially considering I don’t have plans of breaking any world records during my next marathon; my goal is just to finish.

sedona marathon event logoSedona Marathon Training Week 7 – while in Arkansas (keep in mind this is Thanksgiving week. I was on vacation and visiting family, so my training schedule was anything but perfect).

Monday: 10 miles complete. Because I wasn’t able to do my long run over the weekend, I planned to do it at the beginning of the week. It was a nice easy run as I explored the trail system in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

DSCN4035Tuesday: About 3 miles. I took a self guided tour of the campus of the University of Arkansas. It was a little warmer this day with the sun shining, so I had a lovely time looking at all the buildings I’ve seen a kid. At the U of A, they etch all the graduate names in the sidewalks all over campus. I spent part of my run looking for my grandfather’s and parents’ names. I found them, of course, but not without some strange looks from the students watching me run back and forth over the names!

Wednesday: Race Day Eve – I went out for an easy 2.75 miles.

Thursday: RACE DAY!!! I did a local 5K Turkey Trot in Arkansas. Recap to come. Hint: NEW PR!!!

IMG_0270

Friday: Post Thanksgiving feasting tempo run. I was so tired and my legs felt so heavy. I ended up running 6 miles, but I took my time and walked on and off. See, tempo run! hahaha. What? You’re saying that’s NOT how it works. Semantics.

I did get to follow up my run with some horseback riding. That was pretty fun, but I DEFINITELY a city girl!

DSCN4089

Saturday: 0 miles – spent about 13 hours in a car heading home to my wonderful Colorado.

Sunday: 16 miles due, I busted out 15.25. Literally at the 15 mile mark my legs we done. With the last three miles, my hip and knee pain was striking hard. This might be leading to my de-motivation for running. I’m kinda worried that I’ll always have pain with long runs. Which would be really disappointing considering I DO want to run a marathon in all 50 states!

Sedona Marathon Training – Week 8

Monday: Supposed to start right up with 4 miles, easy. I’m coming to realize that I actually don’t like the training plan I picked mostly due to this. From my knowledge of fitness and training from school and running experience, I think taking the day after the long run off is beneficial to recovery. So, needless to say, I rested.

Tuesday: Due to my schedule, I didn’t get a run in this day. And this is when the temperature dropped drastically in Colorado.

Wednesday: Phew, finally got in a 4 mile run, but on a stinkin’ treadmill. I kinda struggled through this run, not physically but mentally. I hate the treadmill.

Thursday: The temperature was in the negatives! I didn’t have to leave the house for work, so I didn’t even change out of my pajamas this day. I have no shame.

Friday: SNOWBOARDING!!!!!!! I upgraded my season pass to include another resort, so I joined the special someone, his friends and a friend of mine up in Breckenridge for a frigid day of snowboarding. Yes, I realize the irony of this: I’ll get up and out in the cold for snowboarding, but not for running. What did I tell you before?? A day of snowboarding definitely equals a medium length run. At least in my book! And being all bundled up, I actually stayed quite warm. Just my face was cold (and I put toe warmers in my boots). With access to a hot tub after our boarding session, it was a great day.

epic mix

Saturday/Sunday: Since the previous weekend was 16 miles, this weekend’s training run called for only a 10 mile, step back, long run. With the temperature being as cold as they were, I honestly didn’t even care, I didn’t go out and run. Hence the lack of motivation! Ugh! I did get stuck working the Broncos game in the cold. BRRRRRRRRR! BUT GO BRONCOS!!

I did vow to myself though to pick up my training plan where I am.

Even though I’m not running as much as I should/want to, I did start some exercise challenges at the beginning of December. I am doing a month-long plank challenge and an additional exercise challenge that includes push ups, sit ups, squats and lunges. This is mostly a way to get me motivated in to resistance training again. I’ve been wanting to start lifting again, but due to the gym situation as mentioned previously, I haven’t been too pro-active about it. I also need a workout buddy for resistance training. I’m working on that still. So, these challenges will help me get back into resistance training as well as help with my fitness just in general to complement running.

Maybe that’s why I avoided my blog last week, because I didn’t want to admit that I haven’t been running that much. Phew, now that that’s off my chest…

What else has been going on?? The company I’ve working for has some big news involving getting our own facility. While this sounds exciting on paper (er, screen), when it comes to my specific job, it actually means less hours for me right now. More opportunities in the FUTURE, but for now, with a tight budget and crazy schedule, I’m back to square one that I started with.

So, I’m back at the job searching, looking to get a second job. But, I already have an interview!

OH! And something exciting to look forward to this weekend. The special someone I keep mentioning is working up in Breckenridge for the Dew Tour (a ski and snowboarding competition where the winners will be part of the Olympic Team I believe) and I get to go spend the weekend up there watching the competition as well as just getting in some boarding myself. Ahhh, a weekend in the mountains. Hot tub included!

What about you guys?? Anything exciting/new in your neck of the woods? Tell me!!

Also, and what I’m more curious about, does anyone else hit “the wall” in their training plan?? Not just in a specific race, but the training process?? How do you over come it?

Virtual Heart Throb 5K – WAY post race recap!

heart throb 5kBack in February, I had done another virtual race. If you’ll remember, I also participated in the Tackle The Miles Virtual Race with the #13in2013 group. I may have mentioned that I did the Virtual Heart Throb, but I didn’t do an official review of it. I honestly don’t even know if I can remember how it went.

I know it was a rainy day outside. I had just gotten back from a class I believe, so I cheated on my work (Bally’s), and ran into 24 Hour Fitness by my house to get a quick 5K done on the treadmill.

All I remember really is talking to the desk guy about zombie books, powering through the run, jumping off the treadmill, running into a classmate and then heading right back out the door.

It wasn’t that eventful but I did wear my “I’m a Heart Throb” shirt.

It may have not been that eventful for me, but the entire event was a great deal for other people. The proceeds went to benefit The Arvada Community Food Bank.

Post Race Recap Collage!

Post Race Recap Collage!

This race was also put on by the 3W race series which is the same people that put together the Resolute Run I did the 1st of the year. I love this “company.” They put together super awesome events, have great communication and are super nice as well. I’m going to try to participate in all there events this year.

Anyway, the reason I am finally doing a post-race recap is because I got an email this week with our “placing.” Turned out I didn’t do too bad!

I placed 10th out of 72 other women racers! My time was 28:39; +5:31 behind the lead female. I have no idea what my age group placement is – they didn’t separate that information out. Overall, I’m really happy with the event, my time (I always run slower on a treadmill for the record), and I absolutely love my I’m a Heart Throb T-shirt!

Erin Go Braugh 7.77kToday, as this is schedule to post at 8am on Saturday morning, I am running in another 3W race…live! I am participating in the Erin Go Braugh 7.77K in Westminster, CO!

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY! I toast to you a green beer!