She's A Brick House...

She's mighty, mighty... well not really. And truth be told, it wasn't a true brick anyway. I've been intrigued by workout strategies used by triathletes for some time, and the brick is the most interesting of all. As I understand it, it's a back to back workout of moderate duration, starting out with bicycling and then transitioning to running. The key is in the transition--helping your body to move as smoothly as possible from cycling legs to running legs.

With all the business travel the last couple of weeks, and just my general "it's Fall out there and I need to prepare to hibernate" slacker mentality, I haven't ridden my bike as much as I should. But I knew that I had a 14 miler on the schedule for Saturday morning. What to do? A brick was in order. But this was the brick of a runner, not a triathlete. Got up around 6:30 while it was still cool out there (believe it or not, we're experiencing one of those famed Indian Summers around here with temps upwards of 100 degrees--although, isn't an Indian Summer where it has cooled off and then you have a late season rebound? That just never happened this year. Anyway, I digress). So, where was I? Oh yes, got up early and logged six miles on the Trek. Came home, fixed myself some breakfast, read the paper, and mentally prepared myself for what was ahead.

I've given up running outside when the temps are like this. I'm too tired to get out the door in sufficient time before the heat kicks in. Yes, I know--I did get up to ride my bike at 6:30, but here's the deal. That would only take me a half hour or so. A 14 miler would take 2.5 hours minimally. And by that point we'd be looking at 80+. I know in my heart of hearts that come November when I run that Half, race time temps will top out in the 60 to 65 degree range, and if they don't then the Apocalypse is upon us. As such, I'm just done with running in anything but a comfortable temperature range. So how did I get that 14 miler in you ask? Treadmill.

Now I know that most would rather put a pick axe through their eye than run on the treadmill for any longer than about a half hour. I certainly prefer to be outside, but it needs to be on my terms and right now, Mother Nature is just not giving in. Still, I find running distances on the treadmill to be, shall I say, therapeutic? Something about the controlled steady pace, no sights to distract, no exhaust to smell. It has a calming effect on me.

If you look at the workout over there on the right, you'll see that I went a little longer than scheduled. 15.88 miles. That's to make up for the wonky pace readings thrown out by my Garmin foot pod for the first six or seven miles or so. It was making me crazy. There was no way I was running that fast (a sub 8:00 min. mile in many cases). That in turn, would throw off the mileage. Magically, after mile 7, Gar got with the program and my pace readings leveled off in the 11:00+ range (that's more like it). I feel pretty confident that that last leg of the run was accurate, but I threw in an extra 1.88 miles to compensate for earlier screwiness.

The point of this post, however, is to highlight the value of the runner's brick. Lesson conveyed.