This morning I ran for an hour and a half on the Alter-G (Anti-Gravity) Treadmill. For a detailed description of the Alter-G, check out the Wikipedia page here. (I found it to be much more descriptive than the Alter-G website.) Essentially it is a treadmill that allows you to run at a percentage of your body weight (from 20%-80%) by lifting you up by your shorts using air pressure. The U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence currently has four Alter-G treadmills. All the athletes have access to them, but they are also run as a seperate business and open to the public. I have previously used it as a recovery tool from injuries. I used it today because I have continued to get very sore from running outside. (I’m still restricted to pavement.) My coach and I are hoping that the decreased pounding on the Alter-G will help my muscles transition to running. It is also a great tool to work on my leg speed because at a set aerobic effort I can run faster at a lower body weight than at full weight outside.
Running on the Alter-G is not a fun experience. It makes me feel bloated, and I am running with a massive wedgy. I believe it must be more painful for men than women. It is also challenging for my legs because I am running substantially faster than I am used to at distance training pace. Lastly, I cramped while running on the machine today. For the ninety minute workout I ran at 75% of my body weight. I averaged 6:15 per mile, but I spent the majority of the time at six minute pace. Here’s a picture of me on the treadmill today:
Matt, the nutritionist at the U.S. Ski Team, went all out for lunch today. He provides an incredible service to us athletes. He set everything out for do-it-yourself pizza.
The free, healthy, prepared food at the Center of Excellence has become more substantial every year. Matt, and his predecessor Adam, have worked incredibly hard to make this happen, and I am extremely grateful! Instead of making our own little pizzas, Nolan Kasper, Tucker Perkins and I made a big pizza to split:
Here’s Tucker cutting it up:
This afternoon I had physical therapy then a two and a half hour spin on the trainer. The spin was made substantially easier by some friends who hung out with me for more than an hour chatting and keeping me company.
After the workout I swung my the local ice rink to watch some men’s league hockey (because Nolan said I should go and because there were several alpine skiers in the game). It was actually fairly entertaining but made me miss playing hockey. I haven’t played since I was eleven, but I can’t wait to get back to it when I’m done ski racing (along with tennis, soccer and alpine skiing.)
When I got home I went to play bocce ball with the family I live with: Greg, Toni, Luke and Lindsey Adams. Here’s Greg making a shot:
And here are Lindsey (left), Toni and Greg:
After bocce I took Lindsey out driving for the second time. There was a beautiful sunset while we were out.
Today Lindsey went through her first stoplight.
She also backed up for the first time today and parked between two cars. She was way more comfortable than last time we went out.