Sunday, April 22, 2012

Alter G and Me

I had a couple of bloggers ask me for more information about the Alter G after I mentioned it in my last post, so here goes.

First of all, the Alter G is an anti-gravity treadmill. I first read about it in Runner's World, and I believe the article featured a picture of a very pregnant Kara Goucher using one.

Last summer, I was sidelined by an undiagnosed injury. By undiagnosed, I mean Navy Medicine did not want to spend the money for me to have an MRI and an X-Ray of my right leg showed nothing. Considering my 8 week time frame for recovery, I believe it to have been a tibial stress reaction, something that doesn't show up on an X-Ray.

The story behind Alter G: I set out one Sunday morning in July to do a 14-mile run (after having several days of painful running), took about 7 steps and said, "NOPE." I turned around, walked home and then got into my car to go to the gym to begin elliptical hell. When I walked into the gym, however, it was like:

Complete with music

I could not believe that the semi-crappy Marine Corps base gym had scored not one but TWO Alter Gs.
Apparently one of the Marines on base is a member of the All-Marine Marathon Team, and somehow he got the money allocated for it. SWEET!

And so began 8 (or 7?) solid weeks of 5 days per week on it!

To be completely honest, SUAR has THE BEST POST on it. She actually took pictures of herself and included a video. While I considered doing it for my blog, I felt like a tool asking someone to take my picture at the gym. From what I understand, SUAR was invited to a physical therapy clinic or something to try the Alter G.

This week I spent Tuesday-Friday on the AG. Saturday was pool running. Today, I managed to eek out a grandma-paced 10 miles outside, so I'm optimistic that my Alter G time has ended. I plan on continuing EASY miles until this back issue clears up. As Pasadena is now 28 days away... it doesn't look good. At this point, I'm hoping to downgrade to the half marathon and use it as an easy-paced training run for a possible late summer half marathon. Time will tell.


  1. Thanks for clearing up the Alter G mystery! I wonder what it would take it get an Alter G at my gym. Probably a miracle because they suck. And that is the creepiest toe picture ever created. Mostly because it looks like my own feet.

  2. 10 miles is good news-- but bummer that the marathon is not looking good. There will be more- it's so hard to back off when there's a race on the calendar, but so important for the long term!

  3. I won my session on the Alter-G, too--I used it during taper for Houston in January. I wrote a post too, though I'm not a good photographer or as clever as SUAR. You are really lucky to be on that base--wow, a free Alter-G....all I have to do is dream!!

  4. what i love about you, allison, is you do what it takes to get back out there. Not all of us have alter-g's but we do have pools, ellipticals, and bikes. You rock. So sorry you are dealing with injury...but unfortunately, I am too. Hope Pasadena works out for you, somehow. Hang in there.

  5. I can't believe your gym has 2 of those puppies! Anyway... I'm sorry you are needing to take a complete break right now. I hope the rest does you well and your body heals completely. :-)

  6. I have used the Alter G and damn, I am so jealous of your access to one!! This is an amazing piece of equipment!! You are really a dedicated girl. Not one to just back off. Really impressive how you get your butt in the pool and do whatever you can to keep up your fitness.

    I hope you're doing OK with this injury. How sucky about Pasadena.....I must say you are wise to do the right thing here. I ran a marathon in October injured and not only was it a physical blunder, it messed me up mentally as well...just plain stubborn and I couldn't back down...Learning here. Anyway, I'm thinking of you and hoping you are feeling good here and that the possibility of the half is still out there! Heal up!!

  7. I'm so glad you have easy access to it. It's a great tool and I think you will more than keep your fitness with it.

    I"m sorry about Pasadena--do what's best for your long-term running!