Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Treadmill: once every five months sounds about right

It's been over five months since I last stepped on a treadmill. That date was May 27, 2009 and up until then I was doing all my weekday runs indoors. I grew increasingly weary of the treadmill process. The tedium of running without going anywhere with only the clock s-l-o-w-l-y ticking off the minutes to distract me just got to be too much. After complaining about it on a daily basis AG suggested that I try running outdoors instead and she lent me her headlamp to try it out. I did my first 4:00 AM run on June 2, 2009 and I've never looked back. That is until this morning when I ran 3. 31 miles on a Precor treadmill at our hotel in Boston.

My wife is a dedicated treadmiller and she manages to get through a rigorous workout just about every day. I admire her dedication and effort and I'm amazed that she's able to reach a zen-like state that requires no distractions to get through her daily efforts. I need my view to change, and change often, which is one reason why I never do the same route twice and why I love the trails. This morning, as I ramped up the speed on the Precor, it all came back to me like a bad dream. The heat and humidity of the fitness center. The lack of visual stimulation. The fear of a misstep on the tread. The #$%^& safety button that I hit three times during my run by accident that caused the motor to abruptly slow until I frantically restored my speed. On the positive side I had some fun playing with the excellent incline features and by toggling between the pace, speed and distance displays that distracted me to some degree. I pushed my speed pretty well, maintaining a pace between 8:15 to 8:45 per mile.

Our trip was really great and we saw some good friends as well as my brother, sister-in-law and their two great kids. The weekend went by fast but that's because it was one great moment after another. In all I only covered 6.75 miles over the two days but the runs were great in their own ways. I'll be so happy to be back on the road for my next run. High-end treadmills notwithstanding, there's nothing like seeing the world go by while you're running.

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