Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking path B (make that tread B)

I awoke from a pleasant night's sleep to the percussive sound of rain on the bathroom skylight. I needed to make a decision whether to brave the rain or to stay indoors and use the elliptical or (shudder) the treadmill. I didn't run yesterday and I skipped Monday because it's my rest day. Sunday's run was a slow, short run with my daughter so I'd really only had two cardio workouts since Saturday. I knew I needed a workout and I surprised myself by choosing the treadmill. My decision to run on the treadmill was related to a logic process that I use often during my weekend runs: if path A is similar but easier than path B, take path B. For example, If one road leading home extends the run an extra half mile or has a challenging hill while the other is shorter, flatter, etc., why not accept the tougher option? That's why I chose the treadmill.
It was the first time that I stepped on our treadmill since June. I've been running outdoors at 4:00 AM since then and using the elliptical when conditions forced me to stay inside. I ran on a treadmill while up in Boston a few weeks ago which helped prepare me psychologically for today's experience. The display on our decade-old treadmill is flaky so I set the pace according to my readiness to run. I wore my Garmin 50 to track my distance and pace but I didn't refer to it during my run except to check on time elapsed. Treadmill time is brutally slow. With no distractions the minutes can pass like hours. It really wasn't as bad as I'd remembered it but I missed the experience of changing scenery.
With no information about my pace I moved along fairly well. I ended up covering 2.5 miles at an 8:34 pace - much better than I usually do on the streets at that time. I have every hope that tomorrow morning's weather will be more hospitable. While the treadmill may be a tougher path than the outdoor option that is one case where I'll always choose path A.

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