Showing posts with label boredom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boredom. Show all posts

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Running to positive distraction

Today's run (treadmill): 5.1 miles

My hardcore running buddy SIOR was planning a long run today along the Bethpage bike trail. After so many treadmill runs over the past couple of weeks, I really wanted to get out and join her (and possibly the Petite Pacer) for a few miles. Once it became clear that the trail conditions were icy and snowy, I became concerned about slipping. Despite suggestions that included putting Slinkys and Brillo pads on my running shoes, I ended up chickening out.

If Bethpage wasn't going to be an option, I knew my opportunity for an outside run would be low. I finally accepted my fate and prepared for five miles of fun on the treadmill. And when I say fun, I mean horrible boredom. I managed to find a bunch of distractions before I finally acquiesced to the will of the Sole F63.

As it turned out, my run wasn't as tedious as I'd feared. Early on, I switched to the uppermost cable channels (Music Choice) that play music without commercials. This was great because I could listen without needing to wear headphones. I also liked that I could switch back and forth between genres. The only negative is that the names of the artists and songs are displayed in very small text and it was hard to read that from across the room.

I maintained a pace that provided a challenging but sustainable perceived effort. I noted that my heart rate's rose from 73% of max to 88% throughout the span of my run. I'm used to stopping my treadmill runs after 3 to 3.5 miles (due mostly to boredom) so going past 5 today was a testament to good distractions. I don't think conditions will change enough to get outside on Sunday, so I guess I'll do this again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Boredom is punishment for the medium-core runner

Don't let the smile fool you
Today's run (treadmill): 3.25 miles

Whenever I have to run on the treadmill, I feel like I'm agreeing to a compromise. Were I truly hardcore, I would be out in every kind of weather. I used to be much more willing to run outside under bad conditions. In fact, in 2011, I did every run between April 13 to August 7 outdoors, despite rain, snow, ice or darkness. I've been less inclined to run in ice and snow over the past couple of years, mostly due to safety issues. Have I mentioned that the drivers in my neighborhood are careless maniacs?

My dilemma, besides feeling that I've slipped from hard to medium-core, is how to write an interesting post about a treadmill run. Here is a description of every treadmill run I've ever done:
"I turned on the treadmill and hit start. I set the speed to x. I set the incline to x (optional). I ran for a long time and looked at the the treadmill's display and saw that only a minute had actually passed. I ran for five more minutes and wondered if I could ever be more bored. I ran more and realized that, yes, I could be more bored. I continued until I had a quarter mile to go and increased my speed to race pace. I finished the run and immediately forgot how much I hated the whole experience."
There really is something to the "runner's high" concept, when your system releases endorphins after the workout is done. It's a good thing that happens. Can you imagine if you felt worse after a run? This morning I did my 3+ miles (I could only stand it for 30 minutes today) and felt great once I was able to step off, relax and shower.

I loved that I had the option of running indoors today when the roads were icy. Treadmills are boring and can be hard to write about. But unless I'm willing to harden my core, I'll be forced to use this machine. And you'll be forced to read about it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Treadmills aren't always portals to boredom

Today's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

For all my complaining about the treadmill as a portal to mind blowing boredom, I'm sure spending a lot of time on ours. Back in 2011 I managed to go almost six months without using the machine. This was a well timed period between spring, summer and fall when it never seemed to rain at 4:00 AM. On those rare occasions where the weather interfered, I'd default to the elliptical machine.

Once again, the weather kept me inside today. 22 degrees plus wind chill made for an uninviting outdoor running experience. I could have bundled up and gone outside but I wanted to focus on my speed. I don't run as fast with lots of layers and I'll need to figure that out for the race on Saturday. I'm hoping for a mild turn in the weather and I'll stay inside the registration area as long as I can to minimize the amount of time spent in the cold prior to the start. Those five minutes waiting for the gun can get downright chilly.

This morning's treadmill run started fast and I didn't let off my speed until I'd finished. I increased pace incrementally over the last five minutes, pouring it on at the end to simulate the finish of a race. I'm feeling primed at this point and I'm looking forward to returning to the road tomorrow. I'm still not a treadmill lover but, with these speed focused runs, I'm rarely bored.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All exercise but running is boring

A big reason I like to run is the feeling of travel and progress. You start here, go there and if you're fortunate you'll see interesting things along the way. Eventually you'll come back feeling like something good has just happened. This travel and visual stimulation are lacking on the treadmill although some may argue that an HDTV can be a good substitute for the great outdoors. To me it's still work and I always have this nagging sense that I'm cheating with the treadmill because the tread helps move you along in a way that roads or trails do not.

The elliptical is a nice alternative and I am a fan but I also view it as a form of work. While the idea of it is great, it's just a machine built for repetition. Nothing stimulating about that. The end justifies the means but the means are a bit boring, HDTV or not. Some of my running friends are taking to their bikes for the summer and I'm starting to think about doing that as well but my bike needs a serious tune up or replacement. In the meantime my non-running choices are limited.

This morning I decided to give my legs a rest and instead did some work on my much neglected upper body. This, like the treadmill and the elliptical, is a tedious process. I worked with two 10 lb. free weights and did lots of repetitions, isolating different muscles each time. I spent about 25 minutes on this activity and built a good sweat (though nothing like what a get from a run). I have no idea if it did any good but I was happy that I gave my legs a break and still did a workout. All the same I'd rather be running.

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