Last week my friend, Lauren, had a great post about the somewhat polarizing subject of running on the treadmill. At the end she asked the question: Treadmill = your favorite running partner or the spawn of satan?
I left her a comment telling her that if she had asked the same question prior to this trip, I would have had an entirely different answer than I do today.
BUT, I am (somewhat reluctantly) here to tell you that I might have had just an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie change of heart.
Let me set the scene…
When I was packing for my trip to Hamburg, I discovered that I only own 4 pairs of running tights/capris. I mean I DO live in South Carolina, where winter is basically non-existent (from a running standpoint).
I looked at the 10-day forecasts for Hamburg and theorized that a few of the days might be warm enough that I could get away with shorts and compression socks. But when I got here and realized that 32 degrees actually feels like low 20′s because of the wind and constant precipitation, I quickly realized that shorts weren’t really going to work.
And since I sweat like a disgusting beast, re-wearing running tights is not really an option for me. So I made the executive decision that I would do all of my easy/recovery runs on the hotel treadmill and save my warm clothes for the hard runs outside.
I armed myself with my iPad, music and headphones and knocked out a 4-miler the first day I arrived. The second TM run was a 5-miler and with my iPhone miraculously shuffling up great tune after great tune, I actually finished with, gasp!, somewhat of a runner’s high!
Then Sunday I ran 6 and it seemed a little longer, but while watching Hitch on my iPad, it was bearable.
Then Monday was the real test…an easy 7-miler. It would take over an hour and seemed a little beyond my treadmill tolerance. I briefly contemplated braving the cold in shorts, but as I watched the wind whip the flags from my hotel room, I quickly squashed that idea. I sucked it up and hit the TM…and once again, it really wasn’t that bad.
Of course all of these runs were at a relaxed, easy pace (between 9:10 – 9:30), so I think that makes a difference, but I must admit that maybe I have been a little too hard on the treadmill this whole time. It is, after all quite convenient and very quick to jump on, get the run done and get on with your day, without all of the bundling up, carrying water, making your way across busy traffic to get to the running path, etc.
So I take it all back. The hate, the mean things, the negative thoughts. I GET IT now.
P.S. The other thing I did this week that I “never” do? I ran with music on my 12-miler. Since the running path is traffic-free, I didn’t have to be super conscious of my surroundings, so I decided to make a quick playlist and go for it!
My thoughts? Mixed. I feel like I am not as in-tune with my pace, how I feel, etc. with music. BUT when I was pushing through some tempo miles in the middle, I definitely liked the boost that the music gave me!