The Treadmill and Me

I’ve gained ten pounds in the last few weeks. Why? A deep and abiding affection for Simply Lemonade, Nabisco Ginger Snaps, and ice-cream (any brand will do) had nothing to do with the extra weight. I blame cold weather.

Why? Because I’m a fair weather runner. I love running shirtless, and that requires sunshine, temperatures in the 60s or 70s, and a little breeze. For most of last year, I ran three miles or more, two or three times every week, logging more than 330 miles in 94 sessions on MapMyRun.

Cold weather has decimated my running routine. Never mind the weight gain. The big surprise is how much I miss running.

So I had a little talk with myself. Somehow, someway, I had to find a way to run. My options were to either adapt to running in cold weather or use a treadmill.

I’d tried the treadmill back when I was using Couch to 5K (C25K) to get into the running habit. Have you ever tried to run on a machine? Hated it.

Adapting to the cold seemed the better option. Because I hate to shop, the need to buy specialized clothing was somewhat of a deterrent. The bigger problem, however,  is that once I get going, I start peeling off layers when I get hot and end up running with armloads of clothing.

No thanks.

So I decided to give running on the treadmill another try. Outside, I run about a mile and a half from my house. I have to get back home, so I can’t just quit, and running is faster than walking. But on the treadmill, since I haven’t actually gone anywhere, I can — and do — quit any time.

I eased into it, running a mile the first day and two miles a few days later. The next time, I came ready to run the full three miles. I had water, an extra large towel, and my iPhone with a playlist of 80s dance music to get me through.

The first mile, whether on the treadmill or outside, is always a bitch. My shins and knees ache and I have a hard time settling into in. Outside, a little voice comes in over my music every mile to tell me how far I’ve gone and how fast (or slow, in my case) I was going. On the treadmill, all that info and more is displayed on a screen.

Through the first half of the second mile, I wondered whether or not I ‘d be able to finish. I kept telling myself I could do it, but knew I was just bullshitting myself. Yeah. Sometimes I can read minds.

As I entered the third mile, my self-talk changed. I can’t quit now! I’m better than two-thirds the way through. I can do this. By this time, enough endorphins had kicked in for me to feel like I could run forever. I believed, and I finished.

Now I’m trying to run on the treadmill every other day. Next Monday, I’ll share my observations about the difference between running outside and running on a treadmill.

7 responses to “The Treadmill and Me”

    • Definitely an alternative, though “great” would be a stretch for me. Haha. The mercury here is headed for the 60s today so I’m hoping to get a “real” run in this afternoon. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Your right – anytime on the treadmill is good. 18 months ago I was a ‘treadmill only’ person and now I’m training for my second marathon. Just proves that anyone can do it. From small acorns……

  2. After I broke my leg 20 years ago, I can’t walk or run on a treadmill. My limp makes me fall off the side. It’s real funny, but it hurts. I used an eliptical in a health club at a hotel during a conference last week and I remembered how much I love those machines! I can go fast for much long than when I’m motoring on the sidewalk. I don’t do cold, but since I can’t zip my Levi’s, I think I must begin a search for a good used one I can put in my garage. Keep your eyes open!