Running buddy Amy has been a bit out of the loop (she went on vacation last week – Very rude. I did not sign off on that). Then she got “sick.” Man, the extremes this girl will go through to avoid running with me. I suspect it’s because I’m so awesomely fast. Or stinky. You decide.
But I’ve still been getting up at 5:30 to go run our regular 3 mile loop. And, not to be a big whiner and whatnot, but it’s been pretty hot and horrible. One lovely morning last week it was 81 degrees with 60% humidity when I left the house at 6 am. So….yeah. That DOES suck, thanks for asking.
While I felt pretty pleased with myself for getting up and running, I was also pretty displeased that I was finding the whole thing just so tough. I had to keep stopping for walking/breathing breaks (because breathing in the equivalent of hot soup is not conducive to maximum lung capacity, apparently). And I hate to take walking breaks. To me, it means failure. I know that’s a stupid attitude, but I feel like at this point in my running career (I’ve been running consistently for at least 3 years now), I should be able to run 30 minutes along flat terrain without needing to stop and wheeze.
This last weekend I actually went with XFE to the gym at his work. I hopped on the treadmill in the nice, climate-controlled gym, plopped in my headphones and zoned out for the next 49 minutes. And I ran 5 miles, pretty much non-stop. A HUGE improvement over my everyday performance. And, a big mental boost as well.
Of course, I ran two days later outside and was pretty miserable/slow. I guess I’m not as awesome as I thought I was.
There are a lot of reasons why I run a lot better on a treadmill, many of which are outlined far better by this lady over here. She’s the bomb.com/awesome, and is one of the reasons I started my own blog. And, sometimes, I occasionally steal/borrow ideas from her. Seriously, she’s great and I read her everyday and I haven’t even gotten tired of her yet, which is amazing because I am a fickle blog reader. Anyway, she hits the treadmill nail on the running head, so to speak. And, she’s got the cutest freaking dog.
So most of the reasons she outlines, apply to me as well. But the main reason I think I do well on the treadmill (besides not having to worry I will trip on the stupid cobblestones in Old Town and fall on my face thereby knocking out my front teeth and breaking my nose) is pacing. Pacing is a huge deal for me. Because I really suck at it. I’m one of those runners who goes balls out in the beginning, even though I’m having an internal argument with myself on how I should really hold back a little bit so I can actually get back home. Every. Damn. Time.
The other pacing issue is, well, I have a finicky little bladder. I basically feel like I need to tinkle the entire time I’m running. Even if I don’t drink a drop of liquid 4 hours beforehand and I go to the bathroom 3 times before leaving the house. Basically, I’m running in a race against my bladder every single run. Which makes me run much faster than I should. Which then makes me feel even more like I need to pee. It’s basically a vicious circle. So having a bathroom nearby gives me a lot of peace of mind, which means I can calm down and run like a normal person.
Now, I’ve run on a treadmill before, so this isn’t exactly a newsflash to me. I always switch to a treadmill during winter, or as I like to call it, anytime the temperature drops below 70. But lately, I had been beating myself up so much for my poor runs, I had forgotten what it was like to have a good one. I might have to sprinkle a few more of those in from time to time.
OK runners. I know most “real” runners find the treadmill to be a deathtrap of boredom. Do you agree? Or are you running trails/sidewalks for life?