Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Don't tread on me

I am a card-carrying anti-treadmillist. Anti-treadmillarian? Regardless, I'm not a fan. And this sums it up neatly for me:
Seriously, could time move slower? Needless to say, I don't jump at the opportunity to use one. This fall, I used one a few times to do speed work when I couldn't make it to the track, but at least the intervals made it go by a little faster. But just a long run on the treadmill? No thank you.
I had just finished gushing about my higher mileage, so excited to hit 57 miles for 2 consecutive 50+ mile weeks. And the snow that fell Sunday morning quickly turned to ice. And since I chose church over an early morning run, our little town in Northern Virginia looked like this:

Yep, Mr. Freeze got a hold of Vienna, VA and it was not pretty for the runner. Sure, cozy to look at while wearing sweatpants and sipping hot chocolate, but not an enticing one to spend a couple of hours in. I stepped outside, and within 3 steps, I realized that this was a no-go. I love running in the snow - I think it's a lot of fun. But ice? You can't beat the ice, and no one was out salting the roads. So, reluctantly I headed back in, and changed for the treadmill.
And since I forgot to mention, the schedule called for 14 miles. This was not going to be pretty. I hopped on, hit play on a podcast, and began to trudge on the treadmill at 7.7 mph. 10 minutes in, and this felt painful. Maybe I'll just do 3 miles...that's better than nothing. Then I hit 4 miles, then 5. 5 is good, you could just do that. More anguish about the idea of not completing the long run, mixed with dread of being on the treadmill for more than another hour. At one hour, I cranked it to 8 mph (7:30) pace. It wasn't until 10 miles in that I realized it was better to just hang on and finish this. My only saving grace were the podcasts keeping me company:
  • The Nerdist - a comedy podcast where they interview comedians and they are pretty hilarious
  • The Marathon Show - a weekly marathon talk show
I started to switch over from listening to music during runs about a month ago. Rather than hearing Katy Perry's "Roar" for the hundredth time, it's fun to hear something new and be in suspense as to what comes next. So, in addition to the two I listened to on Sunday, I also have to recommend:
  • Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me - NPR weekly news trivia show with Runner's World columnist Peter Sagal - I have been often known to laugh out loud during this...which I am sure looks strange
  • Marathon Talk - a weekly British marathon show with great interviews with elite athletes. Plus, British humor is always fun.
  • House of Run - 2 runners who ran in high school who shoot the breeze on hot running topics
  • Runner Academy with Matt Johnson - good tips and interviews with elite athletes.
  • Anything you want to add or recommend?
So, the Nerdist interview with Tina Fey carried me through the first hour, and then The Marathon Show got me through the rest. That e-card is right, time moves the slowest on the treadmill. I finally finished my 14 in 1:47, averaging 7:38 pace. That's the fastest long run I've ever done on a treadmill. A couple years ago, while getting ready for Boston 2011, I did 19 miles at 8:18 pace. I think if I had to stay on for 5 more miles, I may have gone crazy on Sunday, but I think I could've kept it to under 8 minute pace. I hope I won't have to do that for a while!
But I finished and laid on the floor in our apartment for a while - this knocked me out in a different way than a typical long run. There was a lot more mental exhaustion this time. But I got in my 14, and hit my 57 miles for the week, and now am rewarded with an easy week. We're getting a lot of snow/cold weather for the DC area, so it is possible that if the ice stays, there may be more treadmill runs. But hopefully none so long! 

Of course, this was the daily Runner's World quote of the day the following day by Emil Zatopke: If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then will power is no longer a problem. It's raining? That doesn't matter. I am tired? That's besides the point. It's simply that I just have to.

And that's why I couldn't get off the treadmill.

1 comment:

  1. I do almost all my runs on my treadmill, have for years. I try to run outside once a week as prep for racing. (check out @runemz who has done 100+ miles in 24h on treadmill!) Longest I've done on a treadmill so far is 25.3. If you have access to a TV w/ DVD, you can add in movies or if you have an iPad and good/safe place to put it you could stream movies/TV.

    LOVE podcasts. Of course, Marathon Talk and Runner Academy. I'll have to check out the Marathon Talk Show, that's a new one.

    Others I like/love
    Zen and the Art of Triathlon (long)
    TalkUltra (see it on the Marathon Talk site, long)
    Trail Runner Nation
    Another Mother Runner (even for non-mothers it's ok)
    Endurance Planet
    Runners Connect (old eps primarily, don't love the new host but they can have good guests)
    Competitor Radio
    DFLUltrarunning (long)
    Rich Roll podcast (occasionally)
    Vinnie Tortorich (Angriest Trainer, I don't listen to too many but occasionally)
    Do U Tri
    Train with the Coaches
    Coach Jay Johnson

    For non-running, you could listen to Dharma Seed talks or Zencast, or Krista Tippet's On Being from APM. Planet Money and Marketplace might work too.

    Welcome to the treadmill tribe!