I have always been fascinated with people that can run forever, mile after mile. And I have my moments when I feel like that, running mile after mile and it doesn’t bother me and I start thinking of ultras and how great that would be. And then I have bad days. But it is something special with people that chooses to run on a treadmill. And I mean a longer run on a treadmill. Everybody can run 30 minutes or do an interval run indoors, that’s even enjoyable. But how do you motivate yourself to pound the same spot for hours and hours, not getting anywhere, not getting closer to the wall or the big screen in front of you. To all you treadmill runners out there – you’re special! Your minds must work in a different way than mine. I am in awe of your mental strength.
I changed my plan for the day at 4.45am this morning. I woke up and thought for a while, changed the alarm on my phone to 6.15am and turned around and tried to go back to sleep. The plan I had was to take a cycling class and then run my intervals, go home, drive kids, emails… and then go back for a Pilates class with a friend and I would still have a half day left after that. Change of plan, I decided to run for the first time in a while before the Pilates class. I have some issues with my leg and foot so I have stayed off my feet for a while and switched trail running to cycling waiting for my foot to wake up from what seems like an eternal numbness and burning nerve pain. But it felt like today was the day to run and I decided to stay inside on even ground and away from nice trails. An easy, slow 2h run. Music in my ears, water and a TV screen. How bad can it be?
I sometimes have a problem motivating myself running long outside but there are some easy tricks you can do. The easiest thing is to stay away from your house or your car so you actually have to run back. Impossible to cheat, you have to get home. And your mind usually turns around after a while and endless roads or trails gets motivating and relaxing.
There are no out and back on a treadmill. You always have 15 feet to the TV screen, 20 to the water fountain and 50 to the shower. And 3 feet to the one next to you.
The room was full of people today. Does everybody have foot issues so they have to run inside? I don’t get it?
I started slow, got past 5k and started thinking. How on earth can I do this for another +90 minutes? And how many times can the news channel cover The Golden Globe? People are coming and going. I pause and fill up my water bottle once, twice… I usually don’t even carry water if it’s not a long run on a mountain. I cover the screen since it feels like the minutes are going backwards. It is not that it is difficult or that I am out of breath, not at all. It is just plain boring.
When I run outside I usually doze off after a mile or two, your head becomes empty and you start processing, thinking clear, and solving problems. It is great, that’s one of the best parts of running alone in the woods surrounded by trees and oxygen.
Still on the treadmill after 75 minutes and I am starting to think evil thoughts. I might just elbow that person beside me just to see if he will stay on his feet. I am covered in sweat, drinking too much water and start limping because I can’t concentrate on keeping my numb foot up. My playlist sucks. How on earth did I add Britney Spears to my list, and Swagger Wagger? This is clearly not working. I switch over to Kanye West (yes, you read it right) and I think I will survive this. 3 minutes passes. But no, I am going to cheat. I look around like everybody else heard my thoughts. Yes, I am going to cheat. Ha! And I start negotiate with myself. I’ll give it 5 more minutes, no 2… ahhh come on, 15 minutes, I need to stop on an even number. 90 minutes sounds reasonable.
And I am out of there! Foam rolling and stretching in the dark room. Showering and getting dressed and meeting up for the Pilates class. Another amazing experience, crawling on the floor, feeling graceful and flexible and without shoes and socks. Nightmare. That my friends is a huge thing. Barefoot! That’s another post, another day. And the day goes on and I can’t really believe that I cheated… I might have to go back and finish my run later today.
I need to make some kind of plan if I am going to do this again.
-Make a new playlist. No Britney, Miley and WAX! And Zac Brown Band… ehh not sure. Hoffmaestro, Pitbull and Kanye West still works, and yes, I am a little bit embarrassed to admit that.
-Working on developing amnesia. I need to forget about this experience and wake up tomorrow and really feel like running indoors. And it would be handy if I could lose the sense of time.
-Stop caring about everybody around me and overanalyze why they are not running outside. And why they don’t use deodorant or a decent sports bra. Or simply wear something that covers their behind a little bit more. And white shorts, not sure. And no!! Don’t bend over to tie your shoes!