4:30 or Bust: A Quest for Marathon Mediocrity

Treadmill was actually not bad!

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Spent the last couple of days away with the family.  I really wanted to get a run or two in on this trip, but was sort of frustrated by the location we were in, outside of Boston.  It seemed that all the roads were either multi-lane state highways, or narrow winding roads with no shoulders.  So, in order to run, I would need to get on the treadmill.

Keep in mind that, before this year, I have not run on the treadmill since at least 1995, maybe longer.  From ’93-’95 I was a member at NYHRC and would sometimes run on the treadmill.  Hated it then, and kept having shin issues, which I guess I attributed to the treadmill, even though I know logically that the treadmill is a softer surface and should be easier on the shins.

Since then, I have been an avid outdoor runner, eschewing the indoors and the treadmill.  I’ve run outside in any condition you can think of.  The only conditions I hate are the ones we’ve had this summer, hot and humid.  All this time, I’ve harbored ill-will to the treadmill and scoffed at people that use it to get training in when the weather is bad.

Anyway, fast foward to 2010.  I took a business trip to Kenya, and there I had to run indoors on the treadmill, for safety reasons.  Carjacking is a common sport in Nairobi, so a (slow) runner would be easy pickins’.  After 2 treadmill runs on that trip, I realized that it is really not at all that bad.  Yes, boring, and yes the sweat is really annoying, and running right next to other people you have to stare at in the mirror is annoying, and time limits are annoying, etc, etc, etc.  Far from a perfect workout, but it will do in a pinch.

And that is what I needed yesterday.  Went down to the hotel treadmill, just wanted to get my 4 miles in.  Lo and behold, turned the pace up to almost 9 minutes per mile (faster than any of my recent training runs), and after 2 miles found I still had more to give.  Decided to tack on an extra mile, for a total of 5, and also turned up the pace, first to 8:40 or so, and then close to 8:00 for the last half mile.

In all, had a fantastic workout, and while it was boring, and annoying in a bunch of ways, it was manageable, and I am happy to know that the treadmill can serve as a viable alternative when the need arises.

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Written by SCL

August 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Posted in Reflections, running

Tagged with ,

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