March 6, 2014

The Looooong Winter of Training


Is it me, or does this feel like the longest winter ever? Maybe it's because I haven't seen my lawn since early January, but I'm truly concerned that this winter will never end. It won't be freezing cold forever, will it?

Just like so many of my running friends, this season has forced me to take my training to a treadmill. I'm grateful that Robert and I decided to buy one for the house early in the season. Aside from our snow blower, it's probably the wisest investment we've made. I've never been shy of running in the cold. Many of my best runs have been during dark NYC nights in freezing temperatures. In fact, my Half Marathon PR is last year's NYC Half and if memory serves me correct, it was 10 degrees F at the start. But running out in the PA burbs with all this ice and snow is another story. My running paths are knee deep with snow and the black ice on the streets make it difficult for this major klutz to keep her balance.
Just outside my neighborhood. Yes, it's beautiful. But has anyone seen my running path?
Grateful for snow blowers, treadmills, and cute husbands
So the treadmill it's been and I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping to my schedule. I was worried that all this indoor training wouldn't get me ready to cross the Knoxville Half finish line at the end of this month. Until this weekend, I hadn't run more than 3 miles outside in months. Also, just about every treadmill run has felt like torture. There have been runs where all I can think is "Why can't I get into shape? 4 miles shouldn't feel this difficult! How am I going to run a Half in March?!?"
Practicing the art of mid-run selfies to pass 7 miles on the mill
Last night's 5 miler became 3 when I just couldn't keep the motivation alive
Last Friday and Sunday, that all changed. On Friday, I ran 4.9 miles outside and they felt like a piece of cake. Then on Sunday, I ran 9 hilly outdoor miles and felt absolutely amazing. For the first time since moving out here, I joined a running group for my miles. We kept a slow and easy pace, far from my PR pace but then again, my goal for this race is just to cross the finish. I felt strong the entire time. Not once was I tempted to take a walk break even though I often want one during my shortest treadmill runs. I know that running with the group definitely helped, but how do I explain Friday? Could it be that all this indoor training is actually paying off? Or more than that, maybe it's even helping... maybe toughing it out during dreadmill torture is making me that much stronger both mentally and physically. Hu? Interesting.
BAM! 9 miles in the cold winter air! Soooo good
I guess time, and a few more runs, will tell. It's supposed to be a balmy 40 something degrees here in the valley this weekend and I'm excited to take my runs outside again.

Anyone else have a similar experience with treadmill training? I'd love to hear about it!

5 comments :

  1. I know there are certain realities like $$ but once you have a finished basement...treadmill running seems like less of a chore (at least it has for me)

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    1. Great point! Good news is that we'll be finishing the basement at the end of May! Thanks for the advice & comment :)

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  2. A treadmill run always feels harder to me than running outdoors, maybe it's because we're forced to keep an even pace coupled with the mind numbing boredom. But it definitely pays off.

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    1. That makes total sense! Hoping it pays off ;)

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  3. I always feel like treadmill running is more of a mental workout than physical. Luckily I get all of my long runs done outside but the only way I can stay on the treadmill for more than 3 miles is by watching Breaking Bad!

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