With winter dragging on and on and the snow and ice piling up and never melting, I’ve done all but one, very early, Winter run inside on the treadmill. Until today, I’ve barely run in the last two weeks. I came down with a terrible head and chest cold that knocked me out for a week and still has me coughing and congested for another week. It was rather a relief to stay off of the treadmill for a while, but I did miss the running.
That first week, I didn’t run at all. This last week, I planned out my runs by starting on Monday rather than Tuesday for a couple of reasons. Mostly I just wanted to get back in the swing of things quickly, secondly, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to fit a run in on (Ash) Wednesday. So, the plan was three miles Monday, four on Tuesday, and three on Thursday. I made the three on Monday, but then was wiped out and didn’t run on Tuesday or Wednesday. By Thursday I was ready and got in four miles.
So, the long weekend run was ahead of me and the streets and sidewalks were still icy in patches. I geared up and opened up the treadmill. I have been running 11-minute miles and hope to increase my speed to 10-minute miles by race day, but for now I needed to program a nine-mile run into my treadmill. 99 minutes. That’s the highest number of minutes I can program and it’s by far the farthest I ever want to run on a treadmill, not that I really want to. I have been looking for some advantage to be gained by all this treadmill running. I can think of many disadvantages, but so far all I’d come up with for an advantage was the ability to set my speed so that I’m running faster.
After a bit of research, I have found the answer. I lost it, but I remember it…sadly I can’t give attribution, but what I learned is useful. I learned that by forcing a faster pace on the treadmill, my body naturally adjusts its form to the faster speed. The idea is that I can set a faster speed on the treadmill and without even trying, adjust my form to meet the faster speed outside. Sweet.
Back to reality, I had to run nine miles on the treadmill…I pulled out my iPad and struggled to get Hulu+ up and running…I swear there is a Comcast/Hulu war going on…but eventually I got the app up and running and found my latest episode. Miraculously I was able to get it working and did my best to distract myself from the treadmill. The length of the run allowed me to watch not one, but two episodes of Ashes To Ashes…I am under the illusion that I know the ultimate ending, but I have 12 more hours of programming left to prove me right or wrong.
I ran…and ran and ran. I ran 9 miles, which is the longest run I’ve had since my last half-marathon early last November and the longest I’ve ever run on a treadmill. I have it in me to run another half-marathon. My goal, however, is not just to repeat a former victory, but to improve myself in one or more ways. I want to run it faster. I want to run it stronger. I want to up my semi-daily runs from 6 miles to 7, 8, or even 9 miles per run.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in challenging the very basis of the journey!