Monday, February 8, 2010

Treadmill Funk

Last Sunday, January 31, I ran 16 miles on a treadmill. Bad idea.

There was about two inches of snow on the ground, along with an inch of ice on the streets of Greenville, NC (boyfriend’s hometown). This mixture had melted some the night before, frozen over, and created a hellish of a footing situation for crazy people such as myself, who wanted to run on it for over 16 miles. Unfortunately, there are no parks in Greenville in which I could actually try to avoid the sloppy mess on the roads. After talking with my high school coach who urged me to just run on a treadmill, I grudgingly decided that I would do it.

Not entirely confident that I would actually complete the entire 16 miles I intended on running, I paid fifteen dollars to get into Gold’s Gym and hopped onto the best and worst machine ever invented for runners. Worst part of all, I had no iPod (forgot it in Charlotte) and I had no handheld radio that would allow me to tune into the TV channel (who has those anymore anyways?). Apparently, this Gold’s Gym did not have the most up-to-date treadmills with personal TVs. I was up a creek without a paddle. In the end, I ran 16 miles in 30 minute increments, which meant that I had to stop every 30 minutes and start the treadmill back up. Quite annoying at first, but I soon appreciated how it broke up my run into four increments. After the first 30 minutes at sub 7 pace, I decided that the faster I ran, the sooner I would be off of the treadmill, so I dipped down into the low 6’s and then eased off towards the last increment to 6:50s for a “cool down.” After losing about five pounds from the amount of sweat I produced, I was done. Ready to eat, shower, and lie down and do nothing.

The next day I took off from running because my legs felt entirely different than they typically do after a normal long run on soft surfaces. I decided then that I hated the Life Fitness Treadmill I had used at Gold’s Gym. It became my forever enemy, one that I wished to never face again. At first I thought that I had beaten the treadmill, but, on Monday, the treadmill had won the battle.

Tuesday came around and my legs still felt heavy, as though a million needles had been packed into my muscular fibrous tissues to send piercing pressure to new found knots throughout my quad. Somehow I managed to do a revised workout of 5-4-3-2-1 with half rest instead of the 7x800m track workout I had on tap. There was cold rain and (perhaps as a blessing), the JCSU track had flooded out.

Friday came around, a day in which I was supposed to run 50 minutes at 630 pace. Yet again another cold, rainy day, I had no motivation to do this on my own. Megan was originally supposed to run with me, but she opted for the treadmill, which I politely said no thanks, and scrambled to find my own motivational running partner. I immediately thought of Jordan because I knew that his work schedule was flexible. Jordan and I decided to meet around 130 at the Park Road Shopping Center and to run around Freedom Park and Myers Park.

My dad and I pulled on our cold weather gear, and drove to meet up with Jordan. While Jordan and I ran, my dad ran much slower behind us, but still braved the weather at sixty years old. Do I want to be like him when I’m sixty? Yes, please!

Throughout the entire run with Jordan, we had a nice chat, and I felt more tired than usual. It could have been the six inch puddles we were running through, or the inches of rain that were pouring on our faces and soaking into our clothing, making us five pounds heavier. Regardless, when Jordan told me that we had averaged 6:30 pace, I was much happier. Most of all, it was great to have him around for company. Once I got home, my legs were unusually sore, AGAIN, which I still account to the treadmill run.

All in all, I spent a week of running in cold, wet conditions with a leg that is beat up from Life Fitness (and probably also the 70 miles I’ve been doing for the past two weeks)


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