Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dear Treadmill, I Don't Need You

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Dear Treadmill,

I used to hate you. I used to think you were beneath me. I used to think you were the devil.

But then I came around. I found out that you could be a friend and ally when I had a new baby and couldn't run outside. You were nice to have around when the temperatures dipped below 10 or when the ice and snow made it too treacherous to brave the streets.

As winter finally turned to spring and then to summer, I thought we would put our relationship on hold until the weather once again became unbearable. But we didn't. With access to new treadmills at the YMCA, I found myself using you. To do my work. Intervals on the schedule? Let's use the treadmill. Need to hit a certain pace? Back on the belt.

It was an every once in a while thing, with me still favoring the outdoors. Pavement underneath my feet and wind in my face. However, it's become a more regular occurrence. You were my companion for my 14 x 400 meters three weeks ago, 16 x 400 meter workout last week and for my goal pace workout this morning.

The first two workouts went OK but this morning, not so much. I did my 2-mile warm-up with relative ease and hopped off to go to the bathroom. I returned a few minutes later and increased the pace. I needed to start at 6.9 and bump it up to 7.0. Maybe 7.1. Unlike the warm-up, there was no ease. Rather, difficulty, frustration and grumbling - the latter in my stomach. I hopped off. Again. I wiped down the machine, and I left. Defeated.

I figured I get in the rest of miles for the day after dropping off Miles to daycare. With a sense of dread, I headed to familiar stomping grounds. At best, I'd hit paces for a steady-state workout. At worst, it would be my easy run for the week.

But something happened when my feet hit the ground. They were moving at a pace I didn't expect. Though I thought I was holding back, the first split beeped 9:00. I continued on. The second was 8:28 - faster than the fast end of my goal range and 13 seconds per mile than what I struggled to do earlier that morning. I kept running, plugging along. Each step garnered me more confidence.

At the end of the run, with an average pace of 8:33 - a best case scenario for Fort4Fitness - I realized something. I can do the work. I can hit the paces.

And I don't need you.


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