Monday, December 9, 2013

I Might be Crazy. Ten Treadmill Miles.



This weekend's training was almost derailed thanks to an ice storm. While the roads and ground were blanketed in white, it was anything but soft and fluffy the way snow is. It was solid ice. While I will run in many different conditions, there was just no way I could safely run on the ice. I could barely walk out into the yard as it was. 

This meant I had to make some serious decisions. I have a half marathon on the 14th and needed to get in my last long run. The ice was going to be on the ground for several days so it wasn't that I could just switch the run to Sunday. Even Monday was iffy. I had ridden my bike trainer on Friday morning and really didn't want to do that two days in a row.

Luckily, the company I work for really promotes health and wellness for it's employees, so we have access to an on-site gym. Of course, I didn't know if it was open or if I could even get to it. Jason spent about 30 minutes trying to get the ice off the cars. Then he carefully drove me the 9 blocks to my work gym. I had to literally hang onto the car then grab ahold of newspaper stands in order to get to the entrance without falling. Thankfully after all that work, the gym was open. Phew.

I told myself that if I just got in 6-8 I'd be content. The thought of running my 10-miler on the dreadmill sort of made my stomach turn. But at the same time, I had this little flicker of competition in my head. My previous personal distance record (PDR) for the dreadmill was 9 miles, which I had cranked out in May this year while in Florida on vacation. Prior to that, my PDR for the 'mill was 8 miles and that one stood for 3 1/2 years. 

I was pretty certain 8 was always going to be my max threshold for the 'mill. The only reason I had done the other long runs was due to extreme weather conditions. I'll readily head out in rain, heat, freezing temps before taking my run to the treadmill. So if I am on that machine, it's only out of utter necessity like not getting heat exhaustion or falling on ice. 

I took my time getting ready to start the workout. Me and the 'mill had a bit of a stare down in fact. I'm fairly certain it laughed at me at one point. What? You've never had the treadmill taunt you before? I was most definitely procrastinating. I mean, I had to set up my fan just right. Then I had to figure out the satellite for the TV, and of course I had to find the right channel to get me through. That'd be  Food Network of course. 

Finally I had no more excuses. I started off with an easy pace for the first 3 miles. I actually managed to go 2 miles before I started eyeing the mileage and time. But if I was already doing that at 2 miles, then it was going to be a long haul ahead. I decided to do some intervals to help take my mind off the monotony. Even with Food Network to watch, I was already finding myself annoyed and bored. 

For the next 4 miles I alternated 1 mile intervals at race pace with recovery at 8:40. Well, the 4th mile I upped the recovery pace to 8:27 because I was really just ready to be done. But I was so close to 10. How could I quit at 9? 

So I did the only thing my crazy mind would allow for, I sped up and cranked out that final mile. And there might have even been a grin on my face for having accomplished that crazy training run. Yep, take that treadmill! I win. I win. 

After I cooled down and runner's amnesia began to set in, I started to question why I hated the treadmill so much. Gotta love runner's amnesia. Maybe it was simply delirium. 

What's your PDR for the treadmill?