My 6-month run challenge: week 11 and 12 (I call mercy on the treadmill)

I call mercy on the treadmill.

The last two weeks’ of this run challenge have included mostly treadmill action (but with one outdoor run last week and two planned for the rest of this week, at least!) and for the love of God, I am so sick of the treadmill.

I know what (some) of you might say. “So, run outside.” I know, I know, I conquered the fear of the cold weather running, but lately, the only time that has been realistic for running has been early morning where there is still not enough daylight for me to feel safe running outside.

Thus, treadmill.

But, let me tell you, those treadmill runs have just felt brutal the last two weeks. Every mile has been a mental push. Every game I try and play to keep my mind off the fact that I am running on the treadmill doesn’t work. See, my games go like this (unsuccessfully, mind you):

“Okay, visualize that route outside that you like to run and just imagine you are outside, smelling fresh air.”

It works for .2 seconds and then my mind goes to “OMG, the treadmill suuuucks, when is it going to be over. This is so boring, I feel like a hamster on a wheel.” 

Or, I try this:

“Okay, it’s probably 3 songs per mile, just listen to some good tunage and think about what each song conjures up for fun!” (usually that means barre n9ne, because half of the songs I listen to are from class!)

And that works for maybe a song. And then I start thinking of the hamster again. 

And finally, I try half music, half  TV, thinking it’ll break up the monotony a bit. But, nope, I just see the little clock on the damn TV and can’t believe it’s only been a minute since my eyes ventured down to take a peek.

Okay, enough bitching about the treadmill. My point is this: while I do call mercy on the treadmill and am going to try my best to get at least 2 of my 4 runs outside in coming weeks (daylight savings is coming up, right?!), I do know for a fact that it is helping my pace. I now run on the treadmill almost exactly M’s normal pace, a pace I couldn’t fathom 12 weeks ago! (6.4-6.5ish once I get nice and warmed up. vs. 5.5 from last winter!) That, to me, is huge. That, coupled with the fact that when I do get to run outside, it somehow feels easier. Not easy as in ‘oh, this is a breeze, easy” but easier as in my legs just move more fluidly. And I enjoy the run so much more than I ever did. (of course, a smidge of that could be just sheer joy at not being on the treadmill, hehe).

And, last but most importantly, I am able to run. I am strong. I am capable. That is so much more than many can say…and for that, I am truly grateful (and that little knee twinge I felt on the treadmill yesterday? I am chalking it up to the treadmill itself…stay tuned, hopefully it’s gone!).

So I am three months into my six-month run challenge and right now? I call success. I am running faster (check). I am running consistently (check). I am running longer (check! 7 mile long runs completed the last two weeks and almost every week of this challenge). And I am keeping up with the intervals (check).

So, yeah, I call mercy on the treadmill, and hope to only use it for two of my four runs a week, but otherwise, I’m feeling pretty damn good about this little challenge I concocted for myself!

And what about you? Report back! Did you conquer something you’re proud of this week? Lemme hear it :-)

**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes in…yoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it counts ;-) **

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19 thoughts on “My 6-month run challenge: week 11 and 12 (I call mercy on the treadmill)

  1. LOL – I do the song thing too – try to figure out how many fit into a mile. I also make a deal with myself to not look at time or distance until x number of songs have played. This works better for the first 2 miles. Anything over 4 and all bets are off. Just try to think about the positives – like how much faster and stronger you are getting and how much better those outdoor runs will feel!

    1. Ah, yes, I need to get through those first two miles too, at LEAST before I start feeling less annoyed at how slow the miles are going ;-) And I am going to keep trying to channel the positives!! it does help!

  2. What I LOVE about this is that you finally sound JOYFUL about your runs, that is HUGE. Even more huge than your pace quickening in my mind. You are running because you honestly love it now, not because you know it’s good exercise and a good challenge for you. Know what I mean?

    1. Exactly! I am running because I love it and even the runs that feel mentally tough, I know are helping me too, because I need to build on that too!

  3. SO I don’t know if I told you, but on Saturday, I got up at 6 a.m. (by myself, no alarm clock!) and went on a 4.6 mile run outside and it felt GREAT! I totally felt like I could keep running too, because I was pacing myself and didn’t start out fast. I do need to work on my speed (I think I’m averaging 12 minute miles) but I’m proud that I barely had to walk!

    And yeah, I don’t go running in the dark either, so I understand. I think I’m becoming an outside running fan ; )

    1. That is awesome!! So proud of you ;-) That is so hard to do too…was it dark at that hour?? I am glad you are becoming a fan of outdoor running, especially where YOU live!!

  4. I think I am the opposite of you. I would rather run outside in hail than run on a treadmill, mostly because of what you described. I thought I could do speed work on the TM, but just getting thru the first warm up mile feels tortuous. In the past I have watched music videos which has made the time go faster. I don’t get fully caught up in a “story line” but still something to watch other than just the timer. I am still determined to get back on the TM at some point this year.

    I think the progress you’re making on the run challenge is wonderful – very much a success!

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