Lucky for me, I live in the part of the country that got covered in snow this past weekend. Yay. (Note the sarcasm here, please. This Texan does not do well with snow. Or cold. Or ice. Or any combination of the three.)
I had a 15 mile long run planned this weekend, and as much as I wanted to blow it off and blame the weather, I couldn’t. I didn’t want to run outside because the back roads were questionably plowed and it was a very warm 21 degrees outside. So, my bright idea was to go to the gym and run on a treadmill.
Have you ever run 15 miles on a treadmill? Well, let me tell you about it. It sucks. As an outdoor runner 98.9% of the time, I wasn’t prepared for how much it was going to suck.
Before leaving the house, I downloaded several podcast episodes, filled up my usual handheld water bottle, and grabbed a pack of Clif Shot Bloks. I drove to the gym, tried not to fall on the ice-covered parking lot, and hopped on a treadmill.
So far, so good.
I turned up the speed to a comfortable 10:30ish pace and got started. The first mile flew by. I was already a 1.5 miles in when I looked down for the first time. Then I looked down again. And again. And again. And I still wasn’t to 2 miles. That was my first inkling this wasn’t going to be that fun.
By the time I reached 3 miles, I was already over the treadmill. I was trying to pay attention to my podcast (Freakanomics, in case you were wondering) and not the time/distance, but oddly, the distance seems so much farther and the time seems so much slower when you are running in place.
I finally found a good stride and was plugging away when the damn treadmill turned off. Apparently, Planet Fitness has set up their treadmills to only operate for an hour. I had only gone about 6 miles. Awesome. My hip flexors were already starting to feel stiff so it took a minute to get going again. That was my second inkling this wasn’t going to be that fun.
Four more miles into it, I was done. Just over it. I gave myself every reason in the world to stop. I even made a contingency plan for my remaining long runs leading up to the Austin Marathon. I was mentally over it and my legs were hurting. Specifically, my feet, my hip flexors, and my glutes.
I sat down to stretch with every intention of leaving, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I texted my running buddy/best friend, Amy, so she could convince me to finish the damn run. The best thing about having a friend like Amy is that she knows when I’m just being lazy and when I actually need to take a break. Then responds accordingly. As much as I didn’t want to get back on the treadmill, I also didn’t want to mess up my training plan even more than I already have.
I started up again, and 5 miles and 53 (very long) minutes later I was finally freaking done, and I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Seriously, everything from the ribs down hurt. I expect some discomfort after running 15 miles, but for some reason the treadmill made my body hurt even worse.
As a reward, I bought myself Life Cereal. That pretty much made the previous 2 hours and 36 minutes worth it.
TL:DR – I ran 15 miles on a treadmill and hated it.
How do you feel about the treadmill? Love it? Hate it? What’s the farthest you have ever run on the treadmill?