This winter thing can take a hike. While we’ve been spared the absolutely ridiculous amount of snow that our northeastern neighbors have gotten (sorry, Boston), here in NJ we’re still suffering. Every week is a loop: snow on Monday, ice on Tuesday, negative temps and high winds through the week, then a thawing day to allow everything to melt slightly, only to re-freeze again when the temps drop back to the single digits on Monday when the cycle begins again.
As a result, running outside is a dangerous and icy adventure and I’m confined to the treadmill for many of my runs – which STINKS. Take, for example, this past Sunday’s 10 mile treadmill run at the local YMCA.
I started psyching myself up on Wednesday by creating a “To Watch” list on Netflix that would have me covered for 2+ hours, I picked up some of my favorite Gu’s, I experimented with Nuun during my weekday 4-milers to see if my tummy could handle it (it could!), and I even bought a new tank top that matches my new shoes perfectly.
So when Sunday rolled around, I loaded up my gym bag with all the essentials, charged up the iPad, made some Nuun, and set out on my adventure.
Right from the beginning, I could tell this run would be a struggle. After only logging about 8 miles in 9 days due to lack of motivation, achy knees, and probably a minor concussion after belly flopping into a snow pile that turned out to be an ice pile, I was not very well prepared AT ALL. Looking back, I probably should have set out for another 8 miler to ease back into things, but live and learn, I suppose.
Mile 1-3 went relatively easily as I watched the first half hour of Wayne’s World. But about 40 minutes in, I started to get bored. I needed something to take my mind off the monotony, and having memorized every second of Wayne’s World back in 1996, I knew I’d have to pick something I’d never seen before.
And that’s how I met Francis Underwood.
I love that man like a shark loves blood…
I’m late to the House of Cards party, but damn am I glad I finally showed up. Because 3 minutes into the first episode, I found myself gaping in shock and I was hooked instantly. Full disclosure: I’ve had a mild crush on Kevin Spacey since I was about 13. But anyone with eyes can see that he is at his absolute best here.
I was so engrossed in the show that I almost forgot to reset the treadmill at 4.5 miles (stupid 60 minute limit!) and motored through the next 3 miles and the full first episode. I started on the second episode and got about 15 minutes in (and 7.5 miles into my run) when it finally happened: I hit the wall. Hard.
I still had 2.5 miles to go, but it may as well have been 25. The running was easy: I was (relatively) pain-free and keeping a good pace of 5.8-6mph, but mentally I broke down and the wheels fell off the wagon.
The show didn’t even interest me any more, so I switched to music. And I skipped through, like, 18 songs in a row because nothing interested me. This has happened in almost every run over 10 miles I’ve done: nothing works to re-spark the fire, not even my favorite songs, and I just want to stop moving. It was SO hard to restart the treadmill one more damn time (DAMN that 60 minute limit!!!), but this time I told myself “The quicker you run, the quicker it’ll be over!”
So I stopped assing around with my music and just let it play, stopped walking and started running, and powered through those last few miles. It started to hurt with a mile or so to go, but I knew I had to finish, and finish I did.
I’m only smiling because I know I get to sit down now.
At first I was super discouraged at my performance. With all the walking I did (and having to stop the machine twice), I had convinced myself that it was my worst 10 miles ever, time-wise. But when I actually added up the times, this was pretty much right on par with my previous 10-milers – in a few cases it was even better!
While it wasn’t the prettiest (and I still don’t like the treadmill), I count it as a win – any time you run 10 damn miles and spend 2+ hours in the same 6 by 3 foot space, it’s a win.
So how is your training going? Are you stuck on the treadmill like me? What’s your favorite show on Netflix right now?