Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treadmill Surrender

This morning I woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off to the crack of thunder outside my window.  So much for my tempo run, I thought.  I guess it will have to wait until after work when the storm has cleared out.  I set my alarm ahead another hour and tried to go back to sleep, but it just wasn't happening.  I lay there for a few minutes tossing and turning and then finally decided to get up.  I decided to succumb to my treadmill.

It had been almost a year since I last got on my treadmill.  It's a cheap Pro Form from Sears, and it's been collecting dust and cobwebs in my garage for a long time.  A lot of people call it the dreadmill for good reason, and I'm one of them.  When the temperatures were in the single digits a couple of weeks ago I never really considered staying inside.  To me it turns running into a chore instead of a pleasure.  It doesn't matter if I'm staring at a tiny TV or drywall - it's just the worst.  I'm the type that has to see and feel, and there's not a lot of that going on when you're running in place.

As I said, the training plan I'm on called for a tempo run.  Since it was only supposed to be for 30 minutes I figured I could tough it out.  I walked into the garage, snapped a photo of my old enemy, cleared everything out from around it and moved it away from the wall.  The first five minutes of the run called for a warm up, so I punched in 6 mph with a 1.5% incline and spent it trying to reacquaint myself with the device.  Seriously.  It had been so long since I used it that I almost forgot how.

As I was warming up a couple of things occurred to me.  First, I hoped my neglected treadmill actually would work.  Sitting in the corner of my garage unattended couldn't be good for it.  I'd already had it serviced a few years ago after I first got it.  And second, I was crossing my fingers that the lightning echoing around me outside wouldn't cause a power outage.  I don't think my Road ID bracelet would have come in too handy if that were to happen.  Fortunately, neither of these things transpired.

Per Hal Higdon's plan I spent the middle 20 minutes (5 minutes on each end for warm up and cool down) gradually increasing my speed.  Here are my pacing splits by time:

5-10, 8:34/mi (7.0 mph)
10-15, 8:13/mi (7.3 mph)
15-20, 7:53/mi (7.6 mph)
20-23, 7:35/mi (7.9 mph)
23-25, 7:19/mi (8.2 mph)

When it was all said and done I have to admit I didn't hate the workout as much as I'd expected.  Having a specific task to focus on made the time fly by, and knowing exactly what pace I was running was helpful.  Maybe in the future I'll be less resistant to using it.  It'll take another good storm though.

Oh, and the workout?  I felt damned good.


  1. Those are good results for the TM! Great negative splits for the Tempo miles. One thing someone here are work does for her treadmill workouts.. she points the TM at the garage door opening and opens the garage door.. so at least you are looking at the outdoors..

  2. When I have specific task to keep my mind busy on the "dreadmill", it's not so bad. Like intervals, every 2 to 4 minutes adjusting the speed, keeps it for being to monotonous. For a pace or comfortable long run, I'd rather face the threat of lightning and run outside.

    It also helps if you have good music and a fan. I had no fan this morning, and it seemed to zap all the energy from me. I did feel good when I was done.

  3. @James: I'm afraid then I would be looking at the side of my neighbor's house. :P

    @Duane: Surprisingly, I never considered grabbing my iPod. I guess I'm conditioned now to run without it.