I love/hate my treadmill
Yes, it’s boring, and I’m much rather be running along a summery-warm, calm, tree-canopied waterfront trail seeing and hearing waterbirds, harbor seals, and the parade of passing ships. But it’s not summer, it’s not calm, and there aren’t enough daylight hours to do much running here during the work week this time of year.
My treadmill is about as basic as they get. I had a tiny space to work with (a space that had formerly been occupied by a small refrigerator), and I had to measure carefully and buy the smallest compact treadmill I could find. That’s one of the reasons why my running stride is so short, and hence why I’m slow. I learned to run in a very small space. I can’t vary the incline; it’s either dead flat or propped up by a few degrees, and it must be set one way or the other in advance and then left that way during my run. I usually leave it dead flat, as it tends to wobble a bit when it’s propped up.
Still, when I get to the point that the itch to run outweighs my boredom with the silly thing — when the itch becomes greater than the anxiety that had me feeling too tired and shaky yesterday — I can still get on my treadmill and feel better a few miles later.
I did 4 miles tonight and feel refreshed and alive again. As it happened — not that I’m OCD or anything (it’s a great thing to have a good running plan/spreadsheet that will keep me healthy en route to my running goals) — when I finished those 4 miles tonight I had run a total of 1,312 miles since my first tentative little treadmill jog just over three years ago. I have now run the equivalent of 100 half marathons (or 50 marathons, for the truly math-obsessed). I’m on track to complete my first 500-mile year in 2011, a feat I never could have imagined three years ago. I’ve now run further than the distance between Port Angeles, Washington and Palm Springs, California.
It’s amazing what you can do if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, finding and re-finding the strength to take the next step, while always keeping an eye on the horizon unrolling itself out there ahead.