Change of Heart

Last week my friend, Lauren, had a great post about the somewhat polarizing subject of running on the treadmill. At the end she asked the question: Treadmill = your favorite running partner or the spawn of satan?

I left her a comment telling her that if she had asked the same question prior to this trip, I would have had an entirely different answer than I do today.

I think it was only 2 weeks ago that I talked about my hatred for the treadmill. And I am pretty sure I talked about it the week before that too

BUT, I am (somewhat reluctantly) here to tell you that I might have had just an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie change of heart. 

Let me set the scene…

When I was packing for my trip to Hamburg, I discovered that I only own 4 pairs of running tights/capris. I mean I DO live in South Carolina, where winter is basically non-existent (from a running standpoint).

I looked at the 10-day forecasts for Hamburg and theorized that a few of the days might be warm enough that I could get away with shorts and compression socks. But when I got here and realized that 32 degrees actually feels like low 20’s because of the wind and constant precipitation, I quickly realized that shorts weren’t really going to work.

And since I sweat like a disgusting beast, re-wearing running tights is not really an option for me. So I made the executive decision that I would do all of my easy/recovery runs on the hotel treadmill and save my warm clothes for the hard runs outside.

I armed myself with my iPad, music and headphones and knocked out a 4-miler the first day I arrived. The second TM run was a 5-miler and with my iPhone miraculously shuffling up great tune after great tune, I actually finished with, gasp!, somewhat of a runner’s high!


Then Sunday I ran 6 and it seemed a little longer, but while watching Hitch on my iPad, it was bearable.

Then Monday was the real test…an easy 7-miler. It would take over an hour and seemed a little beyond my treadmill tolerance. I briefly contemplated braving the cold in shorts, but as I watched the wind whip the flags from my hotel room, I quickly squashed that idea. I sucked it up and hit the TM…and once again, it really wasn’t that bad. 

Of course all of these runs were at a relaxed, easy pace (between 9:10 – 9:30), so I think that makes a difference, but I must admit that maybe I have been a little too hard on the treadmill this whole time. It is, after all  quite convenient and very quick to jump on, get the run done and get on with your day, without all of the bundling up, carrying water, making your way across busy traffic to get to the running path, etc.

So I take it all back. The hate, the mean things, the negative thoughts. I GET IT now.

P.S. The other thing I did this week that I “never” do? I ran with music on my 12-miler. Since the running path is traffic-free, I didn’t have to be super conscious of my surroundings, so I decided to make a quick playlist and go for it!

My thoughts? Mixed. I feel like I am not as in-tune with my pace, how I feel, etc. with music. BUT when I was pushing through some tempo miles in the middle, I definitely liked the boost that the music gave me!

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in Greenville, running, technology, training, Travel, work travel, workout clothes. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Change of Heart

  1. Well we seem to be on the same page! Necessary evil sometimes, but I’m glad to realize it doesn’t necessarily have to be evil, and sounds like that’s a relief for you too!

  2. Treadmills are what you make of them. And better than not running at all. I haven’t had the opportunity to run on a treadmill in a long time, but one of my favorite things was to see how fast of a pace I could maintain. Crank it up and try to keep up as long as I could. Great workout!

  3. fullrunner says:

    I’m not sure I’ll ever love the treadmill, but I can’t deny that is is better than being outside on some extra cold wintery days.

    As for running with music – I always use it on my tempo runs, and if I’m doing any speedwork off the track. It keeps my mind off of how hard I’m working and the run seems to fly by 🙂

  4. Steph says:

    I definitely think it’s a necessary “evil”. If I have the option, I will always choose to run outside, but the treadmill is better than no run at all! I can’t maintain my pace on the treadmill at all though.

  5. I used to LOVE the treadmill then went through a break up phase. Now I’m somewhere in the middle/neutral zone. I actually did a 6 mile recovery run on it Sunday evening while reading my Kindle and enjoyed it. It’s also a nice fall back when traveling to “strange” places or crazy weather situations.

  6. mommyrunfaster says:

    Like Holly, I used to love the treadmill- used it like crazy in the winter when we lived in the northeast, but I’ve hardly run on it at all down here. And now I have such little patience for it… but it definitely comes in handy at times. Glad you had an option to the freezing cold!

  7. candace says:

    as long as i have a good playlist, the treadmill is my bff…. but take my music away, and i would rather be anyway but on that thing!!

  8. Jodi says:

    I have used the treadmill almost exclusively for so long since I never got a jogging stroller (because I had the treadmill, although looking back, having both would have been nice!) that I am just used to it. There are not a lot of great paths/variety for running outside around me so I’m just as happy hitting the treadmill with movies on my iPhone to keep me distracted. I also almost never do a steady pace the whole time. I mix it up and it makes the time go a little faster.

    As for music, I always run with something (movies inside on the treadmill, sometimes podcasts) but turned down lower if I am outside. I don’t have to worry about traffic though. The only really decent way to run here has a sidewalk except for maybe 1/4 mile and races are traffic-free. 🙂 Honestly, the race where I did not use my music, I could hear my breathing too much and it just made me feel that much more worn out.

  9. I can understand why the TM wouldn’t be a fav for you in SC! I love it for interval work though and bitter MidWest winters! 🙂 Travel safe!

  10. elizabeth says:

    look at you trying 2 new things :):) glad it wasn’t too bad.

  11. Pingback: Halfway |

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