I’d set a goal this year to run 1000 miles, which requires roughly 20 miles per week. I need to get a bit ahead of that in advance of the inevitable illnesses, vacations, etc., so I’m trying to run at least 5 miles most days. Yesterday was cold, rainy and close to icy. I opened the door and despaired at the thought of running 5 miles in that weather.
Then I remembered, hey! I’m now a member of the Y! So I got in my car and drove the 8 minutes over there. I was on the treadmill roughly 2 minutes after swiping my card. And there I continued to be, like a hamster on the wheel, for the next 50 minutes.
Oh, I tried to make it more interesting. Reading didn’t work; there’s too much bouncing involved in running to move smoothly from line to line. I watched CNN with closed captioning but daytime programming seems to be 90% ads for lawyers seeking clients suffering from mesothelioma. I tried Fox News (aren’t they supposed to be more entertaining?) but that wasn’t much better. In my gym in NYC I used to try to exercise during the Oprah Winfrey show since I found that made the time go faster, but she’s no longer on the basic channels at 4. And it wasn’t 4 o’clock anyway.
So I tried to make the workout more interesting by going faster. I was aiming to run most of the time at 6.0 mph (10 minute miles). I’d bump it up to 6.5 mph (9:13) for intervals. But 5 miles just takes a long time on the ‘mill unless you’re running 6-minute miles. And that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
My Runner’s World February issue has an article claiming that we are, evolutionarily, programmed to look for stimulus change as we’re running. This does not happen on those dark, satanic ‘mills. “We may experience that mismatch as ‘boredom,’ but it can also be viewed as our senses missing what our species has always associated with movement.” The author, Hank Davis, recommends mindfulness as an antidote, turning the treadmill run into a form of meditation. Whatever. I feel more meditative with the trees and birds, and probably even the cold. So instead of looking for ‘mill fun ideas, I should, as one Twitter follower advised, just bundle up and get outside.
Can you stand the ‘mill? How do you exercise on cold and icy days?