Saturday, July 23, 2011

The treadmill reunion

Cancel the Amber alert, call off the dogs, send the search parties home…I have been located.  I wasn’t found pounding the pavement on any local roads or stomping through the trails.  I was hiding out *gasp* on a treadmill.  That same dreaded belt I cursed all winter long as snow banks reached heights exceeding the arc of my swinging ponytail.  I joined a gym specifically to use the treadmill in lousy weather, and although I was thankful to have it, I quickly burnt out over the winter.  I haven’t even been to my gym since February and honestly didn’t expect to be back there until this winter. 
                My mileage has decreased significantly over the summer.  I’m partially okay with that, because I expected to back off during the summer and pick it back up in August to prepare for a half marathon in October.  Obviously that plan is on hold at the moment until I meet with the surgeon regarding my hip.  Although the hip is quite cranky, I’ve been trying to at least get moving a couple times a week.  My running log is embarrassing these days.  I managed a whopping 34 miles in June and only 26 so far in July.  I got a couple runs in last week from my house, which is a combination of trails and roads, with some hills.  The hills seem to irritate my hip more than anything, so even those runs have become more of a walk/jog than a “run”.  My other excuse (I have an endless supply of them according to Todd) is that we’ve been stuck in a miserable heat wave this week.  I know my limits, and I know that I will literally boil to death if I run in extreme heat.  While Todd and Jaimee skipped off for their lunch time runs in 90 degree heat, I stayed inside and missed more opportunities for miles.  My hip has continued to throb, a constant reminder that I shouldn’t feel guilty about missing these lunch runs, but I still do.
                Today I decided to switch things up a bit and head to the gym.  I haven’t run in a full week and wanted to put in a few miles without burning to death.  Plus, I thought it would be a nice break for my hip to be able to run without hills, and the added benefit of being able stop at any time if the hip became too sore.  So off to the gym I went, all decked out in my running gear.  I hopped on a treadmill and was immediately disappointed at the lack of entertainment.  Running on the roads is a great chance to sightsee, check out peoples’ gardens, explore new roads, and perhaps spy on neighbors.  Today at the gym there were very few people to spy on, so it was a chore trying to stay interested enough to keep running.  I managed to get through 4.6 miles, and amused myself by watching all the people that came and went as I continued plodding along.  Seems that I can still outrun most people at the gym, even with a torn hip!  (At least this is what I tell myself).  I alternated speeds every quarter mile to keep it interesting, and by the third mile my body was in the “long distance” groove.  It’s funny how for the first couple miles of a run my body continuously wants to stop, and then after I settle into my groove, my body seems to concede that it will be working for a while and stops asking.  I did take a couple of walk breaks, but I have a bit of a limp when walking and it’s really awkward on a treadmill, so for my safety and to avoid stares I tried to keep running most of the time.  I also cursed myself for drinking that 4th margarita last night, which provided a constant source of heartburn during the run.
                Today’s run, albeit boring, was a success and might just be the alternative that will keep me running for a while (pending surgery at least).  If this ends up being the case, I’m going to have to start inventing some new mind games to hold my attention!

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