Since then I have been running regularly and outside and on Sunday I made one of my more startling running discoveries. I hate running on a treadmill. I really do. I ran on one for an hour because a: I needed to get a ‘long’ run in (T-6 days until my first race) and b: the weather wasn’t sympathetic to me running outside (too hot) so Mr Lapin (aka The Fitter One) and I went to the gym to pound the treadmill together.
What I discovered was that running on the treadmill really did not seem like running at all. Yes I had chosen one of the machines that had a fan to try and give the illusion of movement. Yes I had brought headphones to watch television but even season 2 of Hawaii 5-0 wasn’t distraction enough from the realisation that running on a treadmill isn’t really running. You are moving but you are not really doing anything…
|I pretty much felt like this chap|
I had read hard core runners blogs that dismissed treadmill running as irrelevant and I had read blogs where people apologised for having to run on a treadmill. These souls usually lived in northern colder climes where a -40C temperature had finally forced them inside and onto the treadmill, but until Sunday I had not realised what they meant. Running on a treadmill is not really running.
My previous attempts at running had been using treadmills, but this time I focused on running outside. And while in Bangkok that comes with a whole set of issues, namely my genetic disposition to look-like-a-tomato after any run of any distance, I had not realised the massive difference there is to running outside versus running on a treadmill. On the treadmill you are the gerbil. I know treadmills have their place and for many it is the easiest way to ensure a good run and I am not here to dissuade anyone that they are wrong, but I can tell you, treadmill running is not for me.
Other running discoveries that have made me smile include the classic: running is not a cheap activity. Between the running kit (wicking properties all the way please) and shoes (still heading for the Merrell Women’s Dash Glove range) I am spending a small fortune and I find myself wondering around the sports section, rather than the shoe department, seeing what else is available - water bottles, sweat bands anyone?
|Suddenly these are more alluring...|
Another revelation is that since I now enjoy running I enjoy other forms of exercise. Cross training, or as I like to call it "going for a weights work out because it will help my running", now has a purpose. To become stronger makes my running stronger. Alongside actually running and reading and writing about running I am now watching runners. When I see a one I crane my neck to see their footfall. Are they a heel-to-toe or mid-foot planters? I even got excited the first time I saw a bona fide barefoot runner in the park, I almost stopped him to talk and then realised that I probably should not do that...
I realise reading this back it does seem slightly obsessive but it is not, really. It is more like a discovery that keeps on revealing itself to me. And while my mother has asked me not to get addicted to it, she did concede the point that of the arc of addictions it was properly one of the healthier ones.
So I am telling myself to remember these discoveries next Sunday when I am at the start line of the 10k and wondering whether I will make it. I know I will make it, I have run this distance already, but I also know that my mind plays tricks and there will be a little demon in there telling me that it is going to hurt (which it might) and that I won’t make it (but I will).
What have I been running lately? - 23.64k over the last four runs.
This means that I have 2k to run to reach my Orange Level of 249k since August 2011.