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The treadmill and I have never gotten along.  The same can be said for stationary bikes, ellipticals, rowers, and all manner of cardiovascular indoor equipment. Despite my complete lack of coordination on these torture devices, on some base level it bothers me to be exerting so much effort and movement, but never really getting anywhere.  It’s hard not to feel like a hamster on a wheel when surrounded by the hum of a line of treadmills, staring out the window (or at the television).   I’ve always reveled in foul-weather challenges, and can generally get my myself motivated to head outdoors in the rain, snow, sleet, or hail. I probably would have made a great postal worker.

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Don't make me go!

That being said, the weather on Monday was nasty.  The fog was so thick I couldn’t see city island  and riverfront park was still icy and slushy.  I didn’t have time to make it to the woods, and I didn’t want to risk slipping and twisting on the ice and aggravating my almost-healed injuries.  It was so bad even the dog didn’t want to come out and play.  But I needed to run.  Not just for the mileage challenge, but for my own sanity.  I had to face the treadmill.

I sucked it up and pushed through a 45-minute workout – a new treadmill record for me.  I rarely listen to music while running, but with the help of the Big Damn Band and some quality day-dreaming, I got through.  I also learned to appreciate the value of a treadmill workout to the mental challenge of running.

From a 5k to an ultra-marathon, there is a mental/emotional challenge in addition to the physical requirements of training and racing.  Sometimes you might just be having a bad day, sore from an earlier workout, or realizing that biscuits and gravy washed down with a beer are not a great breakfast before a 13-mile training run (I know this from experience). For me, it is tougher to keep myself moving on a treadmill than in almost any other running situation.  A few long treadmill workouts help develop and practice the mantras and interior dialogue that can you through a tough race.

Total Miles: 56

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