I have a confession.

I hate treadmills.  HATE them.  I would rather scrub my kitchen floor with my toothbrush and then use it before stepping foot on a treadmill.

This has not always been the case.  In college I would alternate between the elliptical and the treadmill (based, of course, on how long the waiting list was at our over-crowded gym).  I was so busy watching other people that I didn’t notice that time seemed to tick by s-o s-l-o-w-l-y.  That’s my issue, I guess- I feel like time stands still (and not in a good way).  I started running because it was free and gave me some time during the day to be outside.  Why bring it inside on the hamster wheel?  I don’t want to stare at myself in the mirror and look at other people looking at me.

I also think it’s easier to run outside.  If I get tired, I slow down until I’m comfortable.  If I’m feeling it, I’ll step it up until I’m beat- sometimes that’s in 30 seconds and sometimes that’s in 3 miles.  I don’t have to think about it or press any buttons.  I can just do it.

I also prefer to run alone.  Out on the trail I may see other runners, but I never try to run with them.  I love zoning out to my (embarrassing) playlists.  I love to “check out.”  I can’t do that in the gym.  I am too distracted by the roid-raged teenager grunting on the leg press and the middle-aged mom loudly discussing her kid’s karate class on her cell.

Here’s my dilemma.  Winter is approaching.  My hours of available daylight are creeping away.  Unfortunately, I can’t run before work (I leave the house at 6:45) and don’t have a flexible job where I could run on my lunch break.  That leaves me with about 2 hours of daylight, provided that I’m able to leave as soon as we’re allowed to.  I also have a thing about running in the dark- I just won’t do it.  I won’t even run in my own neighborhood after dark.  I am, basically, afraid of my own shadow, so I am not okay with running through county parks and on trails once the sun sets.

Today, for example, I have a meeting after work and won’t be able to run until 4.  The sunset today is at 4:41.  I am in a kiiiiind of sketchy area, where I wouldn’t necessarily walk my figurative dog after dark, so this is pushing it, even for a taper run.

What’s my point?  I am coming to terms with the fact that I’ll probably be at the gym this evening, pounding out my last few miles before the marathon.  Better get that toothbrush ready…

(P.S. Meet the Brooks Launch-my new favorite shoe, I swear they make me faster!)

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