Saturday, February 26, 2011

My History with The Devil Part Three: That Damned Treadmill

This time, I actually started working out mid-fall.  I still didn't lose any weight, though.  I think it had something to do with apple pie...  whoops.

But I did, of course, begin to run again.

In the past, I always ran outside on sidewalks or roads or trails.  I eventually "liked" it.  I didn't love it, but I loved being healthy, so I ran.

Well, when I moved to Salisbury in a not-so-great neighborhood, I quickly decided that I would have to make friends with the treadmill.

I really liked my gym and I really LOVED watching my own personal TV with headphones while on the treadmill.  I started slow this time.  I would walk in the beginning, then run short distances, and then gradually increase my pace and my distance.  I always got a great workout, but I was having a VERY hard time increasing my distance the last few months.  I knew I wanted to try that half-marathon, so I was really concentrating on increasing my mileage, even if I had to take a few walking breaks.  

It was SO much harder than I ever thought it would be.  I couldn't go faster and I couldn't go farther.  Then I got the shin splints REAL bad, then I almost gave up.

I took two weeks off from running and high-shock exercising to give my shins a rest.  The day I was about to get back into it, it was literally like 65 degrees outside.  I feel much more comfortable in my neighborhood now that I have been here for a while and taken a few walks.  I thought, "Why not?  I will run outside!". saved my life.  I knew that I wanted to go a specific distance, so I got on that website and mapped that distance around my neighborhood.  So, I tried it.  The weather was great, Lady Gaga was on my ipod, and it was an amazing run.  I was SHOCKED when I got home and realized how long it took me to do that run.  I felt like I went at a relaxed pace, but I estimated that I had cut over a minute and a half off my usual mile time!

Could this be true?  All this time?  The treadmill was holding me back?  

I tried again a few days later and went TWICE the distance.  Same mile time.  And I felt great!  I  didn't feel like I was going to die (like I usually do on the treadmill!).  

I figured it out recently.  I was purposely running very close to the front of the treadmill in fear that I couldn't move back any further or else I may fall off or something!  So, because I restricted my space, I had to take MUCH smaller strides.  I exerted way too much energy and couldn't go fast.  My legs are short enough to begin with!

I tested my theory yesterday.  It's true.  I was holding MYSELF back!  I tried the treadmill yesterday and forced myself to scoot back and take longer strides.  I set my speed based on my outside runs and just went. Who knew?  I had a great, long run!

I still like running outside, though.  It's pretty to look at all of the houses and the river.

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