You’ll see packs of runners, along Washington Street and Commonwealth Ave around the Hospital, plugging away at the miles every week. Doing their part. I, on the other hand have taken to the dreaded treadmill. Running solo in the dark in the early morning, on the quasi-plowed roads, I’ve decided is not the safest move. So for the last few weeks I’ve moved my training to Shipley. Now, I used to loathe the idea of running on the treadmill, checking off miles without really going anywhere. But I have since found some advantages to the human hamster wheel. Firstly, sprint days have been more enjoyable. I can time my splits more consistently, and it’s nice to track the distances, as I get closer to my daily goals. On my tempo days, keeping a quicker pace has been easier. The problem really comes on my long runs. Two plus hours of running in place, looking at a glass wall, legs just pumping away tends to be daunting. It’s funny, I can watch junky TV for hours at home while I lay on the sofa, but I can’t find anything to watch while I’m on the treadmill. I pass the time listening to CMEs, or my “Marathon Mix” on the iPod. Of course at times, it’s tough to keep moving, and I look for excuses to get off the machine. Maybe adjust my sock a bit, or stop to stretch a bit more. But I try push these thoughts out of my mind, my end goals are much greater than what little relief I can get from giving myself a 30 second rest.
My last long run was 15 miles. I was happy with my pace and satisfied as it was the farthest I have ever run. Then I got home and it hit me, on race day I will still have another 11.2 miles to go! But I try to stay positive, there’s 70+ days until the race. This week the long run increases to 17 miles. I hope I can keep the same pace that I was able to do on my 15 mile run. My goals are to decrease my splits while the mileage increases. I look forward to the challenges that the Saturday morning distance runs bring, and with the challenges come success and failures. Sometimes, I won’t be able to keep the pace that I had set out for the day. But I need to always look forward, and until that Monday in April, there will always be another day to train and the opportunity to drop that split just a little bit.