Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Treadmill Tales- Making It Work

At negative numbers, my running buddy and I were worried about nostril frostbite and reynaud's fingers, so we decided to relocate our scheduled Saturday long run to the local YWCA.

How does one crank out 12 miles at the gym?

Here's a play by play:

8 am: Text message exchange ensues.  After much deliberation, we decide 12 miles of treadmill running is pretty hardcore and slipping on the ice is not worth it.
8:30 am: Meet in the lobby.  Remove copious outer layers.
8:35 am: Sign out our two favorite treadmills and get started.
8:40 am: Decide to switch up speed and/or incline every mile.
8:45 am: Catch up on the latest personal goings on.  Hopes for a warm vacation.  Getting stir crazy due to extreme temperatures.  Coziness of motherhood in the winter.  Diaper rash.  Colds.  Cross country skiing adventures.
8:50 am: Crank it up!  Speed + Incline
9:15 am: About 5 miles in.  Water break.  Bathrooms.
9:20 am: Back on treadmills.  Discussion shifts to professional life, projects, and theory.  Documentary film making.  Back to the land movement.  Time to write.  Time to collaborate.  The mother/working woman balance.
9:50 am: Somewhere around 8 miles.  Decide to move our run onto the indoor track.  I am assigned the responsibility for counting laps.  8 laps=1 mile.  My running buddy keeps me entertained with stories of burn parties (controlled fires in rural areas).  We contemplate grant applications and whether people ever really start them more than three days before the deadline.
10:15: Getting Close!  About 1 1/4 left.  Bored of running in circles, we decide to pump out our last mile on the treadmills.
10:20: Back on the treadmills, we crank up the speed and finish strong!
10:30: Done!!!!  We toast water bottles and wipe down our machines.

The real key to an indoor long run is an insightful and interesting conversational partner.  Lucky me, my buddy is a published author and prolific reader.  The woman knows how to tell a story.  If you don't happen to have access to a professional storyteller, I suggest podcasts and audio books or an inspiring mix that you put together for the very purpose of an indoor long run.  And, like I demonstrated in my play by play, keep mixing up pace and incline.  Make mini goals.  Cause, if 12 miles outside seems like a long way, 12 miles of actually going nowhere is a true mind game.

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