Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Queen of the Treadmill

Lately, my running has been sub-par. It's been sluggish, long, slow, difficult, boring and dull. Every step is a have-to instead of a want-to effort and my mind and body seem to be working together to keep it that way. I try to get excited to run only to get two or three miles in and feel like crap.

I'm not sure why this is happening. I don't know whether to blame it on stress, work (which are really the same thing) the weather or just life. They say running ebbs and flows, especially in the winter, but I've never felt this bad. I haven't gained weight, I have no injuries, I'm not more tired than normal so really there's no excuse to be such a slug when I walk out the door or get on the treadmill.

And, as an added bonus, the running outdoors that I normally love is the hardest part. The trails, paths and sidewalks that used to pass under my feet so efficiently now seem like one endless hill. This has forced me indoors and onto the treadmill. Since the treadmill in my house is not an option (too few steps between the machine and the couch) I'm at the gym every other night begging 4 miles from my body and trying to distract myself with whatever's on CNN. Or, like last night, I try to distract myself by watching people brave criticism and ridicule due to an extremely poor display of "talent". American Idol and the treadmill. Previously that would have been the makings of a nightmare. Now, it's just a means to get by.

What's worse still is I have a 5 mile race on Saturday. How am I supposed to run 5 miles at a respectable pace when I can't talk my body into four 10-minute miles on the treadmill? Really. Is it a break I need? I took a pretty long break after last season ended so I can't imagine that's it. But maybe it is. It would sure have been nice to know this before I registered for the 7 races I plan on running this year. Maybe I need a new plan.

Or, maybe I'll snap out of it. The days will start getting longer, the weather warmer and the trails busier. Maybe I'll find some new trails and see some new sights. Maybe I'll get a new pair of shoes and listen to some good music and forget all about this mess. Then, I can get off this "treadmill" and feel like a runner again.

(Title stolen from a lyric in a song that has nothing to do with running, but maybe something to do with treadmills.)

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