I love running. I hate treadmills. Treadmills do not equate to running. Ask any runner.
This morning however I was doomed to the treadmill if I wanted to get any “running” in for the day. I am in Portland with my family and even though it’s a mini vacation, my dad has planned out every hour in our day. This meant I had to wake up at 7 a.m. if I wanted to run. Well, it’s still dark out at that time. I didn’t pack any reflective clothes or lights, so to the “fitness center” of the hotel I went.
I gave a mini prayer as I walked to the fitness center that no other people would be there so 1) no one would watch how ridiculous I look on a treadmill and 2) I wouldn’t have to wait to use said treadmill.
There was a man on the elliptical. Aw, well, only one person to judge me and no waiting — that’s not too bad.
Too bad the last time I used a treadmill was a year ago — during physical therapy for hurting my back and I used the treadmill for walking — so I am really not that familiar with them. Before the PT-treadmill stint, I had never been on a treadmill. And, I know why. They are horrible.
I pressed the “power” button expecting the ground below me to start moving. Nope. The TV monitor in front of my face turned on instead. I wanted to run, not watch TV! (Later I found out that the TV is there for a reason — if it were not there, anyone would die of boredom and want to shoot themselves).
After pressing an assortment of buttons and inputting my weight, how long I intended to exercise, date of birth and social security number, I was ready to roll.
I slowly began to increase my running pace. I felt like I was flying! But, I looked down to see that I was “only” running at 10 min/mile pace. For someone who can kick out a sub-9 min/mile half marathon without difficulty, you’d think this would be easy. It was not.
With every pounding step, I thought I was going to roll off the thing. Plus, it was just boring. And, those mirrors in the room … yes, I know I look disgusting at 7:10 in the morning, you don’t need to remind me!
I started playing around with the buttons, discovering my pace, how many calories I was burning, the time remaining in my run, etc. However, in the midst of my button-pushing frenzy, I accidentally pressed the reset one. The treadmill slowed down and came to a stop. I had shut the darn program down.
The man on the other side of the room must have thought I never exercised a day in my life. I’m a runner, I do the outside, not the treadmill!
I started the program up again and I was “running” once again. Seriously though, most boring thing ever. And I was sweating profusely. It was gross. The 30-minute “run” felt almost just as long as the last three miles of my most recent full marathon. Almost.
I clocked in at 3.03 miles in 30 minutes. That’s sub-10 pace so I’ll accept it. (The fastest I could set the thing to was 8 min/mile pace and I nearly thought I was going to roll away).When I stepped off the treadmill after the full 30 minutes, the floor below me felt like it was moving. I felt like I was gliding. Is this what it feels like when you’re on crack? And then I started feeling nauseous. I went outside of the hotel and stood in the pouring rain. It wasn’t dark out anymore. I should have been running out here.
Treadmills are for those with no soul — and a lot of will power.
Now, I’m going to have to run tomorrow when I’m back in Seattle. I can’t let a treadmill “run” be the last one of 2011.