The lengths I go to in order to avoid the treadmill

I am very lucky to have a really nice treadmill located right in the comfort of my basement.  It has a hookup to play my iPhone/iPod through its speakers and there is a TV and DVD player in the room to keep me entertained.  Despite the distractions I can set up for myself, I have a really hard time running on it.  I lose my motivation quickly and find it so tempting to just step right off when my run isn’t going well.

In order to get through some of my tough runs, I need to get myself a few miles from my house so I have no choice but to run back if I want to stop! The treadmill taunts me with how easy it is to just stop when my run is feeling blah.

The weather yesterday sucked.  It was raining all day which meant I wasn’t going to run outside with Zain for my 5 mile hill run.  My backup plan was to run on the treadmill during his nap.  Well, naptime came and I discovered a million things I needed to do to get ready for our afternoon playdate at our house.  That meant no time for the good old dreadmill.

My options then became a) skip the run or b) run in the rain/dark/cold/wind when hubby got home.  I went with option b.  Now when I say “rain/dark/cold/wind,” I mean pouring cold rain, complete darkness, 45 degree (felt like 38 degree) weather, with some strong winds for good measure.  The temperature actually wasn’t bad, but the rain and wind made it feel worse.

When hubby walked in the door, he told me he had good news – the rain was dying down.  When I set foot outside I was immediately on my way to being soaking wet.  He must have been lying.  So cruel.

This run needed to be 5 miles of the hilliest route I could run.  I pretty much just ran up and down 2 of the biggest hills closest to my house.  I didn’t want to venture too far away because the area near my house is well-lit and these hills are no joke so I thought they would do just fine.  One hill is long and gradual and the other is long and steep.  The mix of the 2 seemed to give my legs s good workout.  I didn’t want to risk wearing my Garmin so I wore a regular old Timex watch and ran for 52 minutes.  I would map out my run to see my exact mileage, but I lost track of the number of times I ran the hills.

There were huge puddles, water rushing down the sidewalks, more puddles, gross worms all over the sidewalks that I gave up trying to avoid stepping on.  Seriously, I don’t mind running in the rain, but the one thing I hate about it is the worms on the sidewalks.  I’m pretty sure I looked like a lunatic to every car that passed by while I ran.  I really didn’t care.  I got my hills done.

Do you see how soaked I am? No, you can't really tell, but I swear I was :-)

Would the treadmill have been a more sane option? Yes.  I could have varied the incline to make it a hill run.  However, for me, I just don’t get the same satisfaction out of running on the treadmill that I do running outside.  I want to see that hill in front of me and conquer it.

I know as winter creeps in, I’ll end up on the treadmill out of necessity, but for now, I’m clinging to my runs outside.

Check out how awesome my hair looks!

Do you avoid or embrace the treadmill?


  1. says

    I also hate running on the “dreadmill!” One day I ran outside in -3 degrees weather just to avoid going on my treadmill. You would be amazed to know you can actually sweat in -3 degree weather, because when I got home I had frozen icicles on my face! That may of been a little extreme but it was better than running indoors!!!

    • Kristen says

      You see, experiences like that might be crazy, but I think they’re awesome. Those are the kinds of runs you remember and the ones that give you confidence. If you can run when it’s so cold out that your sweat turns to icicles, then you can do anything!

  2. Kim says

    I ran in the exact same conditions yesterday (well, in the daylight). I’m glad I wasn’t the only crazy runner out there!

  3. Bill says

    I hate running on the treadmill. It’s incredibly boring. Unfortunately I do a lot of business travel and can’t run when it’s light, so I’m stuck with the treadmill. I find that intervals help break up the run and make it less boring.

    • Kristen says

      The treadmill is very boring for me too. No matter how I try to distract myself, I can’t stop looking at the stupid little screen and wishing I was closer to being done! I agree that doing intervals does make a difference and helps the workout go by quicker.

    • Kristen says

      Thank you, Michele! I agree that running out in that kind of weather is great preparation. That’s what I try to tell myself when I keep thinking about turning around and going home :).

  4. says

    I waaaaaaay prefer to run outside too but I have grown to ‘not mind’ the treadmill for most runs (those 5 miles or under) I have done up to 10 miles on it though. blech.

    I live in a rather congested area of NJ so I find that when I can’t get out to the park, the treadmill is less stressful. I have to be so on guard of traffic when I run around my neighborhood that it’s a relief to just ‘zone’ out and merely focus on running.

    I am more of a wimp when it comes to running in crappy weather so out of the two woes, I’ll choose the treadmill. It’s taken a while but I finally don’t hate it.

    • Kristen says

      I can totally understand why that would make you prefer the TM sometimes, Jen. There are days when I know I’ll be running when it’s super busy outside with school bus drop off and rush hour traffic and I just don’t want to deal with that. Those are days I’m thankful for the treadmill.

  5. says

    I haven’t been on a treadmill in more than 2 years. Now that I have endured some of the worst elements possible, I don’t see myself going back to it anytime soon.

  6. says

    I do everything I can to avoid the treadmill too.. I am very thankful/blessed/etc to have one in my home, but running outside is so much more rewarding

  7. Carrie says

    I actually find watching the numbers on the treadmill makes me want to stay on longer in order to beat my last time. I am much more likely to walk on an outdoors run then to quit a treadmill run. Plus it is the only time I watch TV or movies, when I’m on the treadmill. To each their own!


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