The treadmill is so…. blah. I’ve never been the type who could go to the gym and pound away on the treadmill, or sweat on the elliptical for hours (or even a few minutes, really). Time seems to stand still ever time I run on a treadmill, and I find myself extremely unmotivated. But when you’re training for a marathon, sometimes a treadmill is an unfortunate necessity.
Luckily for me, I’ve been able to run outside for much of the winter. This is surprising to me, since it’s been about the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced. The only times I’ve been forced to tackle the dreadmill were the times we had those polar vortex warnings where your face might freeze off if you dare to venture outside. The rest of the time, I have embraced multiple layers–hats, gloves, jacket, hand warmers–and waddled out the door. It might take me 15 minutes to get dressed for a run rather than the usual two or three, but it is so worth it.
Having people to run with also helps. I’ve always done my weekend runs with the husband, but a new friend recently introduced me to the joys of the running group. I still run by myself on my shorter runs, but I do my long weekend run with the group, and my midweek long run with my friend. It’s nice to have the camaraderie–to know that there are other crazy weirdos who run in sub-zero temperatures because they can’t imagine anything worse than missing a workout.
One great thing about training for a spring marathon is that it keeps you active throughout the winter. After last year, when I said I would never do a marathon again, I’m glad I randomly decided to sign up again this year. It’s hard as hell to keep going some days, but without a reason to train I’d probably stay in if it was too cold rather than dragging my cold butt out the door and running regardless.
So I guess I have become one of those people. A runner. It’s an odd feeling–odd, but awesome.