Outside is best

Date: February 15, 2014

Distance: 9.15 miles

Time: 1:34:04

After weeks of long runs on the treadmill due to the cold weather and icy streets, I was thrilled to be able to run outside. Finally.

Looking up Emigration Canyon about halfway into my run.

Looking up Emigration Canyon about halfway into my run.

Back to one of my very favorite runs–Emigration Canyon. It’s not that pretty right now–not like it is during the warmer months of the year–but it was oh, so satisfying. I breathed in the cool fresh air, subtly waved to the bicyclists who passed me, and loved enjoying the scenery. Even the grey, muddy hues were much preferred to the inside of a gym.

Running outside is like playing outdoors where running inside on the treadmill is like playing video games in front of the television.

Heck, the newer treadmills DO have a television monitor and various gimmicky displays. Good thing, too, because that’s about the only way I could get through a treadmill run. Here’s what my long run is like on a treadmill:

1. Step on, push quick start, and wonder what “Fitness Test” would even tell me. Don’t want to know.

And, the view heading down

And, heading down.

2. Start at 2.8 mph for the first five minutes to warm up while I plug my earphones into the audio and channel surf. Watch CNN for the first few minutes, get bored, and then usually settle on the Food Network channel. Or, just listen to music while playing with the displays that show me how many laps I’d be running if I were on a 5-K course around a pond or running on a track.

3. Bump up speed to 5.0 and every tenth of a mile, increase the speed by .1 until I get to 6.5. Every mile do straddle maneuver so I’m off the moving mat while I take a swig of water. I am simply not capable of drinking and running at the same time.

4. Every once-in-a-while grab the bar in front and measure my heart rate–only because I can. I certainly don’t do anything with that information.

5.  Go back down to 2.8 for ten minutes. Then repeat steps 3 & 4.

Or, at that point, advance to step 6.

6. Gut it out at 5.8 (or wherever else feels reasonable) until I reach my planned distance.

7. Wipe down all the surfaces I touched with a provided disinfectant cloth and think, every single time, “Maybe I should have wiped it down before I started my workout, because I bet the person who used this before I did didn’t wipe it down when they were done.”

8. Walk to my car, feel guilty for adding emissions to the environment, and hope for warmer running weather soon.

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