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Ode to the Treadmill

February 7, 2011

As New England residents know, this winter has been far from mild. We’re reaching record-breaking snow amounts for the season. On a particular day, if it’s not actually snowing, the roads and sidewalks are still not cleared from a previous storm. There is so much snow piled up, that all roads are narrower than they would be during a warmer season. When I do see runners these days on the streets, I always cringe a bit. They are running SO close to the cars and on snow and ice. It seems to me like a recipe for disaster. Call me a wimp, but I am just not about to risk my life to run outside.   

Weekends mornings for me include making a pot of coffee and figuring out what my workout for the day will be. For the first time in a LONG time, I woke up to a sunny and relatively warm (40 degrees) yesterday. I decided I was going to finally run outside!

I drove over to Commonwealth Avenue, site of the famous Boston Marathon “Heartbreak Hill.” I chose this road specifically because there is an access road, without traffic, to run on. I parked and I set my Nike+, and off I went.

Commonwealth Avenue in Newton is always filled with runners this time of year as many of them are training for the Boston Marathon. Heartbreak Hill is at about the 21 mile mark in the marathon, and is about a half mile long. Even when you haven’t already run 21 miles to reach Heartbreak, it’s still a challenging hill. Marathon runners and non-marathoners alike choose this location because running this hill is always a great workout.

And of course, on the nicest day in New England in a while, Heartbreak Hill was packed with runners.

My (Andrew’s) iPod was on shuffle and yet still finding great running songs, the sun felt great and I felt strong and completed 5.41 miles of mostly hill work in 49:56.

Now, I didn’t title this post “Ode to the Treadmill” for nothing. I see this piece of machinery often referred to as the “dreadmill” in fitness blogs that I follow. But, let’s go back to the beginning of this post: I have been living in New England in one of the worst winters on record, and yet, still managed to run 102.66 miles in January. These miles would NOT have been completed if it wasn’t for the treadmill.

As much as I miss the warm weather, and my running will quickly resume outdoors come late March/early April, I can’t help feel grateful to the treadmill for keeping me going this winter. I’ve seen pounds shed, feel healthy, and stayed safe while still getting my miles in.

I have also been able to build up speed, as I am finding a run that used to average 6.0-6.5 miles is now averaging 6.7-7.2 miles per hour.

So I’m not trashing the treadmill anytime soon. At least until spring…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. swimmykimy permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:14 pm

    Gahhhh the DREADMILL! Great work Katy! I too cringe when I see runners risking their lives to run outside in the cold temps and crowded streets. I went for a run outside for probably the first time in almost a month and it was amazing! Great work logging some miles on heartbreak 🙂 Do you ever do tempo runs on the T-Mill?? Sometimes that helps me mix it up!

  2. February 7, 2011 9:03 pm

    hey there! I’m Kimmy’s friend. Good job with your monthly runs!! Without the treadmill last month, I probably would have only run like 2X! I love the treadmill, especially for speed. Long runs I like to do outside though : )

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