For most of my adult life, I have seen the treadmill as an invention of Satan. That was until this week. Training for Boston through the Cleveland winter had something to do with it. I recognized that I was nearly killing myself running outdoors everyday, regardless of the conditions. Further, it was effecting the quality of my runs. Don't misunderstand. I still believe that slogging through the snow and ice makes for an excellent workout, but the quality of the running suffers, and your form can get very sloppy. I still believe that Satan invented the treadmill, but now I realize that he's probably a hell of a runner.
So...I ran 10 miles on the treadmill on Monday, 6 miles in the morning, and 4 miles in the evening. The weather was perfect...70 degrees, no precipitation, no wind. On Tuesday, I did an early morning 10 miler on the streets of Independence. The occasional patches of ice keep my attention focused on the surface in front of me. It was dark, and I wore my headlamp, but it did not throw enough light to make the ice easy to spot. I managed to stay upright for the whole run, but there were a few close calls. On Wednesday, the plan called for 14 miles, and my schedule at work was not going to give me much of an opportunity. I hit the treadmill in the evening and got my 14 miles done. I tried to break-up the boredom by listening to my music and watching television. Both of those helped stave off the inevitable tedium for a while. The last hour was tough. When the display flipped to '14.0 Miles', I hit the 'Stop' button so hard, I thought I broke it. After that, I made sure that my Thursday and Friday runs were outside.
The weather turned ugly on Friday afternoon, and the snow fell through the night. On Saturday morning, I arrived at about 7:55 but the roads were awful. By 8:20, there were still only a few runners, we had to delay the start for about 20 minutes while we waited for more runners to arrive. Finally, at about 8:30 we started. I assumed that, since we got such a late start, and since the conditions were so bad, we would probably only cover about 10 miles rather than our usual 12. I also assumed that with all of the snow and bad footing, we would back off on the pace. So...we did 14.4 miles at the fastest pace I have ever recorded on one of our Saturday runs. Sure. Why not?
Runners mulling around the LOCK 29 parking lot, waiting for the late-comers.
Heading off for a run in the great white wilderness.
On Sunday morning, my legs were really feeling the effects of the last month and a half. My knees, specifically my right knee, did not want me to go down the stairs, let alone head out for an 18 mile run. I made some coffee, tried to loosen up, got changed, and headed out at around 7:00 AM. I ran very uncomfortably and slowly for the first few miles. At 8:00 AM, I joined the SERC group. Unlike last week, this week I avoided the temptation to run with the 7:00/min-mile group. My intention was a long slow run at around 8:00/min-mile pace and I was able to stick to it. Fortunately, Paul R. joined me about three miles after the SERC group started, and we ran the next 10 miles together. I completed 17.3 miles. The total for the week was 78 miles, not quite Pfitzinger's recommended 84.