Over the last week I logged 30 miles on the treadmill, including a 7 mile interval run, a 4 mile speed work session, a 4 mile easy run, and a 15 mile long run (and I still have a 6 mile easy on the schedule for today). Was it ideal? No. Did it work? Yes. Was it hard? Unbelievable hard, both physically and mentally.
How I have made "friends" with my treadmill and actually started enjoying the miles:
1. Running while the kids are sleeping/napping/happily entertained by daddy or the electronic babysitter (This is big because a run is not really relaxing if there are fighting kids or nagging kids hanging on the gate asking for things.)
2. Finding a new movie/TV show to watch. I have a list of TV shows I would like to see but don't have time for, so now that I am spending some time on the mill I can catch up or watch some of those must see TV shows.
3. Being caught up on housework. It was hard at first for me to run on the treadmill knowing that 100 ft away was a sink full of dishes, or that just upstairs there was a pile of laundry. In the past there were times the guilt of choosing running over housework was overwhelming and I stopped runs early. (Guilt was self inflicted and I know taking the time to make myself strong and healthy is just as important as the laundry being put away.)
4. Reading a new book. On the easy runs I find that I can read on the iPad pretty easily if I make the text bigger. This has been nice since normally I do not have time to just sit down and read.
5. Spotify and Itunes have provided music for several of the miles when I wanted to zone out and just listen to music.
6. Playing with speed and hills throughout the workouts has helped with the boredom and gives me a mental game to play.
7. Knowing that I do not have to worry about cars or my surroundings allows me to focus on my form throughout the run. I can take the time to "reset" and "realign" throughout the run.
8. Changing my attitude and perspective. Instead of looking at it as the "dreadmill" I started focusing on all of the positives of being able to have/use a treadmill and just like most things in life when my attitude towards it changed, so did my experience.
9. Found inspiration via Twitter. There are some insanely awesome people on twitter that I follow and anytime I want to talk about how tough a 6 mile treadmill run is I just hop over to Run EMZ and check out one of her 100 mile treadmill runs, or when she got off the treadmill and kicked serious ass at the Javelina Jundred 100. (And I also may have "stole" her catch phrase to repeat in my head when things get tough "You've. Freaking. Got. This.")
10. I have practiced my counting skills. Seriously I start counting with the 100th place value in the miles towards the end or doing speed work. I have gotten really good at counting by 2's.
I am starting to see my treadmill as a valuable tool in my training and I will most likely log a good number of miles on it in the coming year. While it is not a true replacement, since nothing beats being outside and running in nature, it will work and will allow me to log the necessary miles to accomplish my goals.