Dreadmill running, down time, and stories of marathon runners


So, I made it five days without a run. On Thursday of last week I ended up at the gym, on the treadmill. Winter-like weather arrived early in the Cincinnati Tri-State region and I have not quite adjusted to the thought of cold weather running (though really, temps weren’t any worse than what they were for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon).

Already, I know treadmill running will last another week, maybe. Am I the only one who finds it incredibly boring to run on a treadmill, especially after spending significant time road or trail running? I would say all my six-mile and under runs were done at the gym when I began training for my first marathon. Now I can hardly make it three miles without feeling excruciatingly bored with my run and just wanting to stop.

The only good thing about the treadmill run now is that I started forcing myself up early to go to the gym. I feel so much more centered doing a work-out before going into the office. AND at 37 I don’t mind going to bed at 9:30 p.m. so much. I never find anything that I enjoy on television anyway. Also, I started using other gym equipment. My abs and gluts hurt so good the day after my last gym visit. I neglect the rest of my body when I train. It’s nice to be reminded I need to work on things like core strength a little more and that in turn might improve my running.

Beyond that, I’ve read, and listened to, a few great stories about fall marathon season.

The first I posted about in my marathon review. You remember, the 16-year-old and 49-year-old who qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials? Runner’s World did a nice write-up about Alana Hadley, 16, and Colleen De Reuck, 49. To have that much talent at either age!

In sadder news, I also read about Joy Johnson, the 86-year-old woman who ran the New York City Marathon and died shortly afterwards from head trauma she sustained while running on the course. Medics had tried to get Johnson to stop running at mile 20 when she fell, but like any true runner she chose to finish the race. It was her 25th NYC marathon. Her death is on the one hand sad. On the other hand, well, she’s a true runner. I also had no idea Joy annual spoke with the Today Show after the race.

Even my favorite podcast, Radiolab, got into the marathon story reporting act. They aired this fascinating piece on Kenyan runners dominating distance racing with scientists and researchers speculating on the why of it. I had no idea Kenyan superfast runners were limited to a particular area of the country. Some parts of the exploration of speed are uncomfortable, while others surprising. If you listen to the piece, I think you will find the level of pain endurance in these elite athletes to be sort of shocking. Go to http://www.radiolab.org/ and listen to the latest podcast short for more.

Other than that, I continue to try to change my diet with less processed/more raw foods like vegetables and fruit. It’s tough. I like ice cream and fried chicken A LOT, but we’re getting there, slowly. You need to run the first mile before the marathon, right?

Anyway, what do you do with your down time if you are a runner?

‘There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.’ ~ Robert Louis Stevenson


2 thoughts on “Dreadmill running, down time, and stories of marathon runners

  1. Very informative post. Cold temps have me hitting the gym more. Sub 30 before work is not worth the torture. Now that my marathon training is over, I plan to spin more and add strength training. The treadmill will be a quick 2-3 miles before I lift. It’s crazy because 2-3 was a full work out and not a warm up in the past.

    • Yes! Spins become a favorite pastime of mine, along with swimming when I’m not running. And it really is amazing how perspect of on those miles changes over time. Of course, I still think ultramarathoners are crazy. 30-plus miles running? No thanks. 🙂

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