You could say I’m a control freak. Layer on top of that the fact that I’m also a data junkie and you know what you get? A treadmill runner. We are a rare breed – the people who actually go to the gym on sunny breezy days. But I LIKE knowing exactly how fast I’m going. I LIKE adding hill work WHEN I WANT TO. I LIKE running exactly as far I choose without having to plan a route home. I know. I’m weird.
So today, like nearly every Saturday and Sunday since I joined the gym a year ago and stopped running in my dark basement, I went to the gym. And physically I felt great. I’m well rested after a week at the beach, I’ve been eating whatever I want (vacation, ya know) so I am certainly not carb depleted. It should have been a GREAT run. But it SUCKED. I don’t know why but from the first step to the last, I hated running today. I just wanted to get it over with. So four miles in, I quit. I can’t remember the last time I ran only 4 miles. 5 is my easy day, and 4 was almost more than I could take.
I sulked out of the gym. I have never left feeling worse than when I got there… until today. I drove home probing my brain to figure out what was wrong with me. What I found surprised me. I still felt like running. I felt good, had energy, and my brain said ‘run more!’. Confused as I was, I hopped out of my car when I got home and hit the two mile loop around my neighborhood. It was overcast and somewhere between misty and drizzling, but from the first step of THIS run, I felt amazing! It has been awhile since I’ve run outside and it felt so… right!
Two miles in I still felt fabulous. Three – awesome. At the start of four, the coolest thing happened. My husband drove by with my daughter and they pulled over, and my six year old asked if she could run home with me. We were exactly a mile from the house so I figured even if we walked it, it would be fun. But she RAN the whole way, and it was the happiest mile I’ve run in a long time! And that girl has some heat! I think we ran pretty close to my normal 9 minute mile.
So in the end, what started as a terrible running day ended up as 8 miles, capped with a big smile.
All it took was a change of scenery!
Do you run the same course often? Are you a treadmill runner? How do you keep it ‘fresh’?