“The only tactics I admire are do-or-die.” – Herb Elliott
There are many ways to run, the treadmill, trails, roads and parks. Most people have one they prefer over the other. When I began running most of my training was performed on a treadmill (mainly because I have no sense of direction and feared getting lost in the parks). I also liked the treadmill because it calculated everything for me, I never had to convert mileage and pace, it was given. Everything about the treadmill is known and controlled, bottom line it is easy. As Americans we love taking the easy road, with little to no challenges in day to day life. Why create more challenges when life is filled with stresses? This is why man invented dishwashers, wash machines, vacuum cleaners, blow driers and so on. It has been more than 3 years since I last ran on a treadmill. I now feel treadmill running is much like the mouse chasing the cheese. Next time you are at the gym look at all the people on the cardio equipment. They are all stationary, headphones on, fully engaged in a TV program, ipod or cell phone. They are unable to disconnect from the world. They are so focused on the music or words screaming into their ears, they are unaware of their form and the overall act of running. They all look like little lab mice running on the wheel chasing after the cheese. Everything about treadmill running is controlled from the room temperature to elevation to effort exerted. The older I get the more scheduled my life becomes. Wake up, pee, wash face, get daughter out of bed, eat breakfast, make lunch, get dressed, take daughter to daycare, go to work, and so on. There are things out of my control day to day but for the most part I relive the same day over and over again. This is the exact reason I love running outside, it is not controlled. I never know what the weather is going to be, I don’t always map a run or know the distance I will be traveling, and sometimes I get lost for the fun of it. I do not need music or sitcoms to motivate and provide entertainment during running. I have the great outdoors, the sights, sounds, smells and adventure to engage in and keep me wanting more. I am not confined when I am outside. All day I am confined to a desk, computer and phone, when I leave the office it is time to break free!
This year my husband and I decided to do away with cable. The main reason is the constant price increase year to year. It was tough at first but now we spend a lot more time together as a family. We play outside more, take walks, read and try new things. It is so easy to come home from work and fall onto the couch and watch TV for the remainder of the night. Cable was causing our family to suffer without us realizing it. Both my husband and I work while our daughter goes to a care givers house during the day. Which means we only get about 4 hours a day together (not including sleep). Cancelling cable has forced us to fully engage in those few hours we have together during the week. Social media, TV, internet, smart phones, 4G services, ipods and much more technological advances has made it challenging for any family to build a strong foundation. We are disconnected from life and fully engaged in a non-reality. All the things my husband and I have done away with (diapers we use cloth, cable, Kroger we go to the local farmer’s market/buying clubs, and a few other small items) has brought us closer as a family. We now spend more time together as a unit and less time on nonsense.
Last night on my drive home from work I thought about running on the treadmill (once again for the first time in 3 years). The weather was not idea for running outside. Storms moved through the area early in the morning and heavy rain followed for the remainder of the day. I noticed all the sidewalks near my home were flooded (I hate running with wet shoes and socks because it is breeding for blusters). I wasn’t in the mood to be wet and tired. However, the thought of running on a treadmill wasn’t any more enticing. Both options sounded awful for the mood I was in. I played with my daughter for a couple of hours while thinking about what to do. I finally decided that running outside was the best choice for me. I knew I would not be satisfied after a treadmill run. I put on my rain gear, laced up my shoes and headed out into the Louisville monsoon. After the first mile I was in a nice groove and enjoying the rain. I felt like a kid again. This brought a new meaning to playing in the rain. I played games like dodge the large puddles. Sometimes I would leap over them others I would go completely around. Upon finishing my 5 mile speed run I jumped into a large puddle in front of our house and threw my arms into the air as the rain poured down my face. I looked like a wet mess but I felt amazing. I had a great run and played dodge the puddle. The rain provided all the entertainment I needed to get through my run last night. I am glad I chose outside instead of the treadmill because race day weather could be rainy and windy. If it is I know I will be prepared!
6 days and counting…………………