Interesting observation… Yesterday morning after an hour of yoga, I did a bunch of core exercises- stuff like lunges, squats, tricep dips, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, planks, and so on. Yesterday night, laying in bed, I could feel the onset of DOMS (muscle soreness) in my abs (as well as my triceps and quads). But it was almost like the soreness was tapping into some kind of deep muscle in my midsection. Laying in bed, I felt like my abs were tight and flat and strong! It was an extremely peculiar feeling, but I certainly enjoyed it!
Today I was reminded, for the umpteenth time, of my struggle between the treadmill and the road. I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. Obviously the treadmill is great for days when it is too cold/snowy/icy or too hot to run outside. It can be extremely useful for running intervals (especially for runners like me who are not skilled at pacing). For me, I used a treadmill to begin running, partially because I was too embarrassed to run in the neighborhood, and mostly because it was an easy way to time my walk/run intervals.
It is pretty fantastic, to me, that the treadmill has become boring in many many ways. I have improved as a runner and learned to enjoy the passing landscape while I run.
Oddly, I still find it so much easier to run on a treadmill. When I’m on a treadmill, I can easily see my time and distance. The moving belt keeps me running just a bit longer, even when my legs feel like giving up. I can run a remarkably long distance at a slow pace on a treadmill without needing to slow down and walk.
Yet when I am out on the street, it just feels like it all falls apart. My body wants to walk after just a half-mile or so. I stick it out and can go a mile or two (depending on the course) before walking, but I get so frustrated with my inability to go farther.
Admittedly, my long runs on the treadmill are almost always at a 0% incline. I don’t have to deal with wind, sun, or any other outside issues. The belt is a much softer landing than sidewalks or roads.
It can be hard on the treadmill. I nearly always listen to an mp3 player on the treadmill, and often I will not allow myself to look at the clock except between songs, since it can definitely begin to drag.
Yet why is it such a struggle when I go away from the treadmill? I don’t know. It’s probably largely mental. But that’s okay… I will keep pushing myself and it will improve. Eventually.