Guest Post: Learning to Love The Treadmill

Hi everyone! I’m Jill and I write over at The Year of the Phoenix. I’m also the winner of Jessica’s Cleveland Marathon free race entry so when she asked if I would be interested in writing a guest post I jumped at (or ran to, perhaps?) the opportunity!

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Thanks to my free entry I’m going to be running the half marathon and this will actually be my second half. My first, back in October, was the inaugural Cleveland Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. Because it was a fall race, I was able to do all of my training outside, taking advantage of Cleveland’s expansive public parks and green spaces. (The Cleveland Metroparks and I became besties for those few summer months.)

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This time around I started training in winter, which is a totally different beast. I’m not against running in winter or snow, I’ve done it before, but not when training for a race. I’m not exactly a fast runner nor do I live in perhaps the safest neighborhood of the city. For before work runs, when I wake up early enough to give myself time to get a run in, it’s still dark outside and I’m not comfortable running my neighborhood streets in the dark. This left me with only one option.

The dreadmill.

Some runners love the treadmill. Me? I kinda hate it. My building has a small fitness room and while I’ve used the treadmill there I only do it under dire circumstances. For one thing, it’s a small room that lends itself to claustrophobia if you’re on the treadmill for any length of time. Plus, there’s no TVs so you’re just staring at a wall or a mirror which means even with music I get very bored very quickly. Then there’s the fact that there’s only one treadmill, so that makes it awkward if someone else wants to get on when you’re using it or vice versa. In other words, I’d much rather layer up and brave the snowy roads in freezing temperatures than use that stupid machine.

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At the beginning of the year I signed up for a membership at Planet Fitness (the Rocky River location is my home gym, so say hi if you see me!). When I won my free race entry and realized I would need to start running in the mornings before work to keep up with my training, it became quite clear that the treadmill was going to be my only option.

So imagine my surprise when I hopped on that treadmill at Planet Fitness that first time for my three miles and discovered I didn’t hate it.

The big open space of the gym was a nice respite from feeling nearly claustrophobic and with the big TVs overhead I had something to focus on instead of merely a boring wall. Plus since I was going pretty early in the morning I hit the gym at a quiet time and didn’t have to wait for a machine to open up. In fact, the gym was often so empty I honestly was able to zone out and do my thing and forget there were even other people around at all.

After the Cleveland Half on May 18th I’ll have a couple of months off before I start training for October’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Cleveland Half. I ran this last year and training during the summer months could be brutal: if I didn’t get my butt out the door early enough in the morning the heat would be awful to run in. Knowing I have an indoor air-conditioned option for my training will make all the difference in the world!

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Thanks so much for your guest post, Jill, and good luck at the Cleveland Half Marathon! I’m excited to conquer my first 10K, too 🙂

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