I ran 2.5 miles my last two runs, and I have to admit I’m pretty happy with myself. Tomorrow night should be 2.75 and I’ll be at 3 by the end of the month! Of course it’s the passing 3 miles that always seems to get me, but I’ll deal with that next month. This whole consistency and planned improvement thing does NOT come natural to me but at the moment I’m loving it. I’ve even been wanting to run on my off nights, which I know would not be a good idea, I need the rest.
The funny thing is it’s not my legs that get tired and I’m not getting out of breath, it’s the muscles in my feet that are getting sore. It’s mostly the muscles on the TOP of my feet, which I find kind of strange, maybe because I’m trying to keep my toes curled up a bit to avoid letting the road (or treadmill) blister them. That’s never happened to me but I’ve heard it can and it doesn’t sounds fun so…
I know running barefoot uses different muscles, and also that one major benefit of running barefoot is that your body tells you sooner when it’s had enough instead of allowing you to run until to injure yourself. It’s interesting to me though to see it in action. Everyone knows you aren’t supposed to increase your running distance too fast, but if I was wearing shoes would I physically feel it? In this case I don’t think so, because nothing else in my body is telling me to take the rest days. Kind of cool, in my humble opinion. I’d way rather have sore feet for a couple hours when I wake up than sore hips all the time!
I have a treadmill my grandparents gave to me that I keep in the garage but I don’t use it as often as I thought I would. As most people will tell you it’s boring and since it’s in the garage it’s also super hot; running outside is more comfortable for the most part. I taped a poster of sharks in front of it to look at while running, but it still wasn’t the most exciting thing to do. Then, it got stuck on the highest incline. Then, it just stopped turning on. Not good, but it didn’t matter too much since I so rarely used it.
However, I live in Florida, lightning capital of the universe. The weather will be great, I get dressed for a run, get my running watch on, get the headphones from my son to listen to Zombies, Run!, walk out the door, and a lightning storm starts. Often. So when I had the chance to get a treadmill that works for $50 I didn’t turn it down.
This time I put it in my living room. It faces the sliding glass door since it would have to be pretty much in the middle of the room to face the TV and I rarely watch TV anyways. But it does sounds like a great thing to do while running! I can’t help but think I would run a lot further if my mind was more occupied. Sometimes I quit running simply because I get bored.
So far that hasn’t happened. I listen to music and Zombies, Run! and watch the numbers go up (calories, distance, things I don’t pay attention to like carbs, how do you burn a particular number of carbs?). Somehow just zoning out, watching the numbers change and thinking about my form the time just flies. Maybe it’s because I’m in air conditioning, maybe it’s because I’m not listening to see if something is following me, or maybe it’s just because it’s new again I just don’t get as bored or as tired as quick as usual. I’m 100% certain air conditioning has a lot to do with it.
I still intend to run outside a lot but it’s nice to have an alternative on the nights filled with lightning. Like tonight. I can see some major benefits to both running outside and inside.
- Running over pebbles and the unknown makes me pay attention to my form and I think it improves my balance
- It toughens up the bottom of my feet so I can run over different surfaces – I’d love to do more barefoot trail running!
- Waving at my neighbors as I run by is the only contact I have with most of them
- Passing the occasional armadillo or deer makes for a good story later
- If I get tired of running I still have to get back home
- Air conditioning!
- I am running more often because the treadmill is right there and lightning is no excuse
- It still strengthens the muscles in the feet
Long story short? I don’t care which one is better I love having both options!