image courtesy carleton.edu
I have been running on an indoor track recently, and I have come to (almost) love it. You guys, this is CUH-RAY-ZEE.
My whole running life, I have detested running indoors. I was the one who would run at a snail's pace in a blizzard or on solid ice just so I could exercise outside.
But a few weeks ago my town turned into one big ice rink, and it has stayed that way. I'm too scared to run outside even with my YakTrax on. I don't need a broken wrist or ankle. So I renewed my staff-family privileges card for the Rec Center at the college where my husband works and ran on the track one day. And I've been running on the track ever since.
This week I even did my long run--eight miles--on the track. That's 64 times around, people. (I don't count. My pace is dead-on consistent, so I always count mileage by time. No, I don't use a Garmin.) While that may seem crazy-monotonous (which it sort of is), I make it tolerable by breaking it up into 20-minute segments and stopping for a drink of water and a stretch or two at the end of each. Somehow this makes running a zillion times in circles seem perfectly fine.
No one is more surprised by this development than I. I'm not saying it's thrillingly interesting, but I like it. I've got my tunes, there's usually some college fitness class or sports practice going on in the center of the track for entertainment, and I don't have to dress in a million layers and pieces of winter gear to go running. Because I'm not plowing through a snowstorm or frostbite-inducing wind while wearing an earband and a winter hat with my eyes watering the whole time from the cold, even after eight miles my hair and makeup remain largely still put-together. (Usually when I come in from a winter run, I look like I've survived an Arctic expedition. Not pretty.)
The one thing I don't like is the lack of solitude. There are always other people at the track, so I don't get my usual dose of getting into my own zone and feeling alone and peaceful while I run. I must admit it's distracting to be constantly passed by young, fit, fast college-student runners. They're so youthful! And fit! And fast! Whatever. Let's see how fast they are when they're 41 and have birthed two babies.
Anyway. It's not like I'll keep doing this when my outdoor trails are fair game again in the spring, but for now it's pretty good.
Truth be told, that is the most exciting thing that's happened to me lately. Which isn't a bad thing. I've been busy cooking, baking, seeing friends, volunteering at my children's school, and all the usual. When I'm not running in circles.
Have a great day, friends. Tell me: are you a mama runner? Do you run outside in the winter, or indoors? Track or treadmill? When do you run? When your kids are at school, like me? Or in the early a.m. or evening? I'm curious.