Running. Lifting.Blogging. and LiviNG lIFE IN THE hAWKEYE sTATE!!!

OUTDOORS VERSUS INDOORS

OUTDOORS VERSUS INDOORS

   Okay, so it's been a hot minutes since I've blogged. And to be completely honest, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to blog about until I was like 5 minutes into my incline walking this morning. I had already ran 4 decently fast miles (9:25 pace in case you were wondering), but I didn't feel like that run combined with Monday's even faster 3 miler were special/different enough to warrant an entire blog post. I know, I know every run is special and entirely different from the one before it in one way or another. But, lately, there haven't been any huge PRs or perfect runs for me to narrate for y'all. Overall, running has been harder than normal lately.

    It's been like 5 or so weeks since I've ran outside, and boy has that made a difference when it comes to training for this half marathon thing that I apparently think I'm up for. There have been sooo many days and runs where I feel like I am THE ONLY person struggling through treadmill runs that don't seem to be getting any easier with time. Especially when it comes to running in the dungeon. Both running long and running fast have been a challenge lately, and it has definitely impacted the amount of enjoyment I get out of running in a negative way. Hence, the title of this blog post. All of these less than perfect treadmill runs have got me thinking, What is it about running outside that makes your run so much more fun/easy/exciting/doable/etc.

    The first thing that came to mind was that you're actually going somewhere. For instance, since I run the same route for every run for the first 6 miles or so...it somehow feels easier outside just knowing that you're actually moving towards certain landmarks, places, hills, what have you. Like, when I'm at the 3.5 mile mark making my way back from Town & Country and heading up main street towards the gas station, I know that my first big lap of my run is done and I just have one more small lap until I am headed towards home (and away from all those shitty hills). Along with going somewhere, there's also the change in scenery that helps the run feel like it's going by a lot faster than it actually is. You never get bored, because there's always something to look at.

    Another thing that's different about running out doors that makes it way way WAY more fun than the running on the treadmill is the surprises along the way. Maybe you'll see a bunch of cute dogs that bark 'Good Morning' at you, maybe you'll face plant into the sidewalk, or maybe you'll get stopped by a train for what feels like an eternity in the blistering cold. The possibilities really are endless. And there is never a dull moment, especially when you're just trying to keep moving, staying on your feet, and avoiding getting run over by people who just don't feel like stopping at stop signs at 5 or 6 in the morning.

    These next two factors sort of go hand in hand in my mind. The way I see it, you kinda need an audience to be an "athlete" (and I am not trying to be all braggy calling myself an athlete either!!!). That's one huge difference between running outdoors versus indoors. When you think of an 'athlete' and running...you don't think treadmill. You think wide open spaces, big ass hills, gravel roads, city streets, and wilderness trails. You also think spectators, races, and people standing in awe of just what the human body is capable of. So, for me at least, running outside makes me feel athletic and like a real "runner" even if some mornings I look like a turtle trying to run through peanut butter. And just knowing that there are people watching me, makes me work that much harder when I feel like giving up or cutting my run short.

    Freedom. No screen telling you how fast you're going or how far you have left to go No worries about getting kicked off after 60 minutes. That's the real beauty of running outside. It really is like an escape from reality, and when you're running the same route all the damn time you can go on autopilot for a bit without too much risk of falling and turning this escape into a scene out of pretty much any horror movie ever. That's how you run 9 miles at 9:25 pace and still have the energy (and sanity!) to go to the gym afterwards. That's why the time just seems to go by and the miles get easier too. You could literally run forever when you have no clue how far you've gone and are just running for the pure joy of it.

    Lastly, the memories of certain runs from the past (we're talking way way back to the good 'ole XC days) always come rushing back when you need them most. When you're doubting your athletic ability. When you think there is no bleeping way I can run any faster or farther. When you physically fee like you can't run another step. Bam! You remember all those gravel runs from XC or running up those hills in the sweltering afternoon heat. You remember that you were able to get through all of those runs...and without any blood or puking too! Or you remember that time you had made the decision to only run 6 miles but then you saw that one person and they waved at you and that one single waves is what pushed you to go the extra mile (or 3). And, suddenly, you're smiling through the pain even though just seconds ago you were ready to throw in the towel.

    Bottom line: You're not alone in hating running on the treadmill, especially this time of year in the Midwest when all of that icky white stuff is on the ground. Don't feel bad if you are unable to run as fast or as far or with as good of form indoors as you are able to outdoors. At the same time, it can be all to easy to use your dislike of the the "Dreadmill" as an excuse to half ass your runs or not even run period. Instead, go into each run indoors and you would with your outdoors ones...with an open mind and ready to succeed (aka nail that PR or push past those mental barriers). And just remember, when you feel like quitting early because you really seriously hate that freaking hamster wheel of a treadmill, that you're doing it for all those puppies/dogs that didn't get to see you run by and bark their cute adorable heads off.

   
FAULT...RESPONSIBILITY...BODY IMAGE

FAULT...RESPONSIBILITY...BODY IMAGE

MAKE THE BEST OF IT

MAKE THE BEST OF IT