odds and ends from a life under construction

Making peace with the treadmill and other dispatches from the front

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Guys, I have to learn to tolerate the treadmill. I mean, I started running on the treadmill. I was running for 40 minutes consistently on the treadmill before I ventured outside. I can do this.

And I think I’ve found a way. Like I’ve mentioned before, my pacing sucks. I’m all over the place. I go out way too fast, I get distracted and slow my cadence down the longer I run… it’s a mess. But you know what can keep a constant pace forever and ever? A treadmill. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before. I can still do my long runs outdoors (we’ll tackle winter training later), but for tempo runs and other shorter training sessions where I have a specific pace progression outlined, it makes sense to run on something that will regulate my pace for me so I can get used to what it feels like to maintain a consistent pace.

This morning was attempt one at using the treadmill for tempo runs, and it went well. The gym felt insanely hot, much hotter than usual, but I got through it and could actually feel that the treadmill was forcing me to maintain a strict pace. Yesterday I ran a 10k training run at 11:53 min/mile, and using a pace calculator app, I figured out what my half marathon pace would be and then cut that by 30 seconds, as instructed by Richard. Turned out to be 11:57, so I set the treadmill and was off. And since I only needed to do 20 minutes, the time flew. I typically listen to music when I run, but I might start watching TV on the treadmills. A little distraction might make it more bearable since I don’t have scenery or other runners on the trail to entertain me (have I mentioned I pass a guy strolling along playing a ukelele every morning?).

But speaking of my 10k run yesterday – I’m pretty proud of my time. The 1:13:49 I ran was a minute faster than my total Esprit de She time, and that course actually ended up being only 5.8 miles or so, so the increase per mile is even bigger. I’m actually getting faster, y’all!  Since running is in control right now, I need to buckle down on conditioning. I still feel slow and jiggly (although when I let Jason feel my outer thigh muscles he growled a little), so strength training is something I need to begin incorporating more consistently. I futz around on the weight machines and with the dumbbells and kettlebells (man, kettlebells are fun), but I do something different every time and don’t have a plan for progression. Katy, one of the trainers at my gym, is going to meet with me a couple times to help set up a plan (she leads a running group that I ran with two or three times, but the group membership was for 8 sessions, so she’s letting me convert the running sessions to training sessions).

We welcome our kettlebell overlords.

We welcome our kettlebell overlords.

And in other positive news – my boss is on board for a standing-height desk! Super-pumped about not sitting all day at my computer. And we also received a new employee wellness benefit this week: a $350 annual reimbursement for gym memberships. Since I’m content to pay for our gym without messing with monthly reimbursement, I asked if I could use the reimbursement toward personal training instead – and I can! So I might opt for more one-on-one time with Katy to help me tighten up under all the flab I’m burning off.

I’ve also got a few other non-running fitness-related things in the works for the next week – a “back-to-school body” challenge kicking off mid-August (that I hope everyone will join me in tackling), evening rooftop yoga, a review of the first few days of Focus T25 (which I convinced Jason to try with me), and my first trip to a CrossFit box to get whipped into shape by my friend and newly minted CrossFit trainer Gemma. Stay tuned!

Hot gym. Sweaty sweaty sweaty.

Hot gym. Sweaty sweaty sweaty.



  • Very nice employee wellness benefit.

  • Tertius says:

    My closest gym is a 30min drive, but I’m thinking of getting myself a treadmill. I think it’s better for building an injury free base to start off with.

  • Amy B says:

    I’m not a fan of the dreadmill, but in the winter when there’s a few feet of snow on the roads? Can’t beat it. I’ll be using my employee wellness perk to join up at a place down the road.

  • Elizabeth says:

    What an awesome wellness benefit!!

    The treadmill is such a love/hate. It’s there for you when the weather is terrible. But then you have those beautiful-weather runs and its so hard to be confined, at least for me. I used to be disciplined enough to stay on a treadmill for 2 hours! Now, I can’t imagine it. Torture!

  • Reading your post made me realize: In almost two years of running and 600+ miles (I’m a newbie) I have run exactly 2 of those miles on the treadmill. I don’t fear or hate it, its just the way it played out. But you are right, there is no better way to get a feel for constant pace than a treadmill.

  • Kaushal Shah says:

    Hey Julie, After seeing your photo in last, I don’t think you need more workout. You are looking in fit in it. 40 minutes consistently on treadmill which is really remarkable.

  • Christie says:

    You are better than me! I can’t stand treadmills! I have tried and tried and the longest I have managed was 10 minutes. Ha ha.

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