For all my years of running, my feet have held up pretty well. My hips and knees have had various maladies over the years but feet and ankles (especially after I gave up soccer and basketball) have never given me any major problems. Until recently.
A few months ago, I started feeling a hard, sometimes painful, but mostly annoying, spot on the ball of my foot. It didn’t bother me too much when wearing sneakers and excercising but I definitely felt it when I was barefoot. Without any padding, it felt like I was walking with a quarter under my foot.
After 10 solid years of service, our basement treadmill finally called it quits last fall. We looked into having it repaired but apparently a decade of my corrosive sweat had rendered the circuit board inoperable. The tech was impressed we’d gotten such a long run out of it and suggested a new purchase would be more economical than replacing the board. We ended up purchasing the exact same model (Sole F63) in the newest model year. Why mess with something that works? But…. why buy a treadmill at all? How do you stand it?
If I was appointed to a position where I could promote and influence running throughout the country (heck, the world!), the Angel Run 5k is the type of race I’d wish for every local community. It’s a family-oriented day built around a great cause and celebrates being active as a family. Yes, there is a competitive portion to the run (more on that in a second) but the vast majority of the race is kids, and moms, and dads, and dogs, and strollers, and costumes getting out running or walking the course. It’s a small, local race but it’s one of my favorite days of the year.
When you tell people you are going to do an overnight 200-mile relay race that involves traveling in a van with 6 other people for 36 hours, getting little sleep, running at 2 am, all while paying for the privilege, you are going to get one of two reactions: some will get a recognizable gleam in their eye and ask if there are still any open spots in the van. The others will openly question your sanity. One of the many joys of belonging to a local running club is that I saw much more of the former than the latter.
Last month I met up with my running club for a Saturday group run. It was going to be a hot day, really hot, but we were going early and mostly running on shaded trails. Eight miles later, my pace had cratered, I was soaked, having sweated through my shoes, and reduced to walking the last half mile to get back to my car. It was a tough and disheartening workout. But it didn’t have to be.
Just like the recent side stitch training question, this other beginner one is also deceptively difficult to answer. Unless you’re one of those freaks of nature that can go out and run 10 miles at the drop of the hat and wondered what the fuss is all about, you are going to find running a miserable experience in the beginning.
You’ll wonder why people voluntarily do this to themselves and then lie when they say they love it. Early mornings? Hill repeats? Thresholds? Intervals? No thank you. It does get better. If you’re smart about it.
I’m not one to (overly) vilify the treadmill. I actually find it a very useful training tool. I wouldn’t want to do every run on a treadmill but it can definitely have its uses when preparing for a race. Here are 6 reason you might consider buying a treadmill yourself.