Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I did not look like on my first treadmill run

My last trip on a treadmill? Forty-five seconds of sweaty stumbling, stopping, skipping, swearing misery that actually, according to my friend Jeff, turned me into a fire-breathing devil woman. (I'm still paying for his therapy.)

No, I didn't fall, but sometimes the threat is worse than the actual thing.

Except, of course, when it's the actual thing: 15 years ago I stood on a treadmill for one absent-minded split second as someone plugged it in. And then I was thrown across the room at 6:00/mile. Ouch.

Imagine my anxiety today when I decided to hit the treadmill at lunch. It's been weeks since I last ran, months since I've trained. Chances of me running on freezing rain: unlikely. While I've packed outdoor running clothes every day for work since October, I haven't peeled myself out of my office chair into the cold once. Oh, winter wussiness.

I must have looked I was approaching a lion's cage for the first time and walking in. The buttons were difficult to push, the moving-ground sensation took a bit to grasp, and let's just say my knuckles were white as I gripped the bar to steady myself.

I only let go after five minutes, when my arms started to hurt! Then I gripped hard with two fingers, then one on each hand. Finally: at 2 miles I ran hands free. No stumbles, zero trips and only one too-long stride. I think I'll do it again.

It wasn't a bad inaugural workout either: 4 miles @ 10:15, 8:20, 8:34, 9:00. The first mile wasn't fully slow... it took me several minutes to poke up the pace from 12-13:00!

So it begins: Pittsburgh, here I come!