Long Run? On a Treadmill?


I woke up early this morning with the intention of running my twelve miles.  Too bad mother nature had a different idea.  When I last checked the weather forecast, we weren’t supposed to get rain until this evening, but apparently that was incorrect.  There was a steady rain coming down as I got ready and upon looking at the forecast on my phone, there was a 70% chance of thunderstorms until 7:00 pm this evening.  This left me in quite a conundrum, do I ran in the rain or do I attempt my long run on a treadmill at the gym?  Being that a decent amount of lightening was in the forecast and it seems like everyone in Memphis has been sick over the past few weeks, I opted to try my hand at the treadmill, even though this will be by far the longest distance that I have ever attempted on a treadmill.  In fact, it is longer than the most of my weekly treadmill distances.  Now Sundays are hard to gauge for attendance at my gym.  When the gym opens, there are lots of people there, signing up for the weekly classes, but usually if you bypass this line, you typically can get one of the two “good” treadmills.  And thankfully today, this exact scenario played out for me.  I was already apprehensive about doing the twelve miles on the treadmill, but I can’t even imagine running those miles on the older treadmills.  As I set up my distance, speed, and such on the treadmill, I noticed that the max time I could set it for was ninety-nine minutes, so either I was going to run my faster twelve miles ever, or I was going to have to reset the treadmill timer at some point.  No big deal since I would have to use my GU and probably get some more water.

My first impression was that it was going to be a really boring run, and that remained true.  There is only so much you can do while running in one place for that long.  I watched Louisville and Notre Dame go through twenty overtimes (or so it seemed) on SportsCenter, multiple pundits argue on CNN, and listened to some of my motivation music on my iPhone.  No matter what I did, it didn’t matter, I was still stationary and that can be a bit of a drag.  My second impression was that this run was going to be warm, very warm.  The gym temperature was set at seventy-five, which is warmer than I ever set my house, and they did not have to ceiling fans going to help alleviate the heat and humidity of the gym.  Needless to say, by the time I completed my twelve miles, my clothes were drenched, probably more so than if I would have ran in the rain!  MY third impression was that at least running on the treadmill was going to help me maintain a steady pace for the entire run.  When I’m running on the roads, I tend to have some substantial deviations in speeds, plus you have to wait on cars, red lights, and avoid other pedestrians and dogs, so the treadmill is a positive alternative to all of these hindrances.  I ended up running 12.16 miles at a 10:13 pace, which if this were race day, would have me a few minutes ahead of my personal record!  And my fastest mile was mile ten, so there was something left in the tank to finish that last mile, so all in all, that is back to back encouraging weeks of long runs!

Now that I am all showered up back at the house, I’m relaxing on the couch watching one of my all time favorite movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  I remember when I was a child, my brothers and I recorded this movie off of the NBC Sunday Night Movie of the Week and we would watch it at least once a week!  We watched that VHS until it completely wore out, and it is still odd to me to watch the movie when it is not edited for TV.  When I quote the movie, I still tend to use the edited lines out of habit.  I love that the team that the Cubs are playing when Ferris and Cameron are playing hooky is my beloved, but terrible at the time, Atlanta Braves.  Baseball Prospectus does a nice write up on the game that was used for the film.  Growing up watching the Detroit Red Wings, I always appreciated the Gordie Howe jersey that Cameron sported for the entire film.  This is the film that introduced a generation to former Richard Nixon speech writer, the incomparable and monotone Ben Stein.  It also one of the earliest movies on Charlie Sheen’s IMDB page.  It still pains me to see that car destroyed, and how oblivious his dad is throughout the movie is simply perfection.   And the following is just one of the many great exchanges in the movie:

Ed Rooney: I don’t trust this kid any further than I can throw him.
Grace: Well, with your bad knee Ed, you shouldn’t throw anybody… It’s true.
Ed Rooney: What is so dangerous about a character like Ferris Bueller is he gives good kids bad ideas.
Grace: Mmm-hmm.
Ed Rooney: Last thing I need at this point in my career is fifteen hundred Ferris Bueller disciples running around these halls. He jeopardizes my ability to effectivley govern this student body.
Grace: Well, makes you look like an ass is what he does, Ed.
Ed Rooney: Thank you, Grace. I think you’re wrong.
Grace: Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.
Ed Rooney: That is why I have got to catch him this time- To show these kids the example he sets is a first class ticket to nowhere!
[he hands Grace some papers]
Grace: Oh, Ed, you sounded like Dirty Harry just then.
Ed Rooney: Really?
Grace: Uh-huh
Ed Rooney: [scoffs lightly] Thanks, Grace.

All in all, today is shaping up to be a good day.  And The Walking Dead finally returns tonight!  And on a side note, the only time it rained today is when I was running.  In fact, the sun is out right now!