Previously, my experience on a dreadmill has been somewhat of a white-knuckle ride and I have avoided them like the plague. However, I need to fit in 5 runs over the next 13 days, in order to make my 100th run coincide with my 1 year anniversary of running and c25k (pause for fanfare ). Up here in the frozen North, the snow has been falling thick and fast and the pavements are currently covered with a treacherous mix of rotting snow and a 3 inch thick layer of cobbled ice. Lovely.
So off I went to the gym yesterday thinking that at least I could try the dreadmill again. I find them very tricksy creatures, with wayward minds of their own and an evil sense of humour. (Or perhaps that's just the gym staff?) Anyway, I thought I would have another go and see if I could at least manage 15 minutes.
Much to my surprise, I managed the first 5 minutes okay. I looked at the bloke next to me, who was pounding along like an olympic athlete, and noticed that he was a lot more relaxed than I was. I wondered if I could possibly dare to let go of the side rails? The machine had already told me - in no uncertain terms - to take my hands off the sensors. I thought that they were handles to hold on by, but apparently not. Very cautiously, I let go. Nothing untoward happened - I didn't fly off backwards, or fall over sideways. Okay, this was better than I'd thought.
I started to relax, but then boredom set in. What do you look at when you're running hard and getting nowhere? Obviously it's not the done thing to look at other people, although I was fascinated by the lady in full make-up. She never broke into a sweat in 30 minutes of cross-training - respect! There are three TV screens, but I couldn't read the sub-titles on the news, MTV's a bit pointless when there's no sound, and I didn't want to know what the vet was doing to the sheep on the third screen.
The only thing left to do was to play the numbers - distance vs. minutes. It was still very boring, but I managed to do 30 minutes of running - very slowly, in fact much more slowly than outside, but at least it was a run. And a fairly decent one as well, I'm pleased to say.
So - no more excuses. If the weather is unfit, I'll just have to go to the gym. After all, I'm determined to achieve my 100th run on the anniversary of starting this lark (oh, sorry, did I mention that before? ), and hopefully that will be up on my beloved heights, in bright sunshine, with a huge grin on my face. But if not, there's always the dreadmill.