Torn Between Two Kinds Of Running

Let’s call them Methodical and Spiritual but really it’s a matter of treadmill or outdoor.

As anyone who reads me knows, I love treadmills.

Running outdoors is how I started though, I used to have no purpose to running other than to get out in the air and sunlight every morning. It’s hard for me to fathom right now but the first times people asked me what distances I was running I was proud to say I didn’t know.

Being methodical about time and distance and races and improvement and workifying the whole thing came later.

Sidenote: I just finished Jog On by Bella Mackie and that’s what reminded me.

I used to run to feel free and now I run to feel disciplined.

All day I’ve been bouncing back and forth with increasing despair about whether I should run from here to the Peace Bridge and back or if I should go hit the treadmill and bang out the 3 10k intervals that’s on my list.

Running to the bridge and back would be spiritually nourishing I’m sure but I instantly dread the fact that I’m not getting any work done if I do that. It feels fanciful. The distance is vague and the times will be even more so. I’ll probably fall into a too-casual pace and not really get the work done.

And the treadmill seems so damn convenient. All the water and snacks I want without having to carry them and changing music is super easy, while every minute and kilometer is measured and certain.

You know what though? Ultimately the treadmill is what I want to do, the free run is what I feel like I should do. Backward from the way a lot of runners feel, I know, but that’s why I’m torn. I’m beating myself up for choosing what I like over what seems harder even though in this case they’re both perfectly viable training methods.

Thanks for talking this out with me, blog.

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