The Treadmill Torture Test

Thursday, 4 June 2009  |  Running + Triathlon

The terrible weather left me with no choice but to submit myself to what I’ve been dreading the most: a one-hour treadmill run, better known as “The Treadmill Torture Test” in The Bull Runner’s world.

Dressed for a 10k outdoor run yesterday afternoon, I was headed out the door when the rain started to pour outside. Had it been a light drizzle, I would’ve proceeded with my run, but these rain droplets were BIG, the kind that made large thuds on the rooftop, and the same ones that would feel like a deep tissue massage on my shoulders. Angrily, I went for Plan B.

I headed back to my bedroom to change into my pambahay running gear—the running outfits that never make it to the roads or the gym—such as the short shorts that I once wore which had my son exclaiming “It’s nice. You look like you’re in your underwear!” or old race singlets that don’t fit too well. Then, at snail’s pace, I headed downstairs for the treadmill.

The treadmill. I’ve been using it much more often lately due to the rains, but I hadn’t exceeded 35 minutes on it. A run on the treadmill, for me, is like having coffee with no sugar, eating ice cream with no rainbow sprinkles, or watching a movie with no popcorn. It’s pure drudgery. But, this time, with the Mizuno Infinity Run coming up, I was forced to set my emotions aside and run like a machine on this…er…machine.

The first 15 minutes went by in slow motion. I swear I could watch each tiny droplet of water slide down the sides of the Gatorade bottle before me. It didn’t help that the television was hijacked by the kids who were with me in the room. No Oprah or MTV for me, it was a Fairly Odd-Parents marathon. This was torture. How could I survive one hour on this thing?

The next 15 minutes, surprisingly, went by quickly. My kids and I chatted while I ran. I even had a chance to do a little bit of speedwork as I rushed upstairs for some band aid. I increased the pace and incline once in a while to vary the training a bit, but most of the time, I ran at a comfortable pace. There were absolutely no signs of pain, so the run was quite enjoyable.

Before I knew it, I hit 45 minutes. Woah, that was quick. I ran 10 more minutes and started my cool down at 55 minutes. When I reached 1 hour, I toyed with the idea of doing more, but I decided against it.

1 hour on the treadmill wasn’t as dreadful as I thought it would be. I guess I passed my “Treadmill Torture Test” with flying colors.