How to slam out a 6:40 pace on tired legs

Saturday’s long run banged up my legs more than I expected. I was limping around the house for hours on Saturday afternoon.

I guess running 2 1/2 hours on mucky trails and slippery roads will do that.

I took Sunday off as a rest day. I put my legs up and read for hours. I also shuffled to the computer a few times to check out other running blogs, to see if I could steal a few ideas.

But today, rest time was over. I needed to jump back on the horse, so to speak, with an easy, four-mile run.

I decided to run on the treadmill in the basement of my office building, because I didn’t have time to drive to a trail, and the thought of pounding the pavement left me cold.

At lunchtime, I went downstairs and hopped on a treadmill. I punched in an easy 8:30 pace and started trotting. My legs felt a bit stiff, but I enjoyed the stretch.

The place was nearly empty. The TV was off. I could just meditate in my own little universe.

I let the miles roll by: 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5….

Then a woman walked into the room.  She marched right up to the TV, grabbed the remote and began zipping through the channels. The volume was deafeningly high.

“Oh God,” I thought. “Please don’t let her stop at some stupid reality show. Or Fox News.”

She punched the button over and over, as the channels flew by: History Channel, C-Span, Weather Channel, CNN, ESPN. I watched with dread. Which channel would I have to face for the next 10 minutes?

Then she stopped …. on the local news. Arrgghhhhhh! The worst choice of all! Right up there on the screen, just a few feet from my face, were Ken and Barbie, the bubble-headed anchors, smiling and jabbering through the noon report, committing cuteness and bad grammar, at top volume. Oh God, make it stop!

I could have jumped off the treadmill and gotten into a shouting, shoving match with my treadmill neighbor. Yes, that would have been fun and satisfying, on so many levels.

But it probably would have gotten me banned from the workout room.

So I did the next sensible thing. I turned up the treadmill to top speed: 9 miles an hour, or a 6:40 pace.

For the next mile or so, my feet were a blur. I pounded out the distance, ignoring my sore legs, and watched the orange numbers climb higher and higher, cranking out the distance, finally hitting 4.0 miles.

At that point, I jumped off, wiped down the machine, and flew out of the room, just as the Smiling News Anchor began a report on how to protect your pets during rainstorms.

Oh, the humanity. Oh, the misery.

Next time, I’m hiding the remote in my gym bag.


2 Responses to “How to slam out a 6:40 pace on tired legs”

  1. you crack me up! guess her chewing and snapping gum might have been worse than the local body count!

  2. I don’t know, sounds like a pretty good training aid. Motivation to push a little harder often comes from unexpected sources.

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