Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What to do?

Yesterday, I was watching the late night news...a little "alone time, " and was saddened to hear that a popular multi use trail was being closed indefinately. Not because of over-use, mis-use or even under-use. It's due to a delightful (and I say that with a hint of sarcasm) brown bear and her 2 cubs. Apparently, this particular bear has an affinity to people...eating them that is...2 people have been mauled (one a 15 year old girl in a bike race) and several other people have had near misses (including a university of Alaska cross country runner, who decided he would try to out run this said bear....can we say stupid?)

This wouldn't be quite so bad except the particular trail in question is less than 2 miles from my house. So, for now, until the parks service finds this angry mama bear and sends it to a better place, i.e. bear heaven.... it's back to the dreadmill....I mean treadmill...I know some are thinking, just run outside on a different trail system? Find a new route? That could potentially work except for the fact that the other trail system that connects to my house, that runs through my neighborhood is also bear infested...I know this because my husband ran into a nice black bear biking home from work, less than an 8th of a mile from our back door. You would think I live in the boonies. Really? I live in a city of 300 thousand people....

I have officially been "banned" by my husband from running outside in our neighborhood or on nearby trails, unless he can come with me. Yeah, right. He loathes running (the last race we did together he managed to squeak out 3 training runs before his 6 mile leg, but still managed 9 minute miles....) Not to mention the fact with him working nights and going to school during the day it's not gonna happen. Apparently mace isn't good enough when running with bears and I'm not allowed to offer grumpy children as bait either!

I know that several people are wishing/needing treadmill advice...mostly because alternating schedules, or new babies warrants the use of them, not because of an angry brown bear...

So, here's the question. How do you make the treadmill enjoyable? Is there even such a thing as enjoyment on the treadmill? Any suggestions? What do you think?


foxontherun said...

That is such a bummer. So sorry to hear about your big obstacle. I did have a hawk try and attack me a couple of weeks ago on a bike ride in rural Idaho. But nothing like a bear. Your amazing that you have even had the courage to run at all in bear country.

The only dreadmill advice I have is I have taught myself to read while running on a treadmill. Magazines are the easiest. Get out your Runners World and with practice you'll be able to read cover to cover.

Ruthie said...

I use to use the treadmill only. we set up a tv and i would listen to my ipod while watching tv :) (with the tv on closed caption) it seemed to make time fly by.

sorry to hear of your obstacle.. I know its frustrating. but you cant be too careful! (by safe)


Elizabeth said...

Wow! That is certainly a unique obstacle! We put an old TV/VCR in front of our treadmill; I watch movies while I run...or sometimes I listen to music.

I almost stepped on a copperhead once while running....but haven't seen any bears...whew! Good luck!

Shelah said...

podcasts really help. I'm treadmill girl all summer, so I download This American Life, Speaking of Faith, The Splendid Table, Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and Fresh Air to help me get through the long and boring runs.

I'm glad the weekend with 7 kids didn't do you in! :)

katie said...

That is so not fun. I love watching tv while I run on the treadmill. The other thing I do to help it go by faster and to change it up is use Prevention Magazines interval training. They have some in several of their monthly articles. I will do one of those and it really seems to make the time go by faster, seeing as I am either changing my pace, or the next time I will change the incline.

I hope they find the bear soon.

Tall Girl Running said...

Wow. And I thought I had it bad with all the dogs I encounter on my runs (not to mention the occasional farm goat).

I do my share of treadmill training and can echo the suggestions already given. Music is a must. I wear my mp3 with earbuds and turn it up as load as it's safe to hear. Katie's interval training suggestion is fantastic... when you're constantly changing up your pace or incline, runs will seem so much less tedious. Use the timer on your treadmill to track your intervals. When your mind is distracted that way, the miles go by a lot quicker.

I like treadmill running especially when I just don't feel like dealing with being on the roads with the people, animals and traffic. I have a large mirror hung in front of my treadmill to give me something to visualize as I run. I'll wear my sauciest running skirt with just a sports bra and admire my running form and capabilities, giving myself a chance to let positive, empowering talk do its trick.

Treadmill running really doesn't have to be dreadful. I actually find it a great way to mix up my training to keep my running as satisfying as enjoyable as possible. All that said, I hope your favorite trail is available again soon!

Polliwog said...

Ah, the joys of living in Alaska!

When I was training for the marathon last summer I had to use my treadmill all the time (even did a 16 miler on it). I love watching LONG movies, like BBC period pieces. Then I would leave off in the middle and was excited to get back on and go again. I loved the BBC series of Robin Hood (now there is a season 2 out) and I am watching the HBO John Adams series right now (not on the treadmill, though). Any TV series on dvd would fit the bill, though. Alias, Lost ... something you didn't watch but wanted to?

Brandon Family said...

Wow! That is frightening! I am sad to hear of the ones who were mauled! I hope the problem is solved soon.

I am not a big treadmill runner. I stick to my shorter runs on them, 5 or less. But when I do I use one at the local YMCA. I agree that having a mirror in front is interesting. not that I run shirtless in public (eeks!) but I do watch my legs and tend to find my cadence and have found that treadmill running helps me hold a pace when I get to the streets. Music is a must or a treadmill with a TV.

Hopefully it wont be long until you are back outside!

lilrunner73 said...

I agree with Polliwog. I have done lots of training on my treadmill (including up to 20 milers) with the help of Blockbuster. A couple of good romantic comedies that my husband wouldn't watch with me anyway and soon I am forgetting about the miles and killing two birds with one stone.

Last winter, I watched all of Alias (never watched it when it was on TV) on DVD. It was totally addicting and I couldn't wait to run each day to find out what happened on Alias.

Good luck with the bears. That's scary. I get freaked out if I see a deer on my trail. And I know some people have seen mountain lions on the trail around my house. Luckily I haven't encountered one, or I would have to resign myself to my treadmill forever!

Kelly(M&M) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Suzie Petunia said...

Wow! Most runners only have to deal with annoying animals no larger than a dog! Watching out for bears sure does throw a whole new element (fear!) into your workouts. If you were to run on those trails, I guess you would never know when a casual, slow 5-miler would turn into a speed workout. :)

Treadmill advice? Tivo the Olympics and save them for your workouts on the treadmill! Wouldn't that be super inspirational? Especially when track and field and the marathons start.