Aaaaahhh! The feel of pavement beneath my shoes is overwhelming! Almost brought me to tears after 2 weeks on the treadmill.
Seriously, I love running outside. Part of the enjoyment of running is that feeling that I am going somewhere. It’s a feeling of power and control that proves that I can simply run away if I choose and I can come back when I am ready. I don’t need anyone or anything, not even my car.
With so much snow in Richmond this year, I have been stuck with treadmill runs. There are many ways to make the treadmill more interesting and in fact, the treadmill provides some consistency that you cannot get on the road. But, it robs me of the running “experience”. It’s just a physical workout that doesn’t provide the psychological benefit that I get from running outside.
This morning, I ran across bridges and up and down hills. I cannot describe the sensory intake and sheer beauty of nature running across an old bridge over a rushing river. It is so incredible. And running over bricks in the road that have been in place for so many years, so many generations of people traveling over them. Oh, and running up challenging hills is so tough, yet so fulfilling when I reach the top. And for a bit, I feel this overwhelming sensation that I can do anything…
I just don’t get that on the treadmill. And those moments when I can see other runners ahead of me and it makes me push harder to catch up and then I do and I am so proud and the adrenaline allows me to surge on ahead. Then I look at my GPS and I see my pace and I can’t believe I am running that fast so comfortably, so I pick it up a bit. And I greet people who I pass along the way. People out for a walk, families, old people, young people, homeless people. They all get a smile, or a wave, a nod or maybe a shout out.
It is so energizing! And when I finish, I get to check my stats and see my pace and my heart rate and analyze my performance. Satisfaction.
Can’t get any of that on a treadmill. So glad I got to run outside this morning!