Today was my 23rd run in China.
It was also my longest run 5.05 miles.
I used to run all the time on the treadmill. Then I started running outside and looking down on the treadmill miles as inadequate. What was I thinking? Miles are miles. Some people run 100 miles non-stop on a treadmill. That's pretty bad-ass.
A month ago I was lucky enough to score a membership to the Hilton Fitness Center. I started swimming laps after my hikes and runs. My bad knee started to get cranky. This happened in Dubai too, so I stopped doing laps.
It's been two weeks since I swam laps. Most of my runs have been at the fitness center on the treadmill. At first this bothered me and I thought, I'm being a baby and running on the treadmill instead of being all tough chick in the heat.
Then I had an awesome run...on the treadmill. During that run my iPod shuffled to a song that I used to listen to A LOT when I first started running at the YMCA in 2005 ---> WOW! I've been running for 10 years! Anywhoo, that song has a slow bpm and my legs kind of naturally fell into the rhythm. I slowed the speed down and then everything just felt right.
I'm learning that there are benefits to running on the treadmill:
1. You can definitely beat the heat running inside. Although I leave sweat drops all over the machine.
2. It's a safe place to test your body after an injury or experiencing pain. No worries about having to get back home if you have to stop part way.
3. There's an ability to control your run to focus on mechanics and feeling. Here in China especially, there's just too many distractions (people and traffic) to allow yourself to concentrate on much more than not running into something.
4. Since I don't usually listen to music on outdoor runs, on the treadmill I can enjoy my iTunes collection of old and new songs. Sometimes a good song is just what you need to reset your running rhythm.
Most of my runs since leaving the U.S. have been 3 miles or less. My hips were feeling a little tight after today's five. My chiropractor recommended rolling my glutes on a tennis ball. Ouch! Hurts so good. But it works.
Tomorrow I'm going to focus on strength. I've heard that even 10 minutes a day of strength can make a big difference in your overall health. I'm on it.