I don't love broccoli, and I don't love the treadmill, but I love the way I feel when I’m healthy and strong. It empowers me in all facets of my life. So remember, that although something may not be fun in the moment, remind yourself of the ultimate reward, and allow that to motivate you through the tough times ~ Jillian Michaels
This morning I had one of what will become many early workouts of the winter. I begrudgingly rolled out of bed at 5:45, after a 10 minute battle with my brain about why I shouldn't stay in bed and how awesome I will feel once I get to the dreadmill, er treadmill. I got myself dressed in partial darkness, grabbed my water bottle and banana and headed outside, in the dark. I'm not a fan of being up when it's dark outside, unless it's nighttime and I have a glass of wine in my hand. Mornings and darkness, no thanks.

I traveled the 4 minutes to the gym, trying to pep myself up with some pop music blaring through the speakers of my mom mobile. Once I pulled into the gym parking lot I noticed there were a mere 5 other cars there. Well, that was not motivating to say the least. I trudged into the gym and gave a half smile to the man working behind the counter. He made a comment about my name being festive and asked if I was born in December. I'm pretty sure I shot him with a laser out of my left eye.

Once I got myself onto the treadmill and started moving (ie: waking up) I decided that if I were going to make morning workouts a part of my winter routine, I was going to need to get a better attitude about being confined to the hamster wheel at 6 o'clock in the morning. Sure, I could spend Tuesday and Thursday mornings being miserable and snarking the over-caffeinated gym attendant, or I could find the positive. So, since I had nothing better to do, I started to make a list of all of the things I love about running - indoors versus outdoors.

1) Music - Since 99% of my outdoor runs are done sans music, I am excited to befriend my iPod again. I get to channel my inner punk rocker, teenybopper and hip hopper without a single person complaining about my choice in songs. Also, I like to sing while I run - not out loud, I'm not a total nut job.

2) Warmth - Indoor running allows me to wear my favorite running attire; tank tops and shorts! Also, I sweat buckets and that makes me feel like I really accomplished something during my workout. There is something about icicles hanging from the bottom of my hair that doesn't give me the same feeling. Also, numb toes and frost bitten fingers are not a joy.

3) Lack of Road Kill - I don't care how far the road kill is from me, nothing can ever prepare me for when I run past the carcass of an animal. It takes me a good 20 minutes to recover, get my heart back where it belongs and my stomach to stop churning. Hopefully I won't encounter anything dead while working out at the gym. I pray.

4) No Litter - Nothing infuriates me more when I'm out enjoying a run then the piles of trash that I pass, especially empty cigarette packs. Come on people, (not you people, the litter bugs that probably don't read running blogs) it's the year 2011 and we're still littering? There are trash receptacles and recycling bins ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. If you're ashamed of your choice in smoking, or the McDonald's that you just ate - throw it away INTO A CAN or *gasp* RECYCLE! Don't muddle up my beautiful, scenic run with your crap! There are some roads I feel like I'm running through a dump. Not cool.

5) Safety - While I've been known to *almost* fall off of a treadmill a time or two, they are safer than running in the dark. I dodge enough cars in the daylight, and I'd rather not chance becoming a part of the road kill that I discussed up there in #3.

6) No Fireplace Smoke/Exhaust - OK, really I know it isn't the fault of the homeowners who are keeping their homes toasty warm when it's cold outside. But, there is nothing worse than sucking air when it is laden with smoke. The same goes for car exhaust. Blech. I'm trying to get healthy and have strong lungs. It seems counterproductive when the air I'm breathing is full of fumes!

7) No Sticks! - This may just seem silly but I hate sticks. More-so, I hate sticks that disguise themselves as snakes, or vice verse. I have passed 4 snakes that I am aware of, and they have all looked like sticks from far away. Once I got close enough to realize what it was I found myself screaming and high jumping into the air. It may be funny to my fellow runners but for me it is traumatizing. I will run indoors all day long knowing I won't encounter any slithering serpents.

8) Consistent Weather - This is a little repetitive of # 2, but I just love that I don't have to worry about battling the elements when I'm at the gym. I don't have to compete with the wind, dodge the puddles, or skate on sheets of black ice. I do, however, have to avoid the man who bathes in cologne and always, always picks the treadmill next to mine.

9) Secret Races - There is almost always someone else running on a treadmill at the gym that I can pretend I'm running against. That always makes time go by faster and I love that they have no idea they have entered my little game.

10) No Hills - This is more of a con than a pro because hills are our friends. However, it is nice that if I want to have a nice easy run, I can accomplish that on the treadmill. I almost always run on an incline because it's a better overall workout and supposedly helps to prevent injury, but some days the flat surface is so welcoming.

So there it is - my ten reasons why running indoors isn't as terrible as I always think it is. While I'd take running outdoors over the treadmill on any given day, there are definitely circumstances where I feel blessed to have the option to hoof it over to the gym. This is my "no excuses" list for the winter to get me up and at 'em on the mornings I'd much rather stay snuggled under the covers. Feel free to message me on Facebook on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to see if I phoned it in or made it to the gym. Just be prepared for me to ask you the same!

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run For You,

Well now you are making me want a gym membership for the winter! I usually hate the dreadmill too, but you have an excellent point with the frostbite and icicles...


I got on the treadmnill yesterday for my first of many winter runs. Thanks for the reasons to love it!


Thanks for the motivation..have to get myself there. Oh and I totally jump and close my eyes and go out of my way if I see snakes too. Ugh.

Amy MacDonald

Love this post. You will never convince me the treadmill isn't evil, but I will try to keep this list in mind on the days I'm forced to use it. Maybe the list will make me hate the hamster wheel of doom a little less. :)


I too am not a fan of the treadmill and it takes a little extra motivation in the dark winter months to get my run in. My dread of the treadmill, however, is outweighed by my fear of the dark. In the dark I constantly worry about getting hit by a car or finding the lone patch of black ice! I do worry about *falling off* the treadmill sometimes but that's a coordination issue.


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