Are you really getting soft if you are still running hard?

This week’s weather was not friendly to Boston runners.  Temperatures didn’t crack the 20s the last few days, and with the windchill, they didn’t crack zero.  It has not been fun to walk to the car, much less go for a 5 mile (or <gasp> longer) run.

Still, I struggled last night as I decided to head to the gym and complete my run on a treadmill.  I had hoped to meet friends for a run outside, but after some car troubles kept me from that option, the idea of running alone in the ridiculous cold was too much.

I described my treadmill option as wimping out, but as I thought about it further, it actually made for a more challenging run in several ways.

1. Instead of just struggling to complete 8 miles outside last night I put in quality miles, running fartleks for 5.5 of my 8 miles.  It was a strong workout and I felt really good at the faster paces.

2. I RAN ON A TREADMILL FOR 8 MILES!  I have friends who have stated they would rather stick a fork in their eye than run on a treadmill.  My feelings are not quite so strong, but 65 minutes on a treadmill is not exactly my dream run. But the discipline required for that alone makes me feel like the mental workout may have been tougher than the physical last night.

3. The over-cologned man next to me for the middle 30 minutes of my run did not improve the air quality around me.  (I swear I think I am a magnet for these guys!)

So while I didn’t tough it out and freeze my face, and other body parts, off last night, I would argue that running indoors may not be as wimpy as I thought.