Losing my confidence

I haven’t blogged for a whole month now.

The truth is, along with the madly busy lifestyle I seem to have adopted this year, I’ve also kind of lost my confidence when it comes to running.

I’m still managing to run 5 or 6 times most weeks, and I’m hitting all the paces I’m setting out to run, but I haven’t stepped foot outside my front door wearing running shoes since the 9th February.  Almost a whole month ago.

Run to Thrapston

I didn’t have a bad run that day.  In fact, I had a really lovely, enjoyable run.  The plan said 12 easy miles at a pace between 10:50-11:40mm.  I ran a total of 12.11 miles at an 11:02mm pace and enjoyed some beautiful picturesque views of the Lakes in the Winter sun.

Stanwick Lakes

But since that sunny Friday afternoon, all of my runs have taken place on the treadmill in the corner of my dining room either super early in the morning or last thing at night.

Truth be told, my confidence began to waiver running through built up areas after I was egged whilst out on a run last Summer.  The ‘egging’ didn’t even happen in the county I live in, but suddenly I found myself no longer as eager to head out on my own around town at night.
A busy Winter, with Dan working away frequently during the week has meant that I often miss my beloved Wednesday night club trail run, and working night shifts to finish at 7am on Saturday mornings has meant that staying awake to parkrun with friends has become a painful experience rather than enjoyable one in recent weeks.

When Dan first announced back in January that he would have to travel a fair bit for work this year I decided to ask on the private Facebook page for my running club on the off-chance that somebody might have a treadmill that they would be willing to loan out to me so that I would still be able to get some quality mileage in during the build up to my 100 in June.  I didn’t really expect anyone to respond.  It definitely felt like a pity post if I’m honest!  However, one guy, who I’d never met before came back to me the following day and said that he wasn’t currently in a position to use his treadmill, – it was currently sat dormant in his garage.  I’d be welcome to it over the next few months if I wanted?

Of course I wanted!  I did check with Dan first that he didn’t mind a bulky treadmill cluttering up our dining room.  (I’m sure I mentioned that I planned on putting it in the dining room, not the garage, as Dan seemed to think after the treadmill was in and set up in position!)  I think he felt that I would quickly grow bored of the treadmill and it would end up covered in dust on the main walkway through to our kitchen from the lounge, but that has absolutely not been the case.  In fact, during the daytime when I’m not using the treadmill, Oscar likes to climb onto one end of the belt and run down to the other end before jumping off again, so it gets plenty of running use!

Testing out the treadmill

There are so many pros and cons to training with a treadmill.

PRO:  I’m really catching up on my Netflix watching!
Pretty Little Liars – almost two seasons down to be precise!

CON:  I’m really missing running out with my friends.
Running on a treadmill is a pretty lonely affair.  My treadmill faces the wall in the corner of the room.  I would be able to see out of the patio doors if I ever ran in daylight, but that has only been the case on one occasion so far.

PRO:  My speed sessions are spot on.
I had been enjoying my planned Hanson’s Marathon Method speed sessions anyway, even when I was running them around my estate.  I get a real buzz out of hitting all of my paces during a workout.  This was quite stressful in the early days of the training though and involved a lot of close Garmin-watching with speeding up or slowing down at the last minute!  Running on the treadmill, I don’t have to think about my pace.  I just run what the treadmill throws my way.

CON:  Hills aren’t really hills.
And running on treadmill does not exactly replicate running outside on the pavement or trails either.

PRO:  It means I actually get a quality session in.  There would have been at least 2-3 speed sessions and the same number of tempo runs missed during the last month had I not had the treadmill.  I can often make up runs with the running buggy during the daytime when Dan is working away, but they are runs at an ‘easy pace’ and wouldn’t do much to build my speed at all.  Although my core and biceps definitely benefit from running with the buggy!

CON:  It is so hot working out indoors!
I’m a shorts and t-shirt runner anyway.  There are some days that I am now a shorts and sports bra runner since I can run inside – I am still dripping in sweat!  Although maybe this could be a pro?  I’ll find it easier to run if the weather turns hot on the day?  (Always my Nemesis!)

Sweaty treadmill selfie

PRO:  If I have an urge to wee or remember I need to get the washing out of the machine to dry mid-run, I can do so, before continuing with my run!
In the past I’ve had to cut so many runs short for loo trips or because I’ve remembered something I’ve forgotten to do so head home in a panic that it won’t get done.

CON:  My hand is forever covered in scribbles.
The treadmill I have on loan works purely in km.  I work purely in miles.  Therefore I need to write down the conversions somewhere!  For speed sessions I tend to jot timings down on the back of envelopes, purely because my hand isn’t big enough to write down all the notes I need!

Treadmill paces

Are you a treadmill runner?
Have you ever lost your confidence when it comes to running?


10 thoughts on “Losing my confidence

  1. I have been reading your blog for a while but I haven’t commented before. I’m about your age, I’m a teacher, I run and I grew up in Northamptonshire so I feel like we have a lot in common! I really enjoy your blog because you’re a stronger runner than me, mentally and physically, and I find your running adventures inspiring – all of which is to say, don’t underestimate yourself – from the outside you look like you’re smashing it! Motivation-wise, February is an awful month and I think a lot of people have a dip at this time of year – especially teachers because we’re as far as you get from the summer! I wonder if you’ve got a bit of hangover-teaching-mood there…not to mention grief, a toddler, nightshifts, travelling husband and I’m sure plenty of other life stuff too. Be kind to yourself! Compare yourself to non-running-Mary instead of Ultimate-Goals-Mary and I think you’ll see you’re rocking the stage you’re in, actually. Sorry for the long comment. Tl;dr – you’re great :)

    1. Hey! Lovely to hear from someone with such a similar background! :)
      Thanks for such lovely words as well. I honestly don’t feel like I’m ‘smashing it’, unless smashing it involves wearing clothes covered in banana-y handprints, blowing bubbles whilst having a shower to stop my toddler passing me books through the water and catching up on social media with a locked door in the bathroom?…(!)
      Having said all that I am feeling a bit brighter now that Summer seems to have arrived. Silly February. At least it’s the shortest month, hey?!

  2. It’s such a shame that you feel this way- it is understandable as that egging incident was just horrendous and I can’t understand what on earth those people were thinking. I hope that you manage to make a few club runs and begin to get your confidence back as you don’t want to let an idiot spoil what you love.
    And I am not surprised that getting out for a parkrun is tough with your busy schedule. Having a treadmill seems like a great solution for you at the moment- I think last week with the snow I could have been appealing as the pavements were not great here, but really I can only manage a 5k before I get so bored- treadmill runs seem endless in a bad way compared to being in the fresh air.
    It’s so lovely that someone has let you borrow one too.
    Maria @ Maria Runs recently posted…Cambridge half 2018My Profile

    1. I really don’t understand how somebody could be brought up to ever think that egging another person is acceptable?… I just don’t ‘get’ people sometimes.
      You seemed to have ice hang around for much longer than we did. Luckily, although we had heavy snow it cleared fairly quickly and was safe to get out and about again soon after.

  3. Hi Mary
    Its a shame you’ve lost your confidence in running outside. I love your blog posts and you’re a real inspiration to me.

    I avoid running on the roads due to getting hassle such as you describe, as well as honking and verbal abuse. People are very sad.

    I hope now the lighter evenings are on the way you’ll manage to get out for a trail run soon and we can look forward to your musings and pictures!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. :)
      I just don’t understand why people think it is OK to shout out abuse or heckle runners. People can be really nasty sometimes. I hope it doesn’t put you off running.

  4. I honestly don’t know how you do it on a treadmill. I find them so hard. That said though, it does make a lot of sense and I reckon if I was in your position I’d be doing exactly the same.
    It still makes me so mad about the egg incident. NO ONE deserves that.

    1. It is hard going on a treadmill. I definitely wouldn’t have the willpower to do it if I didn’t have Netflix…I have to get Pretty Little Liars set up on my phone before I start! 😉

  5. For a long time I would only run on a treadmill. I found it easier and I didn’t have to go outside, where I was worried about being heckled. Now, after switching to outdoor running I find the treadmill so much harder! However, if it’s raining I just jump on the treadmill, all the ice and snow? Jump on the treadmill. They do have their uses
    Rebecca recently posted…The Beast From The EastMy Profile

    1. I agree, they definitely have their uses. It is easier in some respects as you can just hop on and get going and stop if needs be, but nothing replaces how lovely it is to run outside!

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