The beginning of Newton's first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest...unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. This law of nature holds true for me as a runner. Upon launching this blog, I pledged my desire to run for running's sake, forsaking all racing in the coming year. Hoping to find my inner kid by running like one, I embarked on a non-regimented training regime. However, instead of finding the freedom I desired, I found an excuse for lethargy. And just like Newton's law, once I was at rest, I stayed at rest. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of runs I've been on since my last race, the Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile in mid September. Without a clear goal I found it hard to conjure the motivation to lace them up and get out the door.
New to the blogosphere, I had the natural inclination to see what others thought of my initial post. In surfing around, I found this comment apropos; "I do that [run without a plan] for about three months a year, gain 20lbs. Then get the itch to be structured again." I've done my three months, gained my 20lbs, and I feel the itch for a structured goal. But, a commitment is a commitment, and this year I am committed to not being committed to anything structured. So where was I to find my "unbalanced force" to knock me into action, if not from a prospective race? Well, as ironic as it may seem for a trail runner to admit, my catalyst arrived last night in a gigantic box. To the utter horror of my good friend and U.S. nordic god, Noah Hoffman, yes, this mountain boy and logger off countless single track miles has purchased a treadmill!
Yesterday when I returned from work, I peered into the garage to find my wife and good friend Lucas discussing the fact that I continue to eat like I am running 120 miles a week, when in actuality, I run closer to zero miles a week. Laughing at my putrid state of fitness they pieced together our new "Freemotion 730" treadmill. Aptly named, this machine might really have the power to free me from my current state of sloth. Being the father of a two year old, while working a demanding teaching job, and commuting nearly 50 miles a day, leaves few daylight hours to run. And since I am not a huge fan of hitting the icy sidewalks with the headlamp in the wee hours of the morn or the waning hours of the eve, I find myself in a daily predicament; when am I to run? Lately my solution to this problem has been simple...don't run. Enter the treadmill, my ticket to running freedom.
Now that my excuses have evaporated, and my belly has grown to Santa sized, I am sufficiently ready to embark on my unstructured training program. The treadmill will always play second fiddle to the trails, but no longer can I justify watching "Friends" reruns over running. Now I can get my "Friends" fix while I increase my VO2 Max! I love to run the snowy trails of the area ski mountains, or the packed powder winter trail loops, and I don't even mind running the bike paths and back roads through the winter season, but it is my new treadmill that has liberated my running for the moment. Let's hope that since I have commenced motion, the second half of Newton's law will ring true, and this object in motion, will stay in motion.