Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How To Create Your Own Microclimate

The hotel fitness room.

As I was feeling sufficiently lazy enough to not walk the mile or so to the gym that's near my hotel (especially since it's raining), but not lazy enough to not do something, I figured that a run on the treadmill in the hotel fitness room would be a good compromise.

As I mentioned yesterday, there is not too much to the place, a couple cardio machines and an abdominal machine. What I didn't mention is that the room is 10 by 12 feet at best, and sealed up tight. When I walked in I sensed that it was hot and stuffy and a little bit smelly. But as I occasionally do, I didn't heed my own warnings of uncomfortable times ahead and posted up on the treadmill.

I had a thought that I would go for 5 miles. I've never tried to run 5 miles on a treadmill. I'm not sure that I have the mental fortitude to endure running to nowhere for that long. Hats off to those of you who can run on treadmills or bike on trainers. I just can't do it.

I turned on my Ipod and started the run. For the first 15 minutes, everything was pretty much routine. There are floor to ceiling mirrors on most of the walls, so I caught myself checking myself out more than once. But what else can you do? There's nothing else to look at.

About 20 minutes in, I realized the room was getting REALLY hot and stuffy. My clothing was soaked. Every breath in was wet and warm. It's been awhile since I've experienced humidity like this. At about 25 minutes, I noticed that all the mirrors where completely steamed over, because I couldn't check myself out anymore. I was now essentially running in a steam room, and if a couple beefy Russian mob bosses came walking in wrapped in tiny towels and loaded down with gold necklaces, I wouldn't have been surprised. It was really uncomfortable.

But I was determined that I must.......go......on.

At 30 minutes I was at about 3.4 miles. By now I had surrendered to the realization that there was no way I was going to make it to 5 miles, but I was damned if I wasn't going to round this sucker up to 4 miles.

The next half mile seemed to take forever. It was brutal. The last 1/10th of a mile was pure torture. Finally, I hit 4 miles. I pushed the stop button and staggered off the treadmill.

When I opened the door back out to the hotel hallway, it was like breaking an air lock. There was a loud whoosh, and I think my ears might even have popped a little. The cool air came rushing in, and I swear I saw a cloud of steam rush out.

I had no idea that I could put off that much heat and moisture. It was crazy. I guess it just goes to show you how powerful our body engines are....



Matty O said...

Started training this winter on the treadmill. After a few runs I said NO MORE! We went out bought a ton of winter running apparel and we hit the roads. Not sure which was worse in the end, but for me to not get on the treadmill again after running in the low teens and snow, that says something.

KovasP said...

I can't imagine not having the treadmill and trainer during a Chicagoland winter! The steamroom workout should help you get ready for the Austin 70.3 though.

Tri-James said...

Tradmills have there place. Good for forced intervals and such.

Unknown said...

You just described June-Sept in Houston. The next 4 months I will do most of my running on a stupid treadmill. Track days will pretty much be the outdoor running and the occasional, "yeah it is raining, lets go run!"

Bet ya make that little stroll to the gym tonight?

misszippy said...

Hate the treadmill--I was feeling your pain there! But hey, you did get a good hot/humid run in which will help with summer races, right?

Barbie said...

Just think, you were re-conditioning your body to the summer which lays ahead. Good job.

Ron said...

Thanks for the add!! lookin forward to reading your blog!

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