So, the cold weather is here, and even though I’ve broken down and bought some running clothes more suitable for winter, it’s still too frickin’ cold outside to go running if I do it in the morning before work or in the evening. It’s OK to go running on the weekends during the light of day. Sometimes. But the rest of the time, it looks like I’ll be running on the treadmill at the gym.

Many years ago… like, oh, say, December 2003… when I first started actually running instead of using the elliptical machine or the stair climbing machine or going for a walk and jogging for 5 pathetic minutes before collapsing in a heap, I ran on a treadmill. Runner friends had told me that running on the treadmill is a lot different than running on a trail, or running on asphalt and concrete. It’s easier on your knees and hips, for one thing, because of the extra padding. And it’s BORING.

I like running outside, in the sun, watching all the scenery change, seeing other people out. Yeah, yeah, it’s weird; after all, I am a geek, more accustomed to the cold glow of a CRT or LCD than the sun. But, it’s true. I really like running outside. So the thought of having to go back to the gym, with it’s unchanging scenery and the feeling of confinement is not a positive, motivating thought.

Still, the advantage of running on a treadmill is that I can listen to my iPod. iPods do not do well when running, no matter what anyone else will tell you. Sure, iPods have 32 MB of skip protection, but they are still a hard drive, and hard drives are susceptible to shock, and, speaking for myself, I generate a lot of shock when I run. But on a treadmill, I can set the iPod up on the shelf against a towel and listen to my heart’s content. Or my ears’ content. Whatever.

So since I have music to help motivate me, picking the right music to listen to on the treadmill is important. If I pick some mellow or dour music, even though that’s what I really like, it might hurt my pace. Today I got up early to hit the gym before work, and the album I chose to listen to was “Kill Bill Vol. 1”.

There’s just something about running to the “Green Hornet” theme that really gets my blood pounding… and I think it paid off, too, because I did 2 miles at a blistering (for me) pace of 9:18.5 pace! Whoo-HOOO! Go, me!

I’m going to be working on both pace and distance. When I head back to the gym on Wednesday, I’m going to aim for 2.5 miles at the same pace. Let’s see what happens…