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This past weekend I was stuck in a hotel and had to use the treadmill to get a workout.  I hate treadmills!  This treadmill is a state of the art Precor.  I still hate treadmills!  It even has its own miniature television, which I left on CNN because I don't really care, and let my eyes glaze over at swine flu, Obama's 100 day milestone, GM killing off Pontiac, and a bunch of ads.  All this was, I guess, supposed to alleviate my boredom.  It didn't work, because I hate treadmills!  Also to alleviate my boredom, I played with the incline and speed every minute or two: do I burn more calories running at 6.0 mph and 2% incline or 6.2 mph and 0% incline?  Do I care? No, because I hate treadmills! I log 30 minutes plus cooldown, feeling like a hamster, then move on to weights.

Have I mentioned that I hate treadmills?

Once back home, I run one of my usual routes up to and around a pond, the centerpiece of a local park.  The sun is breaking through cool coastal fog that keeps running temperature ideal.  I run past condominiums, the middle school, and past a stand of majestic ancient oak trees at the edge of the pond.

In the cattail-filled top end of the pond, I spot a flash of red from a scarlet-winged blackbird.  Rockrose, ceanothus, and flannelbush, three drought-tolerant California natives, bloom in pink, orchid, blue, white, and yellow.  There's still a few lupines, although it's a little late in the season for them.   title=

Today, there's a lot of male mallard ducks cruising the pond, but no females.  Finally, I see one female emerge from the brush, trailed by six babies!  They waddle along behind mama until they reach the water.  I have an overwhelming urge to sing nursery songs about five little ducks going out to play.  At the water's edge, mama shows babies how jumping into the water is done, and they all follow behind her.  I surmise that other females are watching their broods, and wonder whether the swimming males are sulky rejected suitors or daddies gathering food for their families.

A number of swimming turtles are sunning themselves on the rocks around the pond.  Whenever I approach, they jump in.  Sharp eyes can spot their heads swimming in the pond.  They avoid the deepest part, where the big koi fish hang out.  I think the koi were left by a homeowner; these are, by now, as long as my arm, quite happy in their big pond.  I don't see the white geese -- which I know were once pets, not natives -- anywhere.  I don't approve of people dumping pets, although the geese are obviously happy in their habitat.  This run, I also miss the two different kinds of white egrets/cranes that occasionally nest.  A great blue heron lived here for a while, but I haven't seen it this season, so it might have moved on.  

As I leave the pond and head down the trail to home, I scatter a party of five or six lizards.  By the time I'm back home, I've covered about 2.5 - 3 miles in about 30 minutes -- the same as the treadmill.  I've run up hills and down hills.  I've varied my speed and even slowed down to walk around the pond.  And I think to myself: how can people run on a treadmill, when the alternative is this?

Maybe it's because the treadmill alternative also includes this! title=

This diary series celebrates the great outdoors, whether it's at a national park or in one's own backyard.  Challenge yourself and check in on Saturday mornings at Get Fit Challenge, on Fitness Mondays read inspiring diaries like anotherdemocrat's Hill Country Ride for AIDS, and remember that taxes pay for parks, fire roads, bike lanes, running routes, and other necessary elements of a civilized society.

Originally posted to indigoblueskies on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 05:06 PM PDT.


I get my cardio workout:

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for (and against) treadmills? (17+ / 0-)

    Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays at 5 PM PDT

    by indigoblueskies on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 05:06:39 PM PDT

  •  I don't like treadmills, but I really miss (4+ / 0-)

    the elliptical machine at the gym. Those things really burn the calories!

  •  I understand (4+ / 0-)

    I have an eliptical that gets used only when it says "OFL" on my windchill gage.  Last week, I biked into the teeth of a headwind so fierce that it stopped me twice...I loved it.  Today, I'm mad because I couldn't do my return commute by bike due to sickness...Feel the Freedom...Run on!

    join me at

    by Tony Barr PA09 on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 06:03:12 PM PDT

  •  My husband (5+ / 0-)

    is very excited that my Mom is going to give us her treadmill.  He loves the treadmill for a few reasons, one being his allergies and the other is that it's not as hard on his knees as concrete.

    Sadly, my only exercise recently has been walking my daughter to school from our car!  It's down a hill and up a hill and it was really hard just three weeks ago, it's already gotten easier, so that's good.

    I was supposed to go to water aerobics today and didn't do it.  I really have to be more active but it's hard when you're exhausted and you hurt all the time.

    Our other outings include the park and tennis at the park, outside, really warm and I've started to tan in a funky way and have splotches on my face,  great, I at least had nice skin, now I'm sick, obese and blotchy.

    I so want to feel better, you don't even know.  I do love being outside, we have such beautiful hiking trails near our house, wilderness parks and open spaces, the beach and whatever you can think of, right near us.  Spoiled.

    I just have to find something I can do all the time and love doing.  I haven't gotten there yet but we're blessed with a little girl who loves to run and run.


    That little speck?  That's Charlotte!

    Thank you for the diary, I will have to remember to stop by and let you know how my outdoor adventures are going and read up on yours.

  •  I get my exercise outdoors (3+ / 0-)

    I have no choice ... there's a puppy here that can provide a steady supply of woozle wastes and needs lots of walking. No exercise? Terrorized pooties and chewed up baseboards.

    AIG wants to change its name? Try PIG - cheaper signage and much more honest.

    by MKSinSA on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 06:08:25 PM PDT

  •  Striped racer or garter snake? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

    by dumpster on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 06:56:45 PM PDT

    •  Not sure... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      rattlesnakes are a possibility, so I always tell kids to not get close enough to find out, and I took my own advice that day.  I took a closeup but my camera still made everything purple. title=

      Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays at 5 PM PDT

      by indigoblueskies on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 07:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Almost certainly not a rattler (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        IIRC your original showed a pointed tail. Even a baby rattler with an undeveloped rattle would have a sort of button at the end. The head would also be wider than the neck, but that is a much less reliable indicator. In any case, "stay away if you're not sure" is excellent advice.
        And thanks for a great diary.

        "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

        by dumpster on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 12:01:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can't run outdoors now -- pollen issues abound (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so I'm stuck running inside on the track... but that's okay with me. It's just as interesting to get over there -- people watching can be fun :-)

    "We cannot meet 21st Century challenges with a 20th Century bureaucracy." - Barack Obama, 8/28/08

    by Hybridity on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 08:46:00 PM PDT

  •  There's no option for "coffee" in the poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I get my cardio workout from massive amounts of coffee.

    That counts, right?


    .....not even a little?

    If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

    by Muskegon Critic on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 09:03:45 PM PDT

  •  I like both (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, indigoblueskies

    I feel like I can run for longer on a treadmill, when I run outdoors I get winded quicker. I won't be doing any running for at least a week, I sprained my ankle running downhill yesterday.

    My fav exercise is swimming laps. i Love it.

    ::Yawn::.. good night!

  •  i love my treadmill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, indigoblueskies

    it's in my basement
    i watch movies and stuff.
    it measures everything for me.  

    thanks forthis diary!

    "Gloom we always have with us . . . but joy requires tending." Barbara Holland

    by jlms qkw on Tue Apr 28, 2009 at 11:49:35 PM PDT

  •  I like the treadmill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, indigoblueskies

    for no traffic and climate control. I also like that I can completely zone out and concentrate only on not falling off the thing.

    Otherwise, I like running outside. I feel more engaged, having to always scan the horizon for cars, dogs and bicyclists. The up-n-down nature of the terrain around my house is a good workout.

    My biggest problem with running outside is not having a good feel for my pace and progress. I set out to do 2.5 this morning. Felt like 2.75, was only 2.2. I have a GPS tracker for my phone, but if I check it once, I'll check it a dozen times on a run and get obsessive about it.

    Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. - Ambrose Bierce (-4.75, -3.69)

    by awnm on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 05:58:05 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the reminder to exercise and the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, indigoblueskies, CKendall

    writing.  Makes me want to do some describing soon :O).  too late to tip/rec.  

  •  Advantages and disadvantages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, indigoblueskies

    Treadmills are level and even, so there are no broken cracks or uneven spots to make me stumble. Also, treadmills have handrails which help with balance for me, given that I occasionally randomly try falling down. The really big downfall of a treadmill is that I don't have anywhere to put it at home, and I don't have the money to join a gym.

    On the other hand, walking outside has the advantages that I can be in nature and think mystical thoughts, and quite possibly accomplish useful errands by walking to the plasma center or to the store and back home again. The downside of this is the aforementioned broken sidewalks and bits of natural and manmade detrius combined with my tendency to randomly fall down, and the other people, some of whom are not very nice, and the fact that I don't tend to want to walk til later in the evening and I really do not want to walk in the night.

    So instead I walk up and down the basement stairs until my knee says FUCK YOU and I have to sit down and put a hot pack on it. Which is, at least, something.

  •  I love the treadmill. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's only in the past few months that I've been able to be back up on my foot (bad ankle and Achilles) and using one again. After years. So I appreciate it. It's way too risky at this point to exercise by walking/running outside. The perfectly reliable, cushioned surface of the treadmill is far safer. The fact that I'm running at all (usually 15 minutes, in intervals, in a 45 minute workout) is a miracle. I blew out a knee in my mid-twenties, and haven't run since. It feels amazing to run again--I ran as a kid all the time.

    I'm also taking a Step, Circuit Training and Yoga classes once a week. I've been able to do the yoga for awhile now, but I wear shoes to protect the Achilles.

    I hope at least to be able to take some casual strolls outside for fun this summer. A few years ago, I couldn't walk 3 blocks to do errands without excruciating pain.

    Oh...and the poll. I love the gym, too, for access to the weights. I lift 3x/week too!

    Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

    by earicicle on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 09:58:11 PM PDT

    •  Glad to hear from you! hang in there! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and be careful not to walk/run on concrete -- hard packed dirt or asphalt will be better for your knees.

      Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays at 5 PM PDT

      by indigoblueskies on Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 10:51:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, indigo! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Love your diaries!

        Note on treadmills: Now that I'm back on 'em, for the first time in a million years...I finally realize why the gym ones cost $5000 and my home one way less than that. The cushioning on the one at the gym: OMG! My poor one at home is gonna become an orphan again--not because I can't use it now, but because I'm hooked on its fancier cousin!

        Well, it still is handy for hanging laundry! ;-)

        Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

        by earicicle on Thu Apr 30, 2009 at 08:54:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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