Treadmill running? Thank goodness for basketball!

Some people can hop on a treadmill and, an hour later, feel that warm glow of a great workout.

I hop on a treadmill and whine, which is why I do it as little as possible. It can be twelve degrees from zero (on the positive side, mind you) and, if the sun is shining, I'll opt to go out the door rather than mount the treadmill in my office.

Still, there are occasions when I'll put the belt in motion and try to get some running in. Tonight will be one of them. I'm babysitting a dog and the weather outside damp, so I'm going to run indoors. For a little bit.

I seem to have a built-on regulator that recognizes the fact that I haven't gone anywhere in fifteen minutes and hits the boredom switch in my brain. I'll spend two happy hours on trails, constantly moving but blow up in minutes indoors.

So, I've learned to trick my brain. Unlike a friend who re-watches the original Star Wars trilogy to death on the treadmill, I use college basketball. I put a monitor on the wall and have it set to stream games from the computer. (Yes, cable might be less complicated - I don't have cable or satellite.)

I've tried movies. Nope, doesn't work. Neither does standard TV fare.

But basketball games do. The action flows continuously except for commercial breaks, so I use the breaks to do fartleks, the game time as recovery. Doing it this way, I get some running in, even a bit of intensity if I want it. I still wouldn't call it pleasurable, but it can be survivable,  except in loose ball situations. I have been known to get so involved in the game that I try to go after loose balls. The family knows the sound, me crashing into the side rails, then muttering about my own foolishness.

They think it's funny. Mostly so do I.

Because I get involved in the game, time passes much more quickly and I get a much better run than if I tried to grunt it out on the treadmill.

 Still doesn't beat outside but it's much better than nothing.  Sometimes running, like politics, is the art of the possible, not the ideal.