Why Does Running Outside Seem So Hard?

I’ve been struggling with a part of my training lately — so I’m looking for some help…and to, in general, just make myself accountable.

What am I struggling with?

running outside.  getting off the treadmill, stepping outside, and running.

Last year, even in the midst of an awful heat spell, I ran outside.

When we first moved to Denver in August, I ran outside. 

Even if it meant getting up before 5 AM (and for my long runs it often did) just to get out the door and beat the heat, that’s what I did.

Before this winter, you couldn’t GET me on a treadmill.

And now, this year…I’m really struggling, and can’t put my finger on why. (Look at my training plan for the week, 3 of the runs are “planned” for the treadmill.  Come on!)

Honestly —

I live in a Beautiful city…hello Denver.


In a BEAUTIFUL city, where in the AM it’s always cool, no matter what time of year. And the humidity is never an issue (my  Midwesterner’s know what I’m talking about).

So why in the heck am I having such a hard time  getting off the treadmill?

I’ve been trying to at least make the treadmill useful, and doing intervals and speed training.  But to be honest (to myself and to readers)  … it’s an excuse.  I tell myself, I don’t need to get more training outside if I’m doing speed work inside (where it’s easier for me…)

For the past couple of weeks, the only runs that I’ve done outdoors have been my long runs.   Most all of my shorter training runs have been either recovery or speed work on the treadmill in my gym building.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying treadmill running isn’t great, or that it’s easy.  Just the opposite.

What’s bugging me is the fact that I really don’t know why I can’t seem to push it outside.  

To be honest, I feel like by doing so much of my running on the treadmill, I’m missing out on part of the experience that is running.

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I’m missing that part of running that is exploring.

I’m missing the part that is nature, other people, outdoors, fresh air.

I’m missing the challenge that is outdoors, the elements. Hills, wind, heat, cold.

I’m missing a lot….so seriously, why can’t I just get myself out there?

so why am I telling you all this?

Because honestly, I’m struggling.  I’m training for a half marathon, that go figure, is outdoors. I should probably be running outdoors.  I need to know…

Am I totally weird?

Completely alone in these struggles?

Any help, words of advice, or people who share my struggles, please let me know.

Workout Plan For The Week August 5-11.

Another Monday, another week.

We enjoyed a lazy Sunday evening after our crazy project/trashing of the apartment 🙂DSCN0025DSCN0032DSCN0034

For the first time in a long time, I was unable to finish my entire dessert  (I ate most of it, but did need to share with Zach, I made those puppies HUGE).  DELISH though…seriously.


Monday mornings are always the most difficult for me to get out of bed and work out, and today was no exception.  Zach let me know that he was willing to run with me after work (probably..depending on weather and his schedule) so I wanted to leave myself open to running with the boy (that and I really wanted the extra sleep this morning).   Hold me to this!! Don’t let me skip my work out after work!

I’m always less awake when I don’t work out in the morning — and I am definitely feeling that this AM.  Reminder: don’t skip AM workouts!

Workout Plan For the Week

I meant to do this last week, just never got to it with the travels and wedding.  But each week, I’d like to post a plan of action for the week ahead every Monday morning  (so the workouts will be for Monday-Sunday of the coming week).  This is helpful for accountability for me, as I am putting it out there that I will get my workouts done, and hopefully it is something of interest to some of you (please let me know if that is not the case, of course :).


Workout Plan August 5-August 11.

  • Monday August 5 – Speed Work 45 minutes treadmill/run outside with Zach
  • Tuesday August 6 –  Strength training (focusing on strength for runners this week)
  • Wednesday August 7 – Speed Work 45 minutes treadmill
  • Thursday August 8 – Stationary bike – 60 minutes with 10 minute intervals
  • Friday August 9 – Rest/Yoga
  • Saturday August 10 – Long Run – 90 minutes
  • Sunday August 11 – Recovery Run – 40 minutes


Let’s Do It!

Chocolate Chip Cookies (…and dinner)

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing, eating, some projects, and just enjoying Sunday with my family.

I watched This is 40 while Zach worked, and while it was a little painful to watch at times, I enjoyed it (MUCH better than The Master last night…awful).


A few of these little bowls were enjoyed during the movie.

Between the movie and dinner, Zach and I attacked a couple projects: enter hectic craziness.


By the looks of our apartment for awhile this evening, you would have thought we were unpacking…and in a way we were.  We’ve been getting gifts from our registry and a lot of the boxes have just been sitting  all around the apartment.

Tonights project was a wine glass rack from Pottery Barn from my granny.

Through the madness, we came up with this.


Zach did an amazing job.  Thanks Babe 🙂  Way to use your new toy

Needless to say, dinner was postponed a bit due to getting out apartment back into one piece.  On the menu tonight, Open Face Sammies and side salad

Our sammies included

  • farmers market bread
  • cheddar cheese
  • basil from the garden
  • farmers market heirloom tomato
  • mustard spread


The salads were simple:

  • farmers market greens
  • carrots
  • tomatoes from our garden
  • litehouse sweet onion dress
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All together, fresh and delicious as always :).  I love our homecooked, fresh meals.

And now we’re relaxing and watching a little Sunday night TV.   What I’m really excited about tonight are the second little baking project I had this afternoon:

Chocolate Chip Cookies 🙂

I referred to quite a few different recipes for a basic dough base, and then just kind of worked with what we had on hand.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields about 8 LARGE cookies, or 16 normal people cookies



  • 2 cups of oat flour
  • 3/4 – 1  cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 full egg, 2 extra egg whites
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix
  • Mix all of the wet ingredients (order is not too much of importance)
  • Once you have dough, fold in chocolate chips
  • Cook for 12-15 minutes  @ 350 (to be honest, I’m at high elevation AND we made HUGE cookies, so I cooked 2 cookies for 10 minutes @ 350, and 5 minutes at 325 after smashing them down a bit.  Really, just bake at 350 and after 10 minutes, keep an eye on them)
  • Enjoy!


UPDATE:  I should have been a little more clear in my recipe/description.   I used out flour in these cookies, which absolutely affects the flavor.  I love it, but it does change the density and flavor profile a little.  I also did NOT use white sugar, because we didn’t have any, so I doubled the brown sugar.  Zach said he could taste the difference, less sweet, but actually enjoyed it.

I don’t want to detour anyone from trying them, these cookies are AMAZING…I just wanted to point out for anyone who may try these: These are not flat, simple chocolate chip cookies.  Zach said they were more like a scone texture, and he was spot on there, though it could have been due to letting them set in the fridge for a few hours before baking, and the fact that I made them HUGE piles of dough.  Moving on…

If leaving you with cookies isn’t enough, I leave you with some pictures from our deck tonight

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Spectacular. Really, no words.  Thank you, Denver.


Question:  What is your favorite, warms your heart dessert?