With a few feet of snow, and nasty stuff yesterday, I’ve spent the past two days on my treadmill. I’m not a fan. But if it must be it must be.

Yesterday had me listening to Slate’s Hang-Up-And-Listen podcast, which is a weekly sports-oriented program, and today I put on the World Half-Marathon Championships from Birmingham, UK from last year. I generally don’t watch TV on the treadmill because it’s an awkward view, at about 2 o’clock were I at the center of a clock.

John Gichigi/Getty Images

I was in the mood for something inspirational though (I entered the NYC HM in three weeks), so that’s what I had on.

The pace was not particularly fast on either day, but I find it stressful, perhaps more mentally than physically and, indeed, I used the HRM yesterday and it had me in the low 120 range at a pace considerably slower than last week’s 17 miler. I was not interested in making it faster.

Today, after a four-minute stretch early on at 4% elevation, I settled into a straight-forward run. It occurred to me that this is quite a useful mechanism for half-marathon training. Unlike shorter races, I find HMs consist of running hard but smoothly and consistently over an extended period, like a metronome under stress.

The same type of rhythm takes place on the treadmill. Under stress, consistent stride. Metronomic. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy running parts of my runs on the track. Even with its turns, I relish the simplicity and rhythm of 20 lap stretches.

I am smart enough not to refer to the treadmill as the “dreadmill” and I hope to be outside tomorrow, even if it means frequent passes on small loops (they’re pretty good around where I am to plow and clear quiet, little-traveled streets so my thought is to head up near Tuckahoe HS in the morning). I think it useful, though, to ascribe a special benefit to the treadmill, even if I am not on it for so long as many of my friend.

Speaking of those friends, Herb put up a nice video on his Law-of-Inertia blog. My reaction was not to put it up; its message is to encouraging exercise and diet as ways to minimize if not eliminate coronary heart disease. It’s an open-letter to Bill Clinton from Monte Ladner, M.D. of the Science2Health blog and quite articulate, but it struck me that most of the readers here are the choir and don’t need to be told this. I thought, however, that one or two of these readers might know one or two people who could take advantage of the message. So here it is:

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