My absolute favorite place to run is the YMCA track. It's climate controlled so I never get too hot or too cold, I don't have to worry about sunblock or dogs, I can safely listen to music without needing to hear the environment. I can go late at night without giving my safety a second thought. Water is always available (I leave my water bottle on the railing or in the window ledges so I can drink without stopping). For distraction, I can watch children's basketball games or climbing wall parties and every so often I can catch the Tigers score on tv.
Is it boring where ten laps equals one mile? Sure, but isn't running boring regardless of where it's done? I like using the track because I don't have a clear sense of what a 9-minute mile feels like, versus a 10-minute mile, etc. I use the stopwatch on my iPod and track every lap so I find out every 54 seconds if I'm at a good pace, or if it's 1:04 I know I need to speed up.
While I would be quite comfortable running 262 laps and calling it a completed marathon, I know that the actual race is outside, so that's exactly where I need to be. My knees need to start pounding concrete, I need to figure out what to wear for the weather, which sunglasses fit the best, everything I don't give a second thought at the Y.
Why do I feel like I'll be restarting the training? I do pretty alright at the Y but my brother likes to remind me that running outside is a completely different game. Thanks for the vote of confidence, bro!