Head Games on the Treadmill

So much for a week of running outside. We’re back in the land of the polar vortex…which meant I was back in the gym.

I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty excited if the gym was completely empty every single time I was there. I’d be almost as happy if it was packed in the weight/cardio area, but all the treadmills were empty. Because for some reason, I really dislike being on the treadmill next to someone. Actually, it’s being next to someone faster than me that I don’t like.

I arrived at the gym tonight to find an empty row of treadmills. Hooray! As soon as I grabbed one, someone else did as well, but in keeping with appropriate gym etiquette he didn’t pick one on either side of me. And he walked most of the time, so he actually made me feel good about my 4.0 run/jog. When I was 2 miles into my run (having taken two very short walk breaks, but feeling excellent), a guy got on the treadmill immediately to my left and was probably running at 6.0. For some reason, hearing/seeing his stride made me not be able to stick with mine. I tried turning up my headphones, looking slightly to the right, staring at the foggy window in front of me…nothing worked. I slowed to a fast walk. Then he slowed to a walk, so I sped back up. Then when he returned to a run I lost my rhythm again. We did this for about half a mile, until I got sick of the mind games I was playing and told myself I wasn’t allowed to walk again until I hit three miles (which was just another form of mind games, I know). At that point, he got off the treadmill, and I was able to finish my run in peace.

I had a similar experience sitting on the couch before heading to the gym (stay with me, here). I recently joined the Women’s Running Community group on Facebook (highly recommend!), and tonight someone posted a video of what they saw as a back of the pack runner at mile seven of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I was aghast at how many people where so close to her. When I run races, the crowd usually runs ahead and I’m hanging out with a handful of people, but she was still in a crowd at mile seven. If watching videos of races and running next to someone on a treadmill messes with my head, how on earth am I going to do 13.1 miles on my own? I will, but it should be an interesting experience, that’s for sure.

In other news, today was weigh in day and I’m down another 1.1 pounds. I ate every single daily, weekly, and activity point I had last week. This running thing sure does pay off.

So, tonight I successfully completed my 3.5 mile run (Nike+ says 3.7 b/c it wasn’t calibrated perfectly for the treadmill). Tomorrow I will cross train instead of run, like I promised myself last week. Perhaps I’ll pull out Jillian Michaels, just so I don’t have to go to the gym. I sure as hell won’t be going outside.

February 25 Run Photo

2 thoughts on “Head Games on the Treadmill

  1. I am done with winter. DONE, I tell you! Why was it only EIGHT DEGREES this morning? Jeez!

    Good for you for getting a run in on the treadmill no less. I have such a hard time when someone runs next to me. I find myself competing with them which is just dumb. Sorry it screwed up your workout!


  2. Nice work!

    Don’t worry about head games on the treadmill — there is ALWAYS someone near you/next to you that is going faster or slower, you just have to tell your brain to STFU. Focus on your pace. Set dumb little goals like you did — ok, can I do .8 more? Can I go a bit faster for the next 1/2 mile, etc.

    As for races… you are absolutely going to be in packs along the way and I’ve usually found that there is always, always someone at your pace nearby. They’re your run friends. Likewise, they can be dumb. There was a girl running at like a 9:15 pace at my half and I was at around 10:30; she would pass me like a fox, then I would pass her at the next mile when she was walking. She drove me CRAZY. I just wanted to rip off my headphones and yell, “HEY RUN FRIEND. IF YOU GO AT MY PACE YOU WON’T STOP.”

    Regarding monotony: I did one weekly run last spring inside and I did intervals which I highly, highly recommend. The schedule was:

    1 mile warm up-jog (slow)
    8x1s first week, 9x1s next week, 10x1s, etc., up to 12x1s (one min on sprint, one min off back to slow-ish pace)
    5 minute cool down
    = somewhere between 3.5 – 5 miles depending on my warm ups, cool downs

    So, that’s one way to fight boredom!

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