Thoughts on the dreadmill

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

After having a super productive morning, I feel a lazy afternoon coming on. Therefore, I better write now, or risk not doing it at all today. 

I woke up at 6 a.m. today to head to La Porte to teach Jazzercise. After class, I ate approximately two bites of banana and a packet of Gu and hopped on the dreadmill for a six-mile jaunt. Although there wasn't snow on the ground, it was still dark outside, so I thought an inside run would be best today. 

I tried to mentally prepare myself for the run using anything I could. These are my tried and true surviving the dreadmill tricks. 

1. I run slower. I normally try to gain speed when I'm on the treadmill, but I decided today I'd run slower and longer instead. It made me feel less like death. Win. 
2. Gum. This goes for all running for me. I. Need. Gum. I need something for my mouth to do besides sing (which I do, sometimes). If I don't have gum, the run will not last long. Spearmint seems to be my go to flavor. I stay away from anything fruity or desserty (Sidenote: That was a LOT of sentences about gum. THAT'S how important it is to me.).
3. If you are lucky, like me, there will be a dent in the wall in front of you. Find the dent. Love the dent. Talk to the dent. Stare deeply at the dent. Imagine the dent being anything you need it to be. For me, I need a focus. When I'm outside, I can focus on my thoughts. On the treadmill, all I focus on is how I'm feeling. The dent saves me from myself. 
4. Get any sort of distractions you can. Turn on the t.v. Run the fan. Turn your iPod up extremely loud. Pray, that like me, there will be people or puppies passing by you. Distracting myself from the numbers on the machine I'm running on is always helpful. 
5. Shuffle the iPod. I sort of like not knowing what's coming next. That being said, I run with my iPod in my hand so I can change the songs easily if it's something that's not motivating me to keep moving. 
6. Thank your cheerleaders. Today, my friend Nancy was walking on the treadmill next to me. When I got to mile 5.3, she said, "You can do it, you're almost there!" I needed that boost to remember that I was, in fact, almost done (6 miles, you have nothing on me!). When I got done, Janet and I commiserated about treadmill running but agreed it was a necessary evil. Find your people. Hold onto them tightly. 
7. Reward yourself. On days you run 6 miles on the treadmill (which, naturally, feels more like 12 miles), you deserve a giant latte afterward. Hell, go nuts and have a cookie while you're at it! I'm not usually an advocate for rewarding yourself with food (I pretty much eat food without needing it to be a reward!) but when you do a treadmill run, you get a little pampering, darnit. 

Take my advice with a grain of salt. What works for others doesn't work for me, and vice versa. 

I'm gearing up for my eight miles on Saturday, which will hopefully be done outside. But for the rest of the day, I'm thinking Christmas celebrations, rest, and the couch sound pretty perfect. 


  1. Oh A!! YOU ARE MY HERO!!!! I am so scared because I am starting my training now for my half marathon in May and I know there are going to be many days that I have to run on the dreadmill. Geez, I'm dreading it ALREADY!! I seriously HATE (and that is a strong word) those machines!!!! But I love you and your blog because you are a HUGE inspiration to me!

    p.s. I'm totally with you on that gum thing!!! Gotta have my gum too.

  2. I want to run a 1/2 in May or June. I'm tossing around the Indy Mini, Geist (Indy) or Sunburst (South Bend). I also want to do a full marathon in October in Indy (COMMUNITY HEALTH NETWORK INDIANAPOLIS MARATHON). I've done the full in October of 2010 & these people have it down! They also have a 1/2 in October.

  3. Fun! I'm contemplating doing the Sunburst half in June too (I've done their 5K twice, but last year it was 70 degrees, and I can't imagine running 13.1 in that kind of temperature!). I've also thought about doing the Indy mini as I have many friends running it. I've been hesitant to commit to anything until after my first one is done. Is that bad? :)


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