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Dear dreadmill

No wonder people call it the dreadmill

Photo: provided.

Oh, Canada. You are a beautiful country but not ideal for a runner in winter.

I love you, yet I hate that I have to spend so much time looking at the weather app on my phone and realizing that my run will, yet again, be in the gym, on the treadmill. I’m not totally anti-treadmill; I actually find it super beneficial for speed workouts and catching up on shows. But now that we’re into March and the training miles are starting to increase, those long runs on the treadmill can be brutal. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m just saying that you can’t always distract yourself by trying to match your pace to the handsome guy next to you.

Running inside can be really hard for me because I get distracted easily, my mileage is increasing, and I find gym-goer to be incredibly fascinating and I have a habit of staring at them for too long. I’m sure there are many of you out there who are on the same page.

A few days ago, I was at the gym, on the treadmill, and I was wearing shorts. My legs felt bloated (legs can be bloated, right?) and I kept stopping to apply more Glide – it’s basically an anti-chafe deodorant stick – to the insides of my thighs. I’m fairly certain the lady beside me was horrified when she saw me doing this – I could tell based on her facial expression. But because I have no shame or desire for raw legs, I met her gaze and just giggled, shrugged and jumped back into my run.

The poor woman. She probably thought I was putting deodorant on my legs and groin. Just let that one sink in for a minute.

I don’t always wear shorts. Sometimes I wear leggings, but when I do, I only like to wear a sports bra. Shirts are annoying and I don’t care that my abs are a little puffy. I get a lot of stares walking around the gym in a sports bra but I just brush them off because I’m not looking for a husband at the moment. But then, this one day, after my run, I noticed this tall, handsome man walking towards me, looking at me, and I was thinking, yeah, girl! He’s totally checking you out! Then I realized that I had crotch sweat that went all the way up to my waistband and halfway to my knees (this is not an exaggeration), and I realized that a runner’s high is a dangerous thing.

Now, the treadmills at my gym are set up along the front window, which is kind of nice because you get a bit of a view of the street, or the wall, depending on which machine you’re on. The problem I have with this setup is that I can’t see anyone else in the gym. This is unfortunate because how else are you going to distract yourself from the 25K tempo run you have on the agenda? People at the gym are utterly fascinating. I’m sure people say the same thing about me. When you’re set up to be running for two hours, you need some entertainment. I’m constantly looking around at the people beside me and, if they’re lucky, I’ll play games with them.

When I say “play games” I really just mean that I try to sync our paces. I successfully did this a couple times, the first with a girl beside me, who I was constantly looking at because she was so beautiful and I was so bored. I was technically running a little faster than her, but every once in a while we fell into the same rhythm and it was kind of fun. The second time this happened was with this guy who I always find myself running beside. I was nearing the end of my run so I was getting pretty desperate. I kept trying to get him to look at me by staring at him. He wouldn’t look at me or give me any kind of hope that I would get through my last 2km, and, as a result, we fell out of sync. It was a shame, but I’ll try again this week.

I realize now, saying this out loud, how terribly boring running on a treadmill really is. No wonder people call it the dreadmill. Oh, dear, sweet Canada, please melt the snow.