Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How the other half lives

I find it ironic that not even a few ours after writing about being a running minimalist that I am standing on the treadmill, headphones plugged into my ears, and Us weekly resting on the display in front of me. Wait, isn't this the same girl that is constantly saying "If you can read a magazine or book you aren't working hard enough?" Well before you get angry and call me a hypocrite let me start at the beginning.

I never planned on spending y evening on the treadmill, but mother nature must have been sick of being nice of me because she rolled in the rain clouds just as I was finishing up at the office. Thankfully I had brought my gym clothes to the office so I could change before my run. I grabbed my ipod, inhaler, and phone and headed down to the office gym. I usually start my gym workout with some kind of warm up/ weights/abs, all the stuff I know I should do more but don't have the energy to do after. This is where the headphones come in. They are excellent for getting in a rhythm and banging out a bunch of crunches and lunges.

Since I had run yesterday, and was running again tomorrow, today's run was supposed to be easy. Correction, had to be easy. No room for over use injuries in my plan. As I was crossing the room for the treadmill the cover of US weekly caught my eye. If there is anything I am addicted to more than chocolate, it is celebrity gossip. I know it is terrible but I can't help it. I can get away with not actually buying any tabloids because my wonderful co-workers bring their mags (like this one) into the gym for my reading pleasure, usually while stretching post workout. This particular cover focused on the female leads of The Hills and how LA has "ruined" them. How could I pass this up - must read NOW!

And then I wondered, what is it like to read while running? I admit I have never actually tried to read on the treadmill, I just assumed you had to be running so slow you could not be working very hard, or you were not concentrating enough on your workout. I thought if people would just put down the magazines and do a shorter more intense workout it would be so much more effective. But today I needed something to slow me down so I set the treadmill at 4.5, 1% incline and started to run. And read. And boy was it hard! I had to keep glancing away from the pages or risk getting dizzy as I tried to follow bits and pieces of each story. There was a lot of page turning, and picture looking at-ing. I tried using my fingers to guide me along each line as if I was learning to read for the first time, I kept loosing my place and reading words out of order. Although I did manage to read about 95% of the article I wanted, and it did distract me during two and half miles I can honestly say I will not be trying that again. I stick by my original theory that if you are reading you are not working out hard enough. Even at an easy pace it was extremely difficult to not get dizzy and fall off.

As for the my theory on headphones, I find them perfectly acceptable for treadmill running. Anyone who has the patience to run 4 miles at a slow pace on a treadmill in an empty gym, in complete silence, in front of a mirror so the only thing to look at is yourself, running, is amazing. I am not that person. I still need a little Whitney Houston to help me keep my sanity.

xx Sara

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