How to Pass Time on a Treadmill

I’ve given up on spinning. After that one class, I could barely walk for almost a week. And I mean, barely. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to sleep, it hurt to move. I was miserable. Not worth it. So, I’m happily back to running.

Normally, I run outside, but this central Florida heat makes it really hard this time of year. At 6:00 in the morning, it’s already 80 degrees with insane humidity. And at night is no different. Since we’ve joined the Y, though, I’ve been going up there to run almost every day. It feels really good to be back in a running groove again. In fact, I start to look forward to my runs the night before.  My legs get twitchy and I pretend they are thoroughbreds prancing and gets feisty before they are led into the starting gate of a big race.

I have a vivid imagination.  And sometimes I drink before bedtime.  

Running on a treadmill is very different than running outside. It’s a little bit easier, but it’s a whole lot more boring. Since the unspoken rule at the gym is not to stare at other people while they are working out, there’s not much to do. Lucky for me, our treadmills are up against a window, so I can see outside. OR, I can PRETEND to see outside, but can instead be staring at people working out. That’s MUCH more interesting than squirrels.

I run for about 45 minutes at a time, which can get a little monotonous. So, the last few times I have gone to the gym, I have made a little “observation schedule” for myself while I run on the treadmill. Here’s how it works:

Warm Up (3-5 minutes): Play with my music, play with my earbuds, play with the settings on the treadmill.  Check myself out in the window and tell myself how super hot I’m going to be by the end of summer.  Like, supermodel hot.

10 minutes: Check out women at the gym. I look at their clothes, especially. And their sports bras, which are magically cute and somehow part of their outfit without being slutty.  I’m trying to make that happen, but so far, my sports bras are broken or something.  Status:  NOT ACHIEVED.  And I try to see if they have belly flab that they have tucked into the waistline of their work out capris, like me. And I try to figure out how they get their hair to look sexy and sweaty at the same time, which remains a huge mystery to me.

They look like this:


I look like this*:


(*Not an exaggeration.  I have the same hair and belly.)

10 minutes: Check out men at the gym. I especially enjoy the gay men. Gay men at the gym are a married woman’s heaven. We can check them out, they can check us out, we can giggle across the room at each other if one of us catches the other doing something silly (like that one time I dropped my water bottle and tried to pick it up off the floor while still running on the treadmill… Not one of my better life decisions…). And yet there is no threat there. It’s lovely.

10 minutes: Watch old people work out. This intrigues me to no end. I might move this up and give it more time in my observation schedule. Those old farts GET. IT. They come in wearing their regular clothes. Who needs to waste money on work out clothes? They take their time, they flirt with all the young, buff 20-somethings. They work slow, but get that work out D-O-N-E. I bow down, old gym rats. You guys rock.

Cool down (3-5 minutes): Watch the fools in the spin classroom and gloat about how much happier I am on a treadmill.

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6 Thoughts to “How to Pass Time on a Treadmill”

  1. I usually watch SVU or a lifetime movie WHILE listening to gospel music. All this stimuli keeps me moving and before you know it I’ve done 5 miles. Don’t close your eyes though – THAT DOES NOT WORK. Trust me.

    PS – I knew you would return to blogging!!!

  2. Callie

    Ha! This is how I feel about treadmill running too. I usually cue up Netflix on my phone but even then I find it hard not to constantly check the clock and count down the minutes. My husband got me into this app called FitPlan that I love though- you can choose and trainer with the 30 or 60 day plan and workouts that fit your goals/needs. I’m doing the 30 under 30 one because I have two little kids and want to keep my workouts short, but I’ve seen a huge difference in my fitness level and I’m never bored working out! It has videos to for every exercise so I don’t feel dumb at the gym. Although you do kind of have to get over the crazy bodies of the trainers… Anyway just thought I’d throw it out there since I also hate spin 🙂 and as a final side note… I’ve followed you for a long time and it’s so great to read your posts again!!

  3. Ashley

    I love the old guys at my y! Khaki’s, polo shirts, buttoned up and tucked in, belts, loafers… lifting weights and using the bikes/treadmills etc. Make me smile every time!

  4. Ela

    Running on a treadmill is so convenient but it’s really boring! The ones at my gym face out the window but there’s absolutely nothing to see there -_-

  5. Shanna

    I watch TV series on Netflix while walking/running on my treadmill. Every morning at 5 am I am on there. I have to watch funny shows and use my iPad so the screen is a decent size. I am currently watching Baby Daddy. Each episode lasts 22 minutes so I watch 3 of them. Before this one I watched Melissa & Joey. My next one is going to be The Ranch. I don’t watch anything on TV except The Voice and Fixer Upper so everything on Netflix is pretty much new to me. Nothing like a cheesy TV show to pass the time.

  6. Rachel

    Yeah, there’s a reason our family calls it the dreadmill. =) But it’s great to have the option when the weather doesn’t cooperate. (Who wants to run outside when it’s 20 below 0 and snowing in North Dakota? (Thankfully that doesn’t happen in July…))

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