Adventures at the Gym

Today I finally did it… I finally made use of my 6-month gym pass that I got as part of the fitness challenge at work. I’ve had this trial membership for a few weeks now, but today was the first time I finally bit the bullet and went. My goal? To run on a treadmill. Something I’d never actually done before (!). And I succeeded! Huzzah!

I managed to get to the gym right before the lunch rush and snagged myself a treadmill. It took me probably longer than it should have to figure it out and to find the right speed to run at, but when I finally did I spent a solid 15 minutes hauling buns. At a very slow (but steady! … ish) pace. I would have loved to run longer, but it’s hard to fit in a solid workout when you only have 60 minutes to change, walk to the gym, figure out the dang machine, run, cool down, stretch, walk back to your building, change, and squeeze in eating lunch. I may have to finagle my schedule a little differently to allow myself more gym time in the future.

So, yes, the running. I settled in at “speed 5,” which is apparently about a 12-minute pace. That’s more than a minute slower than my average, but I didn’t want to overdo it and end up falling on my face and being the next funny internet meme. Plus it was really freaking hot in that tiny room, and I didn’t want to faint and embarrass myself on my first day. For these same reasons, I kept the treadmill incline at 0, just to keep it simple. Anyway, I ran at that pace for about 10 minutes, then sped up to a rollicking 5.5 speed (approximately a 10:55 pace) before cooling down at a walk for 3-4 minutes.

As I ran in place with my fellow gym goers, feeling like I was part of a hamster mill, I noticed that I kept wandering a bit back and forth / side-to-side on the belt. I don’t know if it was because I was distracted by my new surroundings and kept veering off in whatever direction I was staring, or if I’m just a wander-y runner and don’t notice as much when I’m out in the open and not on a belt. It was a little disconcerting. I also became very aware that I must change pace a lot while I run outside, because keeping up a steady 12-minute pace felt much more difficult than usual.

Another unfortunate observation I made whilst running was that my right ankle/lower leg started hurting pretty quickly once I got going, in the same spot it hurt during the Finish Line 5K. I don’t know what it is about campus, but apparently running anywhere on it makes me hurt. Either that, or wearing my old running shoes that gave me problems a few months back wasn’t a good idea. I’ll have to keep an eye on it… with exciting races coming up I don’t want to be injured again!

In addition to having to massage my schedule enough to make time for treadmill running, I’m going to have to remember a few other things: a hair brush, deodorant, padlock, maybe a decent gym bag of some sort, and more water. I ended up changing in a random basement bathroom on my way back to my office, and I think changing in the locker room at the gym would be a more pleasant experience (hence the padlock). Though I did have some “power shower” wipes to freshen up with, deodorant would have been nice. And a brush. I was very red and frizzy, as evidenced by this classy bathroom selfie below:

photo

Please also note my impromptu gym bag, er, reusable grocery bag. Yep, all class. (At least no one else was in there while I was selfie-ing!)

Anyway I guess I’ve decided that the treadmill isn’t the worst replacement for running outside while it’s all snowy/icy/slushy/nasty. I wanted to meet up with my run club tonight for their 3-mile Thursday run, but I’m so much slower than everyone else and don’t know the route yet, so I don’t want to get lost behind the pack, in the dark. Until it gets lighter in the evenings, I think I’ll be sticking with the gym.

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