Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Making Love to the Treadmill

I saw something interesting and curious last night at the gym. Maybe you can explain it to me. No, I'm not talking about the "gym wanderers" who linger between pieces of equipment, stopping temporarily for a swig of water at the fountain, an update of the day's headlines or a manly conversation with the guy with the weight belt, I'm talking about a running style on the treadmill.

So I'm running along, minding my own business. This girl gets on the treadmill beside me. It becomes clear that she is doing intervals. She'll run for a bit, then walk. I finished my workout and as I was leaving I noticed that her speed was at 7.9 mph - a nice clip. I also noticed that she was holding onto the top of the treadmill while she ran, kind of with her arms hugging the top (not holding the heart rate monitors). It looked goofy to me (and a bit like cheating), but then I wondered if I was again in the dark about the latest and greatest trends. After all, I still think a fartlek is something erotic you do in the privacy of your bedroom or bathroom. Anyone seen this before? If so, what's the advantage? Maybe she just didn't want to fly off the back.

The family and I are off tomorrow a.m. for Washington, D.C. to visit friends and family and to take in the sights. We even scored a tour of the White House through our congress woman. I am excited to short-sheet Obama's bed and to see if Beau, the white house mascot dog, humps visitors like my dog does at home.

Mostly I am excited to run in a new place!! I love travelling and running - best way to see the place you're visiting.

Where's the best place you've ever run? Anyone want to tell me where to run in D.C./Northern VA? Maybe I'll use Obama's treadmill.

24 comments:

  1. Erotic fartleks - interesting...

    Perhaps she was training for the day she needs a walker. No clue.

    If you have easy access (Reston, Herndon, Sterling areas) the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is a sweet run. http://www.wodfriends.org/

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  2. I've seen that, and I think I'm going to enjoy it a lot more now that you've called it "making love to the treadmill."

    DC is a great running city. But the best place to run is on the no. VA side of the Potomac-- you'll see all the landmarks. I recommend getting on the Mt. Vernon trail around Rosslyn/the Key Bridge. Have a great trip and say hi to Michelle for me! ;)

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  3. I always see all sorts of odd treadmill behavior!! I is one of my favorite topics.
    Have fun in DC, it is one of my favorite places although I have never run there.

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  4. Never seen that treadmill move before. It sorta seems like cheating a bit.

    I think I would just do laps in the oval office.
    Have fun in DC.

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  5. Holding onto the treadmill makes it easier and lowers your heart rate so I wouldn't jump on that trend.

    I ran in Central Park in NY the morning before the 2008 Men's Marathon Olympic Trials. The environment was electrified!

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  6. That's CHEATING! Looks funny, though.

    Have a great time in D.C.!

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  7. My favorite place to run was along the Alaska coastline a couple summers ago when I was there for work. It was sunny for almost 20 hours a day, and I was so jacked up with the time difference that I ran at like 11:30pm and LOVED it. Safe travels!

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  8. Run on the mall right in the center of DC!!!

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  9. sounds to me like she was holding on for dear life!

    I have family in DC, and when I visit I love to hit up the Mt Vernon trail (like some other's mentioned!) It's really beautiful

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  10. yes- the metermaid job aint to shabby if you ask me... i make 12 dollars an hour- get to be outside- and no one is supervising me- AKA we can take long lunch breaks at home and walk anywhere we want- on the beach, go back home to relax- you name it. of course i have to write a few tickets out as well i guess haha

    that is AWESOME you get to go inside the white house! let us know how it goes! and i have seen girls hug the treadmill at my college before. Did the girl look like a "runner"? because the girls i see hugging the treadmill-- look like girls who set the treadmill on too high of a speed for them to keep up- and so they hug the treadmill to help them (1) keep up their pace and (2) not fall on their butt! weird if you ask me...i think it looks like a good way to get injured

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  11. Sounds like cheating to me! I notice it is easier if I even touch the rails on the sides.

    Have a great trip! I have never run anywhere exciting. Our last trip was to Lancaster, PA and I ran on the treadmill in the hotel gym. :)

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  12. It is cheating! A lot of us slow pokes could kick it up a notch too if we were hugging the treadmill like that.

    Have fun in D.C. That is one place on my travel to-do list. Enjoy your runs there!

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  13. Of course it is cheating. The reality is that she really isn't running at that speed. It would kind of be like cutting a hole in the floor of your car and tapping your feet on the road as you drove along at 40 mph. Just because you can do that doesn't make you Usain Bolt or anything. Stick with what you are doing and you'll be way ahead of the game.

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  14. Gosh. I just thought people did that when they were being lazy.

    Have a great time in DC! I don't really have a best place I have run... yet!

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  15. Hey, if you get a chance - will you fertilize on his treadmill for me?

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  16. I saw a bunch of people walking on treadmills while essentially hugging them, but not running...I'm not even sure how that works!

    I haven't run around DC much, but running around the mall and Washington Monument is fun. You can also swing by the Jefferson!

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  17. You did your thing eh?! : ) Anyway, if its really cheating then let it be that way coz its always be the same way at the end of the day. : )

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  18. Have fun in DC!!!

    I also agree it is cheating...however, and I am publicly admitting this...if I am trying to work up to a new speed, sometimes I hold on until I feel comfortable. I fell off a treadmill once. Once your ego (forget the injury) is damaged like that, you take extra precaution! Of course, if I am holding on, I am also not counting it as part of my run. Just getting comfortable.

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  19. treadmill thing - definitely Not the lateset trend (or...we're all in the dark if it is?). I'd definitely say thats kind of cheating. I'm always tempted to hold on when I put it on a steep incline...which means I'm basically pulling myself up, Not getting as good of a workout.

    how long will you be in DC?! I'll be back in town tomorrow night, and am doing a 10K on Saturday in Georgetown. interested?!!! it'd be fun to meet up!! race or not, let me know :)

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  20. That is hilarious!! I've seen people hold on to the front (which I think is cheating too) but never hug it. Ha!

    I LOVE running in DC. For a short run, definite run on the mall and around all the monuments. AWESOME run. If you have time for a long run definitely get on the Mt. Vernon trail and run to Alexandria. That is seriously the coolest run I've ever done.

    I blogged about it here http://jenzenator.blogspot.com/2008/10/seriouslythe-coolest-run-ever-part-2.html with pictures! :)

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  21. The treadmill thing is definitely cheating. Jillian Michaels would bitch-slap that girl for sure.

    Have a great trip to DC!

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  22. I see that all the time at the gym. Although holding onto the treadmill makes it easier and lowers your heart rate, it also allows you to shift the focus to ONLY your legs for a while. This probably allows your legs to try a faster speed than you'd otherwise be comfy with. I have NEVER seen it recommended by a professional. In fact, most gym trainers try to replicate real-life actions, and unless you're going to run a marathon with a shopping cart, this is not mimicing anything from real life.

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  23. LMAO! There's a woman in my gym who does that, & she does it while the mill is speeding along greater than 8mph! She definitely looks like she'd fall off if it weren't for the fact that she was hanging on for dear life.

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  24. Beth, I totally do this. Because I have NO balance and run like a drunken penguin. If I don't look down at the moving belt while I am running, I step on the edge of the belt and get all tripped up. If I want to look up at the TV, or just look ahead I totally hold onto the top with my left hand. I hold on to the top instead of the handrail thingy because I am tall and the handrail thingy hits me at a weird place. I don't feel like it gives me an advantage; I don't run any faster when I hold on than when I don't...I run slower on the treadmill than on the road overall.

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