I don't love it. But I DO love it more than I love running outdoors in the cold, so my choice is made.
After a decent January, running at a low-heart rate for approximately 4 runs per week, I found myself in an interesting situation. Racing the guy next to me on Friday's treadmill run.
This is something I never EVER do. Most times, I could care less what someone is running next to me. Whether it's my training pals or a stranger, I know that their pace and their distance means absolutely nothing to me. I've been running for long enough to know that each person is at a unique point in their own race schedule. But Friday was different.
Though I set out to run an easy 5k around 10:30 pace, I ended up at a sub 9:00 minute pace all thanks to the guy next to me.
We got onto the mills at about the same time and it took him no less than 30 seconds to start looking at my programing, my speed, my distance, my incline.
Out of the periphrial vision, I could see that he would look at my screen and then adjust his own. It seemed he was trying to run just a bit faster than me.
At first, I thought "Who cares?" but 3 of his neck- strains later, I had enough.
As I finished my first 800 meters, I thought I'd test my theory and see if this guy was really trying to "race" me. I bumped my speed up (err down?) to 9:30 pace and watched him follow immediately.
Another lap and I went to 9:15, so did he. Fast forward 3 laps: as I approached my second mile, I was running 7:30 minute pace and praying to God he would stop or fall or SOMEONE would be paged over the loud speaker so I could pretend it was me and get off the treadmill.
Thankfully, as we hit Mile 2, he hit "STOP".
(Of course, I had to pretend I wasn't racing him, so I kept going at this pace which is way uncomfortable for me right now...and pretty much always).
But I kept going, another FULL quarter mile..long enough for him to wipe down his machine, give me a nod and walk away. As soon as he was gone, I dropped my pace back to super comfortable (10:30), caught my breath and swore I would never do that again.
I have to admit though, it was FUN!
Shout out: Are you a treadmill racer?