I've been making good use of my bike and starting to add in ellipticating this week. (Ok, I don't know if you can use that term but I am using the elliptical machine at the gym which is a pretty good running substitute.)
It was quite stormy and windy here for a few days this past week and in those conditions, I prefer to ride my bike on the trainer in my living room. No, really. To ride my bike on the trainer or to use the elliptical requires much entertainment to keep me on the machine and focused. Riding, in particular, for longer than about 45 minutes inside requires movies, music, podcasts, reading books and magazines, more music and I still always get off sooner than i would wish.
This brings up an interesting point to me. RPD suggests that I don't particularly lose myself when working out on the trainer or the elliptical. No. I do not. I am always aware of every freaking minute and only by distracting myself with entertainment am I able to keep the focus on the workout. Overall, I will enjoy sweating buckets and listening to music and whatever but while in the midst of the workout I am counting seconds and playing with intensities to give myself a focus. It is purely mental stamina and not physical stamina which keeps me going on these workouts.
Running outside lets me put my busy brain on automatic and I am unaware of time passing. I am anti-music/entertainment when running or biking outside. I don't need the entertainment. Just the sensation of my body working well is satisfying and occupying. I'm always aware of my pace, my stride, my breathing and I revel in it. My brain is entertained as well. I plan what I want to focus on at home, at work, at life. I work through things that are bugging me and enjoy the scenery passing.
It's an interesting revelation to me. the gym in general has never appealed to me and now I know why. It takes a lot to keep me distracted. The gym environment alone doesn't cut it.