My Treadmill

After graduating college, I was working really long hours and  by the time I was in my running gear it would be really late. During the summer months, I would run in the middle of the night. I was much more mindful of my surroundings, I wore reflective gear, lights and would run on the sidewalks. But as it got cooler, I began to realize I would need a better solution since it was getting darker earlier and the roads were slippery with fallen leaves and ice.

One night, while I was running, I saw my neighbor drive home. He was careening all over the road. I saw him hit his garbage can, before squealing up his lawn in his car and falling out of the driver door and into a puddle.  Drunk? I’m not sure, but I was horrified. Luckily, I was running on an adjacent street to his home and he didn’t pass me, but I did get a front row seat to his erratic and completely dangerous behavior. I got home and immediately ordered a treadmill online.

Yeah. I know. Not exactly the most normal response, but I knew I would need to run indoors during the winter anyway so I clicked away. I got my treadmill a week later. I guess I never realized how large treadmills are because whenever I had used them before they were at the gym, surrounded by other huge equipment. It was shipped in a giant crate and arrived by special courier. The box was so heavy I couldn’t even slide it across the driveway. I ended up disassembling the box on the driveway and dragging each piece of the treadmill, one by one up to the door. My sister helped and it took us almost the entire afternoon to move and assemble!

I still have the same treadmill. I purchased the Pro Form Competitor CS. Mine is the fold-able kind, but I really don’t use that function. It’s such a large treadmill that even folded it takes up a ton of room, plus it’s so heavy and hard to fold and unfold it every time you want to use it.

My treadmill is on the bottom floor of my home, which has a carpeted concrete floor. The treadmill faces a wall that has a ledge. I like to put my laptop on the ledge and watch TV while I run. I also keep a bunch of weights and other assorted work out stuff of that ledge. I also keep a separate pair of “treadmill” shoes near the treadmill. I don’t like the idea of tracking the mud and other junk from my road running shoes onto my treadmill, so I keep clean shoes for just the treadmill.




So. That’s my treadmill. What about everyone else? Do you own a treadmill? Do you go to the gym??



Things to do… on the treadmill

So I googled this “Things to do on the treadmill”

There are some truly awful suggestions out there… like AWFUL. And I found a picture of someone eating a bagel while running on a treadmill… like WHAT?!!?!?!

I’m a bit of a running purist when it comes to distraction… keep in mind I also began running before the advent of the portable music MP3 thing. Think: cassette tape player. So, when I did start running with music I found it horribly distracting. The cord flying everywhere, my hand getting sweaty and accidentally chucking my iPod into puddles, looking down at the music list and accidentally falling into things… it was a disaster to say the least. Then my then boyfriend bought be a cordless headset… and I started taking my music with me. Even then, I don’t listen all the time. It’s just part of my routine. I put it on my head and run… with or without the music.

I’m also a better outdoor runner. If I am outside, I can run much longer and much stronger than if I’m on my treadmill. On the treadmill I stare at the numbers, I do math, I get distracted, I miss a step, and then I fly off the treadmill and into the bookcase, that I swear I’m going to get rid of at some point. I also had a really bad 1st time on the treadmill experience… think gym full of sexy men and falling off the treadmill and bleeding everywhere and everyone staring.

This is really just a long-winded way of me saying… I get bored on the treadmill. So what do I do? I do little things to keep distracted. I watch TV, which I think is okay. I do agilities. I do lunges. Sometimes I walk backwards. Sometimes I take little weights and do little arm exercises.

The point is, I think it is okay to realize you are distracted and I think it is okay to go about continuing your workout with small exercises to help you blast through the ennui. Music and TV are pretty benign once you get the hang out it. Slowing the treadmill down and doing agilities is good too.

What I don’t think is okay? Eating a bagel on the treadmill. Think about this for a second. What if you choke? A treadmill is heavy machinery people.

Anyway – these are two good posts about doing “other” things on the treadmill to get through a treadmill workout for people that find it tedious. Just remember to workout “smart.” Don’t do something that won’t work for you, and don’t do something where you “might” fall off. We are running to be healthy and happy, not bruised and banged up.