Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Going Nowhere

I'm not a fan of the treadmill at all, to put it mildly. But with the remnant of Hurricane Lee parked over Pennsylvania for the foreseeable future, it becomes my best option for getting as many of midweek miles in this week.

I especially dislike our treadmill. It's rough on the calves and ankles and the speedometer and odometer seem to very inaccurate. (More on this in a minute). I'm probably being too harsh on a $350 treadmill from Bocov's, especially because it has been an extremely valuable part of my training during my first two years of running, when I was quickly driven indoors by the cold temperatures that I now crave.

Since it was pouring at 7:00am, when the always-reliable weather.com said there was "only" a 40% chance of rain, I decided to wait to see if I could catch a break in the weather in the afternoon, when it seemed there was another possible break at around 1pm, where the chance of precipitation dropped back down to 40% again. Again, pouring.

So, I hopped on the treadmill at my lunch break. Like I said, the speedometer and odometer seem very inaccurate. I run about a 10-minute mile pace -- 6mph. But on our treadmill, I go flying off the back if I set it at 6mph and used to run at 5.5. I hadn't used it in a year, and today I found that I was most comfortable and my stride seemed to most closely match my usual stride at 4.3mph. Though my PRs are faster, I am probably a little slower on average than I was in 2006-2008, when I used the treadmill more often, but that seemed ridiculous! In the past, when I've used a treadmill at a gym or hotel, I've been able to set it at 5.5 or 6mph and run comfortably. To be fair, those treadmills also probably cost thousands of dollars.

At any rate, today (and any other days this week I'm forced to use the Hamster Wheel) I assumed a 10-minute mile and ran for 40 minutes, considering my four-mile obligation to Hal Higdon to be fulfilled, even though I really moved less than two feet for the whole 40 minutes.

The rest of the week's schedule is 8 tomorrow, 4 on Thursday, and 15 on Saturday. There appears to be no chance of the rain stopping anytime soon, but there is also no chance of me staying on our treadmill for 1:20. I'll keep an eye on the forecasts, and hope that I can switch the two and get the 8 in on Thursday.


  1. The treadmill sucks. I second your assertion.

  2. I almost succumbed to a treadmill tonight. I was ready to go to the gym then I realized that it hadn't rained in about 2 hours. So I took a chance at my boardwalk out and back... It was misty, then it drizzled. Then it stopped then started again. When I was a block from home, it was pouring. I kind of loved it.