Spartan Race

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Dreadmill Chronicle...

To give a bit of background information, I used to be a treadmill guy. I used to espouse the benefit of being able to watch TV for an entire run, the utility of never being more than 25 feet from a bathroom, the beauty of knowing exactly how many miles per hour you are running and wisdom of knowing exactly how fast you were going at all times (as an aside, I've figured out that easiest way to tell an outside runner from a treadmill runner is how they report their speed - mph = treadmill, X minute miles = outside). My wife always scoffed at this, and I have to say she was right. I only hit the treadmill now when I have no other alternative. Lately, the treadmill has been fighting back.
I have to work this weekend, so my usual running schedule is thrown a bit off. I can either run very early or very late. I awoke around 4 AM this morning to the sound of driving rain pelting my bedroom windows, and knowing that the temperature was in the mid-thirties, I resolved to sleep for a while and then run in the afternoon. I subsequently tossed and turned for a few hours, and finally decided to get up and go hop on the treadmill for a quick three mile run.
This would seem like a reasonable plan, except for the fact that apparently a poltergeist now inhabits the dreadmill lurking in my garage. It hates me. Perhaps it loathes me. It is the Moriarty to my Holmes, the Luke Skywalker to my Darth Vader, the Newman to my Seinfeld, the Dr. Doofenschmirtz to my Perry the Platypus. It hasn't always been this way, we've spent long hours together, me plodding along, watching a movie on the minuscule flat screen dvd player/tv combo (bought from a pawn shop that happens to sell things on ebay), it humming just loud enough to drown out the players pathetic auditory system, integrated fans pointed at my face and just barely moving enough air for me know they were on... We were happy. It's still that way for my wife. She turns on the treadmill, and it does what she asks. She can run as fast as she wants for as long as she wants. Me, not so much.
Somehow, over the last few months, any attempt I make to run on the treadmill results in a blown circuit breaker. The first time it happened (just before Christmas), it took me quite some time and many trips to the breaker box to figure out what happened. It seems that not only is the circuit attached to the box, but also to a ground fault indicator outlet on the far side of the garage. This would appear to be the culprit. I do not know what my treadmill is suddenly drawing enough power to blow a fuse, but regardless of why, it drove me into a rage at 5:50AM. As I walked back in to my pre-dawn house, I vowed that the dreadmill would not win the day. I would run before sundown.
So I did. I pulled on my stocking cap and my Sugoi Zap jacket and my Newtons and I took off outside. It's 27 degrees today, and precipitating. And it felt great. I've gotten enough used to my Newton Gravitas that they are no longer a novelty, but I'm still running faster than I was in other shoes. I feel like a running light bulb has come on when I wear them. My Sugoi Zap jacket never ceases to amaze me. I was impervious to the worst old man winter could throw at me. Freezing rain and snow bounced off it like ping pong balls. Wind gusts hard enough to make me duck my head failed to penetrate it at all. Despite it's light weight, I actually had to unzip it a little ways, because I got a bit warm. In short, I ran through the sleet and snow and enjoyed it tremendously (as an aside, when running or driving through snow, I always feel like I'm getting ready to go into hyperspace, it makes me feel fast). Feeling like I could win a land war in Asia as I crossed over the threshold into my garage, I glared at the treadmill and silently thanked it for giving me the opportunity to run in the weather. I think it blinked. Mu.


  1. This one made me laugh. I had to run on the "Dreadmill" today for the first time in a long time due to lots of snow outside. I feel your pain. Hope things are going well otherwise.


  2. great post! I have my own love/hate relationship with a treadmill that I put in my son's room after he moved away to college.