That’s right, We Bought A Treadmill!* I’m not one of those husbands that blames everything on his spouse but…it was Mrs. Nitmos’ idea. Really. I only passively resisted at first. The fact is that I don’t like running on a treadmill. Who does, right? But then I realized that I could avoid some of those ankle twisting, knee torquing winter ice runs so I didn’t put up much of a fight. Besides, Mrs. Nitmos is more apt to get in some miles on the thing and, if that works better for her, than great! Plus, while she’s on the mill and dealing with kid noises all around her, I can still run outside in relative peace and quiet.
I’ve been on it twice so far. It’s positioned in our finished basement directly at the TV. I was quite the sight to behold yesterday – as I am normally- but more so flinging sweat all over the futon couch nearby and my daughter’s Barbie house in front while holding a remote control channel surfing between miles 4 and 5. I watched part of a Dane Cook movie. It was 15 degrees and blowing snow outside. I was on a treadmill, in my basement, watching a Dane Cook movie. I believe a baseball player in an Iowa corn field hit the nail on the head with the appropriate question, “Is this heaven?” You’re goddamn right.
I vowed to only use the thing for one run a week during the winter months. The other runs must be completed outside in full on Sherpa gear, if necessary. I don’t want to go all soft and treadmilly. Treadmill legs are the worst kind to go into a race with. It’s fool’s gold…false confidence…a mirage. Running on a treadmill is to actual running like Michelob Ultra is to beer. It’s nearly the same. Nearly…except for that key component: substance.
A buddy of mine once trained for a 5k with me…except he did his runs on a treadmill while I was out on the sidewalks. He excitedly told me all about the speeds he was obtaining in the weeks leading up to race day while I nodded and smiled skeptically. On race day, he ran a full minute per mile slower than expected. Treadmill legs! I don’t know what the mathematical conversion is for a predominantly treadmill oriented runner but I believe it is something like this:
Finish time = (Expected pace*miles) * 1.15% (treadmill penalty) + one minute (Dane Cook movie penalty, if applicable)
Since I work out of my basement, I can see the big ugly thing looming out of the corner of my eye as I type this. It’s weird to have this thing you loathe to a visceral level - but acquiesce on occasion - sitting right in my home. I feel the house needs an exorcism to expel it but, now that it is inside, it’ll be tough to remove. I find myself looking at it a muttering “my precioussss” over and over again. I want it to go…but then I don’t want it to leave either. In other words, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY PRECIOUSSSSS!
So, until late March, I’ll continue to hit one run per week on the
If you no longer see me on the sidewalks…if my race times suddenly decrease…if I’m found sleeping on the padded mill surface afraid someone is going to take it…you can place the blame directly where it belongs.
Not on Precious.
Not on me.
On Mrs. Nitmos, of course.
*Incidentally, this was the name of a screenplay I’d written and pitched to Matt Damon. He declined…then, months later, out comes We Bought A Zoo. Have you seen it? You tell me which had the better premise.
Officially Official: As I suspected, I wasn’t virtually mugged, I’m in for NYC Marathon! They even provided a cute littel "badge" for me to display...which says nothing about New York...a marathon...well, anything, really. So, wait, was I mugged?