Friday, January 20, 2012

The Devil Inside Us

It’s in the house. That demonic whirring noise is coming from somewhere INSIDE THE HOUSE….

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 precious treadmill. By then, I’ll have viewed all of the Dane Cook movies Comedy Central has to offer. My futon will be a Slip N’ Slide and the two story Barbie house will have appeared to have been overwhelmed by a hurricane. (Don’t worry, honey, you can still rip the comb through Barbie’s matted hair.) After that, the treadmill will become what it really should be: a coat rack.

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.

Happy milling.

*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?


Morgan said...

Congrats on your precious, I think. I guess as long as you keep realizing that it'll give you false hope you're ok. Spike wants to register for a treadmill. I'm pretty sure there are no wedding registries that include treadmills.

Also, congrats on making it in to NYC!

David said...

The sweaty Barbie house isn't the issue.It took two years, but sweat killed my treadmill. That's a new kind of evil that will lurk inside your 'mills bearings.

So are you gonna review the treadmill for us? I find myself in the market...

Danielle in Iowa in Seattle said...

Intervals, I tell you, Intervals! That's what your treadmill is good for. Make yourself run hard until Dane Cook says something funny. Then you get a break. Mwahahaha!

Jamoosh said...

Viper, Razz, and Nitmos all publishing on the same day... If Ian publishes today I will offically believe 2012 will be the end of the world.

Word Verification = fackyak

If I am correct, and assume I am, a fackyak is a literal yak. That is all.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congrats on the Marathon.

Depends on the day if I like the treadmill. That's the woman I am.

Viper said...

Don't worry, Jamoosh. Ian can't be counted on.

As for this treadmill business, I'm very disappointed. You're probably wearing pants now too. Disgusting.

Elizabeth said...

Treadmills are for pussies (no offense, Mrs. Nitmos).

Nut up.

Drea said...

I think this is GOOD. Treadmill running once a week is a great tool to up your mileage without impact on the legs. You are spot on that it isn't the same workout- it's about 15-20 seconds boost to each mile. Treadmills give false confidence for sure....BUT...if you are using it for easy runs to up your mileage, and doing your hard efforts outside- it's a great tool to keep the engine revving and the legs lightened. So don't feel to guilty about missing that fucking snowy ice shit outside! OH I remember running with ski goggles. God lives in Santa Barbara I am sure of it.


Razz said...

Circle of life: I just gave our TM its last rites yesterday.

Hakuna Matata or whatever

Katie said...

bahahah, i feel the same way about the TM! so far i've been able to avoid it this winter...