Do I miss the treadmill?
That is a question that I never thought would be an issue until the pandemic turned the world upside down and made going to the gym, not within the realm of possibilities for me.
In a word. “Yes.”
The treadmill and I have a great relationship.
I appreciate the convenience and safety of running on a treadmill during the cold Winter months in Maine and even using during the few hot/muggy Summer days when it ain’t healthy to run outside around heah.
So if I wanted to run in those conditions, I have a choice of either “suck it up buttercup” and run outside or go inside to use a treadmill (at least until recently). Often, I opted for the treadmill-it was safer and I no longer have to prove my toughness or feed my ego by running outside in any or all conditions.
I know I am not that tough.
A treadmill forces me to run at steadier paces than I usually do, doesn’t abuse my legs as badly as asphalt or concrete, lets me run in weather that I otherwise wouldn’t run in, allows me to run in relative comfort (shorts/t-shirt), and makes me work harder than I would on my own (I can’t cheat as easily on the speeds I wanted to get during the workout). Plus going to the gym to use a treadmill was one of the few social activities where this old retired guy interacted with people outside of the house.
The treadmill has become a tool that I used a LOT over the past few years, and yes, like any tool it does have its drawbacks. It can be mind numbingly boring, if it is a longer run and the scenery isn’t as nice as outside most of the time.
Why don’t I have one at home?
Unfortunately, our house is a double-wide and not set up for having a treadmill inside it, at for how I would use it. I can see me now bouncing around, errr running at 6.5 to 8.5 mph and having pictures and nic-nacs quickly ending up on the floor. Not something TheWife would appreciate saying the least. So having a treadmill in our house ain’t happening.
If I want to run on a treadmill, it would be set up in an unheated garage or I go to the gym.
Let’s talk about the gym first.
With the pandemic still raging around us, it is not an option and probably will not be one until Fall at the earliest – at least from my perspective. I haven’t been to the gym since March 5, 2020. Yes, I do miss both the social interactions with other people, having a choice of whether to run outside or on the treadmill, doing a warm-up and cool-down routine (which I don’t do at home regularly), along just getting away from the house.
Putting a treadmill in the back of the garage would help on bad days where the roads are a mess and cut-back on the windy as hell days I would have to deal with. However, when the temps are below freezing, I would still have to bundle up to ward off the cold. Plus, treadmills do not work great when the temps are too cold, which happens all too often in Maine during the Winter. Using a treadmill out in the garage in those kinds of temps would shorten the treadmill’s lifespan considerably and make it not worthwhile.
I have learned over the past year that a treadmill is a tool that helps me run better and more consistently.
There were many days when the windchills were/are subzero Fahrenheit, or the roads are a mess that I would love to have had the option to run on the treadmill this past Winter. Since I can’t and running outside or having to take the day off due to conditions outside, my mileage and pace have both suffered.
Hopefully, next Fall/Winter, we will not be in the thrall of the COVID-19 pandemic, and going to the gym will be an everyday occurrence once again. Until then, I will whine more than I should because I can’t use a treadmill.
Do I miss running on the treadmill?
You won’t hear this runner using the term dreadmill anytime soon.