Yesterday, we had a fabulous family run. Hubby’s knee has been bothering him so he only ran the first mile and half with us then we swung by our house so he could hop on his bike. He biked next to me and Z for the rest of our 4 mile run. It was such a nice way to spend the morning – getting some exercise as a family! It was hot during our run, but today it is even hotter. There is a heat advisory in effect so I thought it was best not to take Z out for a run.
Hubby, along with some of our wonderful family members, assembled our brand new treadmill over the weekend. Hubby told me that he “wasn’t sure” if he had finished putting it together, but he thought it was good to go; I just needed to lubricate the belt first. I scanned the instructions and it appeared to be ready to go so I lubed up the belt and hopped on. I generally hate running on the treadmill, or the dreadmill as many affectionately call it, but I need an option for when I can’t take Z out running.
After I had Z last year, when I started running again, it was on the treadmill. I went to the neighborhood gym with him and I’d park the stroller next to the treadmill. He’d watch me intently while I ran and then quickly fall asleep to the hum of the treadmill.
As he got older, there was no way I could take him to the gym and he’d be content to sit still while I ran. Once he was old enough I started to take him out on my runs with me or I’d run alone while hubby watched him and I haven’t looked back at a treadmill since.
When I was in college, I was a dedicated treadmill runner. I don’t know why I didn’t venture outside for my runs; it was probably partially because going to the gym was a social activity since I went with my friends :). I trained for a 5K on the treadmill my sophomore year which was a huge mistake because I was so unprepared for these little things called hills. It wasn’t really until my senior year that I finally started running outside regularly. I loved it and never wanted to get back on a treadmill again! I enjoyed running outside so much that it led me to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon after graduation.
Now that I’ve gone off on a tangent about my treadmill history, let’s get back to today’s run :). After much research, we chose the Horizon Fitness T203 Treadmill. We knew we wanted a good quality treadmill and I had 2 specific requirements for it – a fan and an iPod hookup. A lot of treadmills do have both things, but we went with this one based on the reviews. The treadmill has many more great features such as an adjustment to make the surface firm or soft, Nike + connection, incline up to 12%, speed up to 12mph, and it folds up! I do wish the fan was a little bit stronger, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
I was able to connect my iPhone (and it charged my phone while I ran!) and play my music through the speakers. This is a huge advantage for me because I need to be able to hear the monitor while I run in case my son wakes up. Another advantage to having your own treadmill in your basement is that you can sing along with Lady Gaga while you run and no one will look at you like you’re crazy!
It’s also nice that I can watch TV if I want while I run to help pass the time; I think I might do that next time because did you know that running on the treadmill is extremely boring?! The first mile and half were great as I basked in my ability to blast my music and sing along, but then I started to get frustrated, as I glanced out the window, that I was stuck inside. My scenery wasn’t changing. I only ended up running 3 miles (in 29:30) at a 1% incline. If I ran outside, I would have tried for 4-5 miles, but I was so ready to get off that treadmill after 3 miles. I walked for 2 minutes to cool down after I hit 3, then I was done.
If you’re wondering why I ran at a 1% incline, that would be because someone once told me that running at a 0% incline on the treadmill is pretty much the equivalent of running downhill outside. I don’t know if that is accurate or not, but ever since then, I try to run at a 0.5 or 1% incline to add a wee bit more resistance. I hope I’m wrong actually because that run was pretty tough and I’d like to blame the incline for that.
As much as I do not enjoy running on the treadmill, I am glad that we have it now. I recently read that treadmill running should be a supplement, not a replacement, to running outside which is most definitely true. I won’t be replacing my outdoor runs with treadmill runs, but I will be hopping on it when I can’t get outside.
Whether it be inside or outside, happy running to you!