I bought a treadmill last year in January. Not because I was setting a resolution or wanting to hit a goal, but because there have been days in north Texas when it’s freezing outside, and I’m a Texan, so freezing temperatures scare us. We don’t know what to do.
But I also bought it because more frequently in the summer it’s in the 90s by 8 a.m.
One of my migraine triggers is the sun and heat. I can drink a lot of water and eat well, and wear a cooling cap, but I still get slammed with a migraine after running in hot weather.
So my husband thought I needed to quit subjecting myself to scorching runs, and he agreed to buy a treadmill. I may have said something in my pitch like, “Do you want me to keep getting migraines? Do you want our neighbors to find me dunking my head in the drainage ditch, because I overheated? Do you want to be the husband to that lady?”
I don’t mind running in the cold. It’s certainly not fun, and I’ve had my share of runs in sleet and high winds, but it’s really hard to run when it’s below 20 degrees with a wind chill.
Do I lose some badass-ness if I opt for my treadmill instead of doing a freezing 5 miles?
But, we bought a treadmill anyway.
And I hate it.
And I love it.
It’s so boring. Even though I’ve watched the much-talked about series finale of The Sopranos, and I’ve seen my favorite episodes of Rory and Lorelei trading phrases on Gilmore Girls while padding away on the treadmill, I can’t shake the boredom. I look down and see I’ve gone 1.2 miles, even though it feels like I’ve done 3.
I think maybe the calibration is off, because I know I’ve run further than that little screen says. Or maybe that’s just the trick of the treadmill. You think its numbers are off but really, it’s correct, and it’s all part of the mind games of the treadmill.
I much prefer running outside, but I love that treadmill because on days when it’s too hot to run (or too cold), I can still get a run in. I don’t have an excuse.
Yes, my dog Prince looks at me with his sad puppy eyes, because I’ve chosen this hulking, whirring machine instead of our usual run around the block. Meanwhile, our other dog Pudge just sleeps on the couch near me, soothed to sleep by the hum of the treadmill.
Oh how I’m so jealous when I see him resting away as I’m watching the numbers change from 1.2 miles to 1.3.
But I’ve also noticed that if I’ve wasted the day away doing other things— i.e. silly work— then I can still get a run in even though it’s 10:30 at night. If I want a night run, I don’t have to strap on my cap light, my shoe lights, my reflective clothing. (A neighbor once saw me donned in all my night gear and said, “Whoa! I thought it was a robot coming my way!”) So there’s that bit of goodness— I’m not mistaken for something from Tron.
With that, here is my love letter to my treadmill.
I hate to love you, my dear machine friend. On to 1.4 miles!