Treadmill [n.]: A torture device perfected in the 20th century, designed to destroy one’s mind through sensory deprivation and monotony
Historically, the treadmill and I don’t love each other. I love to run outside: summer, winter and the short months between those two. In fact, I love winter running so much that I wrote this “Ode to Winter Running” around this time last year.
Now here I am, facing a winter, while loving to run, and happening to be 26 weeks pregnant. With my growing baby bump and diminishing sense of balance, running outside on snowy and icy sidewalks has become a risk. I’m nervous of falling. My husband and obstetrician are nervous. So what’s a girl to do? Begin to embrace my treadmill.
My husband gently forced the purchase of a treadmill last Boxing Day after I got hit by a car while running on rainy December morning at 7am. We put it away for the spring and summer but last winter it was convenient during storms and on harshly bitter cold morning and evenings.
I now need to improve it’s ranking from “convenient” to “enjoyable” so that I can best enjoy my running for the last 3 months of my pregnancy. Sensory deprivation and monotony remain key barriers.
I’m making some progress. Here I present to you, the ways in which I am trying to love the treadmill.
- Next to my large sunroom mirror, I can look at winter without winter making me cold
- I can stop to put my “MacGuyver-SI-Joint” back into place when it stubbornly slips out of place despite being held tightly in place by a special phsyio SI belt. SI joint is henceforth named “MacGuyver”
- I can bring a buffet of candy AND Gatorade on my runs because my treadmill has a shelf. You do not have a shelf on which to place things with you when you run outdoors
- Ability to drink as much Gatorade or water as I want from my buffet shelf
- Unlimited and easy bathroom breaks without having to leave McKim on standby while I sneakily use a tree or someone’s backyard (note, I am not that stealth)
- My hot pink Asics look really hot against the black belt of the treadmill
- I can watch running and New England Patriot videos on my iPhone with supreme sound as my treadmill has an iPod dock and great speakers
- I don’t have to worry about how many layers to fit over my baby bump and how I’m going to fit my baby bump into my layers as my running shorts fit below my belly and just a sports bra will do for indoors. I did, by the way, learn this week that my long johns will fit if I wear them backwards: the size small butt being more forgiving than proper orientation for a bump.
- No cars will hit me
- I have more evening time to spend at home with my husband as it cuts out driving to and from the track and the socializing that I (enjoyably) do with my training pals
- I am enhancing my mathematical unit conversion skills as the treadmill’s units are miles. Likely this is making my fetus smarter.
- At 6 months pregnant, I can continue to practice my sport and preserve my character and sanity
Two weeks ago, week 24 of pregnancy, I ran 5 days: 1 at the track, 1 long run outside and 3 on the treadmill. My weekly mileage was only 32km as I suffered repeated treadmill failure due to boredom. Last week, week 25, I ran 4 days with 3 on the treadmill. My weekly mileage was about the same with one less running day as I instituted a new 5km treadmill rule: not allowed off the treadmill until I reach 5km.
Do you have some tricks for loving the ‘mill? Let me know!