Welcome! Log In | Register

Making Peace with the Dreadmill

Written on July 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm , by


While it’s not in the dictionary, I would guess that most runners are familiar with that made-up word–a combination of the feeling of dread and the torture device that we know as a treadmill.

The first time I ran on a treadmill, I was so bored I wanted to shoot myself after just 5 minutes. I couldn’t even fathom running a single mile on a treadmill, let alone MILES (plural). I have no idea what possessed me to fork over $700 for the modest hamster wheel that I bought, but it was a hot day, and I thought, “Anything is better than running in this heat!”

Anything except the dreadmill, I quickly learned.

Over the past couple of years that I’ve been a runner, I’ve avoided using the treadmill like I avoid taking my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s on a Saturday. Or returning something to Wal-Mart the day after Christmas. Or…well, you get the picture. (click to keep reading…)

Living in Michigan, the weather changes at the drop of a hat. It’s not unusual to have your furnace running at night and then switching it to the central air during the day. I would choose to run outside in any weather over the treadmill—freezing cold, wind, rain, heat, hail, tornadoes (yes, even tornadoes). Bring it on!

So imagine my excitement when my sports doctor told me that due to my knee injury, I should run on a treadmill instead of out on the concrete. His exact words were, “A track is better than concrete, but a treadmill is better than a track.” I actually debated which was worse: running circles around a track for miles on end, or running on the treadmill.

I was desperate to make my knee heal as quickly as possible, so I listened to the doc’s advice and turned my runs over to the treadmill. I knew I couldn’t just run and stare out the window for six miles, so I had to get creative.

My TV was impossible to hear from across the room with the treadmill running, so I wanted to set up my laptop to play The Bachelorette respectable shows on Netflix. The only thing I could find that was high enough to perch the laptop was a cat tree (for my FOUR cats). I dragged the cat tree in front of the treadmill and set my laptop on top. It was directly in my line of vision, just a couple of feet in front of my face—perfect!

That run was still boring, and seemed to go on much longer than necessary, but after it was over, I realized that I wasn’t limping. My knee was feeling good! As I continued my runs on the treadmill, I developed a whole system—set up the computer on the cat tree, pick a dramatic interesting show, set up a fan to blow right on me the entire time, have a bottle of ice water in the cup holder, and make sure my kids had everything they needed before I got started (they’re notorious for asking me for something the instant I press the start button).

Over the span of a few weeks, I started to look at the infamous “dreadmill” in a new light—and focus on the positive things I was getting out of it:

*Little to no knee pain.

*Air-conditioning when it was 100 degrees outside.

*Not having to wear a hydration belt to carry water.

*Not having to use a porta-potty in case of emergency.

*Not worrying about having someone to watch my kids while I go out for a run.

*Catching up on trashy reality shows without guilt.

*Controlled and consistent pace, which is nice for speed workouts.

*Not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to run before it gets too hot.

While I can’t honestly say that I enjoy the treadmill more than running outside, I do have a new appreciation for it, and I don’t dread my workouts on it anymore. Even after my knee is healed, I will probably willingly do some workouts on the machine I used to despise.

Besides, my cats haven’t seen this much entertainment since we found a mouse in our kitchen!

  • Stjackson30

    It really is BORING to run on! I turn the TV on mute and put in my earbuds and listen to music. It’s weird, but it works. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamieweitl Jamie Bolander Weitl

    Great post!!  I agree with all of these.  I’m running outside this summer but I know I’ll be back on the treadmill this winter — for all of the reasons you mention — plus I hate the cold!

  • Pholmes1

    It’s a win win sitch! Fantastic writing–you are gifted in many ways not the least of which is writing!

  • Linda Kuil

    Funny how I look forward to running outside now and you enjoy the treadmill! It’s just that at the gym it’s hard to find a machine that has the fan in working order as well as the tv WITH closed caption!

  • Angela Lee

    Hmmm…. Makes me think about rolling mine out of the closet. An excuse to watch some TV! 

  • http://seejenroerun.blogspot.com/ Jen

    I’ve developed a love / hate relationship with the treadmill – Somedays I actually enjoy running on the treadmill and it’s an absolute necessity to me when temperatures and humidity soars.

  • John Hulsey

    I guess I’m an odd duck about this, because I have always loved the treadmill. My gym has them located right on the front window overlooking a busy main street, so there is always something to watch. I love that I can maintain a set pace without thinking about it. And I like being able to finish my run, get in my strength training, shower and be on my way. I’m a treadmill fan!

  • Jen H.

    Great article, Katie! 
    I love the treadmills at my gym, but without my favorite morning show in my ears, I wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/milesmusclesmom Jen Small

    i always prefer to be out to run but same here, in Maine the weather in the winter can force me onto the TM
    it is a necessary evil :)

  • http://selfesteemblogforwomen.blogspot.com/ DorothyL

    I lived in Florida for 8 years and trust me… the heat and the very sporadic rain storms,
    every neighborhood dog  …oh and lets not forget about the enormous snakes… most definitely played havoc to an enjoyable and stress free run. In saying that…. I finally put efforts into retraining not only my running technique but also my powers of thinking. So now, with the help of some very good tunes and a good imagination, I do enjoy running on my treadmill~

  • Shiloh

    Hello? She doesn’t like the treadmill. It’s about her coming to terms with her treadmill.

  • Shiloh

    I’m enjoying my treadmill runs at the gym. When I’ve run outside, the distance just seems really daunting, and besides, I like the people watching!

  • http://www.treadmillreviews.com/ Jessica Staheli

    Lol have your cats ever tried jumping into the treadmill while you’re on it?

  • jinjinj

    ZBY-Christmas is coming!coach outlet is also coming this world now!Coach bags,most famous brand in usa,also the world,why are coach spread so wide,that is because cheap with fashion,the reason why is so cheap because coach always have coach outlet online,we are the online store of coach bags,and they take their product all is from coach factory outlet,no tax no room rent is the advance of coach outlet online store,so come and shopping us now,beautiful bag are waitting for you.
     Are you ready to send what gift in this Christmas?Maybe we can give you some advice.louis vuitton outlet are amazing shopping site in this world,because through it,you can bought the louis vuitton bags in an incredible price,maybe a new way to get Louis Vuitton Handbag,that is louis vuitton online store,as I understand they take the bag from Louis vuitton factory,no tax,no house rent,no compete,these make the price lower then louis vuitton shop,so why not shop the louis vuitton online,amazing Louis Vuitton handbag are belong to you.
    If you want to buy coach for a christmas gift,you can go to our store online.coach outlet is cheapest mall to bought coach bags.as a famous brand in the world,have discount is a incredible thing.Find online store is a new way to get Coach Bags,coach outlet online obviously is a perfect way to get it,in this winter are you really ready to be a fashion women,usa coach outlet will help you,so join us now!coach outlet store online wating for you comeing!
    If you are worried for Christmas gift,hermes bags may be a good choice,as the world’s most expensive brand,if you have one, that must stand that you are a good station person in your country, Hermes is famous of it’s hermes handbags,as the hermes handbag’s high qulity and best design, maybe the price is the best in the world.Two series of hermes is popular,that is hermes kelly bags,and hermes birkin bags,this two series make Hermes more popular, so visit our site to get your love.
    A lot of people want to get a beautiful Coach Bag in christmas.Where can we buy coach bags? A lot of people choose to go to coach outlet store online.All products what sale in coach outlet online are top quality and low price.We promise you to recieve your buy about 5~7days. usa coach outlet directly sell for customers.Do you want to free to buy Coach Bags in your home?Please click coach outlet.
    belstaff jackets is the most popular winter brand in the world,if you don’t know,that means you out.belstaff coat is famous of its high-level material and fahisonable design,so that’s why so many people choose Belstaff to though the cold winter.Nowaday surffing the internet is the lifestyle of most people,but have you bought things on the internet,I introduce you to try to buy things in the internet,because you can buy belstaff sale on the internet,that way you can get big discount than in reality world,in the brand belstaff trialmaster series is the hottest,this series suit for all kinds of people,whatever you like,whatever you are,you suit it.
    Why buy coach bags from us? Because we have all kinds of Coach products,and these products are high quality and low price.coach factory  provide the most perfect service, your order will arrive about 5~7days.Free shipping any order of $99+.Go shopping in people’s eyes is women’s patent as if  .Now a new choice for women is going to coach factory online.If you want to buy Coach Poppy Bag or Coach Wallet, but don’t want to go out, coach factory outlet must be your best choice.Are you still hesitate? To click on your mouse to choose your like.
    What should you send gift in christmas? hermes handbags is waiting for you.Maybe Hermes Handbags is very expensive,but you will be interisted in our replica hermes handbags,we have hermes birkin bags,Hermes Kelly Bags and so on,all of them is quality assured and beautiful,so buy hermes bags on our site,amazing surprise is waiting for you.
    On the eve of Christmas comes,  coach factory outlet also provide to the most preferential price at this time.  coach outlet olinehave many beautiful products, there must be  your like.Such Coach bags,Coach sunglass,Coach wallet and so on.Free shipping for any order of $99+.our store will give you a nice present.coach outlet must be Shopping paradise what you want to go.
    What should we buy   winter clothes?I think a moncler jackets is necessaery,online moncler is a good way to get a perfect Moncler.Moncleris famous of it amazing qulity and it’s consummate manual work,when you ware it,you will feel warm,whatere how cold the winter is,Moncler can take care of your body.Our online store afford latest moncler coat,so in the cold winter you can also fashion and attractive,so visit our moncler online shop,it will take you a warm winter.

  • Zhangrendogn

    Most of the shock value of Hermes Bags releasing a bag with a four-figure price tag wore off years ago, but the disparity between the prices of the Hermes Handbags Madison Calf Hair Brynne Satchel and the Hermes Bags Ocelot Sabrina Satchel truly caught be off guard.
    The Brynne, left, is made of printed calf hair with leather trim and is 14 inches wide. The Sabrina, on the right, is nylon with leather trim and measures 12 inches across. If you had shown me the bags and asked me to guess, I would have pegged the Brynne at about $700 – one of Hermes’s pricier offerings, but not out of the brand’s normal range these days. The Sabrina would have been much lower, probably about $300. On one count, I would have been remarkably close (not much of an accomplishment, considering that this is my job); on the other, not so Hermes Birkin Bags has many, many loyal fans who love the brand’s bags (not to mention the many other products it now offers), and I can’t help but think that those enthusiastic Hermes Birkin 25CM Bags customers have to be the primary audience for such an expensive bag. For that amount of money, though, I’d suggest they buy the Sabrina (which would even be useful in the rain!) and save the other $1100 for two or more future Hermes purchases.

  • x789120

    The weather is getting colder and colder, the Belstaff Leather Jacket is getting hotter and hotter, nobody can refuse the jackets design in this world, and match a Beats By Dre Norge amd a Prada Bags Outlet, that could be the most fashionable collocation in 2012, Beats By Dr Dre is established in USA, and it will take you amazing music feeling.In this centery, shopping frome the internet is very popular, on the internet,Moncler On Sale,Belstaff Motorcycle Jackets on sale,Belstaff UK on sale,Beats By Dre Norge on sale, so shopping with us, you will never regret.

  • x789120

    We were the first to showcase the Beats By Dre kristin collection with you in August of 2009. Since then, the Kristin collection has turned into one of the most coveted and acclaimed lines by Beats. Back in October of last year, Vlad and I previewed Beats By Dr Dre’s Spring collection, in which the Kristins were well represented.
    For Spring 2011 the Monster Beats Norge takes center stage in their line yet again.Nye Beats By Dre still offers their Poppy collection for those that want the glitz and fun, their monogram bags for those that want to sport the brand’s recognized logo, but the Kristin collection fits into its own sleek and refined category that I absolutely appreciate and adore.It is the many options that make the Kristin Collection my Beats By Dre for this week.

  • liuxiaoqin

     One Coach Factory Outletof the Coach Factory
    main reasonsLouis Vuitton is Louis Vuitton UKthat the earnings are virtually Louis Vuitton Outletcolorless.