I’ve been debating the merits of a treadmill at home for years. For the majority of my years running, I’ve had a gym membership. This gave me the opportunity to run on a treadmill when necessary. “When” necessary really is necessary has also been something I’ve debated for years. Coming back from an injury is a good time for treadmill running, as you are never miles away from being done, if something goes wrong. Really, really nasty weather might be another, though I’m skeptical of this. Ice is probably the only weather that should be used as an excuse for running indoors in the Willamette Valley, and we don’t get ice that often. Running while sick is another decent reason. I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, with the exception of maybe the first day or two of a fever, I go through several days of too sick to run outdoors but not too sick to run indoors. So, really, this is probably not more than 10 days a year total. That isn’t enough to justify a gym membership, which is why I canceled mine. It certainly isn’t enough to justify purchasing a treadmill for the house, which is exactly what I just did!
Why? I was sick last week. I came back from Vegas with Smoking Redneck Spotted Fever. It drove me crazy to not run for 5 days, that’s part of it. Jeanne will use it for walking when the weather is bad outdoors, that’s another part. And then there is the “solving the morning running, bathroom dilemma” reason, which may end up being the perfect reason to get one. Time will tell. I’ve added a new “surface” to my running log. I started this year tracking surfaces run on. So that I could see how many trail miles I logged. I added a treadmill surface, though I really hope I don’t use it too often. So, to date for 2011, after my 5 day hiatus, I’m at 288 road miles, 36 trail miles, 21gravel road miles and 7 treadmill miles. This brings me to almost 14,000 miles since I started running. I should pass that milestone this weekend. All of this has me pondering things like “can treadmill miles really be counted in distance, since you don’t go anywhere” and “is the impact of body weight minimized on a treadmill, since you aren’t propelling your own body weight forward” and so on.