Monday, March 5, 2018

My Journey with Milly


The treadmill.

Oh, I have plenty to say about this mentally (and physically) challenging piece of equioment.

Some runners love it. Many detest it. A handful are neutral and simply put up with it due to extreme circumstances.

Myself? I'm not a fan, by any means. I'm very thankful to have one in my house, but her and I do not always get along cordially. By the way...did you know my treadmill has a name, Milly?




First of all, some facts:
**Milly is almost 17 years old! She lived in our basement for a few years before we remodeled the living space down there. She didn't see much action other than a few short walks now and then.

**She currently resides in our mudroom, facing a window, overlooking our backyard. Did I mention there's a heat vent right directly above her?

**There are some bells and whistles (adjustable settings for intervals, incline, etc.), but no video screen/television monitor nearby.

It wasn't until the summer of 2005 when her and I struck up a friendship. I wasn't hoping to lose weight, but I did realize my body could use a little bit of toning. Our town was sponsoring a small 5K race in a couple months and I was interested in toeing the line. Prior to that, I had done a few random 5K's,but had never been able to run the entire distance.

Milly was very patient with me...she allowed me to run a mile at a time. Eventually, I was able to increase my distance by 1/2 mile increments over the course of those two months. The race day arrived and I was able to run the entire 5K without any walk breaks, and I ran it faster than expected!

Her and I were almost inseparable after that race! She got me to commit to running three times a week (usually three miles for each session), and that continued on through the fall, winter and into the spring.

When the summer of 2006 arrived, I was eager to do more races. Also, I thought it best to run outside so my body could acclimate to the heat, humidity, and changing terrain similar to what I'd most likely experience during races.

Milly turned on me, though, in the fall of 2006. After venturing outside and discovering the beauty and solitude of outdoor running, things were never the same. I couldn't get her to cooperate...she was either too slow or too fast for me. And, she was so boring!  She didn't offer much for scenery (no pretty flowers or interesting houses), all I could hear was her loud motor (instead of birds or crickets), and it was a struggle to keep my stride length in check (because I could not get the speed or incline to work in a comfortable way for me). UGH.

Alas, I spent most of the next 10 years outdoors and as far away from her as possible. There would be a rare 2-3 mile torture session with her (if it was really cold or icy outside), but that was it.

Quite by accident, I realized that although I could not tolerate her company for any extended length of time, she was manageable in small doses. In recent years, I have used her for speed work on occasion, and there have been some random #nevermissaMonday (short) runs. I even created an interval workout juxtaposing short sprints with stair climbing (Stella vs. Milly Interval Extravaganza Workout).

The longest distance I've been able to run with her is five miles (I may have gone six miles one time...but it may have only been five actual miles that felt like six?). As I have said many times, huge props to those who can run double digit runs on their treadmills. They obviously have something I'm missing from my genetic makeup or mindset...and I will not be seeking membership in their exclusive club (LOL).

So, that's my story with Milly. It's been a rocky road, but she is slowly working her way back into my life. I still prefer an outdoor excursion, though, over an indoor running-in-place session with her. That's my reality.

Enough about Milly and me. How about you? Is there a special treadmill in your life? If so, does she (or he) have a name?

 **I'm  linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.  We're chatting about treadmills, feel free to join the conversation!

**I'm linking this with Deb for the Wednesday Word...today's word is brash (which describes my attitude towards the treadmill). 


**I'm also linking this with Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.





38 comments:

  1. I think our mills are the same age. Mine has seen considerably more action than yours though. Through the years when the kids were babies there were stretches of time I simply could not get outside so to the mill I went. I think I told you my mill PDR is 22 miles. I don't love it but I enjoy the mental challenge.

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    1. 22 miles?????? Yikes. That had to have earned you a lifetime membership into the 'Mill Masters Club! ;-)

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  2. My mill is over 20 and the last time I ran on it was about 6 months ago. It's starting to show its age which is why I don't run on it often. It speeds up and slows down at will. Like Marcia, it got most of its' use when the boys were little.

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    1. About a year ago, I thought 'Milly had bit the dust...she just shut down and I could not revive her. I actually was a bit sad...but a couple days later, she was her old self again. Reincarnation?

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  3. Mine is even older than yours. We bought her when we lived in TX, so I could walk during the brutal summers. It's been well used & brought back to life several times.

    TM running isn't my fav, but it's convenient & sometimes necessary up here (unless you just won't run on a treadmill at all) & I'm thankful to have one.

    And oh yeah, when I started to run initially I was also a treadmill runner & trained for a lot of my first 5k on her -- but I realized I had to get outside & run, too, so eventually I did. Wasn't easy! I felt like such a poser.

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    1. I am grateful I have access to one, but she is always my last resort (and it has to be extremely cold, windy, and/or icy for me to even consider her). I know...#badmillmom

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  4. I have always wanted a treadmill and I knew I would get my money's worth. When I rented a house I purchased one and used it all the time. But after moving into a condo I was unable to have it and I realized how much I missed it. But now I have it back in my house and this past winter it has been very helpful with getting my runs in the way this weather has been.

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    1. I think when I transitioned to outdoor running (that second year after I started running), my form/stride changed, I have long legs, so I am frequently bumping my toes on the front and that totally messes with my mind (and alters my gate as well). I have all kinds of excuses LOL

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  5. That's impressive that your treadmill has been around for so long!

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    1. I think she's lasted so long because she has not gotten much use LOL

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  6. I cannot believe that Milly has been around for 17 years! That's amazing that it has lasted that long. We had our old treadmill for about 15 years and then it just died. We've had out new treadmill for about 1.5 years.

    You know I'm a fan of the treadmill. Although running outside is always better, sometimes the treadmill is just way more convenient!

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    1. Well, as I said above, she's probably lasted so long because she sits dormant for the greater part of the year LOL

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  7. After doing so much of my training outdoors this past fall, it's tough to be on the treadmill. I can start and stop much faster than the motor is programmed, and it does get on my nerves.

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    1. The lagging motor thing is really annoying. Even when I try to do speed intervals, it always takes several seconds to shift to the new speed.

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  8. I used to run 10-12 miles on the treadmill at my gym and Im not sure how I did that! I think I could do it now with some entertainment, but it wouldn't be my first choice The farthest i have run on my home treadmill is 9 miles.

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    1. UGH....I cannot imagine going any further than 5-6 miles or spending more than an hour (MAX!) on it. Just Not My Gig.

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  9. My old treadmill got a LOT of use - I ran on it a few times a week and Beer Geek walked on it 5 times a week. It gave up the ghost after 10 hard years of usage. My new one gets used very differently. Beer Geek runs on it now (at least 6 miles at a time), but only under duress. He'd much rather run in whatever weather we are dealing with. Last winter I only used it once or twice, but this winter I'm on it nearly every day. I should probably give it a name...

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    1. Yes, you should give it a name ;-) It's a lot easier to curse when you address "someone" by name (at least it is for me) ;-)

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  10. I have an old treadmill as well and I avoid it at all costs! I just can't get in a rhythm and I miss my running buddies :)

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    1. It really is hard for me to get in a rhythm, too. I blame a lot of that on my long legs because I seriously have stubbed my toes on it before and am paranoid it will happen again. IT totally jacks up my form because I'm constantly trying to take shorter strides than what feel natural.

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  11. I actually LOVE my treadmill haha but I do also enjoy outdoor runs! Can't believe Milly is 17, sounds like she's been a trusty tready friend ;)

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    1. Well, I don't know if I'd call her a "friend." She's more of a casual acquaintance that usually succeeds in making me feel awkward and impatient.

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  12. I don't mind treadmills, but I rarely use them. If I'm stuck indoors, I usually hit up the stair climber or the summit trainer instead! That said, I once ran a full marathon on a treadmill. It really wasn't as bad as I expected!

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    1. Seriously????? 26.2 miles on the 'mill??? I cannot even imagine....LOL

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  13. My parents still have the treadmill they bought in the early 90s!! And how sad is it that when I read "17 years old" and I was like, "Oh that's only slightly younger than I am" and then I realized, nope. I'm almost twice as old as that treadmill. Ha!

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    1. Ha! I think our treadmill has lasted this long is because it has not seen much action (other than that first year when I ran almost exclusively on it).

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  14. HOW IS MILLY 17 YEARS OLD?! That's amazing!!!! I had my dad's treadmill for a long time. I suppose it was getting up there in age. But definitely not 17...!

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    1. Well, Milly is almost an antique in her own right. She's very basic (probably because of her age), so she does not see much action (because she is SO boring)....therefore she probably still has a lot of miles left in her (??)

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  15. Oh my gosh! This was great!!! Love the story and that the treadmill has a name. I think I will also name mine whenever I get one.

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    1. Well...her name came to me in not exactly the fondest of terms (Old 'Milly).

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  16. I don't have a treadmill at home but I wish I did! It just seems like a great tool to have, especially on days where I can't or don't feel like running outside. I actually first started my running journey on the treadmill and it got me to my first race which was a 10 miler, so I can never hate it!

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    1. Well, I am definitely thankful to have a treadmill at home, but it's definitely my absolute last resort.

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  17. I have a similar love/hate relationship with my treadmill. I will avoid running on it at almost all costs, but I'm grateful to have it when it's icy outside. It does get a lot of love from my clients who enjoy warming up on it.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Yes, it serves a purpose...but not very often LOL

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  18. I don't know what I would do without my treadmill during the winter here in Maine! I have such a love hate relationship with it though, so I totally relate with this pos!!

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    1. Well,. even in Iowa...we have tough winters, but I do not spend much time on the treadmill. I'll take the cold and wind and snow over an over-heated (overrated LOL) session with 'Milly ;-)

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  19. I have never owned my own mill!
    I have a sometimes like relationship with the ones at the gym. I do like them for speedwork and if I am crunched for time I can crank out a run.
    My longest mill run was 7 miles a few years ago! Not a fan of long distance on the mill, that is for sure!

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  20. I always looking for a treadmill, but it's expensive

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