5 miles in 37:20 on a new treadmill – fastest at that distance since October – I have a lot of work to do…

So tonight was the first real run since the Dopey Challenge finished up a little over a week ago and it was also the first real run I got in on our new treadmill. Bit of strange run.

First about the treadmill – a while back I broke our heavier duty treadmill and after a significant wait for parts with no satisfaction the machine got returned. This was back in October. Since then I finished up the Dopey Challenge training outside and on our older lighter duty treadmill – weather and limitations of that treadmill kept me from doing any real speed work.

Then we started having issues with the older lighter duty treadmill – it kept tripping the breaker when I ran on it, my wife Heather had no issues on it but it certainly doesn’t like me. After some back and forth with the manufacturer we found out it was still on parts warranty (I thought it was off warranty last year) – after some emails and discussions they sent me a new motor for the machine. I suspected the issue was actually the belt and deck but they insisted on trying the motor first. I got that motor and installed it on Boxing Day with no change in the issue. The manufacturer then agreed to send a deck and belt but they were on back order. This is the same company that makes the treadmill we returned before because we couldn’t get the parts so we knew we were in for a bit of a wait.

But my wife could still use the machine and with me in taper for Dopey we figured the wait would be ok. Now that I am back though and looking to run it is an issue. The company now says there is a firm delay of middle of next month for the parts…crap. I can’t go that long without running and running outdoors many days of the week is just not an option at this point with other responsibilities conflicting.

So that meant a new treadmill was required – but not from the same manufacturer (their service department seems to want to help but the machines just can’t take the pounding I am delivering). I also wanted to make sure the machine was much more robust and would last longer than the 600 or so miles I put on the last one I broke. This meant spending some more money…not happy about that.

In the end we settled on a NordicTrack C (commercial) 1750 – 3.8 hp motor, 22 inch wide belt, capable of 15% incline and 3% decline and a bunch of fancier features which I wasn’t really concerned about. The machine seems fairly highly rated in it’s price point and appears to be quite robust and capable. If I break this one it means I need to move up to a full health club quality machine and I really don’t want to spend that kind of money!

I did a couple quick test runs on it Saturday night and Sunday for a total of 4.5 miles but tonight was the first real test. The machine solidly handled me pushing out 5 miles in 37:20. The run was a lot harder than I expected and I checked the calibration and everything seems ok. So I have either lost a lot more speed than I had hoped or the old machine was a bit wonky for its speed readings. Now the old machine’s speed translated very well for my wife in the last race she ran so I don’t think it is too wonky but maybe it would be more pronounced at higher speeds? Not sure there.

I also haven’t been able to do a real speed run since October so I suspect I have lost some ground on that front as well but I don’t know how much.

Basically what this translates into is that I have some work to do to get back to where I think I should be!

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As an aside I think I have finally figured out some of my goals for 2015 and I will be writing up something about that very soon. This new treadmill and speed work is going to factor heavily into those plans.

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