Friday, November 26, 2010

You know your a runner when . . .

The only good thing about business travel with crappy weather in the forecast is the ability to check out and compare the fitness facilities. On my recent trip to Edmonton I was shut out of my usual haunts due to not booking early and the Grey Cup being held on the weekend. As such I checked out the Ramada in the not so downtown core. The rates were cheap due to its less than desirable location.

You know you’re a runner when you choose a hotel based on the treadmill you see in the photos of the fitness room or the proximity to a good trail or a track. This year alone I have chosen a hotel because:
1) It was on the marathon course I was running in the fall and I could preview the course this way.
2) It was about a mile from the only track in town and I had an interval workout scheduled.
3) It was less than a mile from a well known trail I had heard or read about.

All sad and yet all true. Yes I have an addiction!

So the Ramada Inn in Edmonton not only had a great rate but a great treadmill. Typically I prefer to run outdoors no matter what the conditions but this hotel was in a bad part of town AND it was -25C with snow on the ground. I know when to stay inside (most times).

The treadmill au jour was a sweet LifeFitness commercial grade model. After my workout I pondered purchasing just such a beast to replace the Sears/Walmart residential strength model I have in the basement. The comparison of the two makes you lean toward the LifeFitness brand for sure. The LifeFitness treadmill has a wide deck probably about 20” or so. The length of which I could probably lie down on (okay it was 60" but it felt longer). The decking itself was a thick rubber. And I could actually hear myself think or listen to Oprah, not like my home jobby that is more akin to a Harley Davidson Fat Boy idling with 88 cubic inches of pure thunder. This beauty also inclines to 15% whereas my home model goes to 6%. The differences clearly favored the LifeFitness right up until the price tag. LifeFitness treadmills start at about $2500. Yup that’s right I didn’t add an extra zero by mistake. Ah well, I’ll stick to my bought and paid for Sears special (gratis by my Mom who was gonna throw it away after her exercise New Year’s resolution failed).

I was inspired to run the treadmill after watching a Youtube video of Tony ”Naked Guy” Krupicka, the superhuman ultrarunner having a treadmill race against James Bonnett , another ultrarunner sponsored by The North Face. Check it out, It is pretty nuts! If you notice they start the race at 15% grade. I’m guessing the pace is like 8 mph. I tried 15% and made it up to about 5mph but had to stop because I feared getting shot off the back if I stumbled. Enjoy!

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