Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not Dreading The 'Mill

We finally did it.

We bought a treadmill.

Words cannot express how elated I am to have the opportunity to run in my basement on a belt going around in circles while I effectively go no place at speeds in excess of 8 miles per hour. But spend 6 months of your life in darkness, rain and cold and you find pleasure in little ways.

Understand this purchase is the culmination of years of convincing my husband that there could be no other way. First challenge was to convince him a treadmill was something we might need. That took about 7 years. Next challenge was to convince him it would actually make us run fast. That took my coach and I about 2 years. Another challenge was to convince him it would fit in our basement. That is still taking some work.

But once I got him into the store and offered to test run several treadmills, he seemed sold.

It’s being delivered today.

Until then, there is still that one challenge that needs work: Where will this fit in the basement.

Where?

I don’t spend much time in the basement. I can’t. Though I have relaxed my neat nicky picky ways (get a dog, do a few Ironmans - it helps), I still do not subscribe to complete disarray. I do not believe you should live in a total chaos of tools, wheels, towels, and bikes.

My husband sees it a different way.

Hence our basement. Which is why he has the entire space. To his own. To do what he likes. And though he keeps telling me that he is going downstairs to clean up his space, I know that he knows that I know he is really just playing Guitar Hero.

(he confessed to this the other day)

Plus I’m not stupid. Nor blind. I walk downstairs and see the same mess in the same place. That is where I found myself on Saturday after the treadmill purchase in the basement wondering where will we make space.

Chris, where will we make space?


“I don’t know, I’ll clean this place up,” he says, “where do you want it?”

I tell him I will tell him that when I actually can see bare space to consider my options. And in the meantime I wouldn’t put it past me to take his plastic guitar away.

It’s actually gotten better than years past. We seem to have cleared the basement out of bikes that don’t belong to us (that was a two year long battle). But what has gotten out of control – though – is the parts. The wheels. The tools. The cables, brakes, the aero bar pads.

Aero bar pads? Yes, aero bar pads - at least a dozen of them.

For at least a few months there have been four separate aero bar set ups on the massage table that we also use for stretching. Correction – used to use for stretching because now it is just filled with aero bars. The table that would be nice to sit at – the other day I counted 18 stems on it.

EIGHTEEN STEMS

When I asked Chris first of all – where we got 18 stems and second of all – why we had 18 stems he simply said:

I don’t know.

That’s usually his answer to I know but I’m too ashamed to admit I had a manic moment of crazyness where I went and bought 18 stems just in case.

18 stems, 4 aerobar set ups and at least three dozen wheels. It doesn’t help that right now he is building a wheel too and recabling probably more than a half dozen bikes.

Then there is the issue of bits and pieces that are being sold because they (a) don't belong to us (this is the consequence of confusing our basement with public storage, at some point we will sell your equipment if you don't pick it up), (b) no longer being used, (c) came on a bike that we already had parts for, or (d) got too confused by all if it and just said screw it, let's sell (this often happens when you spend at least once a day swapping bike parts from an assortment of bikes). The ebay loading dock (code for basement stairs) is finally cleared because most of the stuff got shipped out on Monday. At my coach’s house last week I realized this is more of a man thing than I once thought as they too have an ebay loading dock.

But that still leaves all the bikes. And those seem to multiply quicker than I care to admit. The other day Chris said he would put my bike in the car. He asked which bike I would use. I said the Cervelo, silly. He said which one.

Ooooooooo. It’s gotten that bad. I guess right now there might be….three.

But I like them all. And they all need different parts. One has the big cookie. One has the compact crank. And one has no wires, tricks or whistles at all. They all have a different purpose. They all get ridden. And they all...make me realize that I may play a small part in this basement mess (small people can only play small parts thankfully).

But back to the treadmill. I went downstairs Monday after Chris went to work to see the progress we had made towards clean. Plus Chris’ clean is not really clean it is just a verb for “move things around”. And, it’s best to attempt to try my version of clean in the basement when he is not at home. So he does not hear my cries and screams. Boss joined me. Also joining me was the vacuum. You can see I brought the big guns. After a little shuffling of things around, vacuuming of loose bits and pieces and letting Boss pick up the remaining things like broken zip ties, Velcro straps and empty gel packets (his favorite), you might say that the basement was….clean.

And finally a space for the treadmill was made.

Tuesday morning, 7:28 am the doorbell rang. The treadmill men were here. The glorious day just got better because not only was it 60 degrees at 7:28 am but the treadmill men has also arrived early enough so I could go to swim. It takes them all of 10 minutes to set up the treadmill, I sign a paper, and then they leave.

It is there. I stand in my basement and look at it and the heavens may have opened, a choir of angels may have sung because freedom to run whenever I like is finally mine.

I realize I may be a season too late as far as using the treadmill regularly but the point is that it is finally there. For runs when it’s below zero, or pouring rain, or snowing (though it's late April I wouldn't write off the risk just yet) or those delightful run bike run bike run bricks or when the gym is closed. It’s finally in my house, by my music so I can sweat, run, grunt and sign as much as I’d like.

Here is a picture of our new treadmill situated in our (finally) clean basement. If you look closely enough you can count 14 stems sitting on the table in front of it. And a seatpost.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

FINALLY - welcome to the dark side. Only took us b*tching and moaning for X years to get that sucker there. WOO HOO! Jen H.

Beth said...

Wow, you really do have double digit stems in your house.....

Glad you got your treadmill!! :)

uncadan8 said...

Just make sure you don't trip on the cord on your first run...of course, that would make a great story.

Anonymous said...

Wow 14 stems. You guys are really sick

Anonymous said...

wow, can i come over and use it now too? since i come and raid your power gel stock, you might as well let me use the tread mill. you can take boss for a walk in your basement now too.

dit

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Nice job Liz, couldn't stop laughing. I can just see you, Chris and Boss....

Hooray for the mill 'o tread!

And - uh - can I buy one of the stems? Totally being serious. I have a friend who needs a smaller one for her bike, so I took a part off one of my bikes that I'm not using, but want to get it back eventually.... Dead serious on this one. And no - I am NOT turning into a boy - because I've taken to tinkering with bikes. Just have some free time to figure out how to install and take off parts from the bike.

Only had one small near disaster when I forgot a washer and the entire front stem rattled... until I figured it out. Nice.

So yeah - nice basement! Very clean, and wonderful treadmill... Let me know about the stem....

Bob Mitera said...

I should have purchased my "new" bike from you. I could have helped your basement situation and gotten a good deal. I have one stem not being used and one aerobar set up (Profile Carbon X) with 56 miles on it that will be on eBay tonight after reading your blog.

Lastly...you now need a TV, DVD, VHS (still) and cable for the downstairs. I watched more Tour de France during bricks last year than ever.

Alicia Parr said...

I like how you've got the 14 stems all lined up nice and neat on the table. Are they in order of size? Or color?

Interestingly, there's an "office" that is Gary's space. I cannot find things in it. I do not try. I cannot wrap my brain around the chaos that is his brand of "organization" and if I did, I would promptly lose my sanity.

However, because we need to move some items down from my office/workout stuff room to make room for the nursery, Gary is tasked with clearing the stage before I come in and start putting things in there and pointing at stuff that needs to go. Since he works better with a deadline, I've given him a few days to pare things down. He made a lot of progress today and unearthed some important documents that would be better filed in our official file cabinet, which is where they are now.

Well-- you and I-- at least we're making progress. Enjoy your new dreadmill.

Lorraine Palizza said...

i realize i'm always the one leaving non-triathalon related comments on your blog, but I have to say...we just bought a house and i love the paint color on your basement wall there. mind sharing what color it is? ha

marian said...

i am going through your archives and thoroughly enjoying your blog.

can you tell me what treadmill you got?

E.L.F. said...

We bought a Precor.