Tag Archives: shopping

Treadmill Shopping

Treadmill Shopping

ProForm J6 Treadmill
ProForm J6 Treadmill

My old ProForm J6 treadmill is getting a bit tired these days. It actually just shut off on me during my brick run last Saturday. It has served me well for the couple hundred dollars I paid for several years ago, but we both agreed it was time for an upgrade.

I have also learned to embrace the treadmill lately. I used to be a bit more “macho” and run outside no matter what, but I am totally over that now. I have nothing to prove there anymore and I am more than happy to chug along for miles while watching TV or or some videos. I also tend to get this wheeziness in my lungs when I do any intense activity in very cold temperatures. My wife used to refer to this as my “hockey cough” when I would come home late at night after playing ice hockey and be wheezing and coughing in bed. I obviously inherited the athsmatic-ness of my mother and grandfather.

I started doing some research online and found a few brands and features that I thought were important. I made the rounds to several shops in the area and tested them out. The LifeSpan TR4000i was one model that struck my eye online. It had good reviews and was rated highly by Consumer Reports and Runner’s world, but no one had any in stock to try. One shop had a TR1200i, but it was not setup correctly,  so it was making all kinds of noise running on it. Not a good sell. Their price was also a bit higher than the online price of the 4000i, so I bagged that.

I headed down to Quakertown to FItness Factory Outlet which states they have the 4000i on their website. When I got there he stated that he only sold that online. He did have a bunch of these Spirit treadmills in the showroom. I tried them all and was very impressed. The price was right too. I went home and did some research on them and it turns out Consumer Reports also recommended the Spirit 485 higher than the 4000i I was looking at before. It also had a little better warranty too. So after thinking it over for a few days, I made the call to purchase!

I was pretty excited to hear that they had the model I wanted in stock, so I figured they would deliver in a day or so. I was told that the delivery guy would call me later that day to setup delivery. When he called I was a bit disappointed to find out they were about a week behind on deliveries. We agreed on the following Saturday to setup and deliver.

The driver arrived promptly at 10:30am with my treadmill. They carried the large box in and started setting it up. Eventually they called me down to report that the main wire adapter from the panel to the motor was broken. They were very apologetic, but I knew it was not their fault. They said that the Fitness Factory Outlet guys would get back to me. I psyched when the called me in a couple hours and said they had a wire from another unit and would be up in an hour to finish assembling it.

Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill 1
Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill 1
Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill Deck
Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill Deck
Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill Console
Spirit Fitness xt485 Treadmill Console

Stay tuned for a future post on my actual review of the unit after I get some use out of it. So far so good though!

Lake Placid Winter 2013-Day 2-Acclimatization

The first day of our Winter trip usually consists more of acclimatization to our environment than activity. This year was no different. We started off the day heading into town for breakfast at the Breakfast Club. As we headed out the door, Denise noticed that it was raining out in addition to being extremely windy. We turned around and went back in to get our rain jackets. By the time we came back out again it had turned to snow. Heavy, blowing snow.

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As we wound our way down River Rd., the snow continued to fall. The road was re-covered again by the time we go out to RT. 86, a distance of 2-3 miles. By the time we got into town it was really dumping and it continued most of the morning. We had a nice breakfast and I switched from being plant-based to a vegetarian for a bit since I ordered a big stack of pancakes with maple syrup. Mmmmm. Not planning on making a habit of that, but for vacation I guess I can splurge a bit.

After breakfast we headed over to Placid Planet Bike Shop to drop our skate skis off to get waxed. Usually deciding what type of temperature wax to get for the week is a major decision. You need to assess the forecasted temperatures and conditions for the week and then decide which was will work best with those conditions. Sometimes you put one temperature wax on top of another so that the one wears off as the temps change. This year was fairly simple, since they were expecting single-digit to below zero temps most of the week. We chatted with the shop owner for a bit and did some window shopping.

We cruised around town a bit looking for any changes that happened since our last trip in July. We noticed that several places had moved buildings which seemed to be a trend. We stopped in the local Eastern Mountain Sports(EMS) shop to do some shopping there. There was a 30% North Face stuff going on so we had to check that out.


I picked up a EMS wind barrier top I had been looking at for the last year for 50% off. It was usually $80 and I just could never justify that price. $40 and its mine….sweet. It pays to be patient! We headed back to the apartment for a while and did some reading and relaxation. Vacation rules!
For lunch we headed down to Saranac Lake. We ate at the Blue Moon Cafe. I had their Nadaburger which was comprised of beans, grains and veggies which was awesome. I also had a Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. I don’t usually have beer at lunch, but hey…I’m on vacation. Denise got the Curry Bowl, which is usually a dinner item, but they were out of the two things she ordered so they conceded on that. We stopped in the sporting goods/outdoor shop down the street after lunch and I scored a new pair of Madshus carbon skate ski poles for $40. I was pretty stoked about that. I was still using my first pair cheesy pair of steel poles and I think these will speed my up a ton. Yeah right. We checked out the local health food store and picked up a few items.


We made our way back to Lake Placid and picked up our freshly waxed

Tri Phone Bike Bento Box
Tri Phone Bike Bento Box

skiis. I also picked up a cool bike bento box that has a smartphone holder on the top. I thought this would be great for following mapped bike routes on my iPhone. You can actually use the phone through the cover. The other benefit is that that compartment is huge and I can fit a ton of grub in there. I would not use it for races, but for long Saturday rides it should be perfect.

We headed back to the apartment and did some more reading and napping a little. Shopping and eating wear me out. 🙂 The snow had continued to fall off and on throughout the afternoon. The temperatures continued to fall during the day. It was 36 deg F when we left the apartment in the morning and it was around 9 deg F when I went to bed. We ended up staying in for dinner since we weren’t all that hungry when dinner time rolled around. Give it hell tomorrow I guess.


Lake Placid Triathlon Camp Day 1-Can’t Spare A Square


This morning I packed up the Honda Fit and made my way to Lake Placid for Troy Jacobson’s Triathlon Camp. I made it all the way to the Plattekill rest stop on I-87 before I needed a bathroom break. The rest stop was more empty than it usually is on treks up to LP, but it was still only a Thursday morning. I needed to use a stall on this particular time and when I reached for the TP there was none to be had. My first thought was the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was in the same situation and she was requesting her stall neighbor(Jerry’s date) for a small square of TP. Only in my case there was no stall neighbors to spare a square from. I collected my thoughts and made my way to the empty stall next to me and finished what needed to be done. After that I headed over to the Starbucks to get my usual 5-pump Chai with….Soy Milk? Yes…No more whole milk in my chai latte! Actually it was pretty good! Still sticking to the plant-based diet so far.

IMG_1181.jpgMy Plan was to stop at Catskill Mountain Multisport in New Paltz, NY, which I found on the Internet, to pick-up some tri goodies I might need. The gps took me to a shopping mall that had nothing called that name. I drove around a bit and then asked some people and no one ever heard of it. Ok time to move on. Next I had planned to hit an vegan/organic place in New Paltz called Karma Road, which was where it was supposed to be. Had a Falaffel Wrap with a side of Quinoa and beans and a tea which was really good. Ok still on IMG_1182.jpgtrack here. Next to Karma Road was a bike shop called Bicycle Depot so I stopped in to check that out. Pretty nice shop and the dude in there was pretty stoked about life. I bought a pair of arm warmers and a water bottle and back on my way again. As I was heading back to the NY Thruway(I-87) I saw the name Catskill Mountain Multisport listed on the sign for the shopping mall I was in before, so I made one last attempt to find it. I saw a door under a fitness center that is a typical triathlon bike maker and went to the door. The place was empty inside and there was a paper on the door that indicated that Catskill Mountain Multisport had moved 20 miles up the Thruway. Doh! I had sent the store an email at lunch and they responded later with the same address and apologized. So maybe another time.    



The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful really. It was extremely hot out today and the Fit is like a little greenhouse. The A/C cannot keep up with the heat after awhile and it gets really warm. But hey I was getting 40+ MPG, so a little greenhouse effect for me and less for the world! I jammed the tunes the rest of the way and bitched to myself about the lousy New Jersey drivers, the asshole Infiniti drivers, and the Massachusetts drivers that go so freaking fast. I keep catching myself getting so cranked up for nothing. EZ-Pass rocks by the way. I love driving past all those toll-paying idiots. Ok enough trash talk.


I eventually made my way to the Golden Arrow in Lake Placid. There were no places to park when I checked in so I just left the car in the middle of the parking lot. The teenage girl that checked me in was of no help and was giving me attitude. I asked what’s the deal with the internet and she was like “just connect to it, no password!” Ok…why didn’t you tell me that and where the hell do I park?! Useless! I found my room which was first floor and 10 yards from the lake…Sweet! Everyone was out in the lake with the heat. Paddleboarders, kayakers, and swimmers. I didn’t have time to swim since orientation was within an hour.


I headed over to Northwoods in for Orientation, but I must have missed an email cause it was in some room at the hotel I was at. Of course the useless girl at the front desk could have told me that. Driving up here I was thinking that this camp was going to be a bunch of testosterone-filled, super-fit knuckleheads, but it turns out I was way off. It seems like a bunch of really nice people who may have done a Ironman or two or are getting ready to do one. More the latter. There were several that had volunteered last year and are doing it this year for the first time like I will be doing next year. One guy had done Ironman Muskoka 70.3 too and he filled me in on that race. Everyone seems very cool though. I think this will be a fun camp. Troy seems really nice too and I hear he spends time with everyone.

IMG_1190.jpgAfter we registered and got our swag, we had an hour orientation and then I headed over to the Cowboy for dinner. I had a black bean,  mushroom burger with avocado and sweet potato fries and potato leek soup for an appetizer. It was really GOOD! Ok this plant diet is looking pretty good. I was so full afterwards. I headed to the Hannaford grocery store afterwards and picked up a few items and back to the hotel. I am now sitting here in my ADK chair looking over the lake and typing this. It is so peaceful! Tomorrow should be fun, so stay tuned for more adventures!


Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes…

wpid-nbminimusroadblue-2012-03-28-17-19.jpgWell, I have over 400 miles on my New Balance Minimus Road’s and I thought since it is the beginning of the tri-year I should probably get a new pair of running shoes. I headed over to the local running store, The Finish Line in Emmaus, PA, to find something new. Althought the NB’s treated me well, I wanted to get something a little different that I was also able to run in barefoot. Losing those precious minutes of putting socks on in transition would get me a place or two. Unfortunately, I stressed too much on the sockless feature and not enough on the fact that I prefer a minimalist shoe. The girl recommended 2 shoes the Saucony Fastwitch 5 wpid-sauconyfastwitch5-2012-03-28-17-19.jpg and the Brooks Pure Connect. The PureConnect was minimalist, but the arch really dug into my foot and they were really wobbley from side-to-side. The Fastwitch were extremely light and felt good on my feet, so I went with those.

That weekend I took the Saucony’s out for a 9-mile spin and although they are very light, I just could not “feel” the ground. If you are not a Chirunner or minimalist runner you are probably wondering what I am talking about here. One thing that helps me keep my form is the ability to feel the ground beneath me feet. This lets me know that I am contacting the ground with my mid/forefoot and not heel striking. With the Fastwitch 5’s I felt as if I had blocks of balsa wood attached to the bottom of my foot. These shoes are made more for heel-strikers and those more used to much more cushion between them and the ground.
I then contacted Chris from the FInish Line and he said he had some other lines that may help, such as Newton’s. They graciously took back the Saucony’s and I gave some others a try. The one that stuck out for me was the Newtown MV2
wpid-newton_mv2_mens_2012-2012-03-28-17-19.jpg . These allowed me to feel the ground even with their extra sole bars right across the middle of the forefoot. It is a nice contact patch so I know that I am hitting the ground in the right place. I will forewarn you though, I am a mid to forefoot runner and even I got a little sore in the calves the first few times I wore these. They do provide a extra cushion you can stick under your heels until you get used to them though. I know have about 50 miles on them and I really like them. I did a 12.5 miler on Sunday and they performed perfectly. May need to stock up on these. Still not sure about going sock less in these, but got some time to figure that out.
Until next time.