I've often acknowledged that my treadmill does not prepare me quite adequately for trail runs as I have yet to find a treadmill that has roots and rocks on the belt. Well, I may have inadvertently solved that problem.
My treadmill is in my garage--my unheated garage. My garage is tucked under the house, which is a twin home, so even in the dead of winter it stays fairly warm (30 degrees), so I don't feel too bad. My treadmill also has a LOT of miles on it and is nearing the end of its life.
This winter my garage was turned into a workshop as I had new trim installed throughout the house and a few new windows installed. The treadmill for awhile became the place where the windows sat. I tried to brush the sawdust off weekly.
Sometime mid-February the treadmill died--an electronic problem that I've had previously. I was not too concerned as it is still under warranty (and no, warranty people, I don't think the unheated garage and sawdust voids the warranty). About two weeks ago it was finally fixed and I ran on it for the first time Monday night.
Electronics are good now, but I can't deny that the belt is, well, bumpy. There's definitely a cant to the belt. I tried loosening it up, but that didn't help much. To have any sort of smoothness I have to run on it off-center. If I run straight up the middle I have to compensate for the unevenness, kind of like a trail. Who woulda thought? Should I have Mr. Repair Man come back out?