Thursday, January 20, 2011

There Are Only Nine

If I had $25,000 to spare, I wouldn't travel around the world, buy a new car,  pay for my kids’ college or put a roof over their heads. I’d buy one of these:

AlterG

It’s the Alter-G Anti Gravity Treadmill. These babies used to go for upwards of $75,000, but recently a new $25K model has been introduced. The perfect addition to put beside my 13 year old bike trainer.

Earlier this week the Denver Post wrote an article about the Alter-G. I became obsessed by this NASA-inspired beauty created for people just like me (well, rich people just like me).

In essence, this machine uses a compression system on the lower half of the body that allows the injured athlete to run using only a portion of their body weight. That means that impact can be lessened by up to 80%, thus reducing the pounding on joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Experts state that the Alter-G is a more effective means of training than water running because it allows the user to correctly simulate  running form. This is more difficult to do in the water.

Using this device involves getting into a pair of neoprene shorts topped with a stiff reinforced fabric that encircles the waist. The lower half of the body is sealed in and air is pumped in. The athlete then runs, almost weightless and without impact. The idea is that over time, the amount of body weight is increased until the runner returns to full impact.

If you are like me and have not been able to run pain free for months on end (damn stress fracture), this treadmill symbolizes light in a time of darkness. Hope in a time of despair. Training possibilities in the time of Boston.

There are only nine of these machines in Colorado, typically at rehab centers and the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (where I hang out a lot).  Perhaps I will put a pair of panty hose over my head and break into one of these facilities so I can get my late night treadmill fix. Maybe I would do the Vagina Dance on it.

Although these have typically been used for the injured or the aging, now some elite coaches are using them as a supplemental training tool for healthy athletes

Have you ever been blessed enough to try one of these things?

Do you have $25,000 I can borrow? (Plus tax)

Maybe one of you could stand behind me and hold me in the air so that my feet barely touch the ground. Then I could run almost weightless. I’ll pay you $5 an hour.

I am back off land and in the pool where running doesn’t hurt nearly as much (or at all). Sucks.

Wanting to be weightless,

SUAR

65 comments:

  1. I saw the Alter G in the Runner's World article they did about Paula and Kara being pregnant. They both used this treadmill, which is great for them and provides nothing useful for the rest of the pregnant or injured population. So I guess it's back to your $5 a person to hold you up theory...

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  2. That machine looks insane! I bet it would feel so weird... then again, I think water running would feel so weird but I'm really wanting to try it especially after following your water-running journey.

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  3. I have certainly been blessed enough to try one :) We had one of the 75k versions at my old workplace in Chicago (AthletiCo Rehab). It was the only one in Chicago at the time so several professional athletes would come in to use it as well. It's a pretty nifty piece of equipment.

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  4. ...and for people off the street we charged $40 for a half hour to use it. Crazy, right?

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  5. I'll go in halvsies if you let me borrow it when my preggo belly gets too big to run outside. Ha!

    Sorry you're back to water running. I've been cheering you on (as a lurker) since your injury. You are seriously amazing, and I hope you know it!

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  6. That thing is crazy! You should start a petition to them to let you try it for free ;) ya know just until you can get back out there...

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  7. I also saw this in Runner's World. It was in an article about pregnant running. Personally I think it was a great article about those two elite marathoners..... but a terrible pregnant running article.

    Because 99% of pregnant women do not have access to this machine. Lol. But I'm sure it is an amazing piece of equipment. And if you ever do raise the funds.... You absoultely should do the vagina dance. And record it and blog about it. :)

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  8. Idea: Buy a giant top loading washing machine instead. Cut the wire that connects to the device that stops it from running when you open the top. Voila! Downside: spin cycle only runs at one speed.

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  9. Take the panty hose off your head and use them to suspend yourself in a doorway, voila, the Alter-SUAR!

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  10. That thingy looks crazy but I would totally try it if I had the 25k laying around. Maybe they will let you lease it or something. Or maybe you can post videos of yourself doing the vagina dance on it and charge people to watch it to pay for it. Just an idea.

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  11. We got "free ten minutes" coupons in a swag bag once and my hubby was like, "Why would I ever PAY for misery on a treadmill?!" and threw them out. But he's weird like that. He also doesn't like how Gu tastes. What an odd-ball.

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  12. Hmmmm never in my life heard of this thing... let alone the vagina dance.

    I feel your pain though. Dealt with some training ending crap myself the last few months. Patience.

    Be smart.

    Make that vagina dance!

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  13. I've been following you b/c Im also rehabbing from hip injury (since Sept!). Also water running - go 'pussy posse'! After reading the description I'm wondering if my husband could rig something like this from my treadmill, a scuba wetsuit and a kids party bouncy castle??? (also saw this featured in runner's world - drooled all over the page!)

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  14. Maybe you should see if Alter-G would be willing to sponsor you in your quest to run "the Boston". You could drop Dean's name and the fact that the RW also interviewed you.

    I'm sorry you are water running and not land running, but I am glad that you are still training like a champ and believing in yourself. YOU ROCK!

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  15. I'd
    so
    buy
    one
    of
    these.
    after I win 25k in Vegas.

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  16. I have no witty remarks for this one....but hey...plead your case in a letter to whoever has one of these things and see if you can get a shot at it.....you may be pleasantly surprized and get an OK! Tell them to link to your blog if they want to see what it is like in the real world of sports related injuries!

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  17. Part of my partnership with Spring Valley Spine and Sportcare allows me to use one of these for free whenever I want. I have not scheduled one yet but I will and you can pretend to be Karen if you come to Texas b/c she has the same access.

    Now you have piqued my interest and may need to schedule a trip to see the good Dr. Just to try it out.

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  18. I have heard these things are AMAZING. Maybe you should tell them you want to do a product review on one? ;)

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  19. I don't see why they wouldn't send you one for free so you can review it on the blog. I think you should at least ask. :-P

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  20. I read about these in a book about ideal racing weight and the author used one and said it makes a huge difference taking even 10 lbs off! That would be cool...

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  22. I'd take $5/hr! It's more than I'm making at the moment... I just need a flight from Vancouver.

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  23. I had no idea those even exist. Yeah, sure I mean that is only my entire salary this year as a teacher...expect the money by Monday.

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  24. That things looks almost scary! I don't have any money for you but I AM willing to pay for someone to come to my house and scream 'fatass' at me every time I open the fridge. nterested? haha

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  25. I'm thinking two trees and some rope! Viola........ You don't need that fancy smancy machine. Just get someone to tie you between those trees and run!

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  26. I don't think I could run in that. Sorta freaks me out. Like the end of ET.

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  27. I wonder if you could rig up some monkey bars above your treadmill attached to some ropes or bungee cords attached to a harness...

    Or just hang from the bars over the treadmill. You would gets some pretty kickass biceps that way...

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  28. we've used the utra G at work and for my husband during his training. Its like you a freaking flying. Now if only we had a spare $25k laying around!
    LC

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  29. If I had a spare 25K, I'm buying one for my heel...but I'll let you come over and use it. And we'll drink wine while we whine!

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  30. I'll bet the CU athletics department has one. Maybe you can sleep with one of the Buffalo runners and get them to sneak you in there. Or sell a kidney.

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  31. Dig around in the couch. I found around $17,000 in mine the other day.

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  32. What about a bungee system from your ceiling... so you could kinda hang over the treadmill and let it down slowly....

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  33. I just recently found out about those! But I didn't realize they came out with a "cheaper" model.
    They have one at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid. Maybe someone around Upstate NY has connections????

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  34. they have an Alter G at the sports chiro/massage place I go to in Atlanta. I haven’t used it, but I am tempted to with my IT band pain that has me sidelined (per my PT). I think they charge $1 a minute or something like that (and get your head out of the gutter-its not a 900#)

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  35. So if each one of us followers were to give you $22...

    I'd do it for you... if you promised to buy that gizmo and not blow it on a make-over now that you're all famous ;-)

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  36. Ditto to Miss Zippy!! I know there's a couple in TX-I should crash the party there!

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  37. i bet i could hold you in the air. at the very least it'd be a good upper body workout, no? hahah

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  38. Oh wow! That is pretty intense!

    I would love to figure out exactly how it would feel to run on only 80% of my body weight...I'd be supah fast!

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  39. There are probably people who would PAY YOU, to stand behind you, holding you in the air so your feet just touch the ground. You'd want to sanitize whatever they touched, I'm sure, but isn't that a small price?

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  40. I've been lusting after one as well

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  41. I had never heard of these until fairly recently. I read an article about Kara Goucher and Paula whatshername using them when they were knocked up.

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  42. "getting into a pair of neoprene shorts topped with a stiff reinforced fabric that encircles the waist. The lower half of the body is sealed in and air is pumped in." Bite my lip and close my eyes.... Thanks SUAR.

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  43. really there's a 25k model? I vote we all go in on one and form a running commune. Imagine.

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  44. omg! i saw this treadmill in runners world and wondered what the heck it was!

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  45. That thing is pretty cool - never heard of it but now I'm intrigued to find one in person.

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  46. I'd love to try running on one, too.

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  47. I read about the Alter-G in a magazine and thought it was so cool!

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  48. hi there;-)
    I saw these in the Runners World article when Kara and Deana (yah we're on a first name basis) used them during pregnancy.

    was a lil' jealous over here when I read that had access to something like that;-)

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  49. Buy I lotto ticket, who knows maybe you win and then you can buy one... I think I will go out today and buy a ticket, after all you can't win if you don't have a ticket.

    Good luck

    But if I get one I'd need a new house, because it isn't going to fit in our current house.

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  50. Have you tried a PT that has a treadmill in their pool? I know that some of the therapy pools have these built in, I'm not sure if they would go fast enough to simulate running and I would doubt they would eliminate 80% of weight but I would be guess it could be up to 50% of weight...just a suggestion for more realistic running?

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  51. Well, I can't loan you $25,000, but I'm having a $75 CSN giveaway and Kovas decided to enter for you to put towards your treadmill :) :)

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  52. I have two so I will gladly let you borrow one.

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  53. Wow, cool machine. Wow, $25k.

    They should send you one to product test. Or at least let you have access to the one near you. I will help you break in.

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  54. I've run on this Beth! Really cool. Totally worth the money:) You might have to cross over to the dark side for a little bit-fast money to be made and I don't think you're too worried about your reputation right?

    They don't have many here either-only a few in MN. Does PT have any other weightless running systems where you are? They had a different harnessed treadmill system at our rehab center.

    I'm sorry it's still hurting to run. I truly wish I could make it better...

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  55. The vision of you with pantyhose on your head doing the Vagina Dance is something else...

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  56. I'm pretty sure that CU in Boulder has one because I overheard a girl on the cross country team talking about using it and how gross the shorts were that you have to wear. Give 'em a buzz and they might let SUAR use it. Worth a try!

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  57. I just found the there is a sports facility in Overland Park, KS that has one!!! They also offer a free 10 min. trial. I'm definitely going to try this out -- and hopefully talk Dr. into moving my rehab there. Yippee!

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  58. I remember Kristina the Marathon Mama used one of these things. I assume these are for atronauts somehow...not a commoner like myself.

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  59. I just want a regular treadmill. And a house to put it in...Sigh....

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  60. http://www.healthnewsreview.org/review.html?review_id=3541

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  61. Lars Barfod, CEO of Alter-G FIRED. Now, maybe, finally, some actual science and scientific studies can back up the wild claims and anecdotal evidence. Founded in 2005 and not one IRB study.

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  62. had a teammate who ran on it a couple times and loved it...said it was one of the better runs she had (even non-injured!)

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