Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Affirmations and Molasses

Because of a full day of meetings, class, and the sixers-nuggets yesterday, I wasn’t able to fit in the speed work on the NJ marathon schedule. I made four attempts –

(1) First thing in the morning, I headed to the gym to try to squeeze it in before my 8:30 AM office hours. All of the treadmills were full so I hopped on the bike for a quick warmup. 15 minutes later, a guy – also clearly looking for a treadmill – claimed the bike next to me and hovered. And when a treadmill opened, he sprung and beat me to it. Stupid guy.

(2) I brought my running stuff to school with the intention of running on the indoor track between TA-ing and a lunch date, but the professor wanted to have a meeting with all the TA’s after class, and by the time that ended, there wasn’t time to walk the half mile to the gym, get changed, and run, before meeting my friends for glorious Noshery sandwiches.

(3) After a job candidate talk, I thought about heading to the 8.5 mile loop along the Schuylkill River for a quick five miles before meeting my friend Vanessa for the sixers game. But the afternoon was filled with chill-to-the-bone rain. And it seemed like a recipe for misery to run outside and then go straight to the game without the chance to shower and warm up in between. Plus, the job talk ran longer than anticipated.

(4) In a final act of desperation, I thought about heading back to the gym after the game. But by the time the buzzer sounded and we made it back from South Philly, it was already 10:30. And the gym closes at 11.

So, no speed work for me yesterday, and I went to bed last night full of both restless energy and an unnecessary level of anxiety; today, I remembered, was the last day of my gym membership, the last day of my indoor running and biking crutches.

I’m not sure why this has been worrying me so much. Maybe I should be concerned. But after two years of several trips to the gym each week (I joined after spraining my knee during the 2007 Mardi Gras marathon and never looked back), I had settled into a nice rhythm there. I knew that every Thursday morning, the 65-year-old woman, gray haired and more buff than anyone else in the room (my friends and I dubbed her the Silver Fox), would be powering through her strength training. I knew that Monday afternoon ab workouts would be interrupted by the 50-year-old contractor who liked to ask my how my dad’s business was going. I knew that if I went on Tuesday nights, I was guaranteed a treadmill and a TV turned to channel 10 for The Biggest Loser.

It may not be much, but it was my routine. And as most everyone in my life can attest, I like my routines.

So as I lay in bed last night trying to fall asleep, I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling that my routine was about to change.

This morning, my friend Nettie and I had a date with the trails. Feeling guilty about missing my run yesterday, I decided to head to the gym early to get in a few intervals beforehand. I got on the treadmill around 7 AM and, after a mile warm-up, I pushed the pace for three 800s at 7:13.

And you know what? It sucked! After two weeks off the treadmill, it was almost painful to get back on (luckily only psychologically; my hip actually held up pretty well!).

I finished cooling down, wiped off the machine, and walked slowly back to my car. Well, that was it. No more FitLife for the foreseeable future. It was rather anti-climactic, to be honest. And a good note to end on. Trails and paths are more fun than treadmills. I have trails and paths within a stones throw of my house. This is a no-brainer.

Case closed.

Has the anxiety evaporated? Probably not completely. But it won’t keep me up at night anymore. And it won’t occupy anymore space on this silly blog.

I got home at 8 AM and Nettie showed up promptly at 8:30 – just enough time to down some cereal and give my hamstrings a perfunctory stretch. We went for a hilly, quad-groaning run, her dog Brutus leading the way. My legs felt molasses-y as I chugged up and down the rocky trails.

But it was good molasses. Thick and sweet with the morning fog rolling over the trees.


9 responses to “Affirmations and Molasses

  1. Ali Wish February 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Fun treadmill story for you. Tuesday morning, en route to our 7am interviews, my coworker complained to me that he had woken up at 5am to go for a run on the treadmill at our hotel before we started our day. Being that it was a crummy hotel gym, there was one treadmill, which was occupied by another runner who had just gotten on there. Said coworker asked how long he’d be, and the runner replied “Sorry, I’m training for a marathon, so I’m going to be an hour.” Coworker was sufficiently annoyed… not that I could blame him, but at the same time, felt an urge to defend the marathoner. Your thoughts on the etiquette of this??

  2. Denise February 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I know I’m going to feel weird when I switch gyms. I love my routines and I know exactly what to expect every morning at 5:30 at Golds. You get so used to seeing the same people!! But you’re right…being outside is more fun. AND it’s free!!

  3. aron February 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    i love being outside!!! just make that your routine instead πŸ™‚ treadmills are not fun (for me)!

  4. Kristin February 20, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I recently moved and so have not had a gym membership for a while… I keep researching gyms trying to find one I want to join, but I only really miss it on rainy days and when I want to lift weights. Once u get used to not having the elliptical as a crutch (at least I did) it makes it that much easier to get outside and sweat it out πŸ™‚

  5. Kim February 20, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Can I get a waffle with that molasses, please?Spring is coming-you’ll be thinking how silly it was to have a membership in a little bit. :)Sleep well tonight.

  6. RunToFinish February 20, 2009 at 3:01 am

    D always says i’m like the military with my schedule…but seriously i kinda like my routine! so now you just get a chance to take a fresh look and develop a new routine

  7. Natalie D February 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    hey there – you tried so many times. way to go! sorry you didn’t succeed n the speed work! I know what you mean about routine. You’ll make a new one though!!

  8. X-Country2 February 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Four attempts is pretty impressive! I have a 30 second window first thing in the morning before I flip over and go back to sleep. :o)

  9. RunToFinish February 25, 2009 at 2:04 am

    i have read the thing on ib profen and it’s more for the person who takes it all the time, their body stops working on it’s own. since i rarely to never take it, i’m giving it a day or so…we’ll see

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: