Food for Thought

Days 19-getting harder to track22:  The still thawing, muddy conditions from recent snows forced me back to the dreaded tread at my gym on Thursday.  The cardio room was oddly out of tissues.  Someone must have been plowing through both boxes during her recent workouts.  I had to pre-load in the locker room, and managed to empty that box as well. My nose still runs on the treadmill, just not as impressively as when outdoors in the elements. And I’m able to stash a handful or two of tissues on the dash and not up my sleeves, so I don’t mind as much.
     I was forced to take a different machine because my usual one was stuck up in the air at an unhealthy incline that I was unaware it was capable of.  I don’t know the status of its last rider who had to dismount from that bizarre angle, nor do I know how one would venture to re-board without drawing undue attention, but I am positive that my bumbling body was not up for that challenge.  The new machine’s touch screen interface worked perfectly, except when I wanted to use it.  The TV was stuck on the travel channel, which is usually a good thing as I like to dream about being elsewhere.  At that particular hour, however, the mandatory show selection was animal wrestling, skinning, gutting, and eating.  I elected to listen to my ipod and not the channel’s audio so I may be incorrect, but from what I could ascertain the show was designed to try to find something that its overweight main character would not enjoy eating.  After reluctantly watching parts of 2 back to back episodes, I can confidently sum up the entire season and claim that no such item exists for this man.  Without a moment’s hesitation, he indifferently munched away on various parts of a wallaby, an alligator, ants on a tree, and then a herd of hand sized frogs, after first demonstrating how one could squeeze some slimy stuff out of their glands. Why, just that morning I had wondered how to squeeze a frog properly.  At one point, some critter’s intestines were tossed on a campfire and snacked on BBQ style. I did not think it possible to further enhance the offensive nature of the treadmill but I stand corrected.  It was as if the network had me and my treadmill in mind when they concocted this gastric-tastrophy. I tried in vain to change the channel but was held captive audience to the appalling culinary onslaught before me.  In spite of this show, my treadmill seemed to be outfitted with a far superior timing mechanism capable of tracking my speeds and distances much faster than anything before, and I chose to ignore the inconvenience of nauseating TV. My faster jogging pace of 5.5mph and shorter recovery periods may have also had something to do with it.  I was elated at the end of my first mile to find myself chasing that elusive 12 minute mile, shy by only 38 seconds!  And at 3 miles I was a whole minute and 22 seconds faster than before!  I left the gym beaming and psyched to watch any other disturbing TV shows the treadmill throws my way, confident that in spite of its renewed efforts to break me, I will prevail.
     By Saturday, the outdoors beckoned with the temperature approaching 75 degrees, however, my throat was now waging a war with the congestion formerly confined to my nose.  Feeling under the weather, I made it through a single Jillian and headed out for a meager walk around the neighborhood with my daughter.  She had begged to come along, and was delighted to pick some weedy flowers along the way and help me with my “workout.”  Though only 4 years old, my daughter would make a stellar training coach.  Her strategy is to get just far enough away from the house so that retreat is no longer practical, then feign exhaustion and insist on being carried.  I lugged her halfway around the subdivision piggy-back, with her cheering me on and showering my neck with kisses and what could only have been some of her own nasal discharge, too.  With her simple manipulative technique, my leisurely stroll was abandoned and replaced with hard core endurance and weight training.
     The real motive for me venturing out on my walk with my daughter was to try out an app on my cellphone that I had purchased (free) several weeks ago that would track my distances and more accurately gauge the total mileage of my usual route.  I now know that the app and my phone require a charged battery to work properly.  At the point when my phone died, we were just over halfway and it had already measured 1.6 miles.  This made me realize I am no better at judging distances than I am at running them.  What I previously thought was just over a mile is actually going to be closer to just under 3. At least the error works in my favor!  I would have gone straight back to bed grumbling if my fancy new app had determined my loop to be only half of my perceived distance.  While I still don’t know for certain, 3 laps around my neighborhood should be well over 10K, which is a far cry from the 6 laps I figured I needed to do.  If only all of my training errors could be skewed to my benefit so that I actually get to do less.
      Back at home base, I have been dutifully taking my vitamins, drinking OJ, and steering clear of my husband who fell victim to 2 rounds of a nasty cold virus over the last 2 weeks.  It is now Sunday morning and the battle is on in my throat and my voice has become a bit shady, but overall I’m no worse off than yesterday.  Today is supposed to make Colorado proud with another sunny 75 degree day, and I still hope to venture out later for something resembling a run. It’s supposed to be my long run day, and while it will absolutely be long, I’m not sure how far I will be able to go. One thing is for certain: I’m going to need some more tissues.

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