Another Day of Running Rants

Some random stuff.

First, thanks for all the concern and well wishes. I took two days off from running  and did a short, easy run today and didn’t die, so I’m pretty sure that means I’m adequately prepared for a half marathon. I think I’ll just ditch the rest of my training plan. Or not. We’ll see how the next couple of weeks go.

When did workout clothes get so damn expensive? I went to Target last weekend to buy workout pants. I blindly put some items in my basket (checking prices is for losers) and made my way to the checkout counter (oh, but not before perusing the razor blade refills and having a slight heart attack. $23 for razor refills? Apparently, I’m too poor to shave my legs. Sorry for you, XFE).

But back to workout clothes. As I was heading to the exit, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, that tally seemed a bit high, even for tempt-you-with-other-stuff-Target. Lemme see here…. 40 US DOLLARS for a pair of running tights??”

How you like my sweat-xedo?

I’m sorry, but we’re talking Target here. Champion brand. Not the evil, Michael-Vick-supporting Nike. At least I know that with Nike, there’s a huge premium for all those flashy commercials and endorsements, so I don’t even bother looking at their stuff. When’s the last time anyone saw a Champion commercial? I think not, Target. I went directly to the customer service desk and returned those bad boys. Now I have hairy legs and old workout shorts. You are all welcome.

ALSO: because I’m a wimp and refuse to run outside in (a) anything under 50 degrees and (b) in the dark, which now descends at the ripe old hour of 4:30 pm, I have caved and joined a gym. This was an easy decision. The gym I chose wasn’t picked for its variety of classes (there are none); the delightful spa-like locker room (doesn’t exist. But there is a bathroom. Very basic though. I think you have to bring your own toilet paper), or the vast variety of the latest and newest equipment (there are like, 5 treadmills, a bunch of elliptical, a couple of bikes and weight machines, and some free weights.)

No, Crap Fitness was chosen amongst all the more glamorous selections because it is literally two blocks from my house and I walk past it every night on my way home. You’re right, that is convenient. And unlike many in my running brethren, I’m actually ok with running mindlessly on a treadmill. Yes, it’s boring, but nobody gets hurt. No issue there.

The thing is: this gym is hot as hell. It’s like I’m bikram running in there. No you guys, seriously, it is HAWT. Really, really hot. Like two rats humping in a wool sock hot. Like so hot hens would be laying hard boiled eggs. What I’m saying is: the gym is a might bit overly warm.

Dang y'all, it is hot up in here.

I recently asked the girl manning the front desk if other people have ever mentioned it being hot, and she looked at me like I had two heads. Perhaps because I was bright red and sweating all over her counter? I dunno, but she said, “nope.”

I do not believe her. I have eyes and I can see other people getting really red and sweaty too. I can also see that there are no air vents near the treadmills whatsoever, so that’s probably part of the problem. But apparently, no one else in the entire world is prone to complaining except me.

I guess I should have taken advantage of Crap Fitness’ whole “one week free trial period,” but I thought that was merely putting off the inevitable since I had to join a gym at some point, why be picky? But now? One super sweaty month into it, I’m really starting to wish I’d been picky. It is nice to just walk down the street to the gym though. UGH.

I bought a fan to clip onto the treadmill but it is incredibly weak and ineffective against my Extreme Radiating Heat (ERH). I think it gives me more of a mental boost than anything else. Maybe I should tape some ice packs to my forehead and temples. What? I’d cover it with some sweet headband.  

Knees up! And happy as hell!

 Y’all seem real fond of the Gold Rush post, so there’ll be another one coming tomorrow, you’ll be happy to hear.

New Running Buddy: the Treadmill

Running buddy Amy has been a bit out of the loop (she went on vacation last week – Very rude. I did not sign off on that). Then she got “sick.” Man, the extremes this girl will go through to avoid running with me. I suspect it’s because I’m so awesomely fast. Or stinky. You decide.

I ran with these two chicks the first day without Running Buddy Amy, but I was waaay too fast for them.

But I’ve still been getting up at 5:30 to go run our regular 3 mile loop. And, not to be a big whiner and whatnot, but it’s been pretty hot and horrible. One lovely morning last week it was 81 degrees with 60% humidity when I left the house at 6 am. So….yeah. That DOES suck, thanks for asking.

While I felt pretty pleased with myself for getting up and running, I was also pretty displeased that I was finding the whole thing just so tough. I had to keep stopping for walking/breathing breaks (because breathing in the equivalent of hot soup is not conducive to maximum lung capacity, apparently). And I hate to take walking breaks. To me, it means failure. I know that’s a stupid attitude, but I feel like at this point in my running career (I’ve been running consistently for at least 3 years now), I should be able to run 30 minutes along flat terrain without needing to stop and wheeze.

This last weekend I actually went with XFE to the gym at his work. I hopped on the treadmill in the nice, climate-controlled gym, plopped in my headphones and zoned out for the next 49 minutes. And I ran 5 miles, pretty much non-stop. A HUGE improvement over my everyday performance. And, a big mental boost as well.

"Hey Poe! Wait for us! All we can see is the smoke off the burning rubber of your Mizunos!'

Of course, I ran two days later outside and was pretty miserable/slow. I guess I’m not as awesome as I thought I was.

There are a lot of reasons why I run a lot better on a treadmill, many of which are outlined far better by this lady over here. She’s the, and is one of the reasons I started my own blog. And, sometimes, I occasionally steal/borrow ideas from her. Seriously, she’s great and I read her everyday and I haven’t even gotten tired of her yet, which is amazing because I am a fickle blog reader. Anyway, she hits the treadmill nail on the running head, so to speak. And, she’s got the cutest freaking dog.

So most of the reasons she outlines, apply to me as well. But the main reason I think I do well on the treadmill (besides not having to worry I will trip on the stupid cobblestones in Old Town and fall on my face thereby knocking out my front teeth and breaking my nose) is pacing. Pacing is a huge deal for me. Because I really suck at it. I’m one of those runners who goes balls out in the beginning, even though I’m having an internal argument with myself on how I should really hold back a little bit so I can actually get back home. Every. Damn. Time.

The other pacing issue is, well, I have a finicky little bladder. I basically feel like I need to tinkle the entire time I’m running. Even if I don’t drink a drop of liquid 4 hours beforehand and I go to the bathroom 3 times before leaving the house. Basically, I’m running in a race against my bladder every single run. Which makes me run much faster than I should. Which then makes me feel even more like I need to pee. It’s basically a vicious circle. So having a bathroom nearby gives me a lot of peace of mind, which means I can calm down and run like a normal person.

Heidi and Brooklyn Decker doing the pee dance while running. That has to be it because there's no reason to be this happy while running.

Now, I’ve run on a treadmill before, so this isn’t exactly a newsflash to me. I always switch to a treadmill during winter, or as I like to call it, anytime the temperature drops below 70. But lately, I had been beating myself up so much for my poor runs, I had forgotten what it was like to have a good one. I might have to sprinkle a few more of those in from time to time.

OK runners. I know most “real” runners find the treadmill to be a deathtrap of boredom. Do you agree? Or are you running trails/sidewalks for life?