Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Today's lunch ride got called off on account of rain. So I went to the gym instead. I haven't done any strength training for weeks and decided I was partly overdue, in no small part because of the way Ladd worked me over on Saturday. My knee was also pretty sore after playing soccer with the kids and some neighbors last night, so I figured I should go back to doing physical therapy again.

After I got done with the weights, I got on the habitrail -er- treadmill for a while. Nothing major, just five minutes of walking to warm up, twenty minutes of running, and five more minutes of walking to cool down. After I had been running for a whopping two minutes, I began looking at the clock, wondering when this torture session was going to end. It could not have helped that the guy on the habitrail next to me was breathing as if he were going to blow out his diaphragm, lungs, and trachea, along with all corresponding phlegm, with every breath.

I have seen this guy at the gym several times before. He has a hunched over posture and the upper-body development of an eleven year old girl. His legs are thin but as muscular as one would expect from a runner. When he runs on the treadmill, he keeps it cranked up to about a 10% incline. I have no doubts that he could outrun me on any course over any distance. But it doesn't change the fact that he looks and sounds awful. A lot of runners around here are really into the race to Robie Creek. I'm pretty sure this guy is focused on this race in the same way Gollum was focused on the one ring--to the point that his obsession has deformed his body.

Anyway, back to my run. I don't know why it is that running for twenty minutes seems so tortuous. I am no stranger to running--I've done a couple marathons, a handful of half-marathons (including the Race to Robie Creek so I could see what all the fuss was about), and a number of shorter events. The thing is, I don't know how I did it. I guess a big part of it is that I was running outside rather than in the gym. And the motivation for whatever event I was training for had to have helped. Yet I still don't see myself ever going back to being a runner.

Unfortunately, my physical therapist told me about five months ago that I needed to be running once in a while to get my knee back in shape. I think the pain I suffered from the pickup soccer game is an indication that she's right and I've been a slacker. Guess I'll have to experiment with the ipod and other distraction methods to get me through a weekly run. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will help me lose some weight, since the bike's certainly not making a difference in that regard.


  1. Here's an article about someone who had enough of a 'gym grunter':

    Hope you don't mind the link in a comment. It won't hurt my feelings if you delete it!

  2. 331, that story was great. I admit, as I was running along, I was thinking of unplugging the guy's treadmill or otherwise causing him to abandon the workout. And perhaps not by the most gentle of means.