Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time Limits

With temperatures hovering below zero, an outdoor run was out of the question for today. I do not have the proper attire to regulate my body heat in such cold temperatures, so my long run of the weekend was going to be on a treadmill.

Apparently I spent a bit too much time catching up on sleep, because the gym was packed when I arrived at 10:30 AM. I waited in line for about fifteen minutes until a treadmill opened up and then began my stationary 6 mile run. The treadmill strips everything I adore about running outside - changing scenery, uneven surfaces and a general feeling of freedom. Jammed in between other sweaty runners and gasping for a breath of fresh air, the treadmill only affords its users the physical aspect of running. There is no mental escape.

The run was going well, until I felt a tap on my shoulder after 4.5 miles. I turned around. "Um, there's a 30 minute limit when there's a line. You've been on there for 37," a woman in a perfect gym ensemble quipped. I was shocked, "Let me finish up this mile and you can have it," I managed. I looked around at the other runners, many who had been running before I started. Everyone else had a towel over their screens; too bad mine had slipped off during the first mile.

Annoyed that my long run would be cut short by a mile, I felt another tap on my shoulder. The woman had gotten a trainer to pull me off the treadmill. I left the gym absolutely seething - I understood the time limit rule from a business standpoint, but as a paying customer at a gym, I expect to be able to purse my athletic goals. They were not fairly enforcing the rule; no one had been there to pull people off the machines while I was waiting.

That encounter set the tone for most of the day: I messed up the pancake batter, purchased the wrong size insulation for the bedroom windows, had to make two trips to Blockbuster because I didn't have my card the first time. It was one of those days where you feel like the world is against you.

There was only one cure for a day as frustrating as this one: a long, warm bath. I dropped in a Lush bath fizzy (my favorite), which unexpectedly released stars and confetti. I soaked, read and relaxed until the water was cold. Later, Mike and I enjoyed movie night with a bowl of popcorn. At least the evening left a good spin on the day.

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