Thursday, December 30, 2004

Of treadmills and tsunamis

Happy Dog. Nelson hanging out in our loft. Posted by Hello

Sunset: It's been a sobering week. First, the voraciously curious and brainy Susan Sontag. Then the craggy and charismatic Jerry Orbach. And, of course, the more than 100,000 lost in the huge tsunami in South and Southeast Asia on the 26th. Give what you can to help out these folks. It will take years for them to rebuild their lives.

Canine Trust Fund: Dogs can be expensive. We've already spent about $400 on Nelson, and he's been here less than three days: adoption fees, the costs of a crate, leash, grooming tools, toys, dog food, vet visits, etc. But he's worth it. Nelson likes running. Took him out for a 3-mile run, stopping several times to check on him. He did just fine.

Treadmill-happy?: I ran 7 miles on the gerbil mill last night. My heels felt a bit strange when I first started; they didn't hurt, exactly, but it was a notch or two below pain. Almost like a straining sensation. After a few minutes, it disappeared. Perhaps I should buy heel inserts, just in case.

I've got to run earlier in the day, so I can be outside instead of at the local YMCA. But I enjoy watching other people and listening to music when I'm on the treadmill. I've also noticed that when some men (never women) run on the treadmills next to me, they like to race me.

Or is it the other way around?

For instance, last night when I got on a treadmill, a 20-something gym rat was running next to me at level 6.0 (a 10-minute mile pace). After warming up for 2 minutes, I started running at 6.6, a nice, medium 9:05 pace. Almost immediately, he punched up his treadmill to level 6.7 (8:57 pace). Hmmm.

So I upped my pace to 6.8. He upped his to 6.9. I started smiling. I snuck a quick look at him, and he looked deadly serious. Then I upped my pace another notch or two. He did the same. This went on until we were at level 7.5, or an 8:00 pace.

There we were: Two fools on treadmills, running our lungs out.

I stifled a laugh because both of us were so competitive. I looked at him and grinned, but he wouldn't look at me. Um, okay.

We ran for a few miles at this pace. This was fast for me. Apparently, it was for him too, because he didn't raise his treadmill level again. At mile 3, he slowed way down to 5.5, breathing heavily and red-faced. Then he stopped and abruptly left, not bothering to wipe down his machine, as folks do when they're finished.

Well, it was fun while it lasted. I slowed down to level 6.6, breathing hard myself, and stayed there until I finished my 7 miles.


  1. Oh no, Bex, you're not competitive at all. ;)

  2. Maybe that guy was worried you'd think he was coming on to you. But yeah, I can't imagine any guys missing an opportunity to look at you. :)

  3. That is hilarious about the guy trying to keep up with you. I've noticed mostly guys doing that at the gym. He probably went home and told his friends that we kicked some professional runner's butt on the mill.