Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mission Im-possum-ble

I'm off to the gym to get in my Sunday run on the--blech--treadmill.

I really am not a fan of the treadmill (hence the blech.) I know lots of people prefer the air-conditioned comfort of a gym, the camraderie of fellow exercisers sweating next to them, and seeing every calorie burned and mile completed tracked on a large glowing LCD screen--but I'm not one of them.

Me, I find all of that kind of boring. I think it's actually sort of lonely to run alongside people who might be next to you in physical presence, but emotionally couldn't be more far removed--as they listen to whatever song is playing on their iPod or flip through whatever magazine it is they have in front of them. It's true that in July, in South Florida, air-conditioning makes for more comfortable running conditions than 100 degree humidity, but the changing landscape and the people watching you can enjoy while running outdoors are so interesting that the extra sweat is worth it.

Except when running outdoors gets just a little too interesting--like today.

I was so excited about my run today because I had all kinds of new stuff to try out. Upon the suggestion of several readers, I'd purchased some Powerbar gels to try out 45 minutes into my run today. I also had purchased a belt with a water bottle (so I could wash down the gels), and because my plantar fascitis had been acting up, I'd replaced the insoles of my Nike Zoom Air Road Explosion IIs (the best running shoes ever if you're an under pronator like me) with orthodics. I'd also created a new playlist on my iPhone and couldn't wait to groove to Nina Simone, the Bodyrockers and Liz Phair.

A few problems:

1. The Nike Zoom Air Road Explosion IIs might be the best running shoes ever--but they don't fit a traditional orthodic. So about five minutes into my run I realized my feet were in agony and were being scraped up on all sides by the ill-fitting footwear.

2. The water bottle holster I bought kept rotating around my waist, and the water sloshed around and got me completely soaked. I wasn't used to running with an extra 30 oz. of water weighed down my torso, and between that and the shoes and the heat, needless to say I didn't start off my run on the right foot.

3. I had accidentally touched the "recurring loop" button on my iPhone so I never got to hear any of the new tracks I'd added to my playlist. Instead, I heard the same Black Eyed Peas song, "Let's Get It Started," over and over again. Maybe four times.

4. EEEEEEEEEEEEEK! After the third time hearing, "And the base is running and running and running..." I saw a large animal that kind of looked like a rat, but the size of a cat. Or maybe it was a rabbit without long ears. Sitting leisurely in the middle of the sidewalk. I got so scared I bolted and ran into the bike path, freaking out a family of four that had been cycling leisurely beside me.

Later when I got home with bruised feet, a wet back, and my heart still pounding, my husband, a Florida native, explained that I'd probably just seen a possum, and that it wouldn't have hurt me.

Well, isn't that comforting.

Well, I am off now to the YMCA to hit the treadmill. I know it won't be an exciting run, but today I think that's a good thing.

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