Oh, dear. Treadmill cheating is only spinning your wheels.

Maybe working out at the gym is serious business, but I have to say sometimes it’s just plain funny. 

Yesterday’s a great example. I trudged into the gym, stashed my stuff in a locker, and picked out a treadmill. As I plodded along, willing the miles to pass quickly, I began glancing around. There’s sort of an unwritten rule about personal space while working out. Part of it includes refraining from staring at others.

Occasionally this proves extra challenging.

In the row ahead of me, I could not help but notice a young woman running extra fast on her treadmill. Maybe twenty-something, she was pumping her arms like a bird beginning to take off. She fairly flew up and down with each stride. At first, I was sort of impressed.

Adapted by this user from public domain artwork.

Then it happened.

After about 20 seconds, she grabbed the handrails and leapt onto the side panels. She didn’t pause the machine. Instead, she let the thing run and run and run. She stood there for several minutes, watching the machine-mounted TV intently. Then she jumped back onto the belt and sprinted to stay on for another short stint before repeating the process.

Again and again, she ran and rested. The miles kept rolling by, whether her feet made contact with the moving belt or not. Mostly not.

This lasted for quite a while. Finally, she pulled out a smart phone, snapped a photo of the control panel, and left.

C’mon. That’s funny.

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


Sometimes the right bird brings a good word on the run

Maybe I needed an extra boost, right about then.

A wonderfully warm stretch of days has settled into the Upper Midwest. This phenomena is odd and utterly welcome in mid-February, especially for runners. Sure, most of us are grateful to exercise sheltered options for running, such as gym treadmills and elliptical machines and indoor tracks. But give us a couple of unseasonably beautiful days, and we’ll likely find a way to block out some time for longer runs under the sky.

Count me in.

I mapped out a 10-mile route on Saturday. I filled my Camelbak and tucked a pack of fruity gummies in my phone belt. I set my Charity Miles and tracker app. And off I went, trudging happily along the side of the road to pick up my path.

As I passed the seven-mile point (with Runkeeper chirping its distance update in my headphones), I think I sort of sighed. The biggest and longest hill of the route waited just around the next corner.

“One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four.”

Just then, I looked up and saw a bald eagle flying directly over my head in the picture-perfect blue sky. No, it wasn’t a vulture!

This majestic creature swept effortlessly out over a farm field to my left and then doubled back across the sky above me before soaring off over the woods to the right.

Collage created by this user with Team RWB logo, public domain eagle, and LAN/Runkeeper photos.

What a glorious sight.

I pondered the many ways this was a cool thing to see, as well as the perfect timing of it.

  • The eagle reminded me of one of my favorite Bible promises: Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV)
  • I run with a group called Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue). This organization, which supports and provides programs for US Armed Forces veterans, has an eagle as its emblem. Seeing the eagle reminded me of these courageous and bold friends, many of whom run a lot longer distances than I do (often carrying weighted packs).
  • Bald eagles are pretty rare, and this one was a beauty to see.

Just as my own fatigue threatened to become a proverbial albatross around my neck, perhaps preventing me from finishing my first 10-mile run in months, the eagle appeared and raised my spirit. Instead of focusing on all of the body parts that throbbed and ached and burned at that point, I reconsidered the scenic views all around.

And, although I may not have been as graceful as a swan, especially for those last three miles, I completed the course in a reasonably acceptable training time. (Perhaps the only drawbacks were a couple of blackening toenails, as shown in the photo. Those kind of go with the territory for runners.)

Within another day or two, the temperature will likely drop like a rock around here. The winter winds will probably pick up. Sloppy white stuff will fall from the sky. And we’ll all go back to the gym. In the meantime, however, it’s nice to know the eagle flies.

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.


February bonus: Short pants, long run

You’ve gotta love unseasonably warm weather. Here we are, enjoying 50- to 60-degree (F) days in February in Wisconsin! And we all know what that means: Digging out running shorts and tee shirts for extended outdoor jaunts!

Like any other enthusiastic runner, I just pulled out a long-forsaken wispy tech tee and a pair of shorts and slipped ‘em on. Yikes! I’m nearly blinded by the sight of my whiter-than-white limbs! (I haven’t even worn shorts or running capris to the gym lately.)

But I’m steeling my nerves, lacing on my sneakers, and stepping boldly into the great out of doors to expose my ghostly gams and ashen arms to the world. Forget the sunscreen. I need all the rays I can catch, right about now. 

Why, yes. I will be the ghost out there, running with the pasty whites.

C’mon, natural vitamin D. Do your stuff! (My doc says I need more of that anyway.)

Warning, drivers. Those aren’t sunspots, blinding your vision along the road. That’s just little old me, clomping along on a long-overdue long run.

Drive on, folks. Nothing to see here.

I’m just sick of the treadmill and eager to take the scenic route today.

(Hey, I’ve committed to do 2,017 miles in 2017. It’s nearly March, and I’m about six miles behind schedule. So today’s the day to make those up.)

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.

Adapted from public domain artwork.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...