Thursday, March 15, 2007

Finding Rest and, Perhaps, a Treadmill

I’m getting sleepy… very, very sleepy. And as I sip my last cup of chamomile tea, I’m getting almost too enthusiastic about being tired enough to sleep a full night — despite the lousy excuse for a human being I was today.

Yes, I missed swimming again, but this time work got in the way (why am I saying this time?). Then I committed the ultimate sin when I came home: I plopped down on my uber-cozy bed for “just a couple of seconds.” Forty-five minutes later, when Neil came home, I woke up.

You see, when I was skipping lunch to finish a project, I promised myself I would go swimming at the end of the day. And then when I didn’t actually leave early and was driving home along OH-8, I looked longingly at our local bike path (now that has some delicious hills—notice I say “delicious” as I sit on my couch typing and drinking tea before going to bed) and promised myself I would go running this evening. But that nap wiped me out and it was getting dark and I had spent so much time counting excuses that next thing I knew I was just doing some weight training in the middle of my living room as Duke lost to VCU.

Tomorrow I will swim. And perhaps I will run too.

I know that I have sworn off the rec. center track, but I have considered getting a treadmill for my apartment. Initially, the drawbacks were a) carrying it up three flights of stairs when I bought it; b) carrying it down three flights of stairs when I move; and c) disturbing my neighbors. But my downstairs neighbors have recently become so obnoxious that Neil and I thought for a moment that Monday’s 3.6 earthquake was actually our neighbors wrestling again, so that (courtesy) is no longer a concern. We’ve also decided to stay put for one more year, and now I’m really just down to one grand excuse for not making the plunge.

Well, I guess there is one more thing. The big treadmill incident. Or was it an accident? Long story short: I was standing on a treadmill, wondering why it wouldn’t work, when someone decided to plug it into the wall when my attention was somewhere else. The thing zipped on so quickly that I was launched across the room. I imagine that it was far more entertaining for standers-by, but not so much for the person who could no longer stand… by. And I don’t think I’ve been on a treadmill ever since.

Perhaps by next winter I should get over that fear... or memory. While it was nice to get out in the sub-zero temperatures and trudge through the mounds of snow this winter, there are days when I just wouldn’t get out because of the weather. And removing that excuse would be great for my training regiment. It should pay on muggy summer days too. Besides, don’t those things give you some mean hills? I suppose it’s something to keep in mind.

For now, however, I have sleep on the mind. Last night was my first decent sleep in weeks, and I’ve been limiting my tea to all-herbal, all the time (FYI: that tea from Starbucks yesterday was decaf too; I’ve quit the Lipton green from work all together. Now, if I could only quit that whole “work” thing… oop, who said that?). In fact, I’m just polishing off this cup of chamomile and looking forward to some rest.


Jim said...

Good choice to rest G. The more we work when our body isn't capable, the more we hurt it. Don;t feel bad - you dun the right thing.

It's soooo hard, though, isn't it , to have your brain say, GO GO, GO! but your body says NO, NO, NO!


Joe said...

Ah yes, the thrillmill decision. My wife and I debated that decision for a couple of years before finally buying one about 18 months ago. I think most people regret buying them but we have no regrets. I don't know how many times that thing has kept us warm and dry over the last 18 months.

I'm sure you're smart and you will do your homework but here are some tips:
- Read Consumer Reports. It frequently has treadmill reviews.
- Buy an expensive one. The extra cost is minimal when amortized over many years of use.
- Buy one with heart rate monitoring.
- Buy one with lots of programs. You are less likely to get bored. In particular, find one that has an "interval training" program so you can do your speedwork.
- Don't do all of your running on the treadmill. It tends to throw my land running technique off a little bit. For example, it's hard to get a nice forward lean on the treadmill. Here's a tip though -- it's easier to get a forward lean if you set a slight incline (that tip is from the book, Chi Running).
- Measure, measure, measure! Treadmills don't look big until you bring them home. Make sure it fits -- not just for length and width but also height (you might have problems if you are tall and your home has a low ceiling).