I got up at seven o’clock this morning, ate my oatmeal, suited up in my running gear, grabbed my gloves and walked out the door to go to my half-marathon training group. I made it literally one step out the door when the frigid 30-degree air hit my face, feeling colder than I remembered 30-degree air being. That’s when I said, “Fuck this shit,” and walked back inside. It’s the end of March and there should not be frost on my car in the morning. There have been enough “PastaQueen battles the elements” entries. It’s about time for a “PastaQueen goes to the YMCA with her shiny new MP3 player” entry.
There is a surprisingly large amount of people at the YMCA on a Saturday morning. I spent most of my life asleep on Saturday mornings, so it’s odd to think there are thousands of people around the world who get up that early on purpose to take part in painful exercise, and that I am now one of them. Today the schedule called for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Which is why it’s more of a “guideline” than a schedule. My left foot has been feeling great, but going for a run longer than many major motion pictures would be an easy way to make it feel not great again. Overuse is probably how I damaged it in the first place, and I can’t afford to be injured again before my race. This also provided an excellent rationalization for ditching my training group, because I would be able to stop running at any time if my foot began to hurt. Instead, I only ran for an hour, hopping off after 45 minutes to walk across the gym to refill my water bottle and then get back on the treadmill. The morning sun pounds down through the gym’s eastern wall of windows in the morning, so ironically I was hot at the end of my run instead of trying to warm numb earlobes.
It was damn exhausting. I am trying not to think about the fact that I’m running a 15K in two weeks, which will take almost twice as long as today’s run. That’s 9.2 miles, farther than I’ve ever run at once in my life. It will probably take me a little under two hours, longer than I’ve ever run at once in my life. And then, oh yeah, the Mini-Marathon is only a month away now. This is going to be painful. I’m really going to have to stick to my training schedule if I have any hope of making it to the finish line in a reasonable time.
But at least I have an MP3 player that works! I may be a techie, but I have never been into gadgets. They’re expensive and I’m the type of person who keeps something until it completely breaks. Last week, when I left the gym in an angry rage because my old MP3 player died halfway through a workout, I decided it was time to cough up the cash for a new one. I thought about getting an iPod, but you have to buy an extra doohickie to listen to the radio on it. Instead I purchased a competing device with a built-in radio that was much cheaper, giving up any attempt to be trendy. I’m rapidly approaching age 30 and it’s time to accept that I will probably never be trendy again (not that I ever was).
I wanted a radio because now I can listen to the audio on the TVs at the gym. Those little signs that say “Tune to 90.1 FM to listen” have been taunting me for weeks. I really want to listen to Ellen live instead of reading the captioning 20 seconds after the dialogue has been spoken. And now I can. That’s at least one good reason to keep training.
ETA: I originally avoided saying what MP3 player I bought because I didn’t want y’all to think the purpose of this post was to sell you electronics. But, a couple people asked so I’m adding the info here to quell curiosity, not to make big bucks. I got the Creative Zen V Plus 4 GB Portable Media Player. It’s got a radio, I can organize music into playlists, it supports Audible files so I can listen to audio books, and 4GB holds enough music for me to run across the state without any duplicates. It’s not dependent on any software to work, meaning you can plug it into a USB drive and transfer files on basically any computer. It also recharges through the USB port, which is handy because I don’t have to fumble with two different plugs. Also, it is a standard USB connection, so if I lose the plug I can buy a new one very easily. The sound quality is good and I’ve been happy with it so far. I’ll let you know if I have any problems. It’s very small and lightweight, so my biggest fear is simply losing it or dropping the thing.