I'm sneezing and sniffling, so for today's run I packed up and headed to the gym to hit the treadmill. I'm not going to risk having a cold or worse fuck up my training for the Half - I'm selfish that way. (Or a wuss - call it as you see it.)
The thing about my gym, if I haven't mentioned it before, is that it only has 7 treadmills - and much like the seven dwarves, each of them has a different "personality" that can be summed up in what I call them:
- Oldie - This treadmill was born during the jögging (Scandinavian pronunciation) phenomenon of the 70's. When I run on it I get the feeling that it wants to tell me about how running was harder "back in the day" and tell me to "hit the sauna" afterwards.
- Corpse - This is Oldie's brother. I have never seen this one in working order - I swear the "Out of Order" sign on it is older than my kids.
- Skipper - Although it sounds like Barbie's younger sister, (don't ask how I know) this machine is can only be used successfully by either a double-dutch team or the ghost of Terry Fox.
- Grinder - Grinder is deceptive - When he's set at walking speed, he's quiet as a mouse. The second he goes to any sort of faster pace the sound of gnashing metal teeth and screech of protests are enough to make everyone in the gym stop and stare. Grinder became who he was by having a 6-foot-4, 245 pound slab of muscle pound on him at 9.5 to 10mph about 5 days a week - if there's a hell for treadmills, Grinder's there.
- Looker - there's nothing wrong with Looker - perfectly fine treadmill, if you like being directly opposite the huge fucking mirror. I know it's weird, but I can't watch myself run - I have a vision of perfect posture, excellent stride, and flawless complexion when I run. Seeing the sweaty, flawed realism takes me out of my game.
- The Mistress - This is the newest treadmill at the gym. works good, bright and shiny, has all the bells and whistles. I would run the shit out of this one of it wasn't for...
- My Baby - My Baby is the cremé de la cremé of the gym treadmills - perfect position (can't see myself run), on the end of the line (no squeezing in between treadmills), and has never broken down or missed a day. (I have busted out a 12 mile run on this thing in the dead of winter - this treadmill is connected to my soul.) I guess because of where it is, not a lot of people like to run on it - except me - and most people know it as "my" treadmill.
I don't know if her name is Mabel and I don't care - she's 100 years old (Ok, maybe 60) and all she does is walk on the treadmill. - no incline, no increase in speed, no effort exerted at all beyond hitting the "Start" button.
And she was doing all of this nothing on my treadmill.
You think that she would have gone for Oldie - I'm sure she probably knew the original designer - or even tried out Looker for a better view of herself and the TV's - (did I mention that she was watching 100 Huntley Street? I think I should.) but no, she chose My Baby for her leisurely stroll.
I sucked it up and only ground my teeth a little as I went to The Mistress and did my run. It's a good treadmill, but it's not the same. And with Karma being what it is, Mabel's walk finished at exactly the same time as my run. I estimate that she maybe did one mile to my four - I was tempted to go run a couple miles on My Baby just to let her know I was there.
I appreciate that Mabel is getting out there and trying to stay in shape - if she had even attempted something more than a walk I'm sure that my bitterness would be much less. I swear if she had been reading a magazine while walking I don't think I would have been able to contain myself.
Does that make me crazy? Is that intervention on the way?
Whatever - I'm going to give it one more chance tomorrow - but if she's heading to the treadmills at the same time I am, I can't be held responsible for my actions.