I have the WCHS treadmill “friend-zoned”…

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I strongly dislike running on treadmills. Always have. I’d rather be out on the roads. Most distance runners seem to agree. I wrote about how in December I caved and bought a pass at the U of L so I could use the indoor track during my Dopey training. It was so ridiculously cold out for many days that if I wanted to get my runs in, I just had too. Some of the days I got stuck on the treadmill instead of the track because of U of L track practice.

December and Dopey came and went, my pass expired, and so did my time using the treadmill……WRONG. It again is stupidly cold outside, and since my training for my spring races is in gear, I can’t skip runs. I need to get them in…so I have hit the last resort….

…Use the treadmill at my schools’ fitness centre.

Now….you may be wondering why I didn’t just do this in December, as I have access to the WCHS fitness centre for free, since I teach there. I have found out there are a variety of reasons why I didn’t…however, now I am finding myself there a few times a week. What have been some issues or interesting tidbits since doing this?

Well….timing is one. After a day of teaching, if I want to get in the fitness centre right away, it’s packed with students….which is great because they are working out! But not great for me, because honestly I’d rather be running without the kids I teach all day surrounding me (sorry guys. You probably have the same feeling towards me!)

If I wait late and go in after the kids get kicked out at 4:30, I run into the potential issue of not getting the good treadmill.Which is the “good one?” Well…it’s definitely not the one that doesn’t even turn on. Or the one that seemingly only let’s you run 20 minutes before ending your course, thus having to restart. So the “good one” is the treadmill in the far corner next to the stereo. Omar and I seem to always now get in there around the same time and have to beat the other person to this treadmill. If he is on that treadmill when I go in there, I just pivot on out and head back to my classroom and find something to mark, or find something to avoid marking…

Now. The U of L was full of clowns in their fitness room, but it was a decently temperature-controlled room. And the treadmills were conveniently located near a big old fan. I liked that. The WCHS fitness centre reminds me of the House of Corrections gym circa 1992, as it smells like sweaty armpit and feels like a sauna. I honestly want to bring an outdoor thermometer in there and see how warm that room gets…has to be at least 80 degrees. There is a big box fan, and on Friday when I had to do 6 miles, I thought I was all smart and jimmy-rigged it in the corner near the “good one.” Too bad it didn’t even blow any air. I looked like a tomato after that run.

So, yeah. I’m complaining. I’m whining. And it sounds like I’m talking trash about where I work. But trust me…even with all this moaning and groaning…this fitness centre now has a special place in my heart. The heat—-it actually is going to help me. I know I get crabby when I run in the warm weather, so this humid cave will actually prepare me for my summer races. And today when I went to Runners Soul Marathon Club at 7:45 am, and my car said -14 Fahrenheit….I swore a little to myself.

Do I miss the indoor track at U of L?—-yes, but I didn’t push myself on that. On the “good one” I can set my speed to the pace I want to reach and it forces me to stay on it. My interval days have been outstanding…and that 6 miler on Friday was a range of 6.5-8.0 mph, finishing in 52:39. I couldn’t have done that on the snowy sidewalks of Lethbridge.

And running in my own private bubble? While it isn’t always guaranteed at the fitness centre, if I have to be surrounded by other people working out, I’d rather it be those kids I teach during the day than the whack jobs at the gym. It is great as a teacher to see the kids outside of the classroom pursuing their personal interests and hobbies, and seeing so many of them getting hooked on an active lifestyle is great. And it is great for us teachers to show the kids that we are active ourselves!

So is the “good one” ideal? No, of course not. But she will have to do for now. I will make the most of her during this training! And who knows…even when the weather warms up, I may still end up using the “good one” for those speed workouts….or I may just have to do sprints with our track & field athletes!

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