Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Exercises in Relativity

Depends who you ask:  Last night I ran into a friend on the El. As usually happens when I see someone I haven't in a while, they eventually ask me the trademark question: "So, have you been running lately?"

I've learned to fight the knee-jerk reaction that usually temps me to try and answer with any real accuracy.  In the past, if I got the question on a particular bad week where maybe I had been too busy to get my running in I'd unsuccessfully try to explain in a sound bite that I wasn't running at my usual consistency.  Or if it were off-season then I'd feel like I'd disappoint them to say I'm only running 15 miles a week instead of 30 plus.

Then I learned to get over myself.

Most of my Non-Runner friends are just being nice when they ask and couldn't care less if I ran 10, 20 or 50 miles that week.  To them, any running is nuts, especially if you are skipping something more fun to do it, likes sleeping or eating or not running!

Now, if it's a sane, normal non-runner friend, who asks I'll just say "yeah a little bit."  If it's a runner friend, I'll be more honest and say "not as much as I'd like."  They usually get it are more empathetic. They know that things often get in the way of a good run, like work deadlines, or bad weather, or winter darkness.

If you kill us,we cannot give you positive feedback to ensure you are hired permanently:  I managed to go to the gym for the 3rd day in a row and the 4th time overall in the last week.  Super Susie is on vacation and she has some subs.  These subs are a bit more intense than we are use to.  They don't seem to realize that most of us are desk jockeys, not Olympic hopefuls.

It probably doesn't help that I've gotten out of my fitness routine.  Since the marathon, I've "rewarded" myself with taking it easy and enjoying not being tethered to a training schedule.  That has also translated to not going to workout classes and instead doing the work social maintenance thing.

The sub we got today was spunky.  She expected to run us through a workout that would have had no breaks if it weren't for people (read: me especially) ducking out to get a drink of water and taking their time to come back, hoping to miss out on a particularly strenuous exercise.  It probably didn't help that I had a late breakfast and said meal was trying to get out of my stomach as quickly as possible once the Ab Crunches from Hell began.

Lucky for us, she quickly realized that we were not up for her prepared workout so she made some on the fly adjustments.  It seemed like certain routines were designed to give us a breather and I suspect they were not part of the initial plan.  I feel like I let her down because she kept looking at me like "you look more in shape than the rest of this class and if you are struggling to keep up, I might accidentially kill them".

I was proud that I made it to the end. Of course that was only because she toned it down a bit so I didn't toss my breakfast.  Even if I were in better shape, I think today's workout would have humbled me.  But it also reminds me that I cannot afford to take too much time off.

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