Virtual Runs

The joys (and pitfalls) of elliptical running

Unfortunately I don’t know any runners that live anywhere near me.  I may or may not be a tad anti-social, it is still hot here in Phoenix and (the real reason) I am a super sized chicken.  I am totally and unabashedly terrified of the dark and all of it’s sly and horrible secrets.  If I can’t see not only my immediate surroundings, but everyone else’s surroundings too- preferably by the acreage, something could totally be hiding just out of my line of vision. Cloaking itself in darkness. Some shadow goblin lurking in the gloom, gleefully waiting for a crack at an unsuspecting runner. Well, the news reports always say “jogger”.  Tomato, tomatoe.  Oh, and I guess all the creepers, rapists and killers out there. Weirdly, those are only secondary concerns.  I know I can’t out run my imagination, but I may be able to outrun a homicidal maniac. If he’s fat. And slow. And maybe a little touched in the head.

So, running outside is out during the week.  The only way that I can get a good run in after work (lest the shadow goblin eat my face) is to hit the gym. I absolutely despise the “dreadmill”.  Somehow it gives me motion sickness. Plus, the added anxiety of the thought that I could be being winged off the back of it, crashing into a wall or unsuspecting passersby.  No, this is not a figment of my over-active imagination, or some weirdly unfounded fear. This has actually happened to me. Ahem, Jen and Anita!  (Last names left out to protect the NOT-so innocent)  Those belt burns took forever to heal, and the bruise to my ego is still there 25 years later…Anyway… This only leaves me the choice of running laps like a crazed, chubby weirdo around the inside of the gym, or hitting the elliptical.  At least the calorie burn is pretty good on these 117 minutes equals about 1170 calories burned. YES.

The problem with running on the elliptical is that you are running on the elliptical.  While I was panting away yesterday for an entire one hundred and seventeen minutes, I had some serious thinking and pondering time.  Here are a few of those odd and rambling thoughts:

  • Why do these things have heart beat readers in the middle, when you have to grab the ski-pole-dealie-bobbers anyway? Why aren’t they right on the ski pole where your hands are supposed to be in the first place?  Don’t they know that for klutzes like me transitioning my hands from here, to over there and back could make me wobbly? Or that I could fall right off the dang thing in the middle of Biggest Loser in the middle of 24 Hour Fitness? (I didn’t. But it was a close call.)
  • Do NOT try to readjust your arm band while simultaneously leaning forward.  Trust me on this.  The good news? I have a melon like granite, so there was little to no bruising when said ski-pole tried crushing my brain at mile 5 when I adjusted my arm band and tried to change Chris leDoux for DMX.  Lesson learned. Well played kharma.
  • Why the hell can’t you override the manual to not time out!?!?!  Do these fitness companies not get how irritating it is to plug away for an hour (plus 5 minute cool down-duh!) then have to take a damned picture of what you have done, then get off and stretch or switch machines to start ALL OVER AGAIN?!?!  Ludicrous.  Can you not at least give the option to set for mileage rather than time? Some of us are a bit pokier than others and it takes more than an hour to do what needs to get done.  Horribly aggravating.  Added to that you know that I already looked like a crazy hot mess sweating away for an hour, then trying to pedal and take a picture of the stats (because if you don’t pedal the damn lights blink off), then get off stretch and wait for the reset to happen, then clamber back on and do it ALL again?
  • Does anyone else start watching the TV’s and start slowing down or speeding up depending on what is happening on screen?
  • Why is it always so much harder to read the subtitles on the TV closest to me (half of the scroll is cut off at the bottom of the screen) than the one off to the side?
  • Why is it that I pick the elliptical by the TV that has something NON football on it, to immediately have someone ask the staff to change that one TO football? I mean, there are 27 TV’s here, dude.  Could you NOT find another elliptical that has your game on? I am trying to watch “Biggest Loser” here, fella!
  • WHY is it that as women we are conditioned to say “Oh, go ahead. I wasn’t watching it anyway.” When asked if they mind if the channel gets changed? Especially since I KNOW they watched me watching it for a few minutes before getting my attention? BAH.
Not me, but is a similar machine

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