I used the treadmill at the gym for the first time today and instead of feeling like a gerbil running on a wheel, I felt fantastic. So now of course the treadmill is my new favourite thing. It's this superduper computerized contraption that tells you how fast you're going and how far you've gone and how many calories you're burning and how your investments are doing. Really, it is a technological marvel. I don't know why I didn't get on the treadmill track sooner.
See, I took up running in September, but only because I was seething with anxiety over my job hunt and needed to do something with all that energy. Now, I had always hated the thought of running - all that huffing and puffing and sweating, ick! - and the few times I'd started running, I'd stopped just as quickly because it made me feel so uncomfortable and out of shape. Yes, stopping was the logical thing to do in that case, wasn't it? Kind of like putting off taking my driving test because it will be years before they'll let me drive on the 400-series of highways.
Anyway, this time around, I decided to give it a serious try and not give up after a week. I started out with short sprints, setting realistic, obtainable goals for myself. Life is all about setting realistic goals, I'm finding. So on my first runs, in the relative seclusion and privacy of Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where pretty much everybody is dead except for the runners and the baby-joggers and the rollerbladers, I'd run six tombstones, or three mausoleums. Then I was running the lengths of plots, and up hills and through dales and then I finally was brave enough to run in more public places, like the streets. So I started measuring my progress in half blocks and blocks on long unbroken streets like Alcorn Avenue and Farnham. And then, just as I started counting my runs in kilometers, it got wicked cold and icy and miserable and I was tired after a long day's libraianing and I took up swimming (indoors) instead.
Well, the other night, there was a thaw and it was just beautiful outside and I was feeling restless and also painfully aware that my work clothes, which were too loose only a month ago, were uncomfortably tight, so I threw on some jogging pants and a sweat shirt and my running shoes and I ran up a steep hill to the Sir Winston Churchill Resevoir. And then I ran around the reservoir, on St Clair and then down Spadina Road, all the way to Casa Loma - without stopping. And seriously, when I got to Casa Loma, I thought I was going to die or at least throw up and I was sweaty and dishevelled and out of breath. But in two minutes I had my breath back and I felt great.
And I continued to feel great for the next 24 hours. Not only that, but I wanted more. I'm telling you, this running thing, it's like smack. No wonder I see all these people running in the ice and snow at five in the morning with their little reflective-tape bum-flaps and their tights and their water bottles. So this morning I got to work early, just so I could run on the treadmill. Fortunately, today I happened to be working the evening shift so by "early" I mean, I got to work at 10.30AM.
Anyway, so now I'm this big running freak. Who knew?