Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running in Mississippi

So I am in my hometown in rural Mississippi visiting family. I won't get into the weird things about being from MS, but I will share my weird experience of the morning.

Being the borderline running obsessive I am, I was NOT going to come here for a week and just NOT run. Not an option for me! I also have a race in 2.5 weeks. So it had to be done. Also, southern food. Just yesterday alone, after arriving at 12PM,  I managed to eat:
Krystal burgers. Don't judge me. They are magically delicious.


CRAWFISH. I ate all of them. Again, judge me and I'll cut you.
So running was a necessity, unless I want to return to Boston with diabeetus.

But it is 80+ degrees, 90% humidity, and the mosquitoes are out of control. And my parents live on very rural roads, which are creepy and mostly deserted, and they have lots of twists and turns that drivers take going 60+ mph, so running on the roads wasn't an option. I'd like to:
a) not get kidnapped,
b) not get taken out by a snake, wild boar, or aggressive dogs (no one here has fences and they keep 'yard dogs' for 'protection', ugh), or
c) not get hit by a car. So I asked my sister about her gym (which is about 10 miles away) and decided to go see if they'd let me come there for a week.

So I get there, and see that it's pretty small - I've seen hotel gyms that were bigger. Also, it's almost deserted. It's 8 am and there's only 2 guys inside. There is no one working there (how is this safe? but I digress) and the only way to get in is to have a member card that you scan to open the door. So this brings up several question, like:

1) How exactly do they attract or sign up new members if NO ONE IS WORKING THERE?
2) And how do they control people from abusing member privileges? I mean, there was no cameras either, so anyone could just let someone else use their member card, or you could just bring all your friends with you and let them in.
3) If someone gets hurt or collapses, how would they get help? Wouldn't the gym be liable? So weird.

So the best part of this story is that after I sat in my car for a few minutes texting my sister and trying to figure out what to do, a guy CAME OUT AND LET ME IN. Seriously. He walked out, asked if I wanted in, and I asked if he worked there, and he said no and mumbled something about "she will be here at 9 or 9:30." And then let me in and walked to his local school police car. He had no idea who I was, or if I was a member, and just let me in.

The South is such a weird, overly trusting place. Can you imagine anywhere else where this would be okay? Yeah, me either.

I ran on the treadmill for about half an hour before anyone else even showed up to workout. And they were all guys who were overweight, and not a single one of them touched a cardio machine. They all just threw around weights for 20 minutes and then left. Sigh. It would be really helpful if they had some qualified person working there who could help direct people to a more effective workout.

So I did a sweaty, miserable 6x800 on a treadmill. I really loathe treadmills. The whole reason I run is to feel the wind on my face, the breeze in my hair, and to traverse actual miles. NOT to run like a hamster on a belt.


5.5 miles, 45:00 minutes, 8:06 avg. 
800 1-3: somewhere between a 7:20-7:40 pace
800 4-6: 7:00-7:20 pace

I wasn't sure what to do for recoveries in between, and this treadmill only listed mileage to the tenth of a mile, so I would usually dial it back to a 8:50 pace for about .3 miles. And then I just wanted that shit to be over, so I would crank it back up again and stare at the display wishing it was just be over already.

Since I was in the gym already, I did some core stuff and some pushups and lunges just because I could. My arms and shoulders are really sore from my yoga class on Monday, but oh well. That's what they make Advil for, right?

Now, I am off to see grandmas and eat as many biscuits as I can in this week. Wish me luck.

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