Since the birth of my fitness loving alter ego “Pe Tank Ass” – being physically active without limits has been something I’ve strived for. Though I have a pretty sweet home gym set up going on in my basement, housing stacks of plates, barbells, racks, benches, and the like, last year I kind of went bat crap for running, and in turn, I am now 3 months out of my first ultramarathon.
Not just run in a straight line ultramarathon either. Big ass mountains and stuff. Finishing this 50k in under 8 hours is supposedly a rockin’ time. So, I qualified for this in October and committed the week after. Fast forward to a month later where I busted my ankle to high hell and spent my month where I was supposed to be acclimating to the weather and starting ultra training instead I was gimping around and eating anything that didn’t eat me first.
Fast forward to the end of December when I decidedly was healed, but running outside for long distances was neither productive or pleasurable. Fast forward to today where I still am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will be training at the YMCA on days when the temperature is below 35 degrees.
Let it be known, those of you new to the gym in 2016… I feel for you.
Although I have done a pretty good job of getting myself into fighting shape with nothing more than a barbell and a never ending forest full of natural obstacles, when I am indoors trying to run in a straight line on a machine, I feel like I am being tortured.
Training solo for as long as I have, I feel like a complete weirdo in this world of lifelong gym goers. It’s hard for me to go to that quiet internal place where all my best work gets done when I know I’m not alone. Although I am fairly certain nobody really cares what I am up to, I am well aware that I’m doing it wrong. For example… 12 mile run, 30 minute limit on cardio equipment.
So I run my limit. Then pop on the stair climber for my limit so I can try and fake some mountain climbing skills. Then back on the tread. Then back on the climber… And so forth until I cannot walk on any surface not moving rapidly under my feet. Also, there is no food or water allowed in the fitness room. So intra run hydration and fueling that I have worked so hard to perfect is now subjugated to me snacking in the locker room between switches. The same place people shower. And pee. It’s all very unnatural to me.
I realize this is just a temporary situation, and I am thankful I am afforded the option of having a safe clean place to train on days when I can’t deal with my ass cheeks freezing together. I am also thankful I can still lift in the comfort of my own home, in my pajamas, while I chug coffee and spill it everywhere and eat food simultaneously because I’m already late for work.
But I am definitely missing the daily interaction with nature. I miss going out and seeing things. I miss natural sounds. I am tired of trying to put together power play lists to drown out the abuse I am putting that poor treadmill through as I hate pound it into the ground. This is why I’m not blogging about ultra training anymore. Because although I am doing the best I can with the cards I’ve been dealt, I am being a miserable whiny baby all the way.
And although my training is less than ideal in more ways than one, I know come March when I’m frolicking through the forest all whimsy and unicorns, I will look back fondly on the guy who screams like he’s being ax murdered while he uses the butterfly machine and smile. Because I know I won’t have to see him again until next year.