"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Treadmills, Meatheads, and Boobs! Oh my!

I almost hate to admit this, but ...

I once again joined a fucking gym. Yes, "once again" as in, this is not my first time signing away my dignity and $35.99/month to subject myself to the 'over-tanned, over-pumped, meathead and huge-breasted, yet tiny-assed, boy short wearing' end of the fitness spectrum.

Historically, I have found that the gym is SUPER good for my self esteem. And every time I have extracted myself from an automatic payment nightmare at XYZ Corporate gym after paying months and months worth of dues long after I have stopped going, I tell myself, "Never again! I hate the gym. Even more, I hate PAYING for the gym when I do not go to the gym."

But, alas, I joined. Here is my explanation for this seemingly self-destructive behavior. I have a new schedule this year that is making it much more difficult and often impossible for me to work out after school during the week.

I get up really early and can run before school. As a matter of fact, I used to, but I have become a chicken shit and can not seem to make myself run around my gorgeous, and high end neighborhood anymore.

Also, in my palatial 900 sq ft house there is no where to put a treadmill, unless I really want to class the joint up by having one in the kitchen (I don't know why, but it has a large kitchen for a small house *shrugs*) Therefore, I joined the gym.

I have gone three times this week (which may be a gym attendance record for me) at 4 am and although running on the treadmill is a little slice of hell, I found that the 'Roid monsters and Barbie dolls tend to not be in the gym at 4 am so I am not as self conscious and pissy. Beautiful people, need their beauty sleep evidently.

I have to admit that Formulaic calling me out on my training mileage (he did not really 'call me out.' He innocently asked about it, but I have to be dramatic. It is how I roll) is what made me finally take stock of my current "training." I had to ask myself, "what is my goal and am I doing what I need to meet it?"

The answer was a resounding, "No."

Hence, the dreaded gym.

The Goal: (It has been alluded to, but not spelled out because my psyche and self esteem have taken a few hits this year and I could not handle any further failures)

I want to do a 50 mile run in 2011.

The reason for this (as if I need to justify why a fat, slow, perpetually bottom 10% finisher would want to run 50 miles since it sounds like a marriage made in heaven!) is that I want to see if I can and to see if I like it.

It is really the same reason I attempted Ironman (for the record, the answer to both of those questions in that case was another resounding "no", but I am glad for all the the experiences it afforded me. Well, except for that stupid, fucking swim, but whatever)

I am still undecided on which 50 miler to attempt. The leading contenders are Rocky Raccoon (Pros: flat course, looooooong time limit due to 100 miler at same time, I get to see IronJane, Misty, and S. Baboo Cons: In Texas and hubby is not loving the traveling, the race is in February and that limits my time to train) and American River 50 miler (Pros: Local, one of the flatter 50 milers for California, the race is in April so more time to train Cons: 26 miles of it are on the road, 13 hour cut off [this is the biggest 'con'], April may still be too soon training wise)

Hubby Update

Hubby is doing ok. He was doing great, the effects of the radiation were subsiding and he was getting his energy back, but then he had to get his last hormone deprivation therapy shot and now he is feeling shitty again. I am taking solace in the fact that this is the last round of this.


(This part is rambling and a bit of a downer. Feel free to skip)

I struggle sometimes with how honest to be about all of this. Here on the blog and in real life. On one hand it has helped me immensely to read honest accounts from the wives and lovers of men with prostate cancer on the other hand it is about my husband and me during the scariest and hardest time of our life together. And some of the topics and issues are, for lack of a better expression, not cool. Not cool at all.

When he was diagnosed we started feverishly researching everything we could find on prostate cancer. In our travels we came across several forums for people undergoing prostate cancer treatment. These forums offered a wealth of information and are chock full of really, really kind people.

Can you feel the 'but' coming?

But, reading day in and day out, about the horrors and complications, both short term and long term, that are associated with prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment turned out to be a recipe for insanity and depression in the RBR household. So I forbade him from reading them (I sound like such a shrew, huh?) and I stopped reading them myself.

But then we entered a new epoch, one that is hard to talk him about, one that is even hard for me to think about and I returned to the forums. It has proved to have the same effect as before, except like an addict I keep going back expecting it to be better, and to find the answer I want.

I have yet to find that answer, but I do find myself working 18 hour days again, which is historically a sign that I am not doing great mentally.

So once again, I deleted all the bookmarks.

I do not have a wrap up for this. I still have not found the answer. I just know where I won't find it.


Herself, the GeekGirl said...

Hmm. I'd go with the one that hubby is likely to want to come to. That said, 13 hours is a pretty damned restrictive. Maybe you can talk him into traveling?

As for your worries and concerns, I've been there - joining the online forums looking for answers. Not for anything as dire as what you're going through, but I understand wanting to finally find that miracle pill, or treatment, or food, that will make everything better. I don't have any answers either. Just thought I'd let you know that. {{{{}}}}

Deb said...

You are a super hero. You know that, right? You teach, you proudly live in a 900 sq. ft. house, you humbly claim your Ironman DNF and you write profanity-rich posts that have me guffawing 'til my sides ache. And you do all these things while dealing with the illness of the wonderful man who is so clearly the love of your life.

I so enjoy reading your blog. You really ARE a super hero.

MissBrightside said...

I feel your pain...and your anxiety...and your worry...and your fear. That probably won't make you feel better, but just know you are on a well-worn path :o)

Lindsay said...

well you haven't gotten too bad yet since the other half of your sense of humor is still intact.

i'm sorry though... forums are so bi-polar like that. helpful, and then make you freak out. i know you guys will continue to truck through it and hopefully the road of recovery/back to normalcy is short. i think about you often!

Diana said...

I've come to find that the "answer" is always just inside of us. We are in charge of our own dreams-we have more power than it seems.
Just remember.....only love is real.
We can't become victims of our disease.
Don't worry about what's there or not there on the internet-only deal with what you know to be real. To read over and over things will drive you nuts. Especially medical stuff. We want answers-however, medical issues have no "real" answers. We rule everything out and then deal with what's left on the floor. Each case, lets say: prostate ca, even though same diagnosis-each case is so far apart from each other it boggles the mind. We go with what we know to be the best thing at the best time.
Just follow the doctors, have input in the care he receives. After all, it's your lives-not the doctors. Be your own number one advocate. Get the best treatment possible, rely on your faith, rely on the strength of each other and the rest will fall into place.
Okay enough of the deep shit.....I say if you're crazy enough to do a 50 miler run, you need to find a kettlebell instructor in your area and take some lessons. YOU definitely got what it takes! Then you can stop pissing away that monthly gym payment!!!
My thoughts and prayer continue to come your way for you and the hubs! Thanks for the update!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

I know a few who have done Rocky. They loved it. TX is a great state to visit in Feb as well.

What no Hanz and Franz pump you up reference?

Tiffa said...

I feel the same way about the dream but have recently recommitted.

Jo Lynn said...

One thing about you is you are persistent! You have never given up in any race. Yes, you may have been drug off of one or two but you have never willingly walked off.
So, I know if you put your mind to a 50-miler, you will do it without a problem.
That being said - pick one with a REALLY long cut-off. ;)

One Crazy Penguin said...

Positive vibes getting sent your way.

Aka Alice said...

Anyone who works out, in a gym no less, BEFORE teaching cherubs, can finish a 50 miler. Hell... You do more than that already!

If there's a 50 miler in So Cal, I'll be on your crew in a heartbeat.

cancer sucks... Hate it. Hate it! Hate it!

hang in there!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Sorry about having to use a gym, but I admire your discipline and bet it will turn out to be helpful to you, especially with what you're going through. You need that outlet.

As for 50 milers, piece of cake. Hey if I can do it, anyone can -oops except that I've been pulled off courses too. Oh well, you know what I mean. It's just two marathons, right? :)

Sorry about the difficulties with your hubby. I can't even imagine how painful that must be. This phase will be over soon though, and he'll be in recovery mode (and you'll be in Hawaii too right?). So you have that to look forward to.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Hmm ... never been on one of those forums, but I suspect their purpose is as much for the people posting as the people reading, which seems an obvious observation, because it is pretty obvious, but what I mean is you're probably reading stuff that someone who's going through the same thing you and the hub are posted, and the posting of which made her/him feel better because it was an act, in part, of letting go of fears and anxieties; but the reading of which made you feel worse. They vent and walk away feeling better after having vented; you read and walk away feeling worse because you just read something bad that maybe never occurred to you.

It cuts both ways like that. You've picked up part of their burden.

It's best to try to treat those instances as times when you're the audience - nothing else - and you're being there for someone else who's going through what you are; you're the helper, not the helpee, so to speak. These are posts about things that did happen to others - not predictors of what will happen to you and the hub.

Try to keep that in mind.

Hang tough, sister! You're almost out of the woods.

As for the 50-miler?

You're fucking insane. Or as I like to call it, "SteveQ-like".

PunkRockRunner said...

I’m confused. Are the 'over-tanned, over-pumped, meathead and huge-breasted, yet tiny-assed, boy short wearing' end of the fitness spectrum boys or girls? If you’re talking about the ladies then “yippee” but if you’re referring to dudes then that’s just wrong.

My vote is for the AR50. I’m already signed up and we can *snicker* run *snicker* it together *hehehehehehe*

Love ya’


SteveQ said...

I've heard good things about both RR and AR races. For a fast flat course, the 'coon has a lot of tree roots. Both races are very competitive, so expect to be even further from the front than usual doing either of them. Finishing a 50 is actually easier than finishing a marathon for a lot of people!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

50 miler! Woo hoo. I like your idea - I want to see if I can do it and like it. You are amazing.

Hugs to you and hubby. Stay away from the forums. Focus on yourselves and enjoy each day.

StephB said...

There is a lot to be said for the 4am club at the gym. Love it. So peaceful.

I think you can totally finish the 50 miler. No question about it. You may have to omit some of the photo-taking opportunities to finish within the allotted time, though. ; )

Hugs on the PC. My dad struggles with the side effects of his cure (radical prostatectomy) but is very pleased to be cancer-free now. However, he could use some therapy or counseling, neither of which is a consideration for him. I hope that it is for you and/or Mr. RBR (instead of the creepy forums).

chris mcpeake said...

I cant even begin to tell you how much I share your hate on for the gym. Unfortunately it is an unavoidable evil.

Turbo Photographs said...

RBR: several people from GUTS (my trail running group in GA) ran Rocky and loved it.

And yes, I'm quite sure there are people in Hartsville having "relations" with all kinds of critters, not just the F&*king Bears!!! Ha ha ... assbackward kin foaks.

IronSnoopy said...

A few thoughts: congrats on a new gym-attendance record. I, too, find the early mornings much easier to tolerate than the evenings. Like vampire, or cockroaches, "they" like the dark.

You trained your ass off for the Ironman and don't forget, you didn't quit. You never once gave up.

So, hells yeah run a 50-miler!!! No doubt whatsoever you can do it.

My vote is for Rocky, but I have to be honest, it's because I like the name.

Ahem. You know we have ultra's in the Midwest, too. Like Wisconsin. :-) But it would require travel.

Stay off the damn forums.

Think of you guys so often, which, I admit is a bit creepy and all since you're an Interwebs friend, but can't help it. Think of you guys often.


Katie A. said...

Ah, the gym - I think everyone does the exact same thing you do - it's a see saw relationship! I hope you can keep it up :) You've got some great big plans coming!

I've been thinking about you lots, and don't feel guilty about what you share and don't share. This is your's and the hubbs expereince and if you want it private than so be it. You need to heal on your own time, and on your terms.

I personally think those forum can be toxic - you're already living it every second, I would think it's added stress. But you are a SMART, STRONG WOMAN and you'll know what is best for you ;) And your best is exactly right for you at the time! Hang in there girlie, big hug to you! Miss you tons!

Kate Geisen said...

I go to our YMCA, when I go, and there are plenty of shapes there, most of the cute teeny ones belonging to little high school girls to whom I can (silently) enjoy it while it lasts because gravity and metabolism are both hateful bitches.

I think the 50 miler goal is a fantastic one. More and more (on a much smaller level than you), I have been trying things just to see if I can do them.

And I have no good response for what you and the Mr are going through and can only imagine how difficult it must be.

Jenny Davidson said...

I agree with the downside of the internet forums, get back off if you can! But have you been reading the NYT columns Dana Jennings has done about his treatment for prostate cancer? Very well worthwhile: here is one that particularly struck a chord with readers.


Ewa said...

Take a break from cancer forums. Like with training, you need to rest and recuperate. At the same time I do agree that they provide a wealth of information and support one does not find in "official" cancer websites.

Maybe this time your gym experience won't be so bad. I actually like our YMCA while I hated much more expensive and better equipped gym for the rich and famous.
Gyms can be life savers when weather turns nasty.

Kelly said...

Come to Vegas and do your 50 miler!! I know how much you love the lack of trees and shade...better yet, you can run 100% on the road :)Have I sold it yet?? No? Well come here so we can see you!

Formulaic said...

50 miler? YOu are gonna wait until 2011 for that? Um...you run a marathon every week it seems.

You are ready now. Just got to get the mind ready for going beyond 33 miles.

That said...How about looking at Angel this January? I know it is 100% road, but honestly it is an easy run because it is all road. I mean "I" was able to get it done in 10+ hours. For my very first 50 miler. It is a great confidence booster and no trail worries.

Plus you get to come to Vegas!! BONUS!!

Jill said...

I've been contemplating a 50 in 2011 also and AR50 has continuously popped into my head; I'm a wee-bit worried about the 26 miles on concete, though. JFK50 is high on my list, but don't want to train in the heat of the summer. Have you looked at the Ice Age Trail 50-miler in WI?


If you pinpoint one, let me know - maybe we can meet up again :). This time for longer than 20 minutes in line at the SF Expo!

I lost someone very close to me at a very young age...I can understand your torment with the forums and the struggles you endure. You are in my thoughts and prayers...

Ok, bring on the 50, I KNOW you can do it!!

doctorval said...

Did you join a gay gym? Do they have those in Fremont? I'm a gym rat. My knees haven't allowed running in 10 years. I've tried. Repeatedly. They don't allow it. So I cycle. But being a powerlifter, I have to spend time in the gym. I've been fortunate to find gyms with normal people doing their normal routine before they start their normal day. I get there around 5:30 in the morning which is not normal, but that's when the normal people are there.

As for the forums, you and your hubby will make your own story, your own successes and your own setbacks. The forums are full of other people's stories. Don't worry about that. Make your own.

kelly said...

Running a 50 miler is a great experience. Just make sure you pick out a 50 that you can get excited about, as much of it is mental. Good luck and I am sorry that you and your husband have been going through hard times. Keep your chin up, things will get better.

SteveQ said...

It just occurred to me that the "Muscles" demotivational poster might be supposed to mean the opposite of what I thought. Are people not making fun of the little dog because of fear of the muscular guy? Cuz I was thinking they weren't making fun of the dog because they were busy making fun of its owner.