Tuesday: Are You Talkin' to Me?
I decided to check out an indoor track near our house. It’s a 400 metre track inside one of those ugly sports dome monstrosities. But it’s convenient – just moments away and open seven days a week. When I arrived, the teenager staffing the front desk oriented me to the dome, explained the rules and outlined the costs. “It’s $9 a visit, or $43 a month”, he explained, then he glanced at my grey hair and paused. “Unless … ummm … how old are you?”
I felt a deadly calm come over me. Was this little twerp actually offering me the seniors’ discount?! I looked him straight in the eye and said, “You’d better not be asking me what I think you’re asking me.” His gaze faltered. “Uhhh, no, um, that’s not right. No, of course not. That’ll be $9.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said,” I replied. “Now just take the money and let’s both forget this ever happened.” (Okay, I didn’t say that last part out loud. But I definitely said it with my steely-eyed stare.)
After that, well, let’s just say I was very motivated to look kick-ass fast during my intervals.
Thursday: It's Not the Years, Honey, It's the Mileage
I ran to work, a distance of just under 10K. Running to work is a bit of a logistical challenge. I’ve got to bring in clothes the day before, then pare down all my possessions to the few I’m willing to carry with me on my run (passcard, Blackberry, keys, cash). I have a locker at work, with all my toiletries, makeup and a towel, so that I can quickly shower and change once I arrive. On Thursday morning, I thought I had it all under control. I had remembered to bring an outfit to work on Wednesday – even the shoes and jewellery.
I had a pretty good run. I started out with the intention of doing a tempo run. However, on a hilly route with snowy, slippery pavement, I just didn’t have it in me to pick up my speed. Instead, I aimed for a steady pace on the hills, and I think I achieved that. I made it to work in just under an hour – pretty decent time on a route with 10+ traffic lights.
Unfortunately, on arriving, I discovered that I’d forgotten the key to my locker. That meant I had no access to the soap, towel, shampoo, hair brush and make up stored just on the other side of the thin metal locker door. Fine. People of my advanced age are resourceful, right? I grabbed a handful of paper towels from the washroom, used a process of vigorous rubbing to substitute for soap in the shower (not as fun as it sounds), then finger-combed my hair, pinched my cheeks and went out to face the day. Everything went smoothly until the end of the day when I discovered what else I’d forgotten: a coat and boots to wear on the bus ride home. A kind friend from the office took pity and offered me a ride. We had a great chat and I was dropped right to my door in plenty of time to shuttle my youngest son to hockey practice.
So what could have been a really frustrating day actually ended on a really positive note. I’m not feeling quite as philosophical about becoming a member of seniors’ discount club, though.