Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Coughing on the Treadmill is Not the Fun You'd Think it Would Be

So yesterday evening, I attempted to pick back up the training that has been ... er, stalled ... from all the hacking and illness. My dream of winning the St. Louis Half Marathon went down the toilet with the three weeks worth of mucus filled Kleenex. My new and more realistic dreams are of finding a fourth teammate so that we can run the Marathon Relay (4 people with relay distances assigned to complete the full Marathon). If you know someone who lives in St. Louis, enjoys running but doesn't have the time or desire to train for a whole marathon and has $50, feel free to send me their name.

It's still cold-ish here and with the lingering cough I'm really not up to battling the cold, so I decided to treadmill it yesterday. I got about a mile into it before the coughing started. The thing about coughing on the treadmill is that the buckling-over reflex that is required with the really deep coughing, is more than just a little challenging when the floor is rolling out from under you at a steady pace. The first time I did it, I came inches from being thrown off the back end, just catching the sidebars of the treadmill and sprinting to recovery. It really wasn't that bad or that ungraceful, I'm not even sure that the swollen steriod of a man strolling on the treadmill next to me even really noticed. But then it was just a cough or two. The second time, was much more artistic. It was a full on coughing attack. I started groping for the side bars as soon as I felt it coming on, arms flailing and tripping over my own feet as I struggled to keep myself 1) upright 2) on my own treadmill and not in the lap of some innocent bystander and 3) from developing an audience (I'm not really looking for applause when I go to the gym - I prefer the anonymity that comes with having the body of a mediocre bacci ball player). I was kinda in shock by how quickly the whole thing took place. The clamboring definitely seemed to impede my ability to even cough in a satisfactory manner and of course, I had too much pride to simply stop the run for a moment so I could rid myself of the coughing fit, so the fun continued with the awkward buckling over and clamboring routine for another 15 minutes or so until I finally had enough to call it a successful comeback game ... truly it was a sight.

Sidenote: I'm sure that the poor chumps forced to run on the treadmills next to me were also not amused by the fact that it took more energy than I could muster to actually cover my mouth during any of the fits. At the time, I was so exhausted from the efforts of righting myself that it didn't really occur to me to try or to care.

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