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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Compromising Workouts

My boyfriend, legally now my husband, Mark and I can’t run together. We can't ride together either. We’ve tried to for years. But the thing is, we both like to run and we both like to ride. Just not together.

He’s got this weird thing where he can’t run on deep sand or up steep hills. Says he makes ‘postpiles’ like a horse. And on the bike he’s not that keen on the dirt. He claims it’s too ‘distracting’. He likes to zone on brain-numbing, flat, paved roads, defensively waving off every car that passes. And if there’s a chance for a psychological battle with the enemy in a car, he’s up for it. That’s really where he gets his rush.

Of course I like the dirt, sand, and mud. Any messy substrate will do. These more natural elements seem softer somehow, less cruel than a paved street. Even the rocks will sometimes move for you if you carve into them. Besides, after four knee surgeries, my road run quickly deteriorates into a road limp to a thumb stuck out with hand on hip.

marla streb
Mark and Marla

But Mark and I want to work out together, somehow. So we make it happen with maps and timetables and flow charts. Sadly, it often must involve the dreaded car to connect the dots. So we incorporate an errand like picking up plywood or getting a smog test that requires the car. That way we don’t feel as guilty.

Logistics need not be logical.

So if the errand that needs running is one town away, I’ll drive there with the bike on its rack while Mark runs to that town. I’ll unload the bike and ride some nearby trails, then later ride home leaving the car in a designated spot. Mark’ll show up huffing and puffing, and while still sweaty, deal with the errand, and then drive home. A substantial errand can be very effective in neutralizing workout disparity.

It usually works out well. But sometimes while we’re in that town (which always has more desirable cultural amenities than ours), we do like to have a nice meal and perhaps see a movie. Our car, an old beat up VW bus, has a solar shower, a decent sized changing room, and gear bags full of jeans, sweatshirts and baseball caps, so it’s not too hard to transform for a “date”.

Although, the timing of the movie can ultimately be a deal breaker. An early movie means not much of a work out before hand, but afterwards a decent dinner. A later movie means a great work out, and a great dinner, but I usually fall asleep shortly after the movie credits roll, which means that I end up accidentally renting the DVD later.

I’m not sure we’ll ever completely work out our workouts. Somehow, we’ve always managed them with a little planning, a little bit more of arguing, and then a lot of compromising.

(Which can be a work out in itself)


Rich said...

Hey Marla,

If you think you two can handle it, I mean mentaly, I've got a tandem you can use any time! I'm just not responsible for any marital friction that comes up.

I can't imagine which one of you would be the captain though, because I'm sure you'd scare the $#!+ out of Mark. And, I'm sure you wouldn't be happy riding in back.

It's here and available anytime.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Dear Marla,

I think your journal is highly entertaining, but you got to update your sponsor links on your website!
When you click on the Orbea link it still directs to Santa Cruz. Dolt!


8:57 PM  
Anonymous said...

It's so hard to make differing training habits and needs work--especially when they become so time-consuming--that I'm glad you wrote this blog. It's inspirational to see that you've made it work.

10:57 AM  

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