Earlier this week I spent $9 to run around an oval track for an hour.
My pal Amanda had finally convinced me to join her at the Collicutt Centre for some laps. It will be so much fun, she promised.
Quite frankly I think she simply wanted someone to join her in the misery.
Because let me tell you, dodging boot-camp participants and weaving around delinquent walkers is not my idea of a good time.
Folks, I beg of you. Stay in your lane. If we were in a race, you would be disqualified. Think London 2012 when Canada was automatically disqualified from the bronze medal after Jared Connaughton stepped on the line in the men’s 4×100 relay. Don’t be that runner/walker/all around oblivious person. Stay in your own lane.
I am used to running around the track in the Penhold arena where the only people you have to dodge are hockey parents. (One lap with elbows up will quickly disperse the deer-in-headlight/crowds standing in the middle of the running lane.)
Despite living in Red Deer for nearly six years, I have never used the Collicutt Centre, so the track is a completely new experience.
All eyes were on us from the workout area. At least that’s what it felt like. I kept thinking, I hope I don’t see anyone I know. I hope I don’t see anyone I know (especially the mayor). (You may recall from previous columns Mayor Veer likes to run at the Collicutt Centre track).
Small talk is not my forte even in the best of times, and especially when I am half dressed and gallons of sweat is dripping on my forehead.
Can we say awkward?
At one point, there may have been a city staffer running in front of us. (I know everybody after covering City Hall for four years.)
Lap after lap, I did not make eye contact with anyone. I just tried not to trip or fall into the railing as we rounded the corners.
Meanwhile Amanda is keeping up a steady flow of mandatory talking points and running observations.
Between staring at my Garmin, which does not catch satellites inside, I offered my two cents here and there.
Truthfully, I was just not into it. I think Amanda could tell because she didn’t object when I stopped twice to drink some water.
Seriously it’s a lovely track but you just have to be in the right mindset to deal with the monotony.
Clearly Amanda has found her happy pace. She has been known to run at least 84 laps in one go. I cringe at the thought, but I am very impressed.
Even though it is not for me, the track can be a wonderful option for staying fit when the temperatures are below zero.
Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.