Wednesday, Feb. 04, 2004
Dear Diary:

I am pleased to report that there have been no more runaway testicles at my gym since my last unexpected sighting.

The young man in question has since appeared in sweat pants which makes me suspect that he was alerted to the fact that some of his dangly bits tried to make a break for freedom.

I think we can all agree that if it had just behaved itself, that naughty nut could have enjoyed a life of ease and cool comfort in gym shorts. Instead, it and its brother are trapped in the hot, sweaty confines of track pants. This is what happens when Good Genitals Go Bad.

I will leave my three loyal readers to draw their own conclusions from this cautionary tale.

Things have been a bit crazy with my work. Whatever slivers of extra energy I have I've been throwing into the insanity of coaxing my aged carcass into a rough approximation of the sort of fitness needed to run 10K, a tad over 6 miles.

Since we are deep in the throes of one of the Most Insanely Cold Winters Ever, thus negating the possibility of running outside, this has mushroomed into a commitment to show up at my gym four days a week just to run on the treadmill.

It has gotten to the point where some of the guards at the American border (who also work out at my gym) now not only ask the standard border crossing questions, but also ask about how the running training is going. Oh yes, it's official. I am now internationally acknowledged as an obsessive freak.

If they were still alive, I'm sure my parents would be very, very proud.

Today was a breakthrough of sorts. For weeks now I've been trying to gut out running four miles without stopping. I don't know why, but for some reason I just couldn't quite make that distance. This morning, propelled by Carrie's workout CD, I managed to run it, and at a constant 5.5 mph.

Oh bliss, oh thrills and a couple of raptures!

Don't be impressed. A serious runner would not blink at this distance. A serious runner would find my pace stupidly slow. While I was fighting to get that last 1/10 of a mile, the guy beside me was entering mile six of running at 6.5 mph and nowhere near struggling.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my heart rate monitor was beeping the equivalent of "Danger Will Robinson".

Just between you and me, if it didn't take insane amounts of energy, and if my gym actually had cudgels at hand, I would have given that guy a good cudgeling just for annoying me to bits by making this running business look so easy. I have to half kill myself to achieve something that is effortless for many of the people around me.

It's so very, very hard not to be bitter.

Fortunately, I can now soothe my injured psyche with a wonderful, comforting hot beverage.

Have I mentioned that my Christmas present to the spousal unit was a cappuccino maker? Yes, yes it was. The fact that I love lattés but am too miserly to buy a daily latté had nothing to do with my choice of this gift.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

The daughter, who once worked at one of those fancy schmancy coffee places, cracked open the box Christmas day and had the machine making perfect, delectable lattés and cappuccinos within minutes. Sadly, it has taken the spousal unit and I many, many weeks of experimenting before we finally figured out how to foam the milk properly.

But now we have decoded The Rite of the Foaming and perfect lattés can be had any time I want one. Well, actually that would be any time I want one and the spousal unit is around. Because, um, er, ah that "we" who decoded The Rite of the Foaming would be, uh, him.

While I feign stupidity -- shut up, in this case it actually is honest-to-goodness feigning -- the truth is that I fear the cappuccino maker. It makes scary hissing sounds. Deep, deep in my heart I am convinced that It Is Going To Explode Any Minute And Blow To Smithereens Anyone In Its Vicinity.

Smithereens, people. THERE COULD BE SMITHEREENS.

Which, of course, does not stop me from sending the spousal unit to the kitchen every night after supper to make me a latté. He's had 50 very full and happy years, after all, and, well, ...

I Have My Needs, eh?


Mileage on the Marnometer: 99.6 piddling miles
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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