Runfessional-In a Moment of Weakness…..

Well, it is cold here.  It is pretty much cold everywhere.  Did you see that on Tuesday every state in the United States was at or below freezing?!  I promised last winter, during the most bitter of days, that I would not complain even one time over the summer about running in the heat.  I stuck to my word.  I ran 200 mile months all summer in heat, humidity, rain, you name it.  So I think I deserve a moment of complaint.  After all I believe I paid my dues!


On Wednesday we drove back to Chicago and away from super snowy Michigan.  I spent most of the ride thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get back to Chicago where the ground wasn’t covered in snow.  First thing I was going to do was throw on some running clothes and break a sweat.  And then we stopped for gas in Indiana….

When I stepped out of the car I couldn’t keep the door open because the wind was practically pushing me back into my seat.  You know how I feel about the wind (as in I am the nut who yells at it when I run).  Add in the single digit temps and I was pretty much fed up.

If this is what it is like in November I am not sure what I am going to do in the coming months.  Last year was cold.  Really cold!  But November was pleasant and so was most of December.  We eased into that weather and once the snow and brutal cold hit, I was already into the winter running weather and wasn’t ready to back out.  This time is different.

I saw that this was from Buffalo, NY this week.  Yikes!

I saw that this was from Buffalo, NY this week. Yikes!

So yesterday I did something I haven’t done in over four years.  I took a short walk down the street and joined a gym.  It is new and the machines are all shiny.  Better yet, my favorite grocery store is on the second level.  If I want, I can run a few miles and then go upstairs where I can grab a drink and browse the produce over a cocktail.  Yep, sounds like a perfect combo.

There are things I like about the gym.  I like the fact that I can walk inside in my nice warm coat and throw on shorts and go for a run.  I like that I can catch up on crappy television while I get my run/sanity in.  I appreciate that if my body isn’t feeling a run on that particular day I can opt for a different cardio machine or even take a class.  Did I mention there is no wind?

But there are a few things I do not like about going to the gym.  The first part that stinks is the registration.  I kind of dread walking around the gym and listening to their spiels about the machines and equipment.  Every gym I have been to acts like I have absolutely no knowledge of exercise and especially when I go into the weight room.  I love having some young guy tell me how I can use these machines to tone up my arms and butt.  Thanks buddy….

And then there is the registration process.  Yesterday I sat at a desk and the employee brought a sheet over showing me the various pricing plans.  I had done some research on the car ride the day before and saw that they had some decent prices listed.  This employee was showing me rates that were twice as much as I had found online.  I mentioned this to him and he went into some story about how they often have online promotions and he might not have read the recent ones.  So he took a look and sure enough he had a few rates.

The problem is that I am not looking to belong to a gym for the whole year.  I just need a place to run while winter takes over Chicago and the rest of the Midwest.  That being said, I was not loving the idea of having to pay these annoying initiation fees.  I told him that much and was kind of settled on leaving.  But a manager must have noticed my discontent and came over.  He introduced himself and asked if he could help.  When I told him why I was apprehensive to join he immediately mentioned that they had a month to month plan that didn’t require an initiation fee.

There you go!  And here is my advice to you:  If you do decide to go into a gym and inquire about membership, do not settle on the prices they first show you.  There are always ways to work around those rates.  They know that people are desperate this time of year.  Many people join gyms over the holidays and do not know better.  Don’t get taken for a ride on the treadmill (or elliptical or spin bike).

Even the dogs want to stay inside!

Even the dogs want to stay inside!

See you at the gym!

21 thoughts on “Runfessional-In a Moment of Weakness…..

  1. It is cold when I have to run in sub 30 degree weather in November! Fortunately, we are in a bit of a warmup at the moment. Good luck with the gym. Although I love Chicago, I don’t envy you in Chicago in the Winter!

  2. I am feeling the same way as you right now. It had been sub zero in Minnesota already every morning this week. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it through the winter at this rate. I feel you on the gym. I’m not crazy about them, but mine is $30 a month, which honestly is about all that I think it’s worth. In the summer I might be there once a month or less. But I do hate the treadmill. I feel like I’m running twice as fast as it says. So I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do yet. I guess try and tough it up outside until it gets really bad. I think the treadmill is just so miserable that I won’t run on it.

    • I completely agree. I also find that I always struggle to get anywhere near my regular pace on the treadmill. Usually I do a pyramid run instead or some other workout to just pass the time faster. But once I started dreading running because of the weather it was time to take action!

  3. Gyms are the necessary evil of Chicago winters. Even if you can stand the temps, it’s the wind that kills you, for certain.
    I did discover earlier this week (before my sick bed) that I now apparently get motion sick on treadmills, so there is that.

  4. I’m rocking the indoor workouts. A few years ago I got a treadmill. Then next year I got a trainer for my bike. Then I picked up a few weights here and there and a ball. Other than needing to find a pool to swim occasionally, I’m set for a while. Although it gets boring. And Netflix will only get me so far, lol!

    • I am so with you in this. I had a treadmill until my husband and I moved in together. It was hard to see it go. Over the years I have collected all the indoor equipment i need to have great indoor workouts. That I love.

  5. Becoming a member of a gym can be such a hassle. It is like going into a used car lot – sales people sales people sales people.

    You should come to Sproing with me sometime. The first week is free! It is great because I get my cardio in and a strength workout. It doesn’t supplement long runs but for those quick runs it is a great alternative. I talk about a lot on my blog if you aren’t familiar with it:

    Happy Friday! And thankfully we have warm but rainy temps this weekend!

  6. In life in general, most things are up for negotiation haha. I’m glad you left happy! The wind in Chicago has been TERRIBLE, right? It’s been insane! Here’s to hoping this early start means we’ll ACTUALLY have a spring this year 🙂

  7. I’m with you on this one…it’s cold and I too will have to join a gym soon. Although I’m not looking forward to it, you did manage to point out some of the positives for me-shorts and other workout options! thnx 🙂

  8. Haggling at the gym sucks, as does hearing about the “initiation fee” and all that nonsense. I had a guy once presume I only wanted to use the cardio machines. It was very annoying.

    It rained yesterday in SF (and was 60 degrees, which is chilly here) and everyone acted like it was the end of the world. We have it way too easy.

  9. Sometimes gyms are a necessary evil especially with your awful winter weather. But every time I sign up for a gym I feel like I’m being ripped off. Until I joined my university gym – super cheap and students do not like 6 AM workouts and are gone for the whole summer so it’s pretty awesome.

    • Oh it is amazing. There are two bars but the one in the produce area (yep) also has a live piano player. There is also a sushi bar and oyster bar. And the carts have wine glass holders. The crazy part is that this is at normal grocery prices. I just love this place. You come visit and we will go drink and shop 🙂

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