with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Training for the Azalea Run

Last year, I did my first marathon. I walked in the 10K Azalea Run here in Mobile, Alabama. I went with Charlie and Diane Siebert, our landlords, and their family. Unfortunately, I had been six with the flu for over six weeks as a results of another nasty encounter with my father’s cigarette smoke – I hate being allergic to that – and so while I had been training as much as I was physically able, I still had fluid in my lungs and I coughed and hacked my way through to the finish line.

Okay, so it wasn’t very spectacular. I was in the last 4 or 5 to finish and they closed everything up as soon as we crossed the line. Okay, I admit it. It was terrible. But I’m getting read to beat that record this year.

I walk the neighborhood streets doing 3-6 miles a day, and then do laps around WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot and any large store I’m near as part of my shopping methodology. Even during the long haul with my father this winter from Seattle to Mobile, when I could, I got a hour or more of heavy hard walking in. Walking in Arizona, high on the mesa, was really tough, but I did an hour and a half. Wow! In freezing temperatures, too.

So I’m excited, though I have to admit that I found the whole marathon experience incredibly boring. If I can keep up with the Seiberts, or at least with the pack, maybe it won’t be so bad.

Charlie came to me the other day and asked me to help him order a new treadmill. The old family homestead where he works out every day was flooded by the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina. While he tried and tried to fix his old treadmill, the flood waters had done their damage. So it was time to order a new one.

We spent a few hours poking around and doing some investigating and came up with the BowFlex Treadmill 7 series. Consumer Reports gave it one of their highest ratings for folding treadmills, though the NordicTrack S1900 was actually better, just over a thousand dollars more expensive. We also dug around for prices and found that while they may list it as USD $2,000 or more, they all had “sales” on or a published price of USD $1499. Just no way about it.

So I ordered one for Charlie and it will be here in a few weeks, but I’ve asked him, as a condition, to let me use it on rainy days so I can stay in shape. Hey, it’s hard life to walk on the treadmill for an hour looking out the windows at the Dog River and old paddle boat turned into a houseboat, watching the osprey and heron catching fish as the morning fog rises off the river. Ah, what a life.

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