.02 miles: Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch…

Not exactly what I’m thinking at any mileage…

.05 miles: Must. Walk.

.15 miles: Okay, back at it… easy, easy…

.76 miles: This might not be so bad.

.83 miles: “Not so bad” … What was I thinking?!

1.00 miles: Walk break! Woot!

1.32 miles: What percentage of done am I? Let’s see, 2.5 miles would be halfway, so 1.25 would be a quarter of the way through, so 1.32 … hmmm… okay, 1.33… 1.34… well, let’s just swag it at about 30% done. Almost done!

1.37 miles:  Okay, no.  30% isn’t even close to almost done.

2.00 miles: Walk break. Thank god.

2.10 miles: Get going, get going, get going…

2.11 miles: Okay, for reals now. Get going.

2.12 miles:  FOR REALS, body.  MOVE.

2.50 miles: HALFWAY! Now I’m *really* almost done.

2.64 miles: Dang. This wasn’t over as soon as I thought it would be…

3.00 miles: Walk break, water break, change from podcast to music break, pep talk break, mop off sweat break, aren’t I done yet self-talk break and then I’m all out of time as the treadmill clicks to 3.10 miles.

3.10 miles: Run! Run! Run! Maybe if I sound excited, my body will feel that way too?

3.82 miles: What the hell was I thinking, getting on the treadmill and loading up this workout? Huh? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Remind me never to do this again.

4.00 miles: Four miles would be just as good as five, right? This is a nice, round number, perfectly respectable and more than most people in the world are running right now. It would be a good time to quit, wouldn’t it?

4.01 miles: Damn. Thought too long, now I’ve got to keep going to five miles.

4.10 miles: Okay feet, don’t fail me now. Time for the last bit of running. You can do it, you can do anything for 10 minutes, right? No troubles, no worries, just one foot in front of the other…

4.36 miles: Isn’t it at 5 miles yet?

4.39 miles: Not yet?

4.42 miles: Still not. Sigh.

4.50 miles: Halfway through the last mile. The math was too easy, I should do this again at 4.57 miles.

4.57 miles:  <incapable of math>

4.62 miles: Sweat in my eyes! Oh my god, the pain!! I’m blinded!

4.71 miles: The faster I run, the faster I’m done…

4.77 miles: Okay, slow down, can’t go that fast…

4.87 miles: Closer, closer, closer…

4.92 miles: Done yet?

4.93 miles: Is the treadmill broken? I should be done by now.

4.94 miles: What the hell…

4.95 miles: It’s gotta be broken…

4.96 miles: Less than 30 seconds. Don’t wimp out now!

4.97 miles: *%&$*#(@

4.98 miles: Must. Not. Trip.

4.99 miles: Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

5.00 miles: I did it. Made it. Accomplished my goal. Sure, I’m a sweat-soaked mess but at least I can lay claim to a job well done. Or, at least, a job done. No trips or spills or falls. No tears, no blood, no major injuries. I can only hope my next run is as totally awesome as this one.  Can’t wait!

To say that I love podcasts is a monumental understatement. I not only love them, but I revel in them, eagerly looking forward to time driving in my car and even staying on the treadmill longer than my prescribed workout time to finish out a particularly mesmerizing episode. I know! It’s like magic, right?

And since I’m completely infatuated, I thought I’d share a few of the podcasts that I’m lovin’ on right now:

Pop Culture Happy Hour This is a fairly new find for me and I’ve totally fallen in love with it. It’s snarky, witty and insightful conversations on all things pop culture, from movies to music to TV shows. And not recaps, but opinions, discussion of themes and explanations of subtleties that, frankly, I’d never even recognize if it weren’t for them. This podcast makes me feel hip and with it, which is no easy feat when you’re talking about a 44 year old who mostly watches sports on TV and listens to news on the radio. They always end the podcast with a segment called “What’s making us happy” and my own resounding answer to that is the whole PCHH team. THEY make me happy.

Planet Money This podcast is all about making boring economic and financial stuff incredibly fascinating. The team does a great job at taking current and historical events and weaving a story around them so the events and forces behind them are not only understandable, but relatable. They manage to take these complex, overarching economic theories and find people who are actually living them and tell their stories. Just recently I learned all about the Gold Standard and I really enjoyed it — seems impossible, yet, it’s totally true.

Intelligence Squared An Oxford-style debate, this podcast makes me feel all smart and brainy just by listening to it. Hell, I feel smart just having it in my playlist. Two teams, one for the motion and one against with three segments: opening statements, questions, and then closing statements. It’s recorded in front of a live audience and before the debate, the audience votes pro/con/undecided. After the debate the audience is polled again, and the side that has the biggest percentage gain wins. The panels they have are smart, informed experts, passionate about the side they are trying to prove. One of the last topics I listened to was “Amazon: the readers friend” and they went back and forth as to whether Amazon was a evil behemoth or not — really, very informative. 

Dear Sugar Anyone who used to read Cheryl Strayed as Dear Sugar on TheRumpus.net will be thrilled to know that she’s back, but in a podcast rather than written form. If you have never read Strayed as Dear Sugar, do yourself a favor and bury yourself in her archives online — you won’t be disappointed. Strayed brings such warmth, vulnerability and empathy to her advice that it seems to touch your very soul. She makes me feel all the feelings, if you know what I mean. The podcast — she’s also joined by Steve Almond, the Dear Sugar who preceded her — has a different sort of feel to it than her writing, but she still has the ability to cut through all the crap to get to the heart of the issue.

So, what’s everyone else listening to these days

I’m in my basement, an overwhelming musty smell making me crinkle my nose. Arms and head hanging, I inspect the puddles of water that are slowly creeping from one wall out across the floor.  As you would expect, water in a basement — except, perhaps, for those rich enough to have a pool or hot tub down there — is not a good thing. In fact, it kind of ruins my day.

I march myself back upstairs and gather up an armload of old towels (the upside to having two dogs?  There is no shortage of towels around the house…) and head back down to sop up the water that’s already there and put up a barrier against the water that continues to drip in.  See, a week ago we had the 5th biggest snowfall in Chicago history.  And today?  The temperature is nearing 40 degrees and the ice dams in my poor gutters are drip drip dripping down the house and magically seeping through to my basement.

After reining in the puddles, I go back outside and look at all the ice that’s formed in my gutters, on my roof, attached to my downspout and even simply frozen directly to the side of the brick wall. This is certainly not what I wanted to be dealing with this weekend. Curses! I wanted to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures rather than shaking my fist at their consequences.

It’s still so hard to figure, though — we also get torrential rain storms during the summer and does the rain get into the basement?  Nope — dry as a bone.  This water is just dribbling down the wall, looking a whole lot like the coming of Spring (it isn’t, by the way, just wishful thinking on my part) but it’s persistence does what the torrential rain storm cannot:  seep through my foundation and end up pooling around my workout equipment (hey! reason #26 not to workout!).

So, yea, this kind of sucks, but maybe I should look on the bright side, right? What’s the moral of this story? That slow, steady movement can really go a long way in breaking through barriers, even brick walls. Where raging strength fails, persistence can succeed.  There’s a life lesson for you.  And now?  The only ice I’m going to deal with are the three cubes clinking around in my glass, helping to end the day better than it started.