I don’t think they do have an app for that

It’s September, so you know what that means? The start of Autumn and the end of bathing suit season.

This past summer I’ve been engaging in the latest fitness scheme in my long line of many. I’ve told you about exercise classes and yoga before, so this summer I decided to try something markedly different–running.

I decided to use technological aids since biology, heredity and sheer will failed to make me a runner to this point in my life, so I bought an app for my phone that promised to ease me from the couch to 5 kilometers in 8 weeks.

At first, it was quite easy. The app, in her sing-song voice set to my “Don’t harsh my mellow” playlist, had me alternating between running and walking every 90 seconds or so. I liked her. The first 3 weeks went by without incident and I was starting to feel as though I really may indeed find my inner jogger.

And then we hit week 6–or as I like to call it–the Weeping Week.

By the end of the fifth week, you find yourself huffing and puffing to a gradual eight minute run. It’s somewhat of a major accomplishment from your initial 90 seconds, so you’re kind of proud of yourself as you queue up week 6 on the old iPhone one unsuspecting morning. As you breeze through your 5 minute brisk warm-up walk, you notice a distinct difference in tone from your robotic friend. She seems testy–she’s playing songs that aren’t from your folk song playlist anymore–they’re from lost tracks of Dick Cheney sings Phantom of the Opera. You consider for a moment that maybe it’s just your imagination–after all you’ve gotten along well together for over a month–but then all of a sudden she says, “Close the pod bay door, Dave,” and thumb tacks and oil start leaking from the treadmill like a Roadrunner cartoon and she tells you to run like your life depends on it for 20 minutes straight.

It will totally harsh your mellow.

If you make it out of week 6 alive, week 7 seems more reasonable. Going from 20 to 22 minutes doesn’t seem so out of left field until she then springs this whole distance thing on you. “Now run for 2.5 miles.” Even at this late day in the workout regimen, that takes me 4 days at my snail’s pace. In my month and a half uphill education my frame of reference for 5 kilometers is equidistant to running to Memphis. Or Albuquerque. I actually have no idea how long that it is, only that Van Morrison sings “Into the Mystic” three times before I get there.

I wish we could end our story now, with our fearless heroine running stealthily all the way down to the finish line of week eight and going on to do marginal at best in local charity and fun runs (an oxymoron, btw) in a size 2 running short. (It’s my dream, leave me alone.)

But alas, I cannot. You see, I am repeating week seven over and over like a girl on a treadmill (mainly because I am) too frightened to move on to the final leg. I don’t feel ready to graduate yet–like my robot app girl has something sinister in mind for my last motivational week. The Acme Road Obstacle Kit is mere child’s play for what’s in store for me on this last week.

My worst fear is she extends bathing suit season another 8 weeks.

And then I’ll need an app to pay me 5K to get me from hiding behind my couch.

©2013 Tracey Henry

Here’s a recipe of protein and carbs you’ll run to in a pinch over and over.

Beef Stroganoff

It looks like a hot mess, but  it's good.
It looks like a hot mess, but it’s good.

(These amounts are the minimums–be generous with all for best results.)

2-3 T. butter
1 T. oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1-1 1/2 lbs. top round steak, sliced into thin strips
1 clove garlic
1-1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1 T. flour
2 T. dijon mustard

1.) In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter and oil over medium high heat–add onion and beef.

2.) Cook until onions are soft and beef is nicely browned. Add garlic, cook for a minute or so, add beef broth, bring to boil then turn down heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.

3.) Meanwhile, mix together sour cream, flour and mustard in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook gently until fully combined and sauce thickens, about 5 more minutes. Do not allow to boil or sour cream will curdle.

4.) Season generously with salt and pepper and serve over hot egg noodles.

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