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[icon] I ran - Patti
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Subject:I ran
Time:10:51 pm
I'm back at the gym after a two-week hiatus. I couldn't really find time or a place to run after I left Scotland, and after I got home I came down with a nasty cold.

My 7-day guest pass at Bladium ran out. I wanted to shop around before committing, so tonight I checked out 24-hour fitness as a guest. Before I go any farther, let me just say that Bladium is on the order of $60-70/month, and 24-hour Fitness is about $30/month with a screamin' deal from Costco of $300 for two years. I'm not really comparing apples to apples here-- more like apples to raisins.

I got there around 8:45 p.m., since the guest pass said I had to check in before 9 in order to register. All of the membership counselors were gone for the day, but they sent me in to work out anyway.

The place was mobbed. When I arrived, every single elliptical and treadmill was in use. Well, OK, not all of them-- of the 14 treadmills in the gym, five of them were out of order. I didn't count broken ellipticals, but there were certainly a few. After about ten minutes of waiting, a treadmill became available. It was unimpressive, obviously well-used, and fairly low-end in construction. It had a display labeled heart rate, though as far as I could tell it was just a random number generator. The machine didn't have grips for measuring heart rate.

The locker room was OK if uninspiring, and not nearly as skanky as reviews suggested. Maybe the men's locker room is worse?

As for the run itself, well, after two weeks off I didn't expect to pick up where I left off. I've technically finished W4D2, but I seriously considered going back to do a back-in-the-saddle W3D3. I compromised and decided to do a W4 day, but with longer walk intervals-- as long as I thought I needed before the next run. I got through it, but my ass has been well and truly kicked. There will definitely be a repeat of W4 before moving on. At least one.


And now, I seem to have a gym dilemma. Do I pay 4x the price for a significantly nicer place, but with fewer features? Or do I go for the cheap but crappy solution? I suppose I could check out other 24HF clubs, but the other one that's close to me has horrid Yelp reviews, and is in a worse neighborhood. I can also poke around for other options, but I haven't yet seen anything promising.

Or I could just fix the fucking treadmill and be done with it.
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jpmassar
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Time:2009-12-09 07:30 am (UTC)
Fix the fucking treadmill. (Or buy a working used one?). Just don't fuck the fixed treadmill.
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whipartist
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Time:2009-12-09 03:34 pm (UTC)
Please. I think that's between me and the treadmill.
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tiurin
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Time:2009-12-09 11:10 pm (UTC)
ZOMG IF PROP 8 FAILS WE WILL HAVE WOMAN ON TREADMILL SECKS!!!11eleven! END OF CIVILIZATION!

I saw the post title and immediately got a mental image of you jogging on the treadmill in a room filled with dry ice, tinfoil, mirrors, and lizardlike zombie women. And Mike Score's haircut.
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jcdill
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Time:2009-12-09 07:45 am (UTC)
I had a 24 hr fitness membership for about 2 years and worked out in about 10 different locations over the 2 years. Some clubs are much nicer than others. Most clubs are very busy "after work" in the 6-9 pm time frame, but things open up quite a bit after 9. (A lot of people time their aerobic machine workouts to TV shows.) I found it much nicer to get there at 9 or at 10, and I worked up to being able to stay on the elliptical for the full hour. This way I could indulge in a 1-hour of TV "guilty pleasure" without guilt. (Or indulge in 1 hour of reading a novel.) I'm thinking of joining again (thanks for the info on the Costco deal!) and would probably listen to podcasts while working out now that I have an iPod.

At $299 for 2 years = $12.50 per month, for an all-club pass (good for 370 locations, all but their "super sport" locations) it's a screaming deal even if you just go one or two times a month.

Is there a location near your office? Would it fit your schedule to workout mid-day, or after work every now and then?

You might also want to try the location in Alameda - that's not too far from you. I would expect it to be a bit nicer than in Oakland.
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whipartist
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Time:2009-12-09 03:43 pm (UTC)
The Alameda location is a tiny little thing. It also closes at 9.

Unfortunately, my schedule pretty much says that I'm going to be in the gym somewhere between 7:30 and 9:30. I don't see that changing. My guess is that the SF locations are going to be even more of a zoo than Oakland, and I've heard they also tend to have more of a meet market feel to them. The one that's most convenient to my office is definitely a place I don't want to go.

My goal here is "maximize convenience/probability of running" rather than "ensure I get value from a cheap gym membership." If I go one or two times a month, that's a giant failure for me. If I get to that point, I can maybe imagine grabbing the 24HF membership as a backup.
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greeklady
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Time:2009-12-09 05:01 pm (UTC)
So I did the 24hr fitness thing for a year. I loved my club in Sunnyvale but it was crazy stupid busy since all of us tried to get in right after work or lunch. Everything was in good repair but you always had the asshole who saw the 3 people deep line and would stay on what ever machine for his hour workout.

The club by my house in S. San Jose was a meat market, bitchy customers (I hate my neighborhood) and cranky workers. But again everything was in working order.

To me at the time my time was more valuable and I needed to be able to work out when I had the time to go. I was not as dedicated as you and I are now. With that in mind, if you know the nicer club has working equipment and isn't swamped when you want to go work out, I'd pay the money.

That being said, I am cranky when around crowed people and on a time limit. Social anxiety can be so much fun!

I would also be tempted to project how much it would be to buy a nice treadmill vs the gym membership assuming all you will be doing is running.
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gayathri
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Time:2009-12-09 05:06 pm (UTC)
rent another treadmill until you can fix yours? can you go month to month at the more expensive but nicer location, until you fix the treadmill?
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slamonella
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Time:2009-12-09 08:15 pm (UTC)
You can use this 17 day free pass to 24Hour Fitness while you ponder your options.

https://www.24hourfitness.comPromoOfferHome.do?promoCode=OROWEAT
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[icon] I ran - Patti
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