About three months ago, I started seriously training for the 2015 Houston Marathon. I joined Houston Fit and have been following their workout schedule pretty rigorously since then. Every Tuesday, we get together either in the morning or in the evening to do hill or speed workouts. On that first Tuesday, the coach said we should meet by the new Memorial Park Running Trails Center – a magical place I had never heard of. Apparently, they are building a brand new 4,400 square foot facility made specifically for runners. GREAT NEWS, right?
The $2.4 million project was supposed to be finished in Spring. When was the grand opening? Last Friday. You read that right – October. That’s ok, though, I’m a patient man. So I went there on Tuesday to check it out, eager to add it to my list of places to shower after a pre-work run. I was literally shocked by what I saw. Ok, not literally, cause I’ve been shocked before and it sucks (I’m looking at you, Tough Mudder).
The inside of the building was nice enough, though I’m not really sure why runners need a meeting room but I’ll let that one slide. The bathrooms are even pretty good, but the real problem is the locker room. The locker room boasts 22 lockers – which is great, right? Well sure, but the room is only big enough for maybe five people total. This morning I went and showered and there were three people in the locker room and it was crowded. That would be fine if there wasn’t only one bench. That’s right. There’s only one bench and a tiny shelf. I guess the rest of us are supposed to put our stuff on the wet floor?
Speaking of the lockers – they are like kindergarten-sized lockers. Way too short and not nearly deep enough. I have to put my gym bag in vertically, but it is so narrow that it threatens to spill out, which is why I had to hook it on the shirt hanger as seen in the picture below.
On the subject of clothes hooks in the locker – it’s like a mean little jab by the builders, put there just to frustrate you more. Clothes don’t fit in the locker! Not even close! My first day in this center for ants I had to fold my dress shirt twice in order to get it to fit inside the locker. Why?
At this point, I’m pretty frustrated, but I guess I need to just shower and let off some steam. Surely, the showers are fine. Nope. There is no where to put any soap or shampoo – no ledge, nothing. A small thing, but it’s the small things that make all the difference in the world. I don’t want my shampoo bottle to be sitting in someone else’s urine, thank you very much.
And the water pressure? HA! A small child spitting water at my face has more pressure than these showers. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below (don’t worry, I was fully clothed and no one else was in there at this time):
I try not to be a complainer. I try to just go with the flow. But you know what? This is pretty ridiculous. They spent $2.4 million dollars on this facility – boasting the entire time that it is made specifically for runners. Did they consult ANY runners while they were building the place? It doesn’t really seem like it. Am I the only one that wants decent water pressure, enough room to change and ample space to store my stuff while I bust my rear end for however long I decide to run for that day?
What it all boils down to is this – when the prison-style showers over at the Tennis Center are more preferable to these brand new ones… Houston, we have a problem.