Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Stroll

It was a fabulous weekend. I achieved my fitness goals for the week, finishing off with two walks, one each on Saturday and Sunday. I ended up doing one walk at the gym, and one at home walking around the neighborhood. I thought it was interesting how different the experiences were, and thought I'd talk about them here.

Saturday ended up being a little bit lazy – I didn't exactly get as much stuff done as I'd planned – but one thing I knew I had to do was get my 30 minutes of exercise in as part of my Pact commitment. I wasn't really in the mood for a neighborhood walk, though. I'd had a really good treadmill experience earlier in the week and kind of craved it, so I drove to the gym and did just that.

My treadmill workouts have been all over the map, quite honestly. One day my "bones" just won't stop hurting (I often get pain along the sides of my calves), and it makes for challenging workouts. Other days it seems like I glide through the 15 to 30 minutes, depending. (I usually warm up for my training sessions with Rick, my trainer at LA Fitness, by doing a fairly easy 15 minutes, some seated exercises, and some bicep curls on alternate feet, for example.) Of course, as time goes on, it gets generally easier, and yesterday was soooo nice. I did just over a half hour but I pushed myself a little more than usual to start getting my speed up. I've been building really slowly since I started coming to the gym regularly, so I am still doing not much faster than 2.4 mph – I know, that's a snail's pace to many of you! But this time I wanted to see if I could run for any length of time, just to see, and I did it! Of course, 3 mph might not sound like running to you, but for my body it was. And it felt good! I did just a couple minutes total in between walking, but was very proud of myself.

Today, on the other hand, I just didn't feel like driving and stuff, so... neighborhood, begrudgingly, it was. I got started and set my Pact app to track the exercise, as usual. I decided that I was going to try not to watch the clock and just enjoy a leisurely stroll until I thought I'd reached the halfway point of the workout. Well, was I ever surprised to see that the darn thing only counted four out of what should have been about 15 minutes! Argh! Well, I needed that workout to register in order to avoid paying a "fine" so I had to trudge on for an extended walk.

It turned out to be a really good thing. I did a route that was sort of my old stomping grounds when I used to do C25K a few years ago. I felt pretty good and it was nice to see the scenery again – that part of the neighborhood has lots of greenery and pretty houses – and, before I knew it, I was finished. When I got home, I was interested to see how far I'd gone and figure out an approximate pace, etc. so I turned to my old friend, MapMyFitness online. I tracked the route, entered the time information, and blammo! It turns out that I walked 1.78 miles in about 40 minutes, which translates to a 22 minute pace! It's not great, I guess, but not bad for someone who really got out of shape for a few years.

I tell you what, I don't think I would have even attempted to walk that far or even dreamed I could do that much yet. But there you have it.

The thing that really struck me was that for my treadmill workouts, it's often a challenge to get to one mile, much less almost two. Obviously, as I saw with my MapMyFitness stats, it's something I can do, and beyond fairly easily. I'm not sure what is at work there, but it's interesting enough to me that I will continue to do both and reap all the benefits.

P.S. The weight loss hasn't been a fluke – I am still below 360 as of this morning. It feels so good. Amazing what a difference that 10 pounds can make!

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