Monday, September 23, 2013
I DID THIS YESTERDAY BUT MY COMPUTER INTERFERED WITH MY PLANS TO BLOG IT BY NOT PERFORMING RIGHT.
So a couple months ago I used SparkPeople to plot a 10K for my birthday - this one involved several hills and some new scenery from last years. For weeks I was excited and had to sit on my hands to keep from attempting it. I say attempting because the temps here were still in the triple digits...but I was very excited and finally the day came.
I got up ready to go and got ready...I wanted to wait until 8 AM so my stand-by ICE (In Case of Emergency) would be home from her graveyard shift. It was about 73 degrees outside, sort of chilly in the shade of my front porch, with a slight breeze and bright sun. I set off at my normal brisk pace...I was a little trepid feeling because the Phoenix news had had stories of new hatches of rattle snakes invading populated areas. I know too that September is shedding season and that snakes strike at just about everything because they are blinded as they shed their skin over their heads. I had a dream that I was walking and that there were snakes. My over active mind also said that here I was going walking off the beaten path where if someone wanted to attack me there would be no one much around to witness it or come to my aid. I put both ideas out of my mind repeating to myself that if I walked with a purpose no one would bother me and if I paid attention to my surroundings I would see snakes before they would see me.
A short distance from the house there was the first hill, I kept my eye on it as I walked closer and thought "what am I thinking?" I am familiar with the area I was walking because it is the route I drove to and from work daily last year so I knew that this was the first of several rises and falls. This particular one went up at a steep rate, fell and then rose again at a slighter less steepness. I took it at a steady pace and was a little winded at the top of it but not the achy lungs kind of winded. I recovered from it quickly and was ready for the next rise.
I won't bore you with every step or rise and fall but some highlights. Since I was watching out for sexual perps I noticed that most of the cars were headed to church as my path passed three churches. A few people were probably going to work or a store too but the majority were church goers and not one person seemed interested in me. Since I was scanning the area for signs of snakes I "collected" 17 lizards along the way. I did have a couple bouts of panic as I almost stepped on a slithering thing that registered as SNAKE! It was about a half inch wide and close to 5 inches long and the color of the yellow stripe in the middle of the road. As I stutter stepped to miss it I noticed it was a large, fat yellow caterpillar. Once I realized it was not a snake I laughed at how startled it had made me! The only other thing that made me think I was about encounter a snake was a twig, I think it came from some sort of cactus...something with triangular shaped leaves or thorns/flaps. The twig was sort of squiggly and a dark grey with darker patches that resembled triangles or diamonds at first glance.
My biggest accomplishment?? There are really a couple. First is the fact that I don't like to run - oh I used to love to sprint but no long distance runs or jogging, and I did several stints of running. First I was running the length of a block, so I don't know the distance at all. But on one strip I noticed telephone poles and decided to run the distance of two poles. I don't know how they are spaced, although they are pretty evenly spaced. As I thought about it I thought "I bet they are about 50 yards apart"...then I thought that if I ran two of them that was 100 yards and then my mind realized that that is the length of a football field(?). Running the spanse of two telephone poles seems minute until you think of it being the distance of a football field. IF I had some good offensive players backing me up I ran an end to end TOUCHDOWN!! Later I was by the soccer fields and they have poles there...since I was about 80% of the way through the walk and the last part of it is always the hardest I decided only to walk from one to the next, then run to the next one and walk...run...walk. By the last one I was totally glad there were no more poles to tempt me to do any more running!! When I finally got to the corner by my house which is two doors away I sprinted full out to the front door.
When I got in I immediately stopped my time: 1:46:05 and then took my blood pressure. Of course it was high - 155/90 and my pulse was 106...I set a timer for 10 minutes and took it again to check how I was recovering: 109/62 and 57 for my pulse. Then minutes later it was 117/82 which lately has been my normal B/P.
The impressive thing is that at 62 I am walk/running a 10K for fun...a few years and pounds ago I wouldn't have even thought it would be possible. I weigh 10# less than last year, 62 pounds less than about three years ago. And I don't remember my last years time but I know that this was a personal best - under 2 hours for 6.2 miles!!
I have a FitBit and it figures in flights of stairs...it said that I did the equivalent of 26 flights of stairs.
All and all it was a great way to welcome Fall and challenge myself to do more and better than before.
F I N