Today was my half-day at work. I have come to cherish my half-days. I think I'm getting spoiled by them, heehee...Anywho, because it was my half-day I deliberately let myself sleep in this morning, knowing I would get a workout in this afternoon and again later this evening (yay for Zumba!).
I called up a friend of mine and she asked me if I'd be willing to do her a favor and watch her baby boy while she was in various meetings and trying to get some work done. So, instead of jogging solo, today I had company.
Meet Daniel, my friend Marnee's little boy (who happens to be just one month older than my very own nephew).
Just a note, I never realized just how much paraphenelia I carried with me to do my normal walks/jogs until this week. Tuesday night when I was having technical difficulties before starting my walk with my local Spark team and again today while I was trying to get things gathered together for my walk/jog.
It was much warmer this afternoon than it has been the past few times I've tried to do my couch to 5K (C25K) training. I was already a little hesitant about adding the extra 25+ pounds that Daniel plus his gear meant carrying, but I pressed on and started out on the path. I did really well for the first part of the trip, even impressing myself with how well I was doing with jogging for the first interval. Daniel was having a blast chattering away in the stroller and making "Ooooo" noises at the various animals and people who were out and about.
As we were moving along, I realized that I was probably going to be not walking, but jogging up my nemesis--a small hill (that seems to go on forever when you're jogging) that takes you higher up above the riverbanks. And sure enough, the hill came along and there I was--trying to jog up it.
Something popped into my head as I was jogging. The 5K last Saturday had a rather long hill leading up to the finish line (the hill didn't seem so bad when we started the race...but then, we were going down it at the time). One of the gals who went told me later that when she was coming up that hill, she had to look down because it just seemed so much tougher and longer when she looked up. She chose instead to concentrate on one step at a time.
Normally, when I walk or jog, I find that I look at the ground quite a bit. And when I'm pushing a stroller (as I was today), I look down quite a bit more (Daniel has a tendency to try to dive out of the seat--straps and all). As I was remembering what my friend had said about the race last Saturday, I looked up. And then, I forced myself to stay focused on the top of the hill--to not think about the fact that this hill nearly kicked my butt last time I tried to jog up it, nor think about the extra 25+ pounds I was packing this afternoon. No, I wanted to keep my goal in sight and kept my eyes focused on the top of that dang hill.
And soon enough, I found myself at the top of the hill--where it was flat for quite awhile.
Oh, how heavenly the voice from my Nike+ program sounded when she said "15 minutes completed" and I knew I could go back to walking for 2 more minutes before trying to jog again.
I did one more interval after conquering that hill, but was forced to go back to walking for the rest of my time because of the stitch that was developing in my side from not breathing properly.
I was pleased with myself for pushing through 3 sets of the 2-minute walking/3-minute jogging intervals. It wasn't the 5 sets that I was supposed to do, but it was more than half and I was proud of myself for that, considering the extra weight I was pushing.
The most encouraging thing was knowing that I didn't necessarily have to concentrate on one step at a time, that I could look at the end goal and keep that in mind as I pushed myself forward.
And yes, Daniel was allowed out of the stroller. He even walked quite a bit himself. We have discovered that hills are not so friendly to toddlers who are trying to get a bigger "stick" (this one was a branch from a tree that was laying on the ground). Daniel got so excited that he ended up almost doing a...well, see for yourself.
I kid you not, he actually landed in that position. And then, he spent a long time trying to figure out how to get out of that position while I proceeded to laugh my head off and grab my camera. He actually glared at me when he saw I was taking a picture and not helping him. By the time I went over to help him, he had managed to roll to his side and sat in the grass, gathering his wits before he realized that the branch was still there.
And yes, he did try to bring the branch with him, but it was too heavy and I distracted him with something else. Rocks or something, I think.
He did find two smaller sticks and he insisted on carrying one in each hand. As we were walking, he would stop suddenly. I'd turn and find him standing there, trying to take the two broken ends and put the stick back together (he is a little Mr. Fix-It).
The bench he was sitting on in that particular picture is one that swings back and forth. He wasn't so sure about it at first, but ended up loving it. After we sat on that bench, he had to go and push every bench that we passed, just to see if it would swing.
Oh, by the way, the first picture I posted was Daniel playing with his new favorite toy, the bike rack at the park. He had so much fun stepping over the bars and going through the "tunnels". We never did make it to the toys. But for some reason, that didn't seem to matter a whole lot. ;)