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Monday, September 23, 2013


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 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 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.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NHES220
    Well what a great birthday present to yourself! You have definitely improved your health, way to go and I would have been freaking out about the snakes too!
    1675 days ago
    You are fantastic! You should be very proud of your accomplishments! (and you definitely made me laugh thinking about your "snakes". I've had several of those come upon me through the years, and it usually takes some pushing to jump over the stick)

    1675 days ago
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