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Changes In My 'Hood (an actual on-topic blog)

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

This morning, after contemplating how Easter bunnies lay multi-colored eggs despite being mammals, with perfect spring weather, I took a long walk. It's a 2.6 mile loop around my hilly residential neighborhood. After a winter spent in the gym, tracker on my wrist, water bottle in my hand, headphones on my head and sunblock on the rest of me, I was prepared. Or so I thought.

I learned, the hard way, that my gym workouts, as rigorous as they often enough seem, are not the same as conquering local Mount Everests on thine own two feet. My heart rate climbed, my body sweated off the seeming volume of one of the smaller great lakes, and I had to put Machiavelli in the driver's seat to keep from having a thoroughly miserable time. Mainly, though no one else knew, I was embarrassed.

Initially when I got home I told my somewhat worried-looking wife that there have been big, concerning changes in our neighborhood!

I went on to explain that (1) the neighborhood had gotten larger, as evidenced that it took somewhat longer to walk "the loop"; (2) the topography had gotten hillier, as evidenced by my sweat and heart rate data; and (3) a handful of other neighbors I encountered all have gotten thinner.

I'm a data guy and I buried myself into my Garmin database and here seems the takeaway:

At the gym, when my heart rate climbs (say to 145 bpm) and hangs out there for awhile, I moderate what I am doing by pressing "cool down", just slowing down, lessening the incline, whatever. On my walk, however, being a mile and change from home is being a mile and change from home. I have to walk home. I can take a break or whatever, but that does not make the hills go away. There is no "cool down" button outdoors, far from home, on foot.

So now I have mid April walk-loop data. Let's see how I might improve on this as spring and summer progress. If you all are interested, I'll update this now and then. Otherwise, I'll just go back to trying (and now and then failing in a self-entertaining way, for deep down I cannot help myself) not to be political out here on Spark.

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