Saturday, March 2, 2013

Round and Round We Go

I don't blog as much as I used to - mostly because I don't want to be saying the same things repeatedly, so I really write only if there's something new going on.

So, this week there was a new something.

The Y.

(Cue the Village People's "YMCA.") (Spell it out with your arms.) (You know you know how.) (Or get really fancy and spell it with your arms while rollerskating around the rink.) (With the mirror ball throwing crazy light patterns around the floor.)

Our local Y is less than 5 minutes from my house. Sandi has a membership. So with the wind blowing and the snow falling and ice still hiding in shadowed patches of our trails, we headed to the Y this week to walk laps.

I like laps.

I like them a lot better than I thought I would.

I'm pretty sure I like them better than Sandi does. :)

But I like them, because, unlike the trails where you walk and walk and walk, but then you have to get BACK, when you're doing laps you can pretty much quit whenever you need or want to.

At our Y, there's a walking lane, a jogging lane, and a running lane, inside-to-outside, in that order. 7 laps in the walking lane per mile, 6.8 laps in the jogging lane, 6.6 in the running lane. I stayed in the walking lane - both because I was mostly walking  and because the math was easier to calculate.

Find my spot. Mark my time on my watch every time I cross "the spot" and complete another lap. Don't even count laps until I get home and review how many marks I had. (It ended up being about 4.5 miles.)

But the really cool thing about doing the laps was that I could do one or two at my normal target speed, but then really push myself for a lap. And since I was doing each lap in just over two minutes, I knew that I could manage two minutes of pushing - or less, really, since pushing meant I would finish the lap more quickly. I actually had one lap at 1:50 and another at 1:47 - for a pace of roughly 12:50 per mile and 12:30 per mile - and those were near the end of our walking time! I know I couldn't have sustained that for a whole mile, but...WOW! And that was walking, not running. One foot on the ground at all times.

Now I just need to get to where I can do that for more than two minutes.


Even before the Y, I had another "circular" first this past week. For the first time, rather than walking the trails in town, I went street walking. (I'll give you a minute to make your jokes.) I hit the sidewalks and walked the roads, cutting through neighborhoods, finding a new trail I'd never used before, and finally making one large circle - about 5 miles - back to the house last Sunday afternoon when the weather was so amazing. 

I honestly didn't go as far as I'd planned. My wrist GPS was acting up and I was getting frustrated, thinking it wasn't even going to track my distance for me. So I cut off a corner than I'd planned on taking, only to have it beep at me as it marked a one-mile section. So I thought, dang, if it's going to work, then maybe I will go farther. But then I hit a section of sidewalk that was just outside a privacy fence where it was in shade most of the time, so the snow and ice hadn't melted so well yet, and it was on a downhill slope, so I was having to be v e r y careful of where I was stepping. I lost speed and, again, got frustrated. :/  At the bottom of that hill was when I found the new trail, which promised to cut off another significant chunk for me, so I took it.

If I'd done the full route I intended to do, it probably would've been somewhere between six and seven miles instead of five. But five was enough for a Sunday afternoon on a full stomach. And I got to see new territory that I'd never covered before, and I found new places that I want to show to Ethan when the weather gets warmer (a playground, and a stream that you can play in at the back of a park). 

I have to start extending my distance. As I do so, I can't wait to see what other gem locations my town has for me to discover.