Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Test Run: Successful

I've always been the person who needed to do things on my own.

Okay. That's not fair. Because "on my own" negates the fact that there's no way this past 9 months could have happened without the love and support...and encouragement...and butt-kicking of a handful of people whose praises I have sung repeatedly through this blog.

What I mean is, I don't do things because other people want or tell me to do them. As a matter of fact, the fastest way for me to NOT want to do something is for someone to tell me it should be done.

The other reason I am a person who wants to do things "on my own" is because I don't want anyone to know if I fail. If I fall off the wagon...if I don't succeed...I'm the only one who knows I was even trying. Shoot, the fact that I've blogged my journey is VERY out of character for me, because it has made me somewhat accountable to those who have read my blogs and cheered me on.

All of that, simply to explain why - even though I have a terrific walking partner who never complains and never fusses at me - I had to do my Maiden Mini Voyage on my own. And since Sandi had one of her countless doctor appointments yesterday, that was my target day. I had to go ahead and try a distance of 13.1 miles, just to make sure I can do it when the critical time comes in a few weeks.

For those interested in stats: Yes, I made it. 

I use a wrist Garmin to track where I am and how fast I go. According to that, I completed the distance in 3:41:51 (if you count all the stops and slowdowns for traffic intersections) / 3:28:52 (if you just count my time walking).

The weather was PERFECT. Low 60s. Overcast. Light breeze. Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, not too sunny. 

I did pretty well for the first 8 miles or so. But then the knees (which have no cartilage) started letting me know they'd had enough. 

Somewhere around the 10-mile point, my thighs and calves started telling me the same thing. And my glutes. (You can't get around this town without doing some hills.) And my hips. And my back.

And by Mile #11, I'd pretty much had enough. Thankfully, I still had to get back home, so I couldn't just quit. But that was the point when I quit noticing the little animals, or the people, or whatever else was going on around me and just started counting out the rhythm of the steps, knowing that each 20 steps was 1/100 more of a mile. 

Just over 1/2 mile from the end, I had to cross one last, busy road. I tried to do as I'd done at all the other intersections and jog across so traffic wouldn't have to worry about me. So even with traffic coming (because it's always coming on that road), I started to jog across.

I think I managed three steps and the legs said NO. I apologize to the ethos that heard me quite colorfully telling those (censored) drivers they were just going to have to (censored) slow down and let me cross, even though they had no idea WHY I was being so (censored) pokey, but there was no (censored) way I could run across and get out of their way.

I kept reminding myself that if I could get through THIS, then the 500 Festival Mini shouldn't be as bad, because it's primarily flat.

I have never been so glad to come around a corner and see my house in all my life.

And for those who are local....it's amazing how much of our town you can see up-close-and-personal in 13.1 miles. LOL!

REFERENCE POINTS for my local friends (as I made the loop): my house, Jackson Creek Middle School, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, College Mall, Tenth & the Bypass, in on 10th St to the IU Main Library, north on Jordan Ave (Greek Row), east on 17th St past Assembly Hall and the Football Stadium, back down Walnut St, detoured over to Lincoln because of construction, east on Hillside to Templeton Elementary, then south on Henderson past Bloomington HS South, then cut in and went down through Winslow Ridge, through Sherwood Oaks, then winding back home.

Monday, April 1, 2013

5-Week Countdown

Okay, y'all. The lull is over.

I'm now 2 days under the 5-week mark until the *fanfare* 500 Festival Half-Marathon!

(insert horror-movie scream here)

Last week I had one of those days. You know - several days stuck inside, weather was finally nice again, I had just finished a huge typing job and sent it in, didn't have anyplace else I needed to go for the rest of the day. Sandi was down with her back again. :(

So I went walking. With no plan, other than to rack up some miles and see how far I could go.

At first I thought, "Hey! I'll walk to the north end of town and back! Maybe time it so I have a lunch stop at the north McDonald's before turning around."

So I headed out. Went north. Past the street to Kim's. Past the high school. Got to Ethan's school and saw kids outside for recess, so took a detour around the school so I could check the playground and see if I could find my curly-haired Little Dude. (I didn't.)

And then....I got to the south edge of campus. And I decided McDonald's didn't sound nearly as good for lunch as Fazoli's did. So I turned and headed east, out toward the mall. The temps were getting warmer than I'd expected, but remember that snow I mentioned? Yeah, there was still plenty of that laying around, so I found some that hadn't been touched, grabbed a handful and ate it to both cool off a bit and to get a drink.

I got to Fazoli's and had lunch. By that point, I'd covered 5.78 miles.

And then......

I actually was able to stand again! And walk some more! And head home!!!!

Strangely, what I thought was a straighter route (not counting a trail that I just had to explore, but it actually doubled back and put me pretty close to where I'd already been) ended up being another 5.53 miles. So it wasn't so different.

But that was 11.31 miles! Less than 2 miles off the mark for the *fanfare* 500 Festival Half-Marathon!!

I would've done a happy dance if I could've still stood. So it turned out to be more like a Happy Sit-down Wiggle.

But then...I did nothing the rest of the week. Meh.

The first couple days it was because my legs hurt. But even after that, my feet hurt. So I didn't get out again.

*deep breath*

So now that we are past the springtime indulgence of Easter Dinner, and I'm now inside of 5 weeks and have to Get Serious (with the capital letters), let's see what we can do. This week, rather than use all my oomph in one or two shots, I'm planning to do more, shorter treks.

When I woke up this morning and saw that the temps outside were 38 and 39 degrees, I thought, "Hey! It's in the high 30s...it'll only warm up from here...I'll just put on a hat and mittens and we'll walk outside!" Then I walked out my front door and found SNOW FLURRIES. By the time Sandi & I had dropped off her daughter at school, it looked like a snow globe out there and the big, fluffy flakes were starting to stick.

So today was 4.4 miles at 15:34 per mile.
Doing laps.
Somehow, I don't think my bright pink
Breast Cancer Awareness shoelaces
are going to go with the neon orange.
At the Y.
Where it was warm.

Sandi was sweet and after we were finished walking, she took me to get my belated birthday gift - a new pair of running shoes. (I don't think I have EVER gotten two pairs of brand new shoes just 9 months apart!) So now I have NO EXCUSES. Plus I have a good month to get these broken in before the *fanfare* 500 Festival Half Marathon!

So here we go. I have my usual entourage of face-to-face encouragers. I have found a new group of complete strangers (who are quickly becoming compatriots) online whom I'm getting to know and who are going through the same journey I am, so they offer both inspiration and encouragement. I have Sandi back in action. I have new shoes. So I have No Excuses.

33 days and counting.......