Archive for June, 2010

June 30, 2010

Country Road

I always walked the same loop in the mornings from my husband’s Big House. It starts with an uphill dirt road, moves to the paved Dudley Road, past the 1812 School House (my graphics of my girls doing headstands is photographed there); down a dirt road, through the field at the Stable Inn, across some brush, along the unpaved Cold Spring Road, through a whisp of a path in an old Cedar woods, across the lawn, and back home. 

“I’m back!” huffing and puffing. Arrived at the Big House. No one missed me, no one knew I was gone.

The path is lovely, if not a bit treacherous. Lots of challenges – the cars on the paved road, the steep downhill to the field, the German Shepherd that barks in front of the seemingly abandoned Stable Inn cottage, the possibility of Poison Ivy in the brush. Not to mention the loose rocks on the uphill horsetrail, the creaking trees about to topple on me in the woods, the spongy wetness of the Big House lawn. 

So I figured this trail, which takes me about 30 minutes to walk, was about 3 miles or so. I don’t know why I thought that. But this weekend, I used the free app that I downloaded and love, Cardio Trainer, and discovered to my utter dismay, the loop is 1.8 miles and it took me (in my run 5 mins./walk 1 min. method) 25 minutes, which the app informed me was about a 14:04 mile pace.

Okay I did stop and chat with the neighbor, Fran, for, I don’t know, maybe two minutes.

It’s just so disappointing. All these years, I thought I was walking for miles only to discover, I’ve not gone as far as I’d thought. At least I’ve overcome all of the above-mentioned obstacles as I walk or run. And for sheer beauty, I don’t think you can beat it. There must be a lesson in this. Enjoy the beauty; pay no mind to your app. Keep running. Keep walking.

June 18, 2010

Talking and Running

Yesterday at lunchtime, Liz and I ran for about 50 minutes and we went about 4 miles. We talked the whole way. I could not have gone so far for so long without someone to talk to. Having a friend, especially Liz, is totally encouraging, challenging, distracting.

At the end of the run, when we neared Riverside Church, I slowed down, even though it was not time to walk — We’re still doing that five-minutes-run/one-minute-walk interval training. Liz said, “Is that it? Is that all you’ve got? We’ve got two more blocks.”

“Yes, that’s it. That’s all I’ve got,” I said, but then laughed and joined her again running the last two blocks.

I’m proud of myself. I am doing great. I am encouraged by my friends. Someday I will do a 5K, running the whole way.

It has been a stressful week. Chris has probably messed up Social Security Disability eligibility, which is really distressing and, likely, very costly. Running takes away some of the stress. Talking while running helps too. “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

June 7, 2010

Peace of Me

I am trying to run a 5K. It’s a small goal. But, as I like to say, low expectations = high results;  high expectations = low results. (I might have made that up.)

I like to write down this goal, because some Harvard study says CEOs who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. (I like to throw in Harvard studies on this blog to show that I am erudite.)

Let’s face it, a 5K is doable. I will never run a marathon. I will never win, place or show in any major sporting event. I just hope to occasionally beat my kids – or simply, keep up with them — at tennis, swimming, and dancing.

Living an athletic life is not that hard. My biggest hurdle is something within me that says I am being selfish if I pursue physical activity simply for my own well being. How can I go for a run when I should unload the dishwasher or declutter the top of my dresser?  

It seems to me there is always something better or more family-centered or more productive to do than work out. 

You don’t actually need much to do sports. Running requires a pair of shoes (and for me, a really good sports bra). Tennis requires a racket, balls and an opponent. Swimming? A suit and a body of water.  

But the thing I need for any sport is gumption or stick-to-it-ive-ness. I need the ability to leap over my Mental Block (my MB). MB is standing by the front door, tapping her toe, barring me from my exit. She looks like the SuperNanny. She says, “Stay home and do housework. Who do you think you are? You’re not all that. You can’t even run a 5K.”

And this is when I have to slip on my headphones, tune my Pandora to Britney, baby, and slip on past my pissed-off SuperEgo. Tune my SuperEgo out. Turn my Inner Britney up.

Britney sings, “You want a piece of me?” And it’s really a good song to run to. Because it feels so right. Everyone wants a piece of me and if I don’t run or work out on a regular basis, I will have no piece to give them. I will get crabby. Then they’ll get a piece of me all right. And it won’t be cute or funny.

June 2, 2010

When Will I Learn?

I got the kids together — all 8 of them (kids, cousins, friends, nephew) — and set out for a run on Camp Dudley Road on Memorial Day. I just got this new app for my droid — cardio trainer. Will not only tell you how long, how far, but will map our your run for you as you’re running. All righty. All set. Got everything. Except the kids are not into the run. Hayden was going to try barefoot running but did not last with that. (And the other shoes he had in hand were his Mets slippers which work for lounging, not running.) Some of the girls kind of hung back, chatting. The boys gave it a good go of running to the 1819 School House.

The view there is just too delicious. The tree is right there for climbing, as is the creaky fence. Who wants to run when you can lay in the grass? or turn cartwheels by the School House?(See the picture above.)

I know I’ve said this before. I should stick to running alone. Or run only with adults. Liz and I ran on Friday. We did the 5 sets of 5 minutes of running then one minute of walking all the way to the Riverbank park from Riverside Church. Really fun.

Last week, I also went on Runner’s World website and learned about fartlek running. I don’t know if it’s fun to do — short bursts of full out running — but it’s super fun to say. It’s a Swedish word. I think it means “Never run with children. Run alone.”