Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm a running fool. Or something.

I’ve taken up running. Well, let’s be fair and call it jogging. Or lets be really honest and call it “something slightly faster than a slow walk”.

Why, you ask? Especially when I hate it?, it’s hard on the joints, I don’t particularly enjoy it, and I’ve got a couple of fancy-schmancy bicycles just begging to be ridden?

Well, see, we’ve got this puppy. And said puppy is now about 5 months old, and, how shall we say, rambunctious. And while our motorhome is larger than some apartments/dorm rooms I’ve lived in, it’s not quite big enough for a growing puppy to wear herself out. Yes, we walk her, but that’s walking; she’s learning to walk on a leash, and kind of learning how to behave around other people and dogs. And we throw things for her to chase around the motorhome, but there’s not a fenced off area at the RV park to let her loose (we are working on an electronic fence system, but that’s not fool-proof), and while she’s getting better with voice commands, there’s enough traffic around that I wouldn’t risk it.

So, the puppy needs to get out and gambol. And since one of my goals for this winter was to start to get back in shape (let’s just say that I didn’t exercise as much as I should have in the last year, and I’m (as my doctor calls it) “my larger self” (as opposed to being fat, but I think she’s just being politically correct)), I’ve started taking the puppy on jogs.

We’ve got a closed road that goes for about a mile along the Colorado River (as the road goes north, toward the dam, it is, well uphill…). So yesterday, Fi and I jogged to the end of the road and back. Yes, two whole miles. The good news is that it did wear her out. The not-so-good news is that it wore me out; too. I’ve been doing strength training and core exercises in my makeshift home gym (which actually works fairly well; and I just got in the mail a couple of books that have pilates and strength-training exercises that work specifically with an exercise ball), and some bicycling.

But bicycling isn’t running (or jogging, or doing some exercise that involves moving one’s feet at a pace that elevates one’s heart rate, and increases one’s breathing). And by the time I got done with my two whole miles, I felt like my legs were going to fall off. Seriously. So I did some stretching, and some other exercises in the hopes of being able to walk today.

And, in all fairness, I could walk today. But I was stiff (and walking up and down the stairs was kind of fun…). And it's not like it is a case of 'having parts that hurt that I didn't even know I had'; I knew I had those parts - they're just squishier than I'd like. So it's good that these parts are sore. But wow, I didn't realize quite how squishy those parts are...

So after cleaning the motorhome (it’s Monday, so it’s time to vacuum, dust, do laundry, change the sheets – oh, wait, that activity was prompted by the cat tracking kitty litter into the bed – and wash blankets – oh wait, that activity was prompted by the cat puking on one of the blankets last night), Fi and I went out again. It’s in the low 60’s but there’s a bit of a breeze (and by that I mean a steady 10mph from the north) so I got dressed and off we went.

I have no idea how fast we go. Based on how I feel, and what I remember from the treadmill, I’m probably plodding along at 4 mph. And given that Fiona wants to go about 10 mph, it’s quite entertaining. Actually, that’s not true. Once she settles down (it takes her about 200 yards to realize that we really are moving slightly fast than a walk, and that it’s okay to put her nose into the wind and go), she actually ‘jogs’ pretty well. She’s moving at no faster than a trot for her, but, frankly, it’s as fast as I can go right now. I keep assuring her that as I get in better shape, she’ll be able to go faster. As it is right now, she keeps looking at me, like “Mom, why won’t you let me run And why am I dragging this 140ish (haven’t stepped on a scale in months, and won’t for many more months) lump behind me? I could go SOO MUCH FASTER if you’d drop the leash”.

Anyway, because this is good for Fi (and me), this is going to be a daily routine. I’ve got new running shoes coming in (my heels were KILLING me yesterday evening… old shoes = no good) tomorrow, and I’m hoping that in another week or so, we’ll be able to up the distance (we can go about another mile in the other direction without having too many traffic issues) – although I don’t ever see jogging more than 4-5 miles at a time. Right now, the 2 is killing me.

But anything for the puppy, right?

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