I could never train on a treadmill. It reminds me too much of an assembly line where they put cars together. It’s the Industrial Revolution for bodies. And it’s boring. But pump me full of music and send me out on to the street and I’m ready to risk running into the neighborhood dog whose master feels the same way about his pets. Or deal with the changing weather. I was walking one day when the heavens opened up. It was during an August heat wave so no problem there but when your eyes fill up with rain water they sting and you cannot see. But it is still preferable to running like a caged hamster. You learn how to avoid disasters. Carry a small set of goggles and some dog biscuits.
I started walking four months ago after realizing that my sedentary lifestyle came with certain “rewards”. Weight gain was apparent and other things as well. I imagined that I was surrounded by a transparent plastic bag. It was far away enough that I couldn’t feel it. But it was shrinking just a tiny bit every day and there was no doubt I would be shrink wrapped and ready for the tomb in not too many years.
You have to figure that at age 60 something is going to happen in the not too distant future! Disease or death are no longer props for the imagination. So how do you want to deal with this fact?
I couldn’t stop thinking about an elderly lady in her nineties we knew who was busy every day until her last. She went to bed one night and arrived in Heaven before dawn. She hardly thought about herself at all and in the end many others thought about her.
She spent much of her time doing for others. And she reminds me of many of the folks I ran into yesterday out on the course. Because months of walking led, naturally, to an attempt to run/walk in a half marathon. And so on a beautiful, fall day we headed out from downtown Richmond in the general direction of Bryant Park.
The park is hilly, has a rough surface and is miles from a comfortable chair but there was an angel there handing out small mint chocolates. Time seemed to stop for a moment as I looked into her smiling face and tasted something that was so good. You cannot experience this goodness sitting at home. Walk seven miles and chocolate explodes in your mouth!
Soon after leaving the park we approached a stone archway where the half and full marathons merged. Suddenly there were brilliant blue lights reflecting on the sunlit foliage as police motorcycles approached followed by the elite runners who had already run twenty miles! We all ran through the solid stonework together.
Last weekend we were able to swing by the Neptune Festival and view the amazing sculptures in this year’s presentation. Things were a little different this year. The works were not out in the open. They were offered some protection in a large tent and, as a result, were still in fine shape when we had the time to see them. Why there is any controversy about this I do not know. An admission was charged for the first time. It was only three dollars. You can’t even buy a sandwich on the boardwalk for three dollars!
All of this tremendous art made out of sand and preserved for over a week for a pittance! Here’s what the sculptures looked like last year after a week out in the sun, wind and rain. They actually look pretty good considering their situation. And it is worth noting that NOBODY messed with them for over a week. Virginians respect their art! Even if some of them grumble about paying for it in these hard economic times.
And here’s what they looked like this year! Click on the photo for a full screen slide show.
Walking is one of the ways to lose weight and feel better as we all know.
And Cardiotrainer is a great app for keeping track of the results. It automatically adds distances, times and calorie counts.
Today, for example, your blogging buddy will hit the 200 mile mark. That is also 20,000 calories burned. Here is a little map that shows the distance walked from Richmond, northward, towards Canada.
I’m walking to the North Pole to see Santa.
Probably we are not going to make it by Christmas. But, you never know.
Update Mid October. We made it to Pittsburgh!!
After four years of patient effort my blog recently crashed and burned. It was hosted by Hostgator and I was told the wp-content file was missing. Well, your blog isn’t going very far without that! We went back and forth about this and at some point I decided it was just too much of a hassle maintaining a .org presence. Let someone else maintain the code! And let’s save some money too!
Last Novemeber I shot a XML file over to WordPress.com and started a backup blog, turned off the search engines and played around with a few themes. So here we are!
There are plenty of dead links in the 1800 files here but most everything else is intact. And this new theme is pretty cool. In time I will fix everything. (Let’s see. . . twenty posts per day divided into 1800 is 3 months!) It was a moment of clarity that made me backup my blog on WordPress.com. I should have done it more regulary on Hostgator. But I did do it on occasion and that didn’t seem to help. Their “auto” backup every week didn’t help either. And their customer support (a different perspective every time you email them) definitely was not the answer.
So it is time to take a more relaxed approach to blogging. Thanks to WordPress.com for being here.
Next week thousands of holiday travelers will hit the airports for their first dose of holiday fear. Oh wait, cheer. Sorry. I’m sure the airport bars will be doing a good business as our intrepid airline adventurer makes a concerted effort to lift -off prior to having his groin area probed for hidden weapons of one sort or another.
While getting toasted prior to flight it might be a good time to remember the plight of the forgotten dinner guest, the Thanksgiving turkey, who will be prodded and undressed/dressed prior to the great day. He doesn’t have a choice! And he will endure the dreaded cavity search unlike the flying public who will no doubt finally throw off their shackles if this day ever should arrive.
It’s about two days since the blogger wrote about coming down with a cold. And he’s not doing well. He invested in a Vick’s steamer thing and it’s putting out a very lame amount of steam. The directions say you should add salt if your water in soft. Is our water soft? I don’t know. Let me ask it.
It’s three am and I’m tempted to run downtown and find an a drugstore that’s open all night, buy the biggest bottle of cough syrup on the shelf and drink it there in the aisle. But I don’t like going out in the middle of the night. It feels weird. It’s kind of eerie. I’m sure it’s safe but still. . .what if a spaceship is in the neighborhood?
I wrote about taking a ride in a spaceship in the previous post about being sick. And the only thing anybody questioned was my age!
You’re not 57!