Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE RUN AND (UNPLANNED!) WALK

THE RUN AND WALK

Saturday, the morning run was a disappointment.
The weather was accommodating - warm - about 70 or so - partly cloudy with a veree light breeze, humid.
I was feeling tired/weak for reasons that I know not.
Starting off, my back was just barely tolerating my normal angle for running.
But I was determined to make a go of this event, even if I had to go slower to accommodate my still-infirm back.

This back weakness (I guess) provoked accelerated breathing at the top of Hill One and Hill Two.
For me, this is a sure sign that my strength is not at its best.
Part of the reason for the tiredness may be the leftovers of my back problems.

I had noticed that as I tried to compensate for the limited mobility of my lower back, it put a strain on my middle back muscles.
Sometimes they would cramp.
This happened a couple of times Friday as I worked around the house.
So.... the Saturday morning session turned out to be more of a struggle than I expected or wanted.

I was working so hard that I had to stop running late in mile three and walk for about five minutes - something I HATE to do.
When my breathing got back to a more comfortable rate, I started running again.
But I had to stop again late in mile four.
I was not happy.
I finished the session running but my self esteem was in the basement.
I was more surprised than anything else.
It has been years since I have had to do this.

Partly in response to this poor performance, I decided to jack up my Sunday morning walk around my neighborhood from two miles to three miles.
There was enough time before get-ready-for-church time to allow an additional ten minutes or so for the extra mile.
And it was so.

And my back felt a bit better for this session.
So, (according to my observations) it takes me about 35-40 minutes to walk two miles and about 50 minutes to walk three miles.
These times indicate an inconsistent pace for either the first or second mile and/or the third mile.
But the true fact is my "two"-mile walk is really about two and a quarter miles because I throw in an extra loop around an extra block.
I have not measured the "two-mile" course with my car to verificate the distance.

MY NEIGHBORHOOD

The area where I live/walk/run (sometimes) is basically an old suburban neighborhood.
My house was built in the early 1960's.
Other houses just a couple of streets away are larger, and appear to be about 20 years younger.
Some newer than that.
I class the area as lower middle class, income-wise.
About a third of the homes are populated by older people - many of them older than me. (so that's really old!)
The other two thirds are about evenly split between younger families - with no or a few young children - and "older" families with tweenage and teenage kids.

These people are mostly manufacturing or retail workers, with a few small business owners in the mix.
Of the more mature (read: older) people, they have likely worked their way up from line workers and material handlers in local small businesses to line supervisors or production supervisors.
I am sure there a few invisible millionaires around me also.
The Latino families that are starting to populate the area seem very proud of their property and take good care of their yards.

Many of these people smoke.
(this demographic detail indicates that many of these people are not college educated.)
I see a few of them sitting out on their front porch or car port sucking on one in the early morning as I walk. (I walk every day I don't work out or run. Which now means I walk on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.)

There are a lot of American flags displayed year round.
About half of them on vertical poles in the front yard.
Most of the properties are well-kept.
These people spend a lot of time tending their little plots of real estate.
The exception is the messy/grass-needs-cutting yard.
But there is one or two on every block.

I see my neighborhood as a pretty typical American area.

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