Thursday, June 19, 2008

THE SUNDAY MORNING WALK

The walk Sunday morning was according to my new three-mile course.
Which is half of my old two-mile course.
I know that does not make sense but let me explain. (like you care.)

From my house to Bob Wallace Avenue is about a half mile.
From Bob Wallace Avenue to Drake Avenue is one mile.
If I go directly home from Drake Avenue, that is another half mile.
Half mile plus one mile plus half mile - Ta Da! - two miles.
That was the OLD route.

The New Route follows the same "old" path for the first mile and a half (see above).
But rather than coming directly home from Drake Avenue, I retrace my course back to Bob Wallace Avenue and then home.
Thus, half mile plus one mile plus one mile plus half mile - ergo, THREE miles.
The extra mile takes about ten extra minutes or so.

The weather Sunday was nice, if a bit humid.
Even at 5:23 in the morning, it was about 68 degrees.
But, hey, this is Alabama in the almost summer.

All of the dogs were sleeping in except the Boxer on Fairacres Road.
If he really wanted to eat me he could easily jump the three-foot chain-link fence in his yard and attempt a bite.
(but I carry a knife for just such an encounter and would do my best to sever a jugular.)
But I am convinced he really wants no trouble.
He is just doing his dogly job to impress his owner to keep the meals coming.

At this particular hour, on this particular day of the week, traffic is virtually nil.
Because of this, I can walk down the middle of the street (except on Bob Wallace where I use the sidewalk because there IS some traffic there - even at this early hour).
Often, the paper man is riding around in his little red pickup tossing the Sunday paper on driveways with the characteristic whomp!.
There usually are no other people out walking (or running or crawling or anything).
Just the black young man on his bicycle.
He doesn't say much, just nodding to my quiet verbal greeting.
I don't know where he is going at this hour but he is in no hurry.

I, on the other hand, have to keep prodding myself to keep my pace as fast as I can.
This hour of the day, it is fun to just look around and daydream.
And when I daydream, I pay not attention to my pace and slow down.
This is a no-no.

The real purpose of this session is not to sightsee; it is to burn calories.
And the way to burn them is to step lively, not saunter along.
Since I ran Saturday (yesterday), it would be wise not to run today.
Though I am likely capable of a three-mile run, it would be harder on my system and prolly burn too much muscle.
And, at this stage in my life, I need every last ounce of muscle I can keep.
This is not so I will look pretty (though that would be nice, but, alas, I have belatedly learned that such a status would require a massive genetic overhaul).
It is, rather, because I need the muscle to keep my metabolism going as fast as possible.
Muscle mass is what burns calories, and burning calories helps keep one's body fat under control.

I found that when I was achieving my best running times, I was weaker than when I was only lifting weights.
I was a stronger runner, but actually weaker overall.
That may seem like a contradiction, but I have the workout numbers to prove it.
It surprised me when I found out this tidbit.

This may be unique to Lil Steevee because he has such limited systemic strength.
I can do one well or the other well , but not both well. ("well" = strongly)
And if I had to choose between the two - running or weight lifting, I would choose weight lifting. (surprisingly, given that I love running so much.)
The reason is that running has little practical value in daily life.
What do you do each day (or each week, for that matter) that requires you to be able to run a mile, or two, or three, or six?
Nothing.

Not so with weight lifting.
You typically are lifting and moving things every day.
Not barbells, of course, but books, or laptops, or groceries, or yard tools, or whatever.
You need some level of strength to do your daily tasks.
Whatever cardiovascular strength you need can be built/maintained by walking.

So, you might say, WHY do you like running so much?
Simple.
I am a drug addict.
I am addicted to the endorphins produced by the run.
Walking does not produce them to the degree that running does.
Neither does weight lifting.
Some, but not as much.
See here for more info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphins

So, I run because I love it.
I lift weights because I need to.
I walk because I should.
.

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