Then, I got soaked to the bone.

I felt deceived today!  The rain went away for a while, and I saw our neighborhood “hot running guy” run through, so I figured if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me.  I got myself ready, stretched, and took to the road.  I saw the dog walking people, and the dog running stroller-lady.  I thought I was in good company, so I headed for the greenway.

I break through the other side of one of those greenway tunnels.  It starts misting, no big deal.  Then it’s just lightly sorta-raining.  Then all hell breaks loose.  I was a full 15 minutes away from the house no matter how you slice it.  Have you ever had to walk in such furious rain, that you could barely keep your eyes open? I have.  I actually remember the exact moment when I was so soaked that the rain pierced my underwear.  Literally soaked to the bone.

As I was walking past Chavis Heights, an older man had turned in front of me with an umbrella, smoking a cigarette.  He slowed down, and offered to walk with me as long as he could with his umbrella.  His name was Renaldo.  It definitely wasn’t social distanced, but here we were, two people in a straight up and down pouring type of rain, dodging puddles, me soaked through the skin.  There is a time and a place for everything.  I hope that whoever the powers that be decide that me, this man, and this umbrella are going to be okay.  I just couldn’t say no to a man, coming out of a housing project, with a cane and an umbrella who WAITED for me, just so he could be helpful.  Couldn’t do it.

I learned that he was a vet, and he felt lucky to have gotten one of those nice, new apartments in Chavis Heights (and it really is very nice).  He told me that they have a key fob to get in and whenever I go by, there are always people sitting out on their little patios, which all look beautiful and spring-like with plants and little tables and chairs.  I was also pleased with myself that I didn’t want to ask him for a cigarette lol.  It was nice to see that there are still kind, helpful people out there.

When I got home, I had to literally peel my clothes off, and they were so wet that I rung them out in the sink like rags.  I’m glad that I went hard for my first 15 minutes because my walk back trying not to bust my ass or land in a puddle definitely brought my average speed down, but at least it wasn’t cold outside.

The rest of the day was nothing so crazy, read some of my book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver.  Had a very frank and informative talk with my nibling, Devin.  Made black bean burgers tonight because we hadn’t had them in a long time.  Watched a movie called “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler in it that I actually really didn’t enjoy.  I hate watching people gamble over sports- I dated someone like that for a while and it was the most miserable thing to watch someone go through.  It is also miserable to go to a bookie’s house, because it just is.  In any case, that movie took me back to a time of life that I would never want to relive.

It’s Friday!  That doesn’t mean much to a lot of folks, but if you’re one of the ones that it means something to, Happy Friday!

 

Getting more serious about working out/healthy eating

Yesterday’s blog was definitely not about the advantages of being afraid to be around humans.  The advantages to this mess, for me, can be summed up very simply: I would have never quit smoking or drinking, I would have never started running/jogging/walking (not like this, maybe something a little lighter), and my yard would have never looked this amazing.  Why?  I would have been distracted, probably by people.  I would have been distracted by nights out at the bar, vodka, cigarettes, whatever I had to do during the day, and the constant rat race that our lives have become.  If you needed some positives, there are some.

I probably wouldn’t have dyed my hair, or if I had, I wouldn’t have taken my time with it.  I probably wouldn’t do my nails every other day.  I never had time for that shit, or I didn’t perceive that I had time for that shit.  I probably wouldn’t take large swaths of time to see how far I can travel all over town on my feet simply because “who has time for that”?  A friend of mine said that the other day, that he simply “Didn’t have 2 hours to do anything”, and I was like “You work for yourself?  How do you not have 2 hours to do anything?  That doesn’t even make sense.”  It’s because he perceives that he doesn’t have time.  I know he has time to drink multiple beers in a night.  I know he has time for a movie.  It’s a matter of priorities at that point.

I have had many jobs that I was so exhausted from when I got off that I couldn’t have even thought about putting more hurting on my tootsies than was absolutely necessary.  Many of my jobs have required me on my feet for hours and hours, conversely, it was much easier to keep my weight down during that time- the activities were built right into my daily job.  Easy-peasy.  I get that feeling and absolutely wouldn’t be doing this if that were my life now.  In those days I did a lot of crunches and pushups instead.  These days I think that planks and burpees would probably do me the most good, and I’ve gotten some of those giant rubber band things, so I’ve got to really check those out.

Tomorrow I really should take the day off from walking (or at least walking so much) and let my calves have a rest because they are absolutely so sore, and have been every day for the past 8.  I may do a shorter walk because I had a friend that wanted a walk buddy, and try to do some other types of more body conditioning, resistance exercises.  I’ve turned myfitnesspal back on and integrated it with a walking app (like I used to have my fitbit done).  I do really like that walking and running makes it so I really don’t have to worry so hard about what I eat.

Being a person over 40, especially a woman, is hard.  We require about 1400 calories a day (if you don’t have a physical job), 1200 if you’re losing weight.  Exercising makes it so that you can eat like a “normal person”.  Really, I’m not extravagant, and I am a very healthy eater, but even I can get very depressed very quickly at how little we’re “supposed” to eat.  It’s really hard to get enough protein, calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium at such tiny amounts of food too- in fact, I’ve never been able to do it, no matter how hard I’ve tried.  You simply cannot eat that few calories and get a daily dose of everything that you need to be healthy.  Vitamins are the cheat for that (at least for calcium, iron and zinc).  Protein, you just have to plug away at it and know that the app will tell you that you have eaten too much cholesterol, no matter how careful you are.  I have never gotten enough potassium.  I don’t know what you would have to eat in a day to reach that number, and I’ve tried it all and studied it all, trying to find the perfect balance.

So, this is what I’m going to control and obsess over for a while.  I don’t have alcohol to take up a bunch of garbage calories, so it should be a bit more healthy than I’ve been in the past.  I just have to do something, and now is the time for doing pretty much anything at all (that doesn’t involve people).

Running Feels Like Adopting Your First Dog

When we reach Saturday, if I can keep it up, I will have done my version of running (the closest I’ve ever gotten to it), for a full week. I will always have to wear a knee brace, that is unavoidable, and I may never run like those running groups you used to see all over town who ran from bar to bar, but I’m plugging away at it.  Today I traveled some of that beautiful greenway space, specifically the Little Rock Trail, and the Walnut Creek Wetlands.  It is easy to forget how beautiful open, wooded space can be when you live in the city.  We are so lucky to have the greenway.

If you haven’t been to the Wetland part yet, I encourage you to.  It is so full of life.  Below is a mother duck and her little babies that I watched for a while.  When I first saw them, they were right under the bridge I was running across, and swam away as I came closer. It was magical.  Bring the kids, you might see something cool.

I have noticed something, and I don’t know if this happens to any of y’all, but do you find yourself starving after a run?  I ate a little something before I left, but I was out for a solid 2 1/2 hours, and when I got home, I was ravenous.  It was like that the day before, and the day before that.  Actually, truth be told, I’ve been that way every time I finish a run.  I peel off clothes, hop in the shower, drink water, and my stomach is grumbling.  I start making dinner, and for the past few days, it’s been “the quickest thing I can make”.  Where I was taking all manner of hours to create masterpiece dinners, now I’m like “pasta sounds great”.  I think that if I continue to do this in the evenings, I’m going to have to prep anything that needs a lot of prep before I leave the house, and have it all ready for cooking when I return, because I return like a starving animal.

Below is what my phone has been charting each day.  One of the disadvantages of the “Health” app in iPhones is that it only works when the phone is in your pocket or hand.  It doesn’t track any steps you take without the phone (unlike a fitbit), but I don’t really have to know about how many steps I trudge through the yard or the house, I’m tracking the running.  Below is a screenshot of the amount of miles I’ve gone per day.

I’m so pleased!  I have always admired all of those running and walking people who I’ve seen my whole life while driving.  I have always thought “Now there’s a person who has their shit together”.  I’ve typically seen it as some sort of mark of adult success.  Anyone who does that shit at 5-7 am is seen in my book as “The Ultimate Adult”.  I still don’t see myself being that person any time soon, because I only see 5 am because I’m still awake at 5 am, however, there are PLENTY of evening runners, and I feel proud to be among them.

It’s funny, the things we perceive as “successful” when we’re young.  There are a lot of things I am today that would have blown 20 year old me’s MIND. Mid-twenties me could have never conceived of owning a house, much less two houses; it was almost too much to hope for, and yet, that shit has happened.  Early 20’s me thought that being the bartender was an ultimate goal, and being the manager of a restaurant was more than I could have ever hoped for, and those things have happened; come and gone in an adult lifetime.  There are tons of things that I’ve done that High School me would have not even believed, but funny story, as a middle aged woman, I still measured “success” by “Do you ever think I could be one of those running people?” It feels all responsible, like talking about “mortgages”, “salaries”, and “the stock market”- shit that you overhear when you’re 10, don’t know what it is, are bored, but somehow you know, those are grown up adult things.

In a sentence, running kind of feels like adopting your first dog.  Now you have something in common with “the normals”, something that shows responsibility and adulthood.  I guess tomorrow I should take the dog running.