The Weather =)

The location could not be found.

RunKeeper Records


Get up and go

It was mid January, 2012 that I decided to start walking. It sounds like such an easy undertaking. It is after all, walking. I didn’t decide to take up jogging, or anything remotely sporty – it’s walking for cryin’ out loud. However, at 311 pounds I’d completely let myself go and the (searching for an adjective that could come remotely close to the feeling of pain I experienced) excruciating pain in my lower back often left me standing on the side of the road crying.

So, I began walking. Strolling really. I’d walk about 3/4 of a mile, stopping along the way to stretch out my back. I remember standing at the base of a street and could see my neighborhood cafe in the near distance – my destination. I really thought I was going to have to call someone for help. I leaned against a telephone pole and cried. This made me so mad – I couldn’t even walk around the block. What had I done to myself? How did this happen? I used to be smoking hot and now I’m not only fat, but completely unhealthy and in immeasurable pain.

Mad works for me. I begrudgingly put one foot in front of the other (sings: and soon you’ll be walking out the doo ooo ooor) and soon arrived, sweating and panting at the cafe where I got a coffee and sat in on my usual stool and waited for the pain to subside. Once the coffee was done, the pain was gone and I could walk the rest of the way home.

I did this for a while. It became a challenge. How far can I get before it feels like my ass is going to rip away from my spine and land on the ground? I’d add a little more distance each day, even if the pain was bad. I would just stop more if necessary. I found that arching my back like a cat, or a pelvic like tilt was the best way to reduce the lower back pain. I even learned to sort of do it while walking.

I remember my first mile without stopping. You’d have thought I’d won a marathon. I couldn’t believe I’d gone from hobbling just over a half mile, to walking a whole mile. It was slow, but it wasn’t timing myself. I’d bought a pedometer and began trying to take more and more steps every day. 2000 steps = a mile.

By the end of February I’d really stepped up my game. I got my first smart phone. I think it’s probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. LoL Really. Ok, not counting the birth of my children and other momentous occasions like that… but this ranks pretty effin’ high.

How could a phone change a persons life? APPS! I downloaded the Endomondo application to keep track of my miles and Fit Radio to give me some tunes. Using the pedometer is great and I highly recommend it for starting out but once you get rolling, you’re gonna want to log some miles. Endomondo is one of many programs that do this. It tracks you via GPS and tells you how far and fast you’re moving. It also saves your activities so you can look back at your progress. Fit Radio is another saving grace for me. I’d been using my MP3 player for walking music but the beats of my songs vary so one minute I’m walking 80 beats per minute and the next I’m flailing around at 100 beats per minute. Fit Radio has stations that play music with a continual beat, so I listen to the top 40 channel at 128 beats per second. Sometimes I bust out of that and go faster because I’m now have the need for speed.

So what do you need to begin this walking adventure?

  • Footwear. Go out and spend some cake on a decent pair of running shoes (even if you’re not running). I don’t know what the definition of “a good pair of shoes” is as I’m not really a sporty person, but my first pair was the Saucony Kinvara 2. I loved them and wore the soles clear out.  I read somewhere on the internet that you should replace your shoes every 200 miles. I replaced those at about 475.
  • Pedometer. Head on over to Walmart and pick one up. If you want to get really snazzy, Rite Aid has a wristwatch thing that is a watch, pedometer and a heart rate monitor <– a real bonus! That way you can see if you’re heart is ready to explode. I’ll find the formula for calculating optimum heart rate for you in a later post. Really, at this stage of the game, just go out there and walk. Don’t over do it but push yourself enough to make the trip worth something.
  • Music. I cannot imagine walking without it. I see people walking without it and think to myself, “how boring.” I use the beat of the music as my metronome for walking. I’ve tried it without and just end up singing in my head (and sometimes out loud). I like the tunes blasting in my head – just be aware of your surroundings and check in back of you from time to time for muggers and or other sporty people. I took out a jogger one time cuz I didn’t hear him coming. It was embarrassing and he was pissed. LoL (which really just made me laugh)
  • First Aid. Score yourself some white sports tape, some ace bandages or actual knee braces, patella straps, ibuprofen or whatever you like for pain relief, spend some time in the pain killer aisle at the pharmacy. You’re going to jack up a knee or a hip or your feet or your chins… its inevitable. Something will hurt. Best to be prepared for anything. =)

Since I’m not a doctor or a health care professional of any kind and pretty much learned everything I know about being sporty from the internet and trial and error, I should advise you to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. (even though I did no such thing)