Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Walking Kansas

I'm participating in a challenge called Walk Kansas this spring. It consists of teams of 6 collectively walking the distance across the state of Kansas (423 miles), over 8 weeks (it breaks down to 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week, for each team member). I did this challenge 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Nathan (has it really been that long?!), and the 8 weeks of participating created a habit of exercise that continued all 9 months of my pregnancy, which was the last time I exercised regularly (except for a brief spate last fall).
We're at the beginning of week 4 for Walk Kansas. Our team consists of me, my mom, my sisters, my best friend Brooke, and my good friend/other sister Christina. We are definitely not in the lead. But really I don't care about that. What I care about is that we're all being challenged to eat better and exercise consistently. We all have been trying before this, and now we're all kind of accountable to each other.
However, the weather is not cooperating. We've probably averaged only 4 days a week where it wasn't raining or below 40 - and at least for me, it seems like those days are the days your schedule makes it so you can't exercise.. And every "nice" day is accompanied by wind. And every route I walk has at least one spot where the wind blows across an open field and will about blow you over.
I'm enjoying it. A lot. I crave the time I get to exercise, and be alone to think, to pray, to have imaginary conversations...... When I walk, I walk for an hour - usually somewhere around 3.5 miles. (I should be able to do it faster, but the gravel, the wind, and the hills slow me down - this ain't like walking on a treadmill, folks!)

I have noticed a few things while walking:

  1. There are only 2 routes I can go that are dog-free, meaning either no one owns dogs, or they keep them penned up. I don't want to break up a dog fight, but my dog won't stay home. If I step outside in my tennis shoes, he just knows, and refuses to let me catch him. I've even tried tricking him and going out barefoot or in sandals, and he still somehow knows.

  2. Our dog will always poop exactly 1/2 mile into the walk. And usually again at about 2 miles later.

  3. 86% of the cars that pass me come up from behind. And of those cars, I'm pretty sure 63% of them throw up a little at the sight of my backside jiggling as I hoof it down the road.

  4. You find interesting stuff along side of the road. Last time I did this, I found a magazine all about marijuana - Weed Weekly or something like that. Today, I found a Winchester folding knife with a belt clip. That's going to become part of the regular walking gear.

  5. Walking will do wonders for toning up your ankles. Okay, normally we think about our calves getting toned, but honestly, the fat was creeping down the calf and getting dangerously close to becoming a cankle. I'm happy to announce that it's no longer cankle-izing.

  6. Walking takes care of back problems. My theory is that in walking and swinging your arms, holding your shoulders back and not slumping, you get everything lined up in your back and strengthen the muscles that hold them in place. Paul refuses to believe me on this and still goes to the chiropractor, even though every time my back has started bothering me, a few days of fitness walking (not meandering, walking with kids, or walking at work), and it has fixed itself.

  7. I fully endorse lolly-gagging the last 1/4 mile. It will eliminate sore muscles. My neighbors probably think I'm [even more] insane, because when I get to their house, I start doing kick-steps, knee lifts, and wide-to-each-side steps to stretch everything as I cool down.

There are other interesting things, but I've got 4 weeks left to do this, so I'm sure I'll be talking about it again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Tony taught you the cool-down.

"You're gonna feel a burn here... And the burn is HERE!"

J.C. is about to kill me; I've been quoting Tony the whole trip. I.E. playing Uno last night, I play a switch directions card and say, "And reverse!" It's been pleasant. :)

I can't believe this is the first comment.