Feb
27
2012

  Slowly But Surely, Getting Fitter

Since my workout is basically the same every day, year in and year out (I travel down the road and back, either 3 or 4 miles), I do little things to mix it up.

Before, I was carrying the boys instead of just using the stroller. Since my neighbors gave me a jogging stroller, I've been jogging instead of just walking.

I started out just jogging in short bursts, then walking. But over the months, I've been able to jog in longer and longer bursts. I suspect that I'd get faster results if I stuck to set intervals and just increased my intensity during the jogs, but I'm sure I'll go to that when I'm bored with my current routine. Currently, I'm trying to run farther and farther at a time without walking.

During the 2 mile stretch that I do the intervals (I walk the first and last 1/2 mile as a warm up and cool down), there is one long stretch of road that is nearly flat. So I concentrate on that part. Shorter intervals work on the other parts of the road since it's very bendy and I have to lift the stroller up in a wheelie to make the turns; it's got a fixed front wheel, and I can't control it well enough on the gravel to make turns at any speed.

Starting last week I noticed I could only go about 1/8 mile on the outgoing leg, but I could jog a full 1/4 mile over the same stretch of road on the return. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it is not truly level, despite being the most "level" stretch along my route. Today I was feeling pretty good, so I went further on the outbound (3/16 mi) than my previous best, and on the return trip, I not only jogged the full 1/4 mile, but then also another 1/4 mile after that.

I'm going at a rather slow jog, but I figure I'm still burning more calories than just walking.

I would prefer to get back to proper intervals sooner rather than later, but I can't be bothered carrying my sports watch (W broke the band). I have the replacement band. . .somewhere in the house.

But what I really need to improve is a fancy gizmo. I'm not sure what they're called, but I think there are watch-like things that use GPS to track your route and pace, and can beep at you if you are going too fast or too slow, so you can train efficiently. I think I need one of those. But only if it is ridiculously easy to use. I can't be bothered fussing with it or downloading things or setting up "programs" or anything. So what I need might not exist. If I was still an executive's wife I would just hire a trainer to run with me, and let him or her worry about all that. But I think the going rate for that is around $75/hour out here, so that won't do at this point. But whatever the cost of the fancy watch/gizmo thing, if it could truly replace the trainer, could probably be easily justified.