Week 9 & 19 weeks to go!

Monday –

Skipped

Tuesday –

Skipped – I didn’t run but went to Physical Therapy.  The therapist worked me over pretty good… I think this will help but I’ll need to help myself (i.e. I’ll have to do the exercises).

Wednesday –

Got out early to walk 5 miles before my 7:30 AM meeting.  Noticed that my pace seems to have picked up some again this week.  Setting new walking records… For me anyway… not exactly breakneck speed but a win is a win.

Thursday –

Skipped

Friday –

Today I felt pretty good but was pressed for time (my wife was sick so had to go to her school to deliver lesson plans and I had PT scheduled for 8:30).  So I only did 3 Miles but I decided to try running some of it.  Not much of it; only a about ¼ mile, but it felt good.  Although my “running shape” is pretty poor it still allowed me to cover the distance in just over 45mins.  That’s my best time for my three mile course since I started this round. I’ll take it.   When I told my PT that I ran some, she was okay with me slowly adding running to the mix.  That’s progress!

Saturday –

Again, fastest pace (17:24 mins/mile) for my 7 miler this morning.  Not exactly burning up the trail but faster is better.  No ill effects from my running on Friday. 

Sunday –

Was going to do 5 miles but decided to only go 3 miles today.  I felt tired from Saturday.  Not only from my walking but also from a project I worked on to build a desk for my office.  Based on my time for the walk (just over 56 mins), it’s obvious that I wasn’t moving to quick today.  It’s been a rough week and yet, my weight went up a pound!   Talk about adding injury to insult (or is that insult to injury?).  I was telling my wife that I think I’m not losing weight because of skipped days.  She didn’t buy that at all saying I just needed to eat less (AND that my metabolism ain’t what it used to be.).  Leave it to her to call it straight… She’s right I need to slow the chow down.   I may not be hitting my weight loss goals but I’m only 7 miles under my cumulative mileage goal at this point.  Whoop!  Whoop!

I have another challenge next week… We’re leaving for Houston on Wednesday for a family reunion on my mom’s side of the family.  We’re driving so and it’ll be a busy week with all the drive time.  I’ll have to see when and where I can wedge in some walks (runs?).  

Pictures of the week:

If you get up early enough, you’ll enter the time of long shadows.  This was taken at about the halfway mark of my 7 miler with the sun just cracking the Eastern horizon over the Catalina Mountains.  I’m pointing north toward the Grand Canyon.  My advice to myself is “Go North Old Man”… And I plan to… In September. 

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Below is a picture of the desk top I’m building.  I decided to use Redwood. I like working with Redwood and have used it to build bunk-beds for my sons and a pencil post bed for our first bed.  There is so much oak around that I’ve grown tired of oak.  Redwood is a much softer wood and I would be concerned if I was going to use my desk as a writing desk but who does that anymore??  The only writing I do these days is on the computer… So this desk is being built for a place to set my computer.  I’ve been using a folding table… Can’t wait for me to get this project done and I’ll post a picture then.  

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KylesMiles Wk 9

Week 8 & 20 weeks to go!

Monday –

Skipped

Tuesday –

Skipped

Wednesday –

Walked 3.2 miles in an hour on a machine at the hotel I say at in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The machine estimated I burned 267 calories.  I don’t really like walking on a machine.  I much rather be outside and walking in the environment.  I decided tomorrow, I’ll do my hour walk around in the “Up Town” area of Albuquerque. 

Thursday –

I found a 20 min. loop around the hotel that doesn’t cause me to cross major streets or wait at any stoplights.  The loop goes around a pocket of upscale restaurants and shops in an area called “ABQ Uptown.”  I did the loop three times at my normal pace so I assume I covered at least 3 miles this morning.  It’s a sidewalk (concrete) walk all around but it’s better than walking on a machine (I think).  Below is a picture I took a picture Uptown Mall area that I circle.  It’s a little more brisk in the morning here than in Arizona – started out at ~480 F at 6 AM.

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Friday –

Skipped – Returned from ABQ last night and felt pretty lethargic so I skipped my walk.  I plan to do a 4 or 5 miler on Saturday and my second 7 miler on Sunday.

Saturday –

I decided a 4 miler would suffice today.  I started out thinking I’d do a 5 miler, but my legs felt really tight (I didn’t do well on my Physical Therapy exercises while in ABQ) so I decided to cut the walk short.  I considered 3 miles but convinced myself that I could tough-out a 4 miler.  On my return home, close to my house actually, I ran into a diamondback rattle snake (see pick).  He was a baby – less than 2 feet long.  I almost came up to step on him but saw him and stopped myself short.  He didn’t move but I know he was alive – It’s not unusual for them to come out, stretch out and sun themselves to warm their cold blooded bodies. 

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Sunday –

I hit the trail for my seven miles an hour before sunrise.  There was enough twilight that I didn’t need a flashlight.  I was sure to look for my friend the rattle on my way out this morning, but he was long gone.  I got to my halfway mark just as the sun was breaking over the Catalina Mountains. The pictures show the sun coming up at the corner of Tangerine and La Canada.  There’s a nice walking path that they’ve constructed but there is still road work to be done (Tangerine is one of those roads that seems to be under constant construction).  I noticed all the Saguaros are blooming as are other cactuses this time of year.  The pictures below include the Saguaro, the Saguaro Blossom, a jumping Cholla with its ribbon like bloom and more pictures of the cactus in my yard with many blooms (covered in the little yellow Palo Verde dropped blooms that I focused on in week seven).   The desert really is beautiful in its own way – with pretty colored blooms on some other wise menacing cacti.   I’m pretty happy with being 8 weeks into my plan and still excited to continue. 

Final note – Seems I gained 2.3 lbs. back this week.  I think because I eat too well on business travel… I’ll have to watch that more closely in the future.  I don’t want to carry 230 lbs. through the canyon.  

Pictures of the Week:

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KylesMiles Wk 8

Week 7 & 21 weeks to go!

Monday –

Skipped – Note: This week I approach 25% (as far as calendar time) toward my goal. 

Tuesday –

Skipped – I went to my first session of physical therapy (PT).  I sheepishly confessed my goal (to walk/run the canyon in September) to the therapists.  Surprising me, both Therapists (I had two) felt it was a realistic goal and they could support it.   They both felt, given my current situation, that September was enough time to make the best of my goal.  That’s great news!  It lifted my spirits… 

Then they started stretching me out.  I’ve always been one of the tightest people alive. Seems I’m tighter than a blood gorged Mississippi tick.  (Besides “tight as a tick”, other idioms I found included “tight as a drum”, “tight as Dick’s hatband” and “tight as bark on a tree”.)   I remember being embarrassed in grade school P.E. class.  They had each student stand on a box to see how far they could reach past their toes.  For me, they had to bring out a yard stick and measure up from the box.  I sure hope PT will loosen me up as well as correct my gate.  :- )  My primary therapist seems to think she could help me with my flexibility but frankly told me I’d never be a Gumby.

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Wednesday –

I walked four miles today and noticed that my pace was more than 4 mins faster than the last time I walked that distance.  You know, sometimes you have to take the good where you can find it.

Thursday –

I walked 3 miles and got my second dose of PT.  She worked me over pretty good.  I felt totally exhausted by the afternoon… rough time staying awake.

Friday –

I walked 5 miles today and felt pretty good.  Finally had a good night’s sleep.  My walking pace has picked up some.  Wednesday – Friday were all faster “walk-only” times than I’ve posted so far – Averaged 17:29/mile.  My best was 17:39/mile before… and that was when I was running some of it.   So let’s see… At an average of 17.29/mile, I could make the total distance of 23.9 miles (via the North Kaibab Trail (elevation 8,241 ft – 14.3 miles – mostly a descent) and the Bright Angel Trail (mostly an ascent – 9.6 miles – elevation 6,860 ft) in just under 7 hours.  If I leave at 6:15AM, that would put me at a finish time of around 1:15PM (if I didn’t stop – but I will stop for photos, lunch, water, rest… whatever I need to do).   Of course, I hope I can run some of the way.  The estimated drive time around from the North Rim to the South Rim is estimated at 4hrs and 4 mins and I don’t want my ride to be waiting 3 hours for me to finish.

Saturday –

Skipped today but plan to do my PT exercises.  Tomorrow the plan is a 7 miler… Will probably take me nearly 2 hrs.  Hope I can start running soon.  (PS: My plan to do PT exercises didn’t pan out today.)

Sunday –

I walked the 7 miles I planned this morning.  It took me just over two hours (2:01:41) to cover the distance.  That’s a pace of 17:23/mile – so again I’m noticing that my pace is quickening (wa hoo!).  It kills me because I know I could cover that same distance in half the time if I could run it.  I estimate that since I weigh between 225 and 230 lbs. that I burn about 130 calories / mile walked.  That means I burned about 910 calories this morning.  A person jogging burns calories at a rate of about 75% of their body weight for every mile they run.  For me that’s approximately 171 calories / mile.  When I run 7 miles, I could burn about 1,200 calories.  Conclusion: If I could run I’d spend less time and burn more calories over any distance.  Anyway, the good news is I’m finally starting to see some weight loss (down 4.2 lbs. this week) and I’m catching up on my weight loss goal (1.5 lbs./week) at this point of my training.

Today it felt hot outside.   It was 710F at 6:40AM (15% Humidity) when I started my walk and by the time I finished it is was 840F (11% humidity).  With the temperature going up 13 degrees and the humidity dropping, any sweating I did was literally being sucked up by the thirsty dry air.  I should have been coated in sweat but instead my skin was dry and hot.  I actually began to worry about heat stroke.  So, I’ve made a vow to carry water (or Gatorade) with me anytime I’m going to be out in the heat for more than an hour.  I’m also going to work at getting out of the house earlier – way before sunrise (which was 5:33AM today – that’s over an hour earlier than when I got out the door).

Something else occurred to me during my walk today.  If I had started this effort in November of 2017 (when I first announced to my face book friends that I was going to “check off a major item in my bucket list”), I would have started losing weight and building strength before the end of last year.   It made me wonder if that earlier effort would have avoided my chronic stenosis attack in February??    Not that it matters now, because that is just a fantasy and reality is only the facts of the current moment.  But here’s the point that was hammered home to me today… Don’t put things off.  This really hits home when I think about my Christian walk as well.  I’ve been telling myself that I need to step up and do more for the Lord and for my church.  I shouldn’t be waiting until I retire and “have more time” on my hands.  The truth is… time and life are short.  Not to sound to “Ferris Bueller” here… But take the time to do the important things in your life now… If not, life moves pretty fast and it’ll pass you by.

Picture of the week: 

This is “the long and winding road” I walk.  It’s a path near my home that runs alongside the local roadways.  At the point of this picture, I’m on my way back home (turned toward and heading for the barn) with only about 1.5 miles to go.  In the background are the Catalina Mountains.

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Here are some motivating words on how to turn a “Dream” into “Reality”…

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And finally… Kyle’s Miles for the week… Logged my longest walk yet (7 miles!).

KylesMiles Wk 7

Week 6 & 22 weeks to go!

Monday –

Last week was a complete “let-off-of-the-gas” week.  So I was determined to make this week a good exercise week, despite traveling to Albuquerque (ABQ) for work.  It’s always tougher to stay in a routine when you travel.  You’re eating different food (usually it’s fast food or restaurant food), you’re sleeping in a different bed, you’re schedule is different in that you’re trying to squeeze in fight within the week (with security you have to be at the airport 1-1/2 to 2 hours early), and the finally, you can be dealing with a time change (in my case only it’s an hour earlier but if you want to get a workout done before work, you have to back everything up by an hour).  Some folks are better at adjusting to these things than others.  Me?  I have to really make a conscious effort to adjust / look for opportunities.    

I had an early flight today (to get to ABQ as early as I could) but there are no direct flights from Tucson to ABQ.  Seems I have a choice, depending on airlines, of stopping in Las Vegas, Dallas or Phoenix.  I choose Phoenix which required a layover of about 3 hours.  While I’m at the airport, I’m on worktime (my email is piling up, because the work day has started, with questions from various people I support and I have to deliver a Monday report that drives the conversation for week).  After reviewing/answering emails and releasing my report, I still had about 30 mins to walk while waiting for the boarding time. So I took advantage and walked to different terminals.  I only logged 15 mins and ½ a mile for the day.  I was happy just to be able to put a mark on the board. 

Tuesday –

I rose early and went down to the hotel exercise room hoping to get on a walking machine.  At 5:30AM in the morning, the place was packed and there wasn’t a machine to be had – inconceivable!  So I decided to walk the streets of Uptown Albuquerque.  It was brisk outside (440 F) and I was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts but the walk quickly warmed me up.  I walked for 40 mins and gave myself credit for 2 miles.

Wednesday –

Skipped – I have my early morning meeting on Wednesday and it seems I’m always getting ready for it to just-before it starts.  “Hump-Day” is truly a hump for me to get over in my current role.

Thursday –

I managed to get a hotel walking machine this morning but was pressed for time (I hadn’t slept well the last couple of nights and slept in a bit today).  I only had 30 mins. and the machine said I walked 1.6 miles, so I rounded down to log 1.5 for the day.  I fly back home again tonight. Will be glad to be back home.

Friday –

Home again and back into my routine.  I work a 9/80 schedule at work which means I have every-other Friday off (by working eight 9 hour days and one 8 hour day, I work 80 hours in 9 days).  Anyway, today is an off-Friday so I knew I had all the time needed to get a 5 mile walk in today.  Only problem is I didn’t get out the door until 7:30AM and it was already 710 F (with only 24% humidity –it’ a dry heat) – not bad but with clear skies and a bright AZ sun, things are already starting to cook.  In the 1-1/2 hours it took me to walk, the temperature rose by 100 (and the humidity dropped to 21%).  We’re hitting some records for heat for this time of year.  It’ll be a lot better for my future longer walks if I can get out the door 30 mins ahead of sunrise. 

Saturday –

I hatched a plan to do a 3 mile walk today and another 5 mile walk tomorrow.  I hope to chalk up some miles this week to make up for my slump last week.  Three miles today and five tomorrow will give me a total of 17 miles for the week.  That’s one mile less in week 6 than in week 4 but it’ll be the first week where I’ve done two five milers in one week.  Some progress.  However, given the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim is a little more than 22 miles,  I’m walking less miles in a week than I hope to do in a day just 22 weeks from now.  I have a lot of work to do.

Sunday –

According to plan, I walked 5 miles today.  To “shake things up a bit” I walked my 5 mile loop in reverse today.  You have to wonder, “What difference does that make?”   It means I started out going uphill instead of starting with a relatively flat start.  In fact, it puts the first 1-1/4 miles of my walk uphill.  I noticed the difference was in the tightening of my calves – in fact, I had to stop and stretch them out at one point.   I know this is something I’ll have to deal with when walking mostly uphill for at least half of the canyon.  (What kind of half-baked idea is this anyway?)  Next week I start physical therapy (PT)… I hope that PT will help me build strength in my right leg and at the same time will loosen me up some (I’ve always have been prone with tight muscles – more water, more stretching is needed).   

Pictures of the week –

This is the Palo Verde blooming time of the year.  Palo Verde is Spanish for “green stick” and this time of year these green sticks put out millions of yellow blooms.  Turns out, I’m very allergic to these blooms.  Over a period of about a month, these blooms fall from their green sticks and litter the ground with a golden splash of color.  It’s kind of pretty in a way – but it’s kinda like the most beautiful and brilliant frogs are the most poisonous – they are beautiful but dangerous (at least to someone allergic to them).  And, silly me, I have one of the largest Palo Verde’s in my own front yard. 

I once had a “brilliant” idea to use a blower to blow all the fallen yellow blooms into a pile that could be more easily picked up.  What I really did was put a boatload of yellow green stick crap (okay pollen) into the air and I got so sick (swollen face, eyes, difficulty breathing) that it took me a 1-1/2 days to recover.   So now, I treat the blossoms with respect.  When I deal with them (after the last yellow blossom has fallen from my tree) I practically put on a “hazmat suit” so I can rake them up.  

It hasn’t helped that this is also the windiest time of the year, so everyone in this area is suffering.  The pictures below are some of the “green sticks” along my walking path and of the one in my front yard.   I’ve also included some pics that Babs took of our blooming cactus.  This cactus knows what it’s doing to deal with the heat, its blooms only come out at night.

 

 

 

KylesMiles Wk 6

Week 5 & 23 weeks to go!

Monday –

Skipped

Tuesday –

Walked 3 miles today.  Nothing special, in fact, it was a pretty slow pace.  Not my slowest for three miles but close at just over 55 mins (18:32/mile pace… I think I saw a desert tortes past me by going a pretty good clip – joking).

Wednesday –

Skipped.  I didn’t feel up to heading out today.

Thursday –

Skipped   Had my first appointment with a Physical Therapist.  The most surprising thing discovered was when she asked me to raise up on my toes.  First I did both feet – not a problem.  Then I did my left, untroubled foot – not a problem.  Then she asked me to do my right foot… I couldn’t move it much.  Funny, I can do my right in concert with my left but when I try to do it solo… no go.  The good news is that she thinks she can help me work that issue out.  Maybe retrain the muscles and reestablish nerve conductivity.  The bad news is she asked me to lay off any attempt trying to run.  She’s afraid of me injuring myself more.   If I’m going to run again, it’s got to be done slowly.  Depressing to say the least.  I don’t know what this means for my Canyon crossing… but I’m still hopeful.

Friday –

Skipped.  My knee felt sore when walking my dog (Baggins – picture below) so decided not to push a walk today.  Seems I making excuses now… will walk tomorrow.  I’m concerned that next week, when I’m in Albuquerque, I have too many “reasons” not to exercise.  Want to be sure to have a good weekend of walking and then Tuesday and Thursday in ABQ next week – By Friday I’ll be back home in Tucson.

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Saturday –

Skipped. The inside of my knee continued to feel sore today (once again noticed it while walking my dog.  We went to the fair and walked around the grounds, so I did get some walking in but nothing official to log as Kyle’s Miles.  Just walking around the fair, I noticed I was favoring my knee.

Sunday –

Skipped.  Why ruin a good “skipping run” for the week?  I dreaded stepping on the scale for the official weigh-in this morning but was pleasantly surprised that I only gained 8/10ths of a lb… This after little exercise and not following my diet (in fact, it included “fair food”… although I would never recommend a funnel cake diet).   Out of a potential of 7 diet points (one point for each day I followed my diet during the week), I awarded myself a 0.5.  So I didn’t walk much and didn’t follow the diet plan this week… I hope I can turn that around next even though I’ll be out of town for several days.

Picture of the week…

Here is a picture of a barrow cactus in my front yard with a violet halo that comes once a year at this time (late April).

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Kyle’s Miles for week 5 were pretty sparse…

KylesMiles Wk 5

Week 4 & 24 weeks to go!

Monday –

After running some on Sunday, I decided to just walk my 3 miler today.   Although I didn’t intend it, it was one of my slower walks.  I’m hopping on Wednesday to up my running content and on Thursday extend my walk to 5 miles.  That’ll link two days together that will be tougher than any days so far.  I hope that’s wise.  I think to make my blog more interesting, I’m going to add some photos of my adventures and the area that I live.

Tuesday –

Skipped

Wednesday –

Today I increased my run time within my walk by completing 4 x 3 min intervals of jogging over my 3 mile loop.  My overall time out was 48 mins 44 secs which is my fast time for the loop so far this year.  I experienced the same phenomena as last Friday, in that my breathing improved with each interval.  So I believe for the next set of intervals I will start with a one minute run and add a minute until I get to five minutes.

I looked back over my times for my 3 mile loop and found I walked/ran and ran much faster.  In fact, seven years ago to the day, I ran the loop in 32 mins 53 secs… almost 16 mins faster.  That was still over 10 mins per mile.  I got some work to do!

Thursday –

I walked 4 miles this morning.  Longest distance covered since I started just about a month ago.   It takes time (1 hour 15 mins) to walk that distance at my current pace.  I remember a time in my life (35 – 40 years ago) when I could log 10 miles in less than an hour.  I know, those days are gone but still it makes me long for the time that I’m running instead of walking.  Even at 10 mins per mile, I would be able to cover 6 miles in an hour.  I’m looking forward to that time.  I had to get up before the chickens to get this walk in before work.  I took the picture below at about the half-way point of my walk.  In that twilight hour the day, I could still see the crescent moon as the sunlight was just peeking over the Catalina Mountains.  (My apologies for the quality of the picture.)

 

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Friday –

Skipped day.  I had a follow-up Dr’s appointment with regard to my EMG results.  Turns out, the chronic stenosis of my lower back (the damage sustained to my S1 – L5) has led to permanent nerve damage in my right leg.  This explains why, this time around, it’s been so difficult to run.  There’s nothing really to be done about it.  There is no blocking of a nerve that is dead.  If there is pain, yes they can block but there’s no need for a block for something that is already numb.   The only thing the Dr. had to offer was “perhaps physical therapy could help retrain my muscles.”  I need to trick my brain to compensate for the loss of feeling / muscle movement.  So what does all this mean?  I don’t exactly know yet and don’t plan to draw any conclusions at this time.  But it explains a lot about why I’ve found it so difficult to run.  So, for now, I’m just going to keep moving along with my plan and see how it goes…

Saturday –

Walked a 5 miler this morning – my longest distance for this go around.  It took me about 1- ½ hours.  I took a path I hadn’t walked before… So how do I know I went about 5 miles?  The major streets around my home are on a mile square grid.  If I stick to the major roads and walk West from one to the other and then Walk North from one to the other – essentially walk around the whole perimeter of the square mile – by the time I get back to where I’ve started I’ve covered about 4 miles.  It’s about 1/2 a mile from my home to the start of the mile square… So there and back again adds another mile.  I’ve always kept my mileage approximate – usually rounding to the nearest ½ mile.  So that 4.2 miles is 4 miles and 4.3 miles is 4.5 miles etc..  I believe keeping time of your workout is much more important than distance.  Distance tracking, to me, is more of a mental boost.  If you tell someone you walked for an hour this morning, there’s no real mental picture that comes to mind.  But when you tell them you logged 3 miles this morning (even if you did it in less than an hour) people seem more impressed.  It seems, to me, to motivate me more as well.  Of course when you combine time and distance and get pace, that’s when you can truly see progress.  For example, if last week I ran three miles in 40 mins but today I did it in 30 mins – that would show great progress!  That’s the key to keeping track of time and distance – to reinforce the feeling of progress… Continual progress.

Anyway, walking 5 miles for the day left me feeling very fatigued for the remainder of the day.  I was surprised that walking 5 required that much more effort than 3 miles.   It’s clear I need a lot more training before I’m ready to go more than 20 miles through the canyon.

Sunday –

I hoped to run some intervals today but just walked 3 miles instead.  I felt tired and unmotivated (lo mo) and only the following got me out the door…

  • If I didn’t exercise today, I would have to work out tomorrow. Monday is supposed to be a skip day but not if I skipped today.  It’s easier to get my time in on a weekend day than a work day so out the door I went.
  • Sunday mornings are my “weigh-in” mornings after exercise and breakfast so I was motivated to get a better weigh-in number. (Must have helped because my weight is down from last week by 3.1 lbs.. I’ve been keeping track of my diet discipline throughout the week.  I successfully managed to meet about ½ of my diet goals for the week.)
  • Finally, I wanted to beat my goal mileage for the week of 15 miles. With 3 miles today, I logged 18 miles for the week.  🙂

So I got my walk in this morning but it was slow.  As the song goes, “Momma said there’d be days like this… there’d be days like this my momma said.”

Week’s pics –

Today’s pics are a tribute the Javelina or Peccary.  Javelina is the Spanish name for Peccary and so in the Southwest they’re known as Javelina.  They look like hairy pigs but they are actually part of the rodent family (think “Rodents of Unusual Size” if you’re a Princess Bride movie fan).  Anyway, they run in “packs” in Arizona and every once in a while I have run across a pack.  Fortunately, I’ve never run into the middle of a pack.  Below is a picture of a Momma Javelina and her “piglet” that I took from the road above.   The picture’s fuzzy and grainy and it’s hard to make out the piglet to the left of her because they were on the move into culvert under the road I was on.  I came close to running into this pack but fortunately saw them before I did.  They are vegetarians but can turn aggressive if they are frightened or feel threatened and a need to protect their babies.  I like to walk/run early in the mornings which is, of course, the same time they like to roam – it’s the desert after all and nothing moves much during the heat of the day.  The other picture of the blob below is of some fresh Javelina scat that was on the path I walk.  How do I know it was fresh?  It was still warm (just kidding).  It’s not dried out yet, that’s how I know.  I also included some pictures taken by professionals so that it can be more clearly seen what Javelina look like.

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Here are the Kyle’s Miles logged for the week…

KylesMiles Wk 4-1

Week 3 & 25 weeks to go!

Monday –

     After issues last week with leg numbness, I decided to ease into things this week.  My plan?  Although my leg felt much better, I only walked for 30 mins this morning and plan to walk 40 mins tomorrow.  Then, according to plan, I’ll take Wednesday off and, God willing, walk my full three miler on Thursday.  Will hold off on any plan for Friday until after I see how my leg is doing on Thursday.  Oh, and one other part of the plan, to stretch in the evenings to see if that will help relax things for my walks.

Tuesday –

     Walked for 40 mins.  I had a much older man jog past me during my walk today.  I have a competitive nature and I really have to hold back on my desire to step into a jog – thinking, “Hey!  If he can do it!”  But given my leg/foot issue I really need to ease into running from walking.   It’s difficult… I try to listen to what my body is telling me but my body is not an honest broker… At what point do you tell yourself to work through the pain?  Well, is it pain or just discomfort?  I think the key is a continuous slow build while paying attention the level of discomfort vs. real pain.  If you’re feeling real or sharp pain… it’s time to back off and not work through it.  That will be my working theory.  Right now, I’m experiencing discomfort not pain.

     It’s important for me to note that I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV.  Every individual is different and some will have higher pain thresholds while others will have lower pain thresholds.  You and your doctor are the only ones who know enough about your body to be able to make the decision of whether to rest an ache or work through one.  Even with an inner most in-depth analysis and expert opinion, you’ll either be right or you’ll be wrong.  Bottom line… The decision is yours.  There are some things to be done about leg cramping – which could be an indication of dehydration and/or muscles that need more stretching.  With my leg cramps this week, I decided to do both (always do both) – I’ll drink more water/electrolytes and stretch as often as I can (while watching TV, and just prior to going out for a jog and always take advantage of that light post while you’re waiting for the light to change).

Wednesday –

     Skipped (I’m holding to the two days on and one day off routine).

Thursday & Friday –

     Both days I walked my 3 mile loop in about 54 – 55 minutes.  That puts my walking pace a little over18mins. / Mile.   On both days my calf-muscles felt tight (even with stretching and increased fluids) with just a slight improvement from Thursday to Friday.  Odd, because I walked slower on Friday but it was close enough to call it an even pace for both days.  I’m pleased to be back walking at least three miles.  :- )

Saturday –

     Skipped

Sunday –

     I have good news and bad news… First, the good news!  Today was a major “running” milestone for me.  Having taken it easy on the front-end of the week, I felt pretty good this morning and I decided to insert a few two minute run intervals into my three mile walk.  I left the house thinking I would try only two of them.   During the first run interval I found my running stride to be awkward (I’m still favoring my numb foot) and I found my breathing was very labored.  Some of my breathing issues I attribute to high allergies this time of year – due to all of the yellow blooms budding on the Palo Verde trees.  I’m very allergic to these little yellow blooms… So why do I put up with a giant Palo Verde tree in my front yard?  That’s another story for another time.)  Anyway, after the first 2 min. interval it took me some time (and I was taking all the time I needed to get my breathing steady) to walk and recover for the next one.  I was surprised to find the next one was easier, less labored breathing,  but still I walked a ways before I decided to try a third interval.  I found the third interval easier still with the exception of laboring through the uphill parts.  I probably looked pretty funny chunking along, gasping for air as I lumbered up the hilly section.  As I walked after the third interval I was thinking I should stop while I was ahead.  After all I had run one more than I had planned.  However, ahead of me was the one blinking stop light on my loop.  Thinking I’m going to have to stop there anyway, I decided to run the rest of the way to the light.  It took me 1.5 mins to get to there, leaving me about ½ mile walk to finish of my 3 mile exercise.  However, as I drew close to home, I looked at my total time out and realized I could make the round trip in under 50 mins if I hustled the little way I had left.  So, I decided to ensure it by running another 30 seconds… Sure enough, my overall exercise time was 49 mins and 29 secs.  A good 4 mins off my usual walking time for that distance.  I pretty much doubled the interval time I thought I would do for the day and felt good about it.  Now I’m planning to walk the 3 miler again on Monday and, assuming all is well, I’ll run more on Wednesday. 

     So that was the good news for Sunday… What’s the bad?  I stepped on the scale after my walk thinking I must have lost some weight this week.  I’ve made Sunday mornings my official weekly weigh-in day after the exercise for the day.  However, instead of losing weight, I gained 9/10ths of a pound since last week!  Son of a… I walked/ran for almost 4 hours this week and my weight went up?  WTH?  Dang!  I attempted to eat a little better/lighter this week but it’s obvious I’m going to need to step up my diet game. So, I’ve added something to my Kyle’s Miles log… I’ll add a “1” for meeting my diet goal for the day or a ”0” if I miss my diet goals.  That should hold me accountable… I hope.

     Still, I’m feeling pretty excited at this point about making some progress toward my goal.  I mean 3 weeks down on a 27 week training plan means I’m over 10% complete… right??  Wrong!  Although I’ve used 10% of the time I have to train and this is an important time, this is the easy part of the schedule.  My time spent exercising, the effort exerted as well as my mileage will need to increase every single week.  At this point, however, I am looking forward to days of increased amounts of running vs. walking.  I know that I’m kinda weird that way.   

      Regards and God’s Blessings to you!

     Kyle

KylesMiles Wk 4

IMG_0101Picture of Week 3… This tarantula crossed my walking path.  I don’t think that there are any years of bad luck associated with a tarantula crossing your path.  A black cat? Maybe, but not a tarantula.