Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sugar-Free, Guilt-Free

This is my insanely lazy cat Tweety. She and I are just alike. At the present hour I'm just a lazy bumpkin laying on the couch with my laptop, my fifth appendage, heating up my belly. Since my 20 miler last Thursday I have literally done nothing in terms of training apart from a slow three mile stroll with Dana on Monday around the reservoir, which really had nothing to do with training and everything to do with enjoying a beautiful day outside with my wife. That I even mention the three mile stroll bespeaks of my desperate attempt to name any physical activity at all. Next I'll be counting bending down to unlace my shoes as a set of leg squats. Whatever relieves my guilt...

Between January and March of this year I recorded walking 107 miles on loose scraps of paper stuck into a folder. Since mid-April when I upscaled technologically to my prized Garmin 305, I've logged just over 288 miles in 70 hours at an average pace of 14:28 mpm. Let it be noted, this doesn't include dreadmill mileage or those few training walks when I left my Garmin at home in a futile attempt to not obsess over pace. Everything in me wants to estimate those unrecorded walks since January at 100 miles but that would no doubt be an exaggeration right out of the pit so give me credit for 50 unrecorded miles as a compromise and we'll call it even. Added to that, between now and the Portland Marathon on October 1, I have 90 more miles of training walks to tag on to the grand total, bringing the grand total of accumulated training miles since January until marathon day to 535 miles. 535 miles to complete a marathon of 26.2 miles.

Even as I'm amazed by the numbers, I'm more than aware that compared to most runners, joggers, racewalkers, and walkers who've been completing for years, my accumulation of miles are a relative drop in the bucket to their training and my pace a snail crawl to the way they tear up the course. As of today my walking hero Steve has chalked up 832 miles this year and there are racewalking folks over at thewalkingsite.com message boards who can smoke the roads at paces of 10-12 mpm.

But here's the thing, I don't compare my accomplishments to others, at least most days since that's an emotional mudslide waiting to suck me under. Instead, I compare my accomplishments to Phatgirl, Version 2005, and let me assure you that last year's Phatgirl model never walked further or faster than she had to to get where she needed to as soon as she had to. So when I see 535 miles and an average of 14:28 for 288 of those miles, I am certifiably thrilled and proud. And maybe I won't ever walk as far as Steve or as fast as my message board pals but there's a really good chance that the 2007 Phatgirl Model will leave my stats in the dust and if she does I'll be the first one to admit she's a better woman that I.

So maybe I'm not such a lazy bumpkin after all. I'll put on my sneakers and walking shorts again tomorrow but tonight I'm just going to lay here on the couch, watch some mindless tv, blogtificate, and eat a sugar-free popsicle without a shred of guilt.


Rose said...

I've always said that in my next life, I am coming back as a house cat. Eat, run around like a maniac for 5-10 minutes, nap for 12-18 hours, repeat. And nobody gives a hoot how "fluffy" they get.

Bending down to tie shoes doesn't count as exercise????? Who made that rule?

Jules said...

Here are some other overlooked forms of exercise:
1. Struggling with the lid to a pickle jar...20 calories burned
2. Running after your ATM receipt that just blew away...35 calories burned
3. Lint rolling your pants...10
calories burned
4. Picking up the M & M you just dropped... the motion negates the calories in the candy.

Moral of the story. Drop your M & M's one at a time on the floor then pick them up (observing the 5 second rule) and Viola! You burned off everything you just consumed.

If Only -J