Ah, Monday. I woke up to find no rain for the first day since early last week, and so I got up and got outside!
Actually what happened was I got up, looked out the window, decided maybe I'd go for a walk. Started to put on my sweats and picked up my running shoes from the closet in our bedroom with the door closed. Pooch somehow detected my intentions from his spot curled up and asleep in the living-room. Before I even had my shoes on he was outside my door thumping his tail and tapping his little toes in excitement. Trying to casually talk to my husband without seeming like I really WAS going for a walk didn't work. Pooch started running back and forth from his leash hanging by the back door to the living room and back again. I don't know how he knows when I'm going for a walk vs. when I'm going to check the mail - but he KNOWS.
Still overcast, it was the perfect kind of weather for going on a good long walk around the "big-big loop" in our neighborhood without overheating.
My husband, Pooch and I have broken up our neighborhood into different looped walks that we can do in as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45. We use these looped walks to get outside and walk and talk problems out, to train for 10k's and to breathe in some fresh air when we're feeling cooped up in the house.
The "little-little loop" goes from our end of the street to the end of the street and back and is 3/10 of a mile. Not a big hike by any means, but the perfect little walk to warm up for another activity or to walk off a full tummy.
The "little loop" goes from our end of the street to the end of the street then crosses over a block and comes back down the neighboring street, and is just under 1/2 mile. Not much longer than the "little-little", but long enough to get your heart beat moving before going on a bike ride or playing Wii boxing.
The "big loop" goes down our street, up five blocks to a trail that goes around the back of our neighborhood and then comes back to the street we live on, and is around 1 mile. It is a really pleasant walk, especially the trail portion that borders a wetland, and is a great way to keep an eye on what all our crazy neighbors are doing. It is on this loop that we discovered the neighbor who complains that all the basketball hoops scattered around the neighborhood are an "eyesore" has a basketball hoop himself! Not that we're nosy or anything. Really. We're just exercising.
Then there's the "big-big loop" that goes around our entire neighborhood, the neighborhood adjoining ours, and a third neighborhood on the other side. This is quite the walk, just over 2 miles. The "big-big" loop is my favorite, not because of the exercise, but because it is an interesting walk. In 45 minutes you get to walk across 3 different income brackets, 3 different HOA's and 3 very different ideas of what an "ideal house" should look like. It's nice to be able to say good morning to other people walking and jogging towards their perfect waistline (especially the ones who are struggling right along with us - all those skinny bitches can go to hell), and to "window shop" all the houses for sale on the loop.
So today, at the end of the "big-big loop" I'd walked 2 miles in 45 minutes. Not fast enough to win any trophies, but right on schedule for training to get a 10K done in 2 hours (which is 6.6 miles in 2 hours - I'll need to shave the walk down to under 36 minutes, and be able to complete it 3 times to make it).
I'm glad that I was finally able to do some exercise outdoors again. Although there are so many workouts that can be done in a gym, with an exercise DVD or with Exercise TV, there is nothing like being outside to make all the work more interesting and engaging. When you get a chance, map out your own loops and see where they take you! You may be surprised at all the interesting things you find, and the people you meet along the way.