Sunday, September 25, 2005

AIDS Walk (plod) - Mission accomplished!

So… I’m just back from the AIDS Walk that I did today with Jacquie, her daughter and daughter’s friend.

As promised to all those who sponsored me (as well as to myself!) I did my best to try and run (yes, that does mean “plod”), instead of just walk.

I did it! I plodded!

The six kilometre course took me 49:29 to complete. Well, we might as well say “50 minutes”, since I don’t think the course was marked exactly.

In technical runner’s terms, I do believe this pace is known as: “Why-bother?-You-could-have-just-walked”. Nevertheless, according to this cool little pace calculator I found at:

Here’s the pace I kept:

8:14 min/km

13:16 min/mi

This is rather disgraceful and I probably should have walked, but it was a good challenge – at least for me. In fact, such a slow pace is hard to find on running pace charts, most of which only go up to a 10 or 12-minute mile, like these ones:

Running pace charts:
But I did find one that is good one for slow plodders like me!

(On a side note, in my little Google search of calculators today, I also came across this other one that I thought was kind of fun:

In my own defense, I felt quite horrible today. Somewhere along the way, I ate something bad (At the wedding yesterday? Today at breakfast with Z.? Who knows….?!) Anyway, my normally “iron guts” failed me. Spent most of the morning in the bathroom, wondering how I was going to do this damn thing at all.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, yesterday I wore a pair of dancing shoes all day at the wedding I attended, which left me with two little pieces of raw, bleeding hamburger on the top of each foot, where there had previously been perfectly normal skin. I had a look at them last night and thought to myself, “Oh, well, THAT’s going to be fun tomorrow, on the longest run I’ve done in about 18 years, now isn’t it?” Needless to say, I went foraging around under the bathroom sink this morning to find the Polysporin and some Elastoplast band-aids.

Thus, with my G.I. system still doing acrobatics by lunchtime, I thought, “Rarely will conditions be ideal... Just do what you can do, and that will have to be good enough. If you must walk, then so be it; walk.”

I walked for about the first 100 metres together with Jacquie and then we parted ways, and I began to plod. It was -- for the most part -- fun! There were a few moments where it wasn’t, and I’ll tell you about it in just a minute…

For now…. For those of you who have been asking how the heart rate monitor is working out, here’s the summary of today:

Average heart rate: 161 - 86% of maximum heart rate level (in the range of “upper exercise limit”)
Maximum heart rate: 175 – 94% of maximum heart rate level (in the high end of “upper exercise limit”; approaching “dangerous level”)

Since you all know that I stink at math, I’ll be honest and say that I figured all this out here: (under the drop-down menu for heart rate calculator):

OK, so I could have been nearing a heart attack, but it was only for a minute or less, going up a hill near the end of the course. I slowed down significantly (but I kept going!) as soon as we got to flat land again… wheezing profane words in every language I know, as I allowed my heart rate to settle back into the 160-range.

I discovered that I’ve added a few languages to my repertoire of swear words since I ran in high school. It somehow feels very empowering to swear in German and Spanish now, as well as French and English. Must add a few more to the list soon…

My late cousin, Brian (who’s the reason I did the AIDS walk/plod) at all today, would have been quite impressed about my swearing in various languages. He was both a language teacher and much more of a polyglot than I’ll ever be. I’m sure he knew how to swear in at least seven languages. CLEARLY, I still have a lot of work to do – on so many levels!

And speaking about being impressed, I was impressed at the end of the walk when Jacquie and I were sitting on some steps having a snack after the event (yes, I could finally face food by then…) and we got to chatting with a drag queen who’d done the entire 6 km in 4” stiletto-heeled boots.

I said to her, “Wow… now THAT’S impressive.”

She said, delicately re-arranging her tiara as one of her fans gingerly pulled off her boots for her, “I promised everyone I would… so I did.”

And so, we had something in common, this drag queen and I – we both kept our promises to our sponsors and ourselves. And even though my little blisters bled right through my band aids and stained my socks, I bet she’s going to have much sorer feet and legs tomorrow (-- and quite possibly a date with a chiropractor).

Thanks to Jacquie for the invitation (and challenge!) to join her team. Let’s do it again next year!

And thanks again to everyone who sponsored me!


Bast said...

Well done, you!!! I just had a fatigue attack and a nap after stretching for 20 minutes, so I applaud you.

zouzou said...

OMG you are a QUEEN among those of determination and chutzpah! next time I will plod with you!