I’ve been really, really busy lately and so certain things have fallen by the wayside. In particular – I have been ignoring my lawn. See, last year we had a drought. Without water (and I don’t care enough about my landscaping to actually water it,) grass does not grow. Grass that doesn’t grow, doesn’t need to be mown. I think I ended up mowing my lawn four times max. last year.
This year we have had rain… and more rain…. and more rain. So much rain we’ve had flooding. And despite the fact my dog is doing his best to urinate in every spot on the lawn and kill it for me, the grass continues to grow. In fact, the urine seems to insure that the grass that grows is a mutant weed variety that is tough as nails and grows three times as fast as regular grass. It had gotten to the point where my lawn was starting to resemble a field of corn more than a lawn and small children were getting lost in it. Even though my embarrassment was growing by the day, I had no time mow!
Finally, I did the only thing left… I took a half day off from work. But before I put on my pith helmet and grabbed my machete to do battle with the lawn, I decided to treat myself: to a run.* I also treated myself with a new park. You know that I am always looking to go someplace new – it keeps things interesting. This particular park, which we will call Township Park (because actually that is its name,) is fairly close to my office. It has a really nice picnic and playground area and gets really busy with kids and families. I figured, though, that the walking trails wouldn’t be too bad in the middle of the day.
I was right – while the park itself was fairly busy, the walking trails weren’t bad at all. Mostly they were being used by local office workers who were out getting a few laps in on their lunch hour. My training guide had me doing 1 minute intervals for 26 minutes. The day was sunny, but there was a nice breeze and the trails were going to be mostly in the woods where it was shady.
Now, there was one thing about Township Park that I hadn’t taken into consideration – there were hills. Not the really steep hills of the other day, but long steady ones. I pretty quickly realized that running up and down a hill or two for fun is a whole different ball of wax from running hills regularly for a half hour. Wow – I felt it! I made it, though I admit: the last ten minutes I was struggling. I kept thinking things like “Eight minutes left, that means only 4 more minutes of running left! C’mon!”
Afterwards though, I felt great. Okay, I was a sweaty mess, but I felt really good. I walked back to my car, toweled down a bit, and grabbed my water bottle and sat in the grass for awhile. Even though I was tired – I wasn’t as worn out as I have been in the past. I actually could tell that I am getting a little stronger and building my endurance! Awesome!
Later, I went home and went to work on the yard. I was using the weed whacker, and happened to glance down at my arms… and my forearms totally caught me by surprise. I saw muscles I have never seen before! I spent 80 minutes working on the yard (and its a post stamp sized lawn – I told you it was long!) and again, when I was done, I was hot and sweaty, but not completely exhausted. In fact, I ended up taking the dog for a walk afterwards.
You have to understand, last year just mowing the lawn would have been enough to cause me to collapse. I would have spent the rest of the day in a lawn chair with a cold beverage There is no way I could have ever dreamed of going for a run first, then mowing, then walking the dog, and finally hopping in the shower and then heading to a Board meeting! When I starting losing weight, and even when I started running, it was more about health than anything else. I was also looking to look a little more fit. I was not expecting this kind of energy though. I love it! In fact, the energy alone might be worth every bit of effort I have put in.
Photo credit: ReneS
* When did a run become a treat?!? Who have I become?!?