Home » Writing » Dude, Where is My Air? Times Two

Dude, Where is My Air? Times Two

I could nor would I ever call myself a runner.  Oh, back in high school I did the 100-metre dash and was good enough to win first prize, once Rachel Dalpé left for another school after Secondary 3 (Grade 9).  The 200-metre was too long for me.  So to run, as in jog? Nope.  Dunno that I’ll ever experience the “runner’s high” I read about.

Way back when I did karate, we had to run around the dojo for what seemed like hours (probably longest was ten minutes) and sometimes we trained outside where we ran in a park.  Lord, take me now…

When running for more than two minutes at a time was easy-peasy

So, what am I doing trying to run now? Can’t explain other than to try and fulfill my doc’s recommendation that I up my cardio for at least fifteen minutes per day.  Well… that was one year ago and I’ve nothing to report.  My long walks with Zeke are a good thing but not something to give the ole heart a workout.  And now, the old guy is slowing down and our walks have become meanders so I felt I had to start doing something.  Plus, let’s face it… since March I have been cooking up a storm and don’t want the results to land in my posterior, thighs, belly… There needs to be some balance!  I am NOT gonna become one of those memes that are all over the Internets…

I started slow. Real slow. While walking Zeke, I would “jog” mostly in place, because I didn’t want to force Zeke to run, for one minute, walk for two… run for two, walk for two and a half – all counting my time in my head.  When we got to a park, I’d take his leash off and run around him while he sniffed around, sometimes trotting beside me, other times standing there looking at me like I was some sort of freak.  I was happy to see my knees held out, feeling no pain that night nor the next day

I found an interval app for my phone and set it for 5 intervals: 2 minutes of running, 2.5 minutes of walking.  Still, with Zeke on leash, I used my running mostly in place and was pleased with myself.

I am not pushing my luck so I run only every other day.  The last time I brought Zeke with me I did my five intervals, which have by now been changed to 2/2.  Felt energetic and added another 2 intervals.  Hmm… walked for a bit and thought, why not do another three to make it a total of ten? And I did.

Good gawd… that was quite a preamble for what I wanted to say and the reason for my title!!

On Tuesday, I decided to leave Zeke behind and see what I could achieve.  Plus, the weather was warm enough for me to wear leggings that stop at my knees (reminding me that, while I’ve no one to show off my legs to, warm times equal shorts and skirts and feeling the wind through my hair should be limited to my head) and a simple long-sleeved sports shirt. I kept things at two minutes run, two minutes walk because I knew that running “for realz” would not be the same thing as I’d been doing.  So I set my app for 10 X 2/2 and off I went. The first five intervals went reasonably well even as I cursed the need for two sports bras to keep the girls in check and not bounce willy-nilly.  Ladies with small boobs, be happy.  I could barely breathe from the pressure but I was pleased.  By interval six, I felt a small cramp in my side.  I pressed my hand against it and slowed my pace, breathing deeply (well, trying to) and made it to my walk time.  Just as I sort of caught my breath it was time for number seven.  It started off rocky but then all was good. By interval eight, I got a call from my mother-in-law’s social worker advising me that she (Jean) was being put on Covid-19 alert and would be tested.  Fuck.  I told them to keep me posted and resumed my run, trying not to think about her because there is not a blessed thing I can do about it.  The last two intervals were not easy but I made it.  When I got home, Zeke was waiting for me so I couldn’t refuse him, could I?  Off we went for a decent walk which I also dubbed the cool-down.

I was surprisingly still energetic and passed the vacuum all over the main floor, adding to my work-out! The boys did their share by mopping and vacuuming the basement. All was good.

Yesterday I woke up to rain. Dammit. I’m on a mission to go every other day so I knew this was not going to be fun.  I waited for a bit and it abated enough for me to be willing to go out.  The wind, though. Man, do I understand why you don’t like to run in the wind, B.  I walked briskly for a few minutes and then started my “programme”.  Yes, it is still 10 X 2/2.  The skies were kind and stopped dropping rain but it was rather chilly.  The wind was in my face and after about thirty seconds into my first interval I was thinking, nope… this is not gonna work.  I was thisclose to upchucking.  Gave myself a peptalk until the buzzer for walk started. Gawd almighty… what am I doing? Second was no better but I managed.  Halfway through the third one I had convinced myself that it was okay if I only managed to do six in total. Give myself a chance, yanno?

By then I’m near “my” willow tree and the wind was no longer in my face so I think bullshit.  I run back and forth along the gravel road to and from it for two more intervals.  I tell ya. When one is determined, one does what one must.

Pretend this was taken on a cloudy day…

As I head back towards home, I find myself watching the clock, telling myself to go, go, go. Don’t give up.  By the time I reach interval 9, I realise that I hadn’t checked the clock this time, nor the last. Wooot!  I’m no longer feeling the cold either…

I get home just as I finish.  Open the door, grab the leash, Zeke comes out all joyous and my buzzer goes off. What? Dammit.  One more to do.  However, as I have Zeke, it’s that little jog in place that I must do.

And I ain’t complaining one bit.




120 thoughts on “Dude, Where is My Air? Times Two

  1. As a former, long-distance runner, I applaud you and remember the early days. I started running at age 29 and had to stop because of injuries at 44. The runners high was very real for me as I pounded out 35-40 miles/week. It surely doesn’t take that many miles to achieve, but it feels good. I have no advice however, on the sports bra issue. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t start running until I was 40 or so. It’s never been an easy thing for me. Every run involves pain or discomfort somewhere in my legs, hips, feet, ankles. Somewhere. And now, because of my knee, who knows when I will really run, or job, again. Although I have started show, slow jogs.

    The thing you’ve discovered is this … the early stages of a run are the hardest. It takes everybody some certain amount of time/distance to get into a rhythm. It takes that time to get your breathing in rhythm and under control, and for your legs to loosen up, and for everything to start feeling okay. So, get past that moment and you’ll be amazed at how far you could acdtually go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done lots of sports and yes, some running as warm-up was always included (I just realised there was something I wanted to write and forgot to! Pfft. Was long enough already.) Between figure skating, volleyball, track and field… the knees are pretty shot. The waitressing killed my feet, especially, my left one that was already sore from karate, so I am pleasantly surprised that I am not feeling pain with this running. I will maintain a run/walk thing for a good while as I’m taking it very slow.

      I get it. Only by the middle of my intervals did I feel I was gasping less for air 😉 It can only get better, right?

      Thanks, Mark!


  3. I don’t run, at all! I go for very long walks though. This was inspiring cause me needs the cardio since no gym. I always did a full hour on the elliptical and the high I hit at 20 to 25 minutes is surreal. Here’s the deal, my ankles roll in, super high arches, knock-knee. The first time my podiatrist looked at me he said, ” You’re a perfect candidate for knee and hip replacement.” I wanted to kill him. But, no high impact running or even walking on the treadmill for me. The elliptical provides high-intensity low-impact cardio for me.

    Ps. I have a favorite sports bra, Spanx!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I was doing but as Zeke ages, our walks shorten. It’s important to get that heart pumping for at least 15 minutes per day, which, let’s face it, doesn’t happen with just a walk that has become a stroll!
      Yowza. You keep the elliptical to protect your knees and hips!

      Oh yeah? I’ve ordered a new one to try… Ugh… so not into the uni-boob that you get with most of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Dale,

    Whaddya know. Something else we sort of have in common. I used to take tae-kwondo with my boys…actually we took it as a family. I never could afford to test so never went beyond white belt. But boy could I stretch to the limits. 😉
    Now that I’ve read your post I feel I’ve already worked out so maybe take a shower. 😉 Seriously, I enjoyed being a part of your routine. I know what you mean about cooking. I have a GF bread recipe I have to try. It will also mean bringing the kitchen aid mixer up from the basement and sandblasting it.
    Off to my elliptical and Deep Space Nine.

    Shalom and lotsa kickin-it hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Sweet. We decided to take karate about a year or so after the boys, so it was cool. I cannot believe how much I lost in flexibility… But that is slowly changing as I’ve begun my new program 😉
      I’m glad you joined me in my fight against flab (but really in just simply being healthier)
      I know you can’t wait to get back into the water but am thankful for you that you also have your elliptical to keep things oiled and working!

      Shalom and lotsa healthy love,


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you, Dale! I’ve been taking walks outside, which gets steps and registers as some cardio, but not “peak” minutes, so then I jog/run inside while listening to a podcast and sometimes do some push ups or something, too. . . .but. . .sigh, you know I like to eat, too.
    I totally get the two sports bra thing. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Merril! As you know, I’ve been taking long walks with Zeke over the years… these walks are getting shorter and shorter to accommodate my ageing four-legged partner. I wasn’t really pushing the cardio enough at all so yep…. time to kick it up a notch (I do dance around my living room sometimes, too 😉 ) And push up ups and planks and … because yeah, like you, I like my food! And wine.
      Bloody hell. Even in the karate days I’d wear two (plus it was extra padding for those wayward punches…)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Q,

    First of all, I am so proud of you for doing this. It’s a good thing, no matter when you begin. The whole thing is, just TO begin. And no matter that it starts at a certain pace, because you’ll be amazed how the pace lengthens and quickens over time as you mentally immerse yourself in the runs. That mental part of the equation is oftentimes the toughest part of the deal. You’re thinking to yourself “Nope, can’t do it,”. And the only way to get past that voice is to actually do it.

    I am never going to set any records or blaze any trails. And that’s okay. I get so much out of running beyond the physical benefits. It helps center me, it helps from a meditative perspective and it helps in that the thirty to forty five minutes I devote to a run? Ain’t being devoted to sitting on my ass.

    You’re doing SO well. Keep it up.


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      Thank you. You inspired me to try. I figured if you can, why can’t I? I thought for sure my knees and feet would protest but damned if they don’t! I’m sure when I reach the point of not gasping for every breath, the pace will change.

      I’m definitely not looking to set any records, enter any competitions or blaze any trails either. I want to feel that my body is being taken care of. Both physically and mentally. I want to feel my strength and flexibility return, which, good grief, how quickly it goes away. That said, I know that as someone who was always athletic, it does come back.

      It means a lot to me that you cheer me on. 😘


      Liked by 1 person

      • It will all change. And of course there will be plenty of days where you’re like “Hell naw” when it comes time to run. And those are the best days, when you’re on the other side and you’ve done it. The days where you look forward to it are great, no doubt. But it’s the days when you ain’t so down with it and you do it anyway that keep you coming back.

        Once athletic always athletic. Of course things change, but that baseline is always there. I find that I can still do things that I was doing back in high school when it all came so much easier. And now? It’s way more satisfying because I don’t take it for granted.

        As far as records, I might be able to turn back time on certain runs, LOL. Like when the wind comes calling.

        Big fan of yours. HUGE. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve no doubt. In those years when I did karate the best workouts were the ones I entered the dojo backwards, so to speak. Way more satisfying to complete those days than the ones where everything is tickety-boo.

          Yes. Agreed. And we can’t expect to keep our same times and strengths but when I do the things I did back then? Yeah…

          Hahaha! As long as it’s at your back!

          How excellent is that as I’m a HUGE fan of yours! 😘

          Liked by 1 person

          • There are still so many facets to having practiced that I still utilize today. For one thing, my balance did improve and knock on wood, has remained that way. Also, to actualize something was a thing back then. I would think something and then carry it out. It works

            No need to see the strength or speed, since wiles and cunning work every bit as well now.


            Ya gotta admit, it’s pretty convenient. 😘

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree. I’m bummed on the loss of flexibility but that is being worked on at the same time as my cardio. We take it for granted at the time, don’t we? Or don’t realise just how much it will follow us. Actualizing definitely works.

            This is true.


            It is muy convenient 😘

            Liked by 1 person

          • I can still do with more flexibility.

            We do take it for granted. I used to do wind sprints, hundreds of push ups and sit ups and ball drills and I’d jump rope and spar and hit the bag and knock back a couple raw eggs before lifting. And then I’d go out on the weekend and drink copious amounts of beer and smoke and eat whatever the hell I wanted and it didn’t leave a dent. Or so I thought, LOL

            Muy convenient . . .


            Liked by 1 person

          • We’ll just have to work on that. 😉

            Oh man, don’t get me started! There were days where Sampai Hugo made us do 1000 kicks, 500 jumping jacks, 250 sit ups and 125 pushups – in one hour -in intervals… Oy! Mind you, I was 48-49 doing these… Damn! I’m suddenly impressed with myself!
            But yeah… we got us some work to do!

            I like… very much.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Mmm Hmmm

            It’s when you realize how much of it is mental, a state of mind that needs to be overcome. The mind tricks you into quitting long before the body ever will.

            Me too.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Always better with a partner.

            So much mental! How the hell else did I manage to break through three planks! It does. It tried to get me to quit today.

            Again. Most convenient.


            Liked by 1 person

          • You said it 😉

            I remember my takeaway from the planks was when one of my instructors said to me “Don’t hit the plank, hit the floor”. It was very Zen.

            It allows for fruitful celebrations.


            Liked by 1 person

          • I have some experience… 😘

            Yes! We were told the same thing. Didn’t work so well when I had an uncoordinated moment and cracked my arm instead. I was so pissed because I would have been breaking four. I did the rest of techniques with the three…

            Fruitful and delicious.


            Liked by 1 person

          • Yes you do 😘😘

            You kicked some major ace is what you did. And yeah, it was very much in keeping with my reading fare at the time, which was almost entirely Zen related stuff.

            Gimme gimme


            Liked by 1 person

          • You kicked it alright. And are doing so again in this latest sporting chapter.

            Zen in the Art of Archery, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Way of Zen and Shoeless Joe. Okay, that last one wasn’t technically about Zen, but to me it oozed with the stuff.

            You right.


            Liked by 1 person

          • You are sweet. And I’m doing my best.

            LOL!! Alrighty Zen! I have to admit I’ve not read a single Zen of the or Zen and the ever.

            On this? I be thinkin’ so…


            Liked by 1 person

          • Its all you need from yourself. Your best.

            You practice Zen. With the bread making. THAT is Zen. Read it or not, you have it and you do it. Reading Zen doesn’t bring you any closer to enlightenment, if you ask me. Hell, it took me forever to see certain things.

            Yeah, me too.


            Liked by 1 person

          • You are right. It sure helps to have my own personal cheerleader, though…

            I practice Zen with my camera, with my cooking; you are right. The bread? Well, we won’t discuss the sourdough coz it undoes all the Zen I might have. The lot is going into pancakes in the next little while, tell you what. Fuck that. If I am so inclined, I might try one more time. But no, yanno yeast bread is good too… 😉

            We be in cahoots.


            Liked by 1 person

          • That never hoits, not one bit.

            Zen is in everything, really. And yes, even the sourdough imbroglio. Because when you miss the target and then go back to do it again so that you may find that middle . . . when you consider something as an eventuality rather than an impossibility, that’s Zen right there.

            Darn tootin! We are really good at that cahoots thing.


            Liked by 1 person

          • I kinda dig him, to boot.

            Zen really is everything. I feel bad for those who cannot find that thing that brings them there. The sourdough has been transformed into pancakes – turning frustration into tasty Zen. I may attempt again just because. But for now, we are not on speaking terms.

            That we are…


            Liked by 1 person

          • Well then, that there makes for one beautiful situation now, doesn’t it?

            And maybe you’re right to have some (anti)social distancing from the sourdough right now. Mayhaps you bring in a mediator once things cool down a bit. And the mediator . . it could be a tasty adult beverage. Just saying . . .


            Liked by 1 person

          • That it does. So very much so.

            I think so. A mediator is definitely a good thing. Why now that you mentioned it, my buddy Gary just posted his Sunday Bloody Caesar… Got me a hankering now…


            Liked by 1 person

  7. Good for you. You will eventually go more time but for now you have to be kind to yourself. I’m riding my one speed beach cruiser through the hills. When I started I had to walk some go the hills. Now I ride all of them. Makes me feel terrific.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The most I’ve ever … in my whole life … been able to run was a full 20 minutes and I was damn proud of that! And it was also about 15 years ago 😉 My husband was a runner for years but his knees began to suffer for it so he switched to cycling. Still, he reminisces when we walk in our neighborhood about the runs he used to do. My favorite “runs” were intervals I would do on the treadmill at our former gym … but now my knees are giving me grief. I like your system. What app do you use? I take a lot of walks and often think that a burst of running would do me good but I’d like to be systematic about it. More power to you, Dale 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Way to go, Dale!
    I sure miss my walks (2 -4 hrs).
    Still, I’m hoping to get out next shippy day! There’s less people.
    It’s a bit too, crowded for my liking in Toronto.
    Well, I’m a better cook than ever! SIGH!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Resa!
      I understand that Toronto would be too people-y right now… It’s finding those hidden spots. I am so glad I live on the south shore and not in Montreal.


  10. Good for you, getting back into a regular exercise routine! As you say, it’s good for the heart and good for keeping those extra pounds off too. And for me, good for keeping my blood sugar down: every good day is one more day I don’t have to start taking insulin. But I can’t run, period. Bad knees since day one — even in high school my messed up joints couldn’t handle that amount of pounding, and I was thin and in good shape then! (The joke is that I tried running a couple years ago. Across the street. It lasted for four glorious steps, until one of my knees buckled, throwing me across the pavement head-first and breaking my arm. Yep, really happened.)

    So instead I do a lot of very serious walking. Except I got out of that habit recently, during my long eye surgery recovery. Technically I’m still recovering (one more surgery to go) and my vision is still annoyingly blurry, but I sucked up my bravery and figured I didn’t actually have to see THAT well to walk around my own neighborhood. Having to avoid other people because of social distancing does make it trickier, but I can see them before they get within range, so it’s all good. 😉 I had to go through the same build-up period you talk about it. After being cooped up inside for 6 weeks, I definitely could not walk as fast or as far as I was used to! But now I’m getting back up to speed, literally. Good luck getting used to your new habit — and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Exhausted just reading that. But it did cause me to think. When I was around your age (before ME/CFS) I did use to race my daughter UP hills AFTER 12-mile hike. But only occasionally, and only in fun. What was my last run? Well, 4 years back my GP told me off for running along the seafront early morning in freezing fog. My lungs already shredded by allergy to *a beauty product* (when will I learn) I then contracted bronchitis. Anti-biotics for Christmas.
    But moving along, I have been known to do a short sprint when, having stopped to take photos, I’ve run to catch up with my daughter. This year? Yep, I do believe so.
    But my go-to exercise of late in my wonderfully bouncy exercise ball.

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. So, for some reason this hid in my Spam folder (probably was scared I’d get any ideas about running myself – no worries, it ain’t gonna happen, cuz this bod is past the ability for speed against gravity). In any event, YOU GO GIRL!!!! (and them gals tucked in there, good for ya for stayin’ put and bobbing along for the right without spillage!). Wow, I’m impressed!!!
    I never did much like running, though I did run in middle-school, when the gym teacher realized I had some speed in those macaroni legs, and had me compete at the 600M (or was it 800M? donnow, felt lime five miles). I had to ‘practice’ with a classmate. Neither one of us liked running all that much, so we decided to alternately let each other win and we did go to the ‘regionals’ and we … ahem … made sure to not win … (donnow if we could’ve, but why come 3rd and have to run ANOTHER race when you can come 4th and go have a sandwich and lemonade in the shade?).
    In any event, I used to have plenty of stamina for climbing and walking and hiking and all manner of running around, but never really got the jog-bug, and now have a ‘pass’ to not do so (or … well … I’ll pass out, which beats the purpose … ;)).
    So, this lengthy comment is just to let you know that HATS OFF TO YA, LADY!
    Your New York Nutcase Friend …

    Liked by 1 person

    • This post gave me a headache because WP backdated it to April 1. I couldn’t find the darn thing and when I did, I changed the date and well… But weird that a post ends up in spam!
      Yeah… gotta keep the girls well secured. I just hate the uniboob effect and can’t wait to received my new “retainer” in the mail 😉 I never much liked running either (still don’t particularly care for it but working on it!) I remember when you told me about those legs being good for 600-800M runs (which were too long for me!
      And yanno… there are other ways of getting exercise – I just need to counter-effect all that cooking 😉
      So. Thank you My NYNF! I appreciate the encouragement.
      Woo hoo!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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