I am, in general, an excellent starter. Finisher? Not so much. Not that I don’t finish anything – each of my parents and my grandmother got a needlepoint I made for each of them. My grandmother has one because she had the bright idea of taking up needlepoint but instead of buying herself a nice little 4″ X 6″ as a starter, bought a big-ass one (like 18″ X 24″ or is it 24″ X 36″). She figured her granddaughter (me) would teach her how to do it. Easy-peasy. After doing one one-inch square (too tight, by the way), she gave it to me with a “I don’t have the patience for this!” So I did it and then gave it back to her for Mother’s day. My mother’s contribution was to pay for the framing. She wrote on the back “To be returned to Dale upon my death”. Well, Mémère died twelve years ago and my aunt lives in the house now. When she tried to give it back to me, I told her to keep it. When she sells, we’ll determine what to do with it then.
As usual, I have detoured to China on my way to New York…
So. Back to the reason for this post. Today marks my 365th day, like, in a row (sorry, David, had to steal it!) of doing my 10,000 steps per day. 10K steps. Every. Day. The funny thing is, I didn’t decide when I started this on January 3, 2020, to do it for one year. I actually decided to start it on a Sunday (simply to avoid starting it on the first of the year), and merged it with the 68-day challenge they do at work, which started on the Monday. Two birds, one stone. But then a funny thing happened. The last day of the work challenge came and went and I was still on a mission. I don’t know when hey, let me try to do this for a whole year came to be but suffice it to say, that it did. And I did it. I had my cheerleader and co-participant Marc, who actually had been doing 10K per day for months before I started and just joined in, determined to keep me company till the end. Thank gawd. There were days where his “Go, Q, Go” was the difference between planting my butt on the sofa and getting out there. I like to think there were days where I did the same for him.
I’ve gone from running in intervals of one minute run/one minute walk, for 10-16 sets to one 1:45 run, one minute walk, for 10-16 sets or plus. I have also gone from doing increasing (by fifteen seconds) intervals starting at one minute run up to one two minutes and back with one minute walk in between each to 1:45 up to 2:45 and back with the one minute walk between each – that makes for a 47:15 total run/walk Pretty damn good as I was never a runner. 100 metre sprint? No problem. Run just to run? Not so much. So this gradual increase has been something I’m rather proud of. I shall not be quitting any time soon and shall keep trying to increase my run times.
I’ve been chased by dogs and almost run over by absent-minded driver doing an “American stop”. I’ve run in the rain and on snow and in ridiculous heat and pretty frigid cold. I’m still rather surprised at myself, that I did all that, tell you what.
I had a little minor surgery on my back to remove a chunk of fat called a lipoma on December 15th. The surgeon asked me to not run for a few days. Which turned into two weeks because the weather just wasn’t conducive to running – I don’t do slush/ice/snow which hides ice/ridiculous cold, etc. So I walked outside and marched inside while watching episodes of shows. Sometimes my steps went way over the goal and other times I just barely made it. I’ve had a few times where I prepare to go to bed, check my steps and gasp! Still have 1500 or so to go… March, march, march! Then sleep.
Saturday I was finally able to run, opting for the 1:45/1:00 X 14 sets for a total of 40 minutes 45 seconds (all my runs include a 15 sec prep and a two-minute cool-down.) I also had to change routes as the only place I was pretty much guaranteed asphalt was on the main drags – not a pretty place to run. Not a pretty day at all. We haven’t seen the sun in ages.
There was a lot of internal dialogue going on. A LOT. The first set I thought, this is gonna be hell. By set number five, I was convincing myself that I would go to six and turn around. 12 sets was nothing to be ashamed of. By the sixth, I saw I was a ways from the overpass so why not go to seven as planned? It’s not like I would have to run up the damn thing. The photo does not do it justice. It’s the type of slope that even by bike, you want to speed up before the climb because by the top, your thighs are burning. The voice in my head changed to Marc’s. “You’ve got this, Q. Last run day. FINISH STRONG.” I lost count for which set I was back on my return. The Universe’s way of encouraging me to just keep on. No point in quitting now. When I hit the curve, I knew I’d soon be seeing my street. Yay! One more hurdle and done and done!
January 2, 2022, was my last day of my challenge. I was awakened by the incessant sound of snowploughs going to and fro. First the streets, then the sidewalks, then my driveway, then the streets again…. I got the message and got out of bed! A couple coffees, a late breakfast and I bundled up and headed out just as the snow was slowing down.
Almost as soon as I stepped out, I found myself in a snow globe. What a perfect day to end my challenge!
What’s my next challenge? Not sure yet. Will keep you posted!