Posted by: guinness222 | November 8, 2010

“1,000 miles,….and it keeps on ticking!”

        Well yesterday afternoon at 2:24 pm, I officially passed the 1,000 mile mark on the treadmill at the gym since January 1, 2010. Originally I simply joined, found the treadmill a good fit because I could either watch the 12″ TV on each one,  or just prop my “nook” up and read the latest book in my library, or just walk along listening to my iPod with whatever style of music struck me (that is for tomorrow’s blog,….”my playlists and my mind” now there is a scary topic.)

      Anyway, as you all know I started walking seriously because I had a Triple ByPass back in April of 2009, and all the doctors marveled at the fact I wasn’t already dead from clogged arteries all over the place and the extra 60 or so pounds I was carrying around as well as the reason I got handwritten Thank You cards from the Guinness Brewery for keeping their sales at record levels. Anyway, “(you have to go on a) diet, (if you won’t really exercise at least) walk, or DIE” seemed to be the new mantra for me.

        Anyway, I started eating healthy, dropped 60 pounds, had to buy all new clothes, (but I have old clothes suitable for making tents out of now), and began walking around the neighborhood a bit. Then came the fall. Last year was one of the coldest in ages here in Florida, and I was freezing my ass off walking around the block, so I figured I’d join the local Gold’s gym and just walk on the treadmill til the weather got better. That was like August of 2009. Whatever I was doing the Doc’s all seemed happy and said keep doing it and come back in January of this year.

       Being the gadget freak of the Western Hemisphere I picked up a pedometer and wore it everywhere but to bed and in the shower, just to see how far I was walking each day. I started recording it on an Excel spreadsheet, along with BP readings, weight, pulse readings as well. At the end of the month I looked at it and saw a lot of  “0”‘s in the column titled “Steps”. In fact there were only 7 days that had any entries in June of 2009, so in July I increased that to nine days, (albeit only 3,000 some odd steps for the ENTIRE day, which is about a mile for me). Come August I joined the Gym and went five times, and walked thirteen other days in the neighborhood.

       My wife had to go to New England on business for a week so I thought I would try and “push” myself as hard as possible just to see if I could take it. I figured if I really was pushing too hard and collapsed, well, what better place to do it than the Gym where all the local EMT’s and Firemen/Paramedics workout. So one colossal Saturday I spent at the gym and walked 4,8 miles, until my legs were like sloppy rubber, and my breathing was hard, and I was not really feeling “good” after the workout. (It took about four days of strict R&R to recover, but by the time my wife got back I was back to normal,….well, as normal as I ever am that is!)

     September I went to the Gym seven times, and walked the neighborhood twelve times,(about a mile each). Now I was beginning to “study” my workouts, how long it takes the heart to get “back to a resting normal” after I push, how the distances affect my weight and tiredness, that kind of thing. I was on the Internet trying to find better ways of tracking things and came across ads for these “heart monitors” for use in exercising. Looked easy enough, a pretty good looking wristwatch thing, and elastic strap with a sensor, that goes around your chest, that transmits your heartbeats back to the watch/computer that had a few built in programs that you could also change parameters on, and a free website that you could upload each workout to and keep track of your progress,……..”Let the games begin!” Me against me, I love that matchup, one of us is sure to win!

      October 2009 went about the same and I was having fun. Saturday workouts were a breeze because the football games were on the TV’s and the gym actually had more and bigger TV’s than the local Pub so it was becoming “fun”. During the week I was watching all the Stock Market programs as I worked out and actually learning something, (put your money in a coffee can and bury it in the yard, you can’t beat the “big guys” at their own game).

     By November I was up to 14 trips a month to the Gym and a total of about 59 miles a month from the 22 miles a month just two months before. And still challenged to do more.

     In December I told my wife all I wanted was one of the Polar Heart Monitor Training computers for Christmas, and I’d get it myself because I knew exactly which model I wanted for what I was doing, and for my birthday in February I’d get the “footpod” which measured speed as well as distance and transmitted them to the wristwatch/computer automatically. (They had a model that included GPS, but as big a gadget guy as I was I knew I’d be within 18 inches of the same treadmill each day so why waste the money. Maybe someday if I decide to become a “Bike Nazi”, you know the skinny tired fancy European bicycle riders  with the little lycra outfits and crash helmets with the rear view mirrors on them?)

     Then I decided to get serious for 2010. So January I walked 66 miles, then 64, and 64 again, then by April I got to 80 miles. Well that’s not far from 100, so let’s try it in May. Got 101 in May. In June we had to go to our granddaughters High School graduation in New Hampshire for a week and then our Son’s College graduation in Dallas for a few days, so that was “vacation down-time”,…but I still got 78 miles in the books. July I got 108 miles, August pushed 138 miles, and then September was 146 miles. I was going to go for 150 in October of 2010, but as I was plugging in the numbers I started to put together a 2009 vs. 2010 monthly comparison and cumulative total chart and realized I was only a little over 150 mile, 154 to be exact, to hit 1000! So I started on the 1,000 mark. At the same time I decided I need to step the program up to include more strength training, particularly in the upper body. I was beginning to look more like a Porsche from the waist down, a Volkswagen from the waist up, and still had an SUV size “gut” (note to self: put abs in the workout big time!).

      While I hoped to get the 1000 in October I slowed things a bit and only did 126 miles for the month, but was gradually adjusting the program. So,….long story short, I hit the magic thousand yesterday afternoon at the gym.

       When I hit the 1,000th mile I did a “fist pump” and because a number of folks at the gym knew about my 1000 mile goal one of the regulars came over and asked me if I made it. I said yes, he offered congratulations and then he said, “What’s your next goal?”

       Well I’m thinking about that one the 1000 miles is the basic finish to my book on Cardiac recovery and exercise that I’ve been working on for the past year or so. It has a working title of , “OK,…so I’m still here! Now what?” I figure to have it ready to go to the publishers the first of the year. I’ll probably send it out to about fifteen or twenty publishers at the same time (Tis far better to get rejected twenty times in the same week than once a week EVERY week for twenty)

      Like I said, still thinking about the next “goal” but been doing some heavy research on a novel which I’ll share with you all soon.

      Just for info, I do about 4.5 to 6.0 miles a day, seven days aweek on the treadmill, at different elevations, and now am “slacking off” if a day on the pedometer comes in below 10,000 to 13,000 steps. (I need to recalibrate my stride length and distance soon anyway).


    “I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.”  – Abraham Lincoln


  1. Wow!!! You are kicking serious butt! Very motivational too– I’ve got to get a lot more focused on my fitness regime.

    Keep up the great work!!!

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