I live in the Pacific NW, and this is the most walk and bike friendly town I’ve ever seen. Rain or shine, people bike to work, walk their dogs, and walk for the heck of it. Being a New Jersey transplant (you should have seen my big hair in college in the late 80’s), I am still not hale and hearty enough to brave the weather out here and voluntarily walk more than from my car to the grocery store if it’s raining out. Which is very, very often.
Well, following Mark Sisson’s 21 day transformation, I’m making myself walk in this mess. I do love his advice of getting most of your cardio from nice long walks that get you in your “fat burn” zone of 60-75% of your max heart rate (plus a sprint or two every so often). I really don’t enjoy running, and since walking for 60 minutes equals running for 30 minutes in terms of calories burned, no problemo! Also, I’d rather be outside and say “oooh! They got new landscaping, and those other people are putting on an addition.” I really hate the elliptical and other cardio gym equiptment, even if I get to watch TV.
Yesterday, it was just overcast, and I took a nice 30 minute walk with my old, arthritic and cancerous dog Penny. You may not know this, but West of the Cascades is a temperate rain forest. It’s almost primeval – ferns everywhere and giant towering pine trees with moss and lichen growing on them. In the summer we have lots of delicious wild blackberries. They even sneak into my landscaping, those wily things! Anyhow, it’s absolutely beautiful here, the forest is incredible, and I felt like my “nature deficiency” was being mitigated.
Today – not so much. I really had to make myself get out of that car (sans dog). Luckily, it was the normal light rain, but without the wind, so I was able to use an umbrella. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I could have used a pair of gloves at 40 degrees, but beyond that, it was fine. I dread having to go out on a windy and rainy day. No one around here uses an umbrella because it’s pointless. The wind inverts it or rips it out of you hands. Sadly, all of my coats (of which there are many) don’t have hoods. I only own one thin raincoat with a hood. I need another coat like I need a hole in my head, but it may be time to invest in a winter coat with a hood if I’m to continue with this walking thing. My husband will be thrilled. Out here, if you wait for a nice day to do something, you’ll never get out. It’s high time I learn to adapt to this wet climate.
Tomorrow I bang out my strength workout in the half hour between clients. Maybe I’ll grab the dog and do another little walk. She loves it and is impervious to weather. Unlike me!