When I was 30 years old I ran a 15K race organized by our local Parks Department. They also had a 5K and a 10K run simultaneously. The reason for a 15K was because that was the distance between the North Side Park and the South Side Park, traveling along the parkway. 15 kilometers is 9.3 miles. I completed the race averaging 7.5 minutes per mile. The next day I played a full game of soccer in the first organized men’s soccer league in my town. That was a long time ago.
I have been writing about beginning a new exercise program. The program has literally had its ups and downs. I live in North Missouri. That means I live north of the Missouri River. The Missouri river cuts the state roughly in half. The topography north of the river is very different than south of the river. The cut of the river across the state is the southern boundary of great glaciers from the last Ice Age.
The Glaciers inched their way south over millenniums, pushing and carrying rock and dirt. The result is that north Missouri is very hilly. South Missouri covers a part of the Ozark Mountain range – so it is mountainous rather than hilly. Two differences – the mountains are much higher and much rockier. North Missouri is covered with loess. Loess is soil created by glaciers, some dirt but also powdered rock ground to dust by the massive ice. Some say there is as much as 150 yards of loess covering north Missouri.
Loess soil is very susceptible to erosion by wind and rain. The result is an uneven landscape – hills – big hills. This is where I walk, where I exercise. About a hundred yards up, and then another hundred down, and then repeat the cycle.
Today I walked these hills again. A new experiment dawned on me today, walk fast down the hills, run slow up the hills. It seems I have to alter my routine regularly to keep my interest – but I have to keep within some of the parameters a healthy exercise program.
I finished a two mile walk today in 30 minutes. That is my best time in about 7 years. It is only fair to note that much of my walk is along the parkway. The parkway winds its way through our town, generally following old creek beds. That portion of the parkway is in a gradual slope – heading for the Missouri River. My walk is downhill going out, up hill coming back. There is a large Missouri hill between my house and the parkway. This is no walk on the beach.
I feel strong today. I walked thirty minutes after stretching for fifteen minutes. Now I am going to punch a speed bag for about ten minutes. That will wrap up a cardio workout – no weights today, I did a good round of weights yesterday.