Monday, March 19, 2012

A practice 5K on my day off.

Today was a furlough day. In California we are facing a state-wide budget crunch, so the state has given school districts less money. It has also given them permission to provide fewer days of instruction, thus allowing them to give teachers days off with no pay: a furlough day. I think we have seven this year, equal to a 3 1/2% reduction in yearly salary. But I have to say, I'd rather have days off with no pay, than the same number of days for the same pay. At least this way is fair. (Except the kids lose seven days of instruction.)

So this furlough day is an extra day off for me. So what did I do with it?

Well, for starters I did an experiment. Since I've signed up for a 5K walk/run, I decided to see if I could do one. Last night, I found a course: here. I printed myself a copy. Got up the next morning. Ate breakfast. Showered. Put on my running gear, including my new shoes. And drove to the "starting line."

Then I drove the course, and since it followed city streets,  I made some mental notes about mile markers. 1, 2, and 3 mile markers fell in nice places.

I started out walking. I wanted to be conservative. I thought I could walk at least at a 3 mile per hour pace, which would put me at one hour for the course. I set out briskly, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that much of the course had a dirt path (crushed granite) alongside the sidewalk. I also did the 1st mile in 16 minutes. The first mile was mostly flat, but the second mile was slightly uphill. I tried to keep the pace up, and I finished it right at the 32 minute mark. The rest was downhill!

I wanted to see if I could run for a minute, so I did. It's about 130 steps going slightly down hill. I walked some more, ran a few more times, and finished the last mile in 13 minutes, for a baseline Personal Record (PR) of 45 minutes. Woo-hoo!

I did a cool down walk and stretch afterward, and then I drove home. I logged my miles and time in my runner's log, and thought I'd chronicle my latest chapter here. So I did.

This is my ** happy dance **.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu


  1. Replies
    1. @Dennis, And a former systems engineer. I believe design should happen before implementation. What a concept?! (And when reading the Bible... I read whole books in order! But you already knew that.)

  2. Sounds like more than a 'single step' in your case. Well done, Don. It was interesting to see where your course was - I love looking at maps and had never seen that walkjogrun site. I know someone in Georgia who will be really interested in it.

    1. @Scriptor: Thanks for the kind comments. I hope your friend in Georgia finds this useful. I looked up walks/runs in the Wirral area, wondering if the site goes worldwide... look what I found...