Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Secret Weapon

At some point, I got it into my head that the only time to get exercise was during my workout sessions. I thought if I was training, I was doing "enough." Trouble is, I lose weight when I workout but gain when I train for endurance events. Those modifications made to my cardiovascular system to build endurance change up my metabolism. When I work out without a specific goal, I'm more of a gym rat, burning more calories, losing more weight.

I think I've finally found a very workable solution to my issue. All I have to do is walk more.

That's it. Not race walking. Not power walking. Not, "Buy these creepy shoes and you'll have a butt worthy of television," walking. Just a stroll a couple of times a day. If my caloric intake remains stable, the extra 200 calories at a low heart rate will add up to a loss without interfering with my recovery time or any scheduled sessions.

My secret weapon is that I'm a middle-aged broad. As such, no one that I meet on the street has any expectation of me doing things like, oh, riding my bike 50 miles or swimming a mile. That means that I can get out on the road and walk and people won't think twice about it. If they see me running, they're likely thinking, "What if she has a heart attack doing that?" and if they see me riding my bike, they think, "Why the heck do they ALL wear Lycra? I just don't see how that's fun..." and perhaps they'd interject some rudeness in there because feelings of insecurity are often hidden behind a caustic veil.

If you think my perception of middle-aged women is way off-base, here's a quick little story...

I used to socialize with a woman that shall remain nameless who goes to the casinos and rakes in a small bundle whenever she wants because she can count cards and disciplines herself to never get greedy. Her husband has been escorted out while they were both playing at the same table but the house never thought twice about the possibility of her counting. Why? Because the pit bosses don't expect the average woman to be able to count cards, so she just finished her hand, cashed in her stacks of chips, and went off to find her hubby. According to the casinos line of thought, when her husband does well, he's cheating, when she does well, hey, even the clueless get lucky sometimes. She taught me a thing or two about perception and gamesmanship.

So if you ever find people underestimating your abilities, instead of killing yourself to prove them wrong, you have the option of using their incorrect perception to your advantage. Sometimes, it's better not to prove yourself to anyone besides yourself. As a middle-aged broad, I can get in a workout and no one will notice. I am stealth. I am working out in plain sight, burning calories during a weight-bearing activity where I don't need to consume electrolytic drinks or 200 calorie energy gels and no one will be any the wiser. It's the modification I need to make now that my metabolism is slowing down.

My first attempt went well. I decided not to channel my inner workout girl  and instead, wore my best spy clothes... jeans, a pullover fleece, and denim-colored trail running shoes. Wow. Lookee here - POCKETS! I can bring a photo ID, my phone (with tunes) and... and... KLEENEX!!! WOO HOO!!! This stealth walking thing is FANTASTIC.

It was an overcast day and about 57 degrees. I had a chance to grab a couple of photos of the neighborhood. The colorful leaves of Fall were pretty much trashed after the snowstorm but there are still some bright spots.

This shrub sticks out even way down the street.

Then there are the signs that some things were changed forever.
I think that I shall never see, a sight so odd as half a tree.
30 minutes later, I was home and NOT sweaty but still warmed up enough to get in a stretch. Since I can easily bundle up and not stray too far from home, this "secret weapon" idea might be worth keeping this winter.

Come to think of it... maybe I ought to throw on a frumpy sweatshirt and head on down to Connecticut for a nice game of Blackjack.


  1. Good for you! I think about walking but have yet to slip on the pedometer and actually do it. You're way ahead of me. P.S. You are inspiring me to try next year's "100." At the worst I could make 80 miles and go thru the Air Force Base. You go girl! Christine.

  2. @Christine - Leave the pedometer at home. If you take it with you, the next thing you know, you've got a whole new set of goals and gear.
    Definitely do the 100! If you start now, you have time to build up past those 60 milers you're doing now without burning out or risking injury.