Well it hasn't quite been a year since I last posted...
This evening I went for a 3-mile walk. A bit more than 3 miles, even. It was definitely over an hour of walking, and I was trying to keep up a brisk pace, although there was stopping and waiting for street lights and cars interleaved with the walking.
Once upon a time, when I lived in the land of castles and lochs and a pretty canal complete with towpath 5 minutes from my flat, a 3-mile walk was...well...a stroll in the park. Most days I walked to and from work. I went on frequent walks with a walking group. I loved walking around Edinburgh. An 8 or 9 mile walk through the Scottish countryside was one of my favorite things.
I'm in a different city now, back in the US. This past year, my walking and general physical activity has shrunk to almost nothing. It's a short walk to work -- a bit shorter even than when I lived in Edinburgh. I haven't been walking. I live close to a park and a pretty campus with lots of trees and brick sidewalks. I've gone walking over there maybe twice. There are multiple hiking groups that I've signed up for. I went on one organized hike back in the spring. Sigh.
So what prompted tonight's walk? Yesterday was a Very Bad Day. Nothing horrible happened, it was just a bad day with my mood somewhere in the vicinity of the bottom of a horrible sludgy pool of muck. I desperately wanted to make today a bit better, and it has been better, at least a little bit. Knowing that getting some fresh air and exercise would help, and since I was already wearing my sneakers, I spontaneously decided to go for a walk after I'd finished my dinner. I intentionally picked 3 miles because, darn it, I should be able to walk 3 miles!
As I was walking, I decided I was going to make that my new goal: to walk or run 3 miles every day. Three miles is a decent amount of exercise, enough to feel like I've done something. To add a bit more challenge, I'm going to keep a count of how many days in a row I can keep it going. When I inevitably miss a day, I'll reset the count and see if I can beat my record. A couple months ago, I joined a gym, so I can't use bad weather as an excuse. I will allow myself to substitute spinning or using the elliptical in place of brisk walking (10 min walking = 10 min spinning = 10 minutes elliptical).
So that's the plan: walk 3 miles everyday. Let's see how long I can keep this going.