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If you are a regular reader of this little blog, you know we are fairly active. Busy, yes - but we are also a walking/jogging/running, hiking, golfing kind of family. While we were on the Maiden Voyage of the Magna Peregrinus, I was quite faithful, walking nearly every morning (usually in preparation of a deep-fried Southern delicacy that was sure to appear on my plate at lunch). Walking is my favorite exercise. No special equipment. No cost. At one with nature and G-d. Plenty of time to clear your head, organize your thoughts, pray and mentally write your blog.

But that is also the problem with walking. It takes SO MUCH TIME.

The first step is the hardest

So, I started jogging a little. In February or March, I started "Couch to 5k". It is a work-out plan that basically will turn a couch potato into a couch potato who can run 5k (3 miles) in nine weeks. I downloaded the free Chubby Jones podcast from iTunes. Don't even ask me why a middle-aged woman would start running... something I haven't done since college. But for some reason I was really enjoying my little jogs. Twice the workout in half the time.

The Chubby Jones (her real name is Mia) podcast was quite fun and her music choices were completely different to any type of music I would ever have on my iPod. The workout starts very slow - walk five minutes, jog for a minute... walk... jog... walk... etc. I kept up with her routine through week three... then I caught a cold and took a week off... and started up again... and then something else happened or I was lazy... and started it up again... over and over. I ditched the program and started walking a quarter mile, jog a quarter, walk a quarter, jog a quarter etc., until I had covered three miles. This worked great for me and I had been doing this workout for quite a while.

Then (are you bored much yet??) the other week I was in a crunch for time, so after a quarter-mile walk, I started running and didn't stop until I had finished two miles. I was shocked that my walk/jog workouts had prepared me to run two miles! Will I keep it up? Probably not. Probably it will be too hard on these old bones... but even if I jog a little while walking it will be good for my health.

With apologizes to my friend, Clay Travis, here are a few things that have helped me jog a little bit sometimes:

1. We have a treadmill. Don't laugh. I can jog in private. I don't want to scare people... or have to listen to strangers laughing at me.

2. NIKE Lunar Trainer. This shoe has changed my life. It is the best NIKE trainer I have ever used - for walking or jogging. Lots of support, yet very flexible. I used to walk in NIKE Free running shoes. No more. Never again.

3. iPod nano with iTunes and NIKE+. Confused much? While walking/jogging you can listen to music, a book-on-tape, or nothing at all and after your workout is complete, you plug the iPod into your computer and it sync's up at NIKE+ and your distance and time are recorded. If you are brave, you can broadcast your workouts to the world. If you are braver, you can put your weight on your profile. I love to see my miles add up! Listening to music makes the workout go faster, gives me more energy and isn't as boring as watching television.

My view

4. The view from the treadmill.  I get to look at the rewards of someone's glorious running career. National Championship awards. All-American certificates. Ribbons. Trophies. Photos. Medals. (Hey, what's the deal with that second-place award? Loser!) Okay, I forced DT to put all his bling on a shelf in the home-gym. They were in a box in the attic for twenty five years! After we put the awards on the shelf, Dave became inspired and started decorating the room by framing his very cool collection of Sports Illustrated covers with runners (sadly, not too many, by the way). Years later, our gym is now nearly a shrine to track and field (with a small Duck football section). Our home-gym is in the basement, so no one ever really gets to see the shiny stuff... 'cept us... oh... and now the entire interweb.

5. DT (who runs 3-5 miles a day, rain or shine, sick or hale, freeze or heat wave) has been encouraging. Lisa (who run 2-4 miles a day) is supportive between giggling at the thought of her Momma jogging. Dustin, who can turn over a 1.46 800m is sending me cheering text messages containing many exclamation points.

6. We have a hot tub.

7. Even hot-out-of-the-dryer, my jeans are too big.

Until my next update, I remain, your Chubby Taylor correspondent.