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When I exercise, I usually walk on the treadmill at the gym for about 3 miles.  This morning, I had the opportunity to walk outside on the open road.  I wanted to walk outside because I wanted to get a realistic view of what I will experience when I run my first 5K race.  I have never been a runner, but one of my fitness goals is to run my first 5K race during the Spring of 2013.  As a part of my preparation (not training.  I won’t use “training” until I actually start running.) I walk on the treadmill 4 times per week.  At this stage, I am preparing to run.  This morning, I experienced a much different workout than I usually experience in the confines of Planet Fitness.  I learned several important things from this session.  I learned that I need to do more walking outside.  I learned that I need to do more walking on hills. The green points on the map reflect the bottom of the hill.  As you can see, it was a struggle to climb.  The 3% incline on the treadmill is no match for asphalt.  As I walked for the 3.53 miles, I learned that I needed to reconsider some of the plans that I made for my 5K race.

1. Outfit.  I know that I have yet to register for the 5K race, but in my mind, I had selected the perfect outfit to wear on that historic day.  And it was going to be pink and black and cute!  I can’t wear the Black Girls RUN! t-shirt that I was planning to wear.  I wore black shorts this morning and my legs were on fire.  A few weeks ago, my husband and I discussed me getting a hat with a mesh top.  Not only will the hat need a mesh top, the hat also needs to have a brim like a baseball cap.  It was barely 10:00 a.m. and I was squinting from the sun.  No bueno.  I have a catalog from Athleta and I marked some of the pages of my favorite pieces that I wanted to wear for the 5K.  I need to go back to the catalog for new ideas.

2. Headphones.  I use my iPhone while walking so that I can have access to the Nike+ GPS app and my music.  Currently, I use the white earbuds that come standard with the device.  When I start sweating, they slip out of my ears.  When I start adjusting them, my walking speed decreases because I am distracted.  This is not a new lesson, but the issue was more pronounced today.  I cannot afford to become distracted while maneuvering in traffic.  I am searching for the wrap-around-the-ear style earbuds for my running sessions.  Right now, my heart is set on a pair of Sennheiser earbuds that have a remote and microphone.  Ooooh.  Aaaah.  I’m waiting for a sale.

3. Water Bottle and Carrier.  This morning I carried a plastic bottle of Gatorade in my hand.  By the end of my walk, the Gatorade was warm.  Yuck!  I am going to have to do some research on this one.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them.  I welcome any assistance that will help me reach my fitness goals.  Stay encouraged.