Two days after my pre-dawn walk to and from Walmart, I unintentionally awoke early again Saturday morning and decided to show up at Signal Hill to walk with the Long Beach Walking Club Meet-up group. I haven't joined them in a couple of months because it was there where I slipped on some gravel and pulled a left thigh muscle. Well, the walk wasn't scheduled till 7 a.m. so I drove to Von's first to buy some tissues which were on sale for 78 cents a box (limit 2), and second, to Food 4 Less to buy some bread. I still arrived 20 minutes early at Signal Hill which was enough time to do a 15 minute warm up. Oh boy, did I need to warm up because it was chillier than it was on Thursday. I had three layers of clothes: a thin base layer, a fleece layer, and a mid-weight jacket, to go with my track pants and gloves. In retrospect, I should have worn a beanie too. When I returned from my warm up, there were two people waiting there and another getting out of her car. It was a very sparse group and probably due to the colder than usual weather. How cold could it really have been? Well, it was so cold that when I talked, I was slurring my words as if I was having a stroke and my hands felt so numb except for my right thumb which was actually painful.
As we started and headed up the first hill, everyone was ambling along and socializing, which didn't help to get me any warmer, so I took off. This time, I had my radio to keep me company during my alone time. As usual, I backtracked several times so I could stay relatively close to the group while also increasing the duration and distance of my workout. After all those weeks of recovering from the Lipitor induced myopathy, I had lost some aerobic conditioning despite all the indoor cycling workouts. The uphill climbs felt like I was doing all out 400 meter intervals on the track and left me in oxygen debt. In the past, I would carry over the quick leg turnover after I crested the hill, but this time, I had to recover for a couple of hundred feet before I could pick up the pace again.
The group altered the course slightly on this day so my backtracking enabled me to find out which part to eliminate and to add. They eliminated the dirt path and used the steeper climb of Skyline Drive instead, which made for a tougher workout but slightly shorter than the original route of six miles. That didn't matter much to me because I didn't bring my GPS watch and my plan was to walk at least an hour and a half, not including the 15 minute warm up. With all the backtracking I did plus an extra hill at the end, my total workout time was two hours, which based on previous walks up and down those hills, probably covered slightly more than 8 miles.
You know what? With my early morning awakenings or at times barely sleeping at all, I would rather have walked on my treadmill because it has been really cold outdoors. But out of respect for my neighbors beside and below my apartment, not wanting to bother them with my noise, it was better to face the elements outdoors. I wish I could say that I ran outdoors instead, but that kind of workout is not in the cards right now. I can tell you though that I've jogged a few times on the treadmill recently, but I don't feel ready to try it on the harder pavement while I continue to recovery from the myopathy caused by Lipitor.