Saturday, January 05, 2013

Silver Sneakers

Saturday, January 5, 2013:

We three all have the same insurance, and as of January 1 we are all in a nationwide program called Silver Sneakers, allowing us access to many fitness facilities, including a dozen or more within a short drive.  We like running on a track in the winter though, rather than treadmills, and that limits the choices somewhat.

Today we returned to the North St. Paul Community Center, not one of the Silver Sneakers locations, but available to us for the rest of this month.  Unfortunately the facility is scheduled to close soon, but it does have a track that we like: 13.5 laps per mile, perfectly cushioned surface, properly-banked corners, clockwise on odd days.  It's narrow, really only two persons wide, but over the years we have run hundreds of miles there.  I'll be sorry to see it go.

Today I did a walk/run for four miles, walking 20 and running 60, at a pace that I'm certain was faster than 10 minutes per mile, but I lost track of laps.  Then in the fifth mile I ran continuously, finishing that mile with a pace of 8:54.  That was a good workout, and my breathing underscored it in that last mile, requiring a full breath every three footfalls.

Whining:  None at all.  I do like that track.  Too bad.

Friday, January 4:

Entirely organic, including the
white and sweet spuds.
We visited the Woodbury YMCA today, checking out our Silver Sneakers options, and to my surprise found it to be the easiest to reach from our home.  We found a "shortcut" that involves only four stoplights.

The track is nice too, 13 laps per mile (unconfirmed), wide enough, with a slightly cushioned surface and banked corners, clockwise on even days.  I only ran one mile, to warm up for the resistance machines, but this track will do.  We'll be back.

Thursday, January 3:

The Maplewood Community Center is a Silver Sneakers facility, though they didn't want to give us full access because we initially signed up in the Silver Sneakers program through the YMCA.  I think that's a misunderstanding of the program on their part, but we didn't try to resolve it today.  They did give us a free one-day pass, and we took full advantage of it.

The track is said to be 11 laps per mile, though I'm guessing it's actually 12 or a little more.  Sometimes tracks are measured around the outside, whereas real people actually run and walk toward the inside.  It's at least three people wide.  Although the corners are not properly banked, it may be OK for short runs. Clockwise on odd days.

I ran for 50 minutes and lost track of the laps, but probably ran about 5 miles.  No complaints.

Tuesday, New Year's day, 2013:

We began our Silver Sneakers membership exploration at the Hudson, Wisconsin YMCA, part of the Twin Cities YMCA network.  Now we can simply show our YMCA card and walk right in at any of the Twin Cities' YMCA facilities.

The track is said to be 17 laps per mile, though I think it's more like 18 or 19.  It has a very hard polished concrete surface, is only two persons wide, and banked only in the outer lane.  Clockwise on even days.  We didn't like this track, so I guess we're unlikely to return to Hudson.

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