Hi happybunny--thanks for the info and encouragement. I just walked with my friend who is very IN shape, but even she thought we were walking too fast! I feel pretty good, but then I felt pretty good before I knew I wasn't in shape--I didn't do much over the winter, because it was so cold and windy here and I was going through prescription drug withdrawal--now still having withdrawal effects but weather makes it good enough to get outside and garden, walk, ride around, just BE outside. I also have fibromyalgia so if I over-do, I end up in bed for days. Need to lose about 20 pounds I put on over the past few years while on anti-depressants and that is very slow going. But my heart is fine, knock on wood, just a lumpy, unfit body to contend with.
i really appreciate the info re: range of heart rate--tomorrow I'm going to try to remember to take a watch with a second hand with me so I can get a better handle on exactly what's going on.