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Walking

Marathon Training Week 13 Recap: Walking Sucks

This was a challenging week of training. I saw my cardiologist on Monday and he said I could only walk, not run until we got the results of the tests he ordered (ultrasound, stress test, and heart monitor). There are two main challenges with walking: (1) it takes a lot longer than running and (2) it’s boring!

Walking with Heather

Walking with Heather

I’m still sticking to Hal Higdon’s marathon training program for novices, but walking my miles. I hope I can still do Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona in January.

Monday: Rest Day.

Tuesday: I had work commitments early in the morning so I opted to do my 4 miles in evening – on the treadmill. That thing still feels like a human hamster wheel. Maintaining a 4 mph pace was pretty challenging.

Wednesday: I walked 9 miles today. It took 2.5 hours. It’s so frustrating that I can’t run. I think it’s starting to make me batty.

Walking with Lawton & Oscar

Walking with Lawton & Oscar

Thursday: I was scheduled to walk 5 miles today but I ended up walking 5.4. I did it first thing in the morning which made it less painful. I also had my stress test that morning, so I had to be caffeine-free for 24 hours and not eat for 4 hours before the test, so taking a walk kept me occupied.

Friday:  Rest Day.

Counting Loops

Counting Loops

Saturday:  I walked 19 miles today, and it took over 5.5 hours to finish it. I walked from my place to ASU Tempe campus, walked 4 loops around campus, and then home again. My friends Heather and Lawton (with her adorable dog Oscar) joined me for part of the walk which made it much more bearable – Thanks so much! Every time I finished a looped, I marked it on my wrist with a Sharpie pen so I wouldn’t lose track of myself. I kept myself energized with water, GU Chomps, and an energy bar.

Here’s another reason why walking sucks – when you’re walking long distance, you feel the pain of your first miles before you’re done with your last mile. When I run, I’m done after a few hours and I’m home before the pain sets in. My hamstrings were killing me by the time I got home.

Sunday:  Yesterday’s walk gave me heat rash on both my feet and ankles – sexy I know. The last thing I want to do is put on socks or shoes. I’m technically supposed to do cross training on Sundays, but I walked 19 miles yesterday. I’m not doing anything today. (I think the heat rash is nature’s way to saying I’m not meant to be a long distance walker.)

I’ll see my cardiologist this Thursday. So far he’s said I have a hole in my heart and that my heart skips beats. I hope he’ll know what’s wrong with me and that he says I can run short distances so I can alternate running and walking for the rest of my training and through the race.

Weekly Totals:
Running:  0 miles
Walking:  37.4 miles
Push-ups:  0 push-ups

Americans = People Who Don’t Move

I have a huge pet peeve about Americans – we have become a society of people who don’t move!   I’m talking about people who are perpetually sedentary.  It really bothers me to see people getting winded from walking across a parking lot.

Everything that's wrong with America
Image by msmail via Flickr

As a country, we have huge obesity problem.  It’s one thing to have a medical condition or to be on medication that result in weight gain, but another situation when people are eating way more than they need and then never moving to the point where they become incapable of doing it.

I get really sad when I see this in children.  My cousin took dance classes since she was little and I used to go to the big  recital in the spring that featured every level from the toddlers to the advanced teens.  One year I saw a four year-old who could barely skip because she was so chubby.  You could see every hop for her was an effort.  I wanted to find her parents and ask, “What are you doing to your child?”

We didn’t used to be this way.  I think a big part of this problem is the fact that modern conveniences have allowed too many of us to adopt a lifestyle where we never need to leave the couch.  Instead of washing, chopping, and cooking food, we have microwave meals or order in.  Instead of sweeping or vacuuming the floor, we have the Roomba do it for us.  Instead of playing outside, our kids play video games.  We used to have to at least walk through the mall to go shopping, but now we can buy everything we want online.

I remember as a kid, our Saturday morning family tradition was walking to the park to play.  It was simple and fun.  I think a lot of people have forgotten how much fun these simple things are.

Without having to go more than five blocks from my house, I can buy groceries, go to the pharmacy, get fast food, eat at a real restaurant, bank, mail something, have my clothes dry cleaned, rent a movie, buy running shoes, and visit a park.  It’s a little eerie when I walk to do my errands and I hardly see anyone else on the sidewalks.  This summer, I’ve made a commitment to myself that if I have to go to any of these places, unless I need the cargo space of my car, I’m walking or skating there.

My end-of-the semester gift to myself is going to be a bike.  My hope is to ride to anywhere that I want to go within five miles of my house, if not seven miles, and where it’s ok to arrive sweaty.  Did I mention that I live in Arizona?  I plan to carry a fresh t-shirt and a stick of deodorant in my Camelbak.  Please feel free to send me sunscreen because I hate having tan lines.

This proved to me that no one who lives near me uses the sidewalks.  I live near the Arizona Canal – one of the man-made waterways that bring water from the Colorado River to sustain central and southern Arizona.  Many ducks live along the canal and there’s a wonderful path for running and cycling that’s separate from the roadways.  There are tons of places for ducks to make their nests, yet the other day I found a pair of ducks nesting under a fallen construction sign that was only six feet away from the sidewalk and major Phoenix street.  I figured the volume of foot traffic was so low that it seemed like a safe place to start their family.

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