Today ordinarily would have been a long run day, but since I decided to walk the half instead, I made today a "long walk" day. When I trained to walk the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon in 2009 and 2010, I used Hal Higdon's half-marathon walking program. It consists of five days a week of walking, including one long walk on the weekends.
I didn't realize until just now that I actually miscalculated which week I would be on in the program. I was thinking I would be in week five, but it should actually have been week four. So, I thought the schedule was for a six-mile walk today, when in actuality, it was a five-miler. Oh, well! Might as well go that extra mile ;)
I'm not following the program really strictly, but I want to at least have some sort of guideline as to where I should be as far as training goes. Each night after dinner all week, Jerry and I (and the kids) have gone for a walk around the neighborhood. This morning, my plan was to walk six miles while the kids were at church.
Normally, when thinking about how much time I'd need to get it done, I just figure a rough 10:00/mile pace. So, 6 miles = 60 minutes (easy peasy). But I had no idea how much time to calculate for walking, and I just guessed it would take me about two hours (double the time to run it). I had the same trouble when riding my bike--I'm so used to running that I have no clue how to time things when doing other activities.
Even though Joey is a pain to walk on a leash (he pulls and zig-zags like crazy--typical dog behavior, I guess), I would have felt horribly guilty going for a walk without him, so I brought him along. I also don't normally use headphones when running, but while walking I do, so I listened to The Moth podcast while I walked.
First, we took the long way to get to the access road/marsh in front of our house, and once we got there, I was able to let Joey off his leash. He was so good! Normally, when I take him there, it's just for him to play and run around (which totally wears him out); today, I was on a mission to walk, and he ran around but still stayed pretty close to me.
That path you see behind me used to be as wide as a road (it actually IS a road, that is opened only for emergencies). I've watched it get narrower and narrower all summer as everything gets overgrown.
Joey had a blast. I continued to walk while he ran all around me, jumping into and out of the water. When we hit the end of the access road, he let me put his leash back on without any problem. Sometimes I'm just amazed at what a great dog he is!
I walked him back to the house, which was at mile 3.2, so that I could do the last three miles alone and try to keep a good pace. I wore my heart rate monitor, because I was curious how many calories I would burn walking versus running. The first three miles that I did with Joey, my heart rate was between 107 and 116 beats per minute--not very high at all (on a run, it's typically in the 150's). I burned 78, 90, and 87 calories.
Once I started walking by myself, it was much easier to pick up the pace. I did a loop past my parents' house along the lake, and even though the water was a little choppy, it was gorgeous.
My heart rate was a little higher for the last three miles, at 125, 128, and 132 bpm; and calories burned were 95, 93, and 100. I was walking pretty fast, as fast as I comfortably could, so I don't know how I would get my heart rate up higher than that while walking. Lately, when running, I've been burning about 110 calories per mile, so I was happy with the calories burned during walking. Granted, I was out walking much longer than I would have been if I had been running. But I really enjoyed it!