Sunday, November 19, 2006

Half of a Long Walk is better than Nothing

The day started out sunny and warm and kept getting warmer and warmer. It is currently about 90 degrees F here in Los Angeles. I had all of my gear set and ready to go this morning but for reasons beyond my control, we never got to our usual long distance course at the beach. I did have a plan 'B' and that was to do my newly measured 6 mile course around the neighborhood. Except I wanted to do a 12 mile workout so despite some knee pain that has been dogging me since last week's 22-mile crash and burn, I set out to do the new course twice.

It is one thing to drive out to a course mentally prepared with a game plan and another thing to go out in the heat, with a sore knee and walk right past my nice cozy home halfway through. The heat, knee pain and temptation was too much for me--I only did half of the scheduled long walk but at my predetermined 30 seconds per mile over marathon goal pace. Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 12:05
Mile 2 - 12:23
Mile 3 - 12:38
Mile 4 - 12:49
Mile 5 - 12:58
Mile 6 - 12:47
Average Pace - 12:37 Minutes per Mile
Total Workout - 1:15:42

I tried some new tricks that will hopefully help improve my endurance. Just before starting I took a packet of GU with some water. I started out well hydrated so I didn't begin taking in fluids until 30 minutes into the walk. Instead of the usual water and Gatoraid I filled my bottles with Gookinaid Hydralyte and took one 8-ounce bottle every 30 minutes. An hour into the walk I took a second GU packet and washed it down with some Hydralyte--yeah I should have used plain water but I didn't want to carry any more than necessary.

I could have put up with the heat and exhaustion but I didn't want to blow out my knee. Last time I went to the doctor to have my knees checked I was advised to cut back on running and cross train, I don't want to be told to stop walking too--I'm not quite ready to start marathon training in a wheel chair!