Finding a Walking Program – How I Got LOST

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I remember the days when I could walk about a 12-minute mile. They were the days when my mom and I would power walk the neighborhood where I grew up. We’d kill four miles in under an hour.

About a year ago, I was happy to run that fast.

Since my back surgery, I’ve been healing and haven’t been cleared to run yet. I’ve been adapting. At my first physical therapy appointment, about 7 weeks post-op, I was given what seemed like simple exercises that have proven to be more challenging than I thought.

I can really tell the difference if I skip a day of my PT exercises. However, when I do them religiously, things start to improve. It’s amazing how slow of a process this is. Yet, when I think back, I know I am doing so much better than those first few weeks after surgery, not to mention the months before I was diagnosed with an extreme herniated disk!

I was also told to begin a Walking Program.

But how does one begin a Walking Program? You may be thinking… “Well, just get out and walk!” My physical therapist gave me a pedometer and said just to track how many steps I do in a day and keep increasing it. That’s all fine and dandy. But you know what I’m really missing?

I’m missing the endorphins of aerobic activity.

I don’t just want to track my daily steps. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something.I’m missing the structure of a running schedule  leading up to the end result – a race… Then repeating the process for improvement.

I need to see progress.

So I started looking up walking training programs. Did you know that there are people out there who train to walk marathons?! While I have no intention of doing that, I knew I wanted to find a way to increase my time and mileage every week. When I found this link on training to walk a 10k, I created this schedule:

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It’s a little blurry, I know. And it’s very basic so that I can change it based on how I am feeling. You may also notice that it is taped to my mirror. Whenever I have a goal, I have a chart or motivator of some sort taped to my bathroom mirror so that it is the first thing I see when I get up. It reminds me of my goal and measures my progress.

I originally mentioned that I was hoping to get back to running in early June. My doc said at my six-week post-op appointment that after six weeks of physical therapy that I could slowly get back in to running again. However, as much as I have that urge to run {who thought I’d ever say that?!}, as much as I have that pang in my stomach to want it so badly when I drive by other runners on the road, I can tell by my body that I’m not ready. I still have some more physical therapy to do. There is still a lot of tightness in my muscles from trying to protect my back. I still need to continue my PT exercises and walk daily. I plan to complete this walking program first.

It’s giving me a place to start. The first week, I walked around the block for about 15 minutes at a leisurely place – sometimes with, sometimes without the dogs. {When I first started walking again I could barely walk 1 mile or and at 2.5 miles an hour without difficulty or being in pain.} This walking program gives me a chance to start out slowly and begin increasing my time, just as I did when I was aiming for running 5ks.

However, my goal is not to walk a 10k.

I have another motivator instead!

While this walking program is all fine and dandy with increasing the time for walks, it does nothing to encourage me to go faster.

I want to increase time AND mileage every week.

Come back on Thursday {after Wine Wednesday!} to learn how I got LOST!

What are your fitness goals for June?

Cheers~
Carrie

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12 responses »

  1. I know how badly you want to get out there and run, but I think you are taking the right approach. No need in injuring yourself to put you that much farther back.

    I printed out my Insanity 60 day calendar and have it on my refrigerator – one day X’ed off, only 59 more to go – woop!

  2. I agree with Biz, no point in injuring yourself, you are taking the right approach. I know it must be frustrating some days, but you’ll get through it! Fitness goals for June, swim, swim, swim 🙂

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