Walking It Off

Unless the plan blows up, I won’t do any walking in Coeur d’Alene on June 21. Not even from the lake exit to the wetsuit strippers, or from the changing tent to the bike. I’ll jog those intervals, like I’m Macca at Kona or Potts at Wildflower, like it matters, those 6.7 seconds I might gain. No walking. And yet walking is a key part of my training for Ironman. I’m not prepared to argue strenuously that it does a lot for me physically, although I will note that I’ve read more than once that recovery runs are too often done too fast. “Go as slow as you can stand,” I’ve heard people say. Well, for me, that’s walking. Sometimes I’ll walk as much as 10 miles in a spell; usually, it’s three to five miles. Sometimes I walk to get something done, a rare trip to the bank or, more frequently, to get groceries (I almost never drive for groceries). I walk the third of a mile (one way) to Fred Meyer when I need a quick item or something from the hardware department; the half-mile to QFC when I want fish; or the mile and a half to Trader Joe’s to load up on organic baby spinach, apples, lowfat plain yogurt, almond milk, nuts, oatmeal and other staples. Often, though, I’ll walk only because I want to be outside and I want to move, and I want to do so without stressing my body. It’s how I take a day off. Hell, I don’t think I’d take a day off if I couldn’t at least walk. So it was today, after three hours of running on Wednesday, an hour and 20 minutes of swimming on Thursday and nearly six hours of cycling yesterday. Today, I walked.

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