I wish it was as easy as putting on my walking shoes and heading out the door. For me, its a well -thought out procedure that takes about 30 minutes before I take that first step…on a good day maybe 20 minutes.
First thing in the morning I have to make a determination as to whether or not Im up to walking that day . Forget about all my other aches and pains, If I’m breathing at my baseline, then I usually walk. . If I’m kinda tight and my peak flows reflect the same, then I will usually still walk ,but not as far. If I’m really short of breath that day, all bets are off. So, once I’ve determined that I’m going to walk, then I have to decide when and where? Usually, I know in advance but , not always.
Currently I have 8 different locations that I like to walk . The most convenient of course, are the ones closest to home but they are also the most boring because I do them so often. Occasionally I will travel up to 2 hours via public transit just to walk a certain route. OK, so now I know when and where. Now ,the real preparation takes place…Getting dressed. If its one thing I’ve learned over the past 2 years , its dressing for the part, wearing the right shoes and taking the right gear. My routine walking distance is 6 miles , 5 days a week and you can double that when I’m training for a race. I don’t exactly walk these miles at a leisurely pace either. My average pace for these “routine 6 mile walks “is appx 13 min/ mile . As a result, I sweat a lot.
Back to dressing the part. I always wear moisture wick tech shirts , socks and hats regardless of the weather. I also wear a light weight hoody unless its really warm. As far as pants go, it depends on the outside temperature. For temps greater than 48 degrees, I wear long shorts. For temps greater than 80 degrees I wear air-wicking light weight running shorts or spandex bike shorts. For temps between 47-40 degrees I wear long insulated jogging pants.
As far as shoes go I usually wear NBs racing flats. For distance walks greater than 10 miles, I will usually wear Asics. Now, once I’ve put all that stuff on, its time for the accessories.. First I select the music I wanna listen to , upload it to the player if its not already on it, then strap the player to my arm. Then I strap on my waist pack that holds the water bottle (if I’m doing a super long walk). Then I strap the Garmin Forerunner on my belt , I strap the medical ID around my ankle and I strap my sunglasses around my neck.
Now I’m almost ready. Just a few more things… I like to let at least one person know where I’m walking just in case I keel over and get 911’d somewhere. After that, I check my peak flow and pre medicate with a neb treatment. Finally, I can leave for my starting point, wherever that might be but ,before I start my walk I have to warm up the GPS ( that can take up to 5 minutes to locate the satellite) Then I press the start button on the Garmin and the play button on my MP3 player……………and IM FINALLY OFF and WALKING .
Today I did my usual 6 miles walk with a fair amount of discomfort .My neck has been bothering me a lot lately. I started purse- lipping from the one mile mark all the way thru to the finish. Used the albuterol twice and post medicated with a neb tx. Starting peak flow was 500, ending peak flow was 300. So, all n all, this was a status quo day for me. I’m lucky, at least I don’t have to worry about pseudomonas infections , like some of my fellow bloggers.