Today was my first real walk since the Portland marathon ..I did my usual 5 mile loop across the bridge and the legs handled it better than I thought they would. It felt good to get outside again and walk without the fear of cramps for a change. It felt especially good to get back into my stretching routine which I do midway into my walks. I spend about 30 minutes doing every conceivable body stretch there is. Then I do 50-100 push ups followed by 30-50 crunches and some other abdominal stuff. My neck and shoulder muscles have really been bothering me since last weekends race and hopefully these stretching exercise will help.

Today was also the first time in a couple of months that I got to put my racewalking shoes on and gave em a whirl. Sure feels different than regular walking– It’s more like running, only with a little more style. Boy..I wish I could run. I’d be good at it.

Surprising to me, I haven’t forgotten how to racewalk . Of course I wasn’t able to go very far or very fast. Same old issue with the lungs, can’t exceed a certain pace–you know the story. For now that’s Ok, because for the first time in recent memory, I don’t have a race to worry about. I can spend all the time I want… experimenting . Going slow, going fast, doing 10 miles , doing 10 blocks…it doesn’t matter–I’m on a training vacation.

Until I decide which walking challenge I want tackle next, my primary focus will be on improving my racewalking skills and perhaps “dabble ” in some trail walking ( if there is such a thing.) I’ll probably cram in a half marathon now and then to keep my feet wet for the longer distances . In the half marathon distance , I’ve managed to set a new PR in every race I’ve done.

My hope for next year ,in the full marathon category, is to finish well under 7 hours. OR should I say, my goal is to stay healthy enough so that I’m able to finish in under 7 hours. I made a lot of mistakes in Portland which I hope will make me a better walker in 2007.

Oh, just one other thing… Today while I was out on the bridge, it finally dawned on me…..I walked a marathon! and YES , despite the circumstances involved and the ridiculous finish time……I’m proud of myself !

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