Running, walking, and counting steps

Posted on: 09 May 2015

Wednesday 29th April: out with the RunningLadies again, for the first time in several weeks. After the usual warm up in a nearby school yard (several of the children decided to join in), we again split into 2 groups. Again I went with the faster group - only 6 of us this time, the other 5 all my junior by some margin. Ariella announced that we were going to run 'e chli schnäller' today........ but what might be 'a bit faster' for them was 'a lot faster' for me. I hung doggedly onto the back of the group, pretending I was fine, but actually finding it pretty hard. A lady called Monica was nice enough to keep me company. After a 5km tempo run, we had run round the head of the lake and ended up at the school track, where we did a few intervals (mine rather slower than everyone else's.) They were then going to run back to Würzenbach the same way, but as I was now close to home, I opted to go my own way, so said goodbye, and headed home at a more comfortable pace. I actually felt a bit discouraged today. 10 years ago, even 5 years, it would have been no problem, but now I am definitely slowing down. (Not that I was ever that fast to start with.) What to do? Going with the other group (aimed at beginners; does run/walk) would feel like conceding defeat, but this one - on this occasion at least - took me a bit far out of my comfort zone, made sociable chatting (one of the points of running in a group like this) all but impossible, and I don't like the feeling that I might be holding them up. On the other hand, it's probably good for me to be made to push myself once in a while. I'll just have to play it by ear. If Klara or someone nearer my age is in the group, it's probably okay; if they are all fit young twenty/thirty-somethings........ maybe not. Anyway, 8.04 kms, and 53:15. (Plus some intervals I forgot to record.)

Thursday 30th April: water day again: G. aqua-gymnastic-ing, J. swimming, me aqua jogging. Feeling that I couldn't beat last weeks PB for 40 lengths, I decided to go 'long' today and do 50. Still managed the 40 in 58:15ish, (thanks in part to a 'sprint' finish when G, who had now got into the pool to swim a bit, decided to race me - we were laughing so much, I almost forgot to check the time), and finished the 50 in 1:12:30. Legs felt fine, shoulders ached a bit. A session in the spa pool sorted that out, though; then something to drink in the Sports Academy garden again.

Saturday 2nd May: J. wanted to go walking in the woods (he's still not running), so I went with him. Run/walk for me too, for the first 3 kms, as my knees were very stiff, and I didn't have much energy. It got better, though, after about half an hour. J. is being very 'konsequent' (can't think of the word in English), sticking to cycling, swimming, and walking - I'm quite surprised at his patience, actually. So he walked, and I ran, slowly but quite persistently, lots of loops and double-backs. Did the fig. of 8 in opposite directions so we would meet up at some point. The 'Lichterfest' path; the Vita Parcours......... all the usual routes. Woods very soggy again after recent torrential rain - massive puddles everywhere. I ended up doing 13.1 kms in 1:52:35, J. about 8 kms. I couldn't find my pedometer, which I used to measure my running before I got a Garmin, but seemed to remember I had the stride length programmed in as 1m, and it came out fairly accurately in races. So I decided it was fair to call it 13,100 steps. (It may have been a bit more, actually, as some walking was involved, and quite a lot of uphill.)

Tuesday 5th May: found it! (the pedometer.) Fitted it with a new battery, and decided to take it for an experimental walk. Back to the Bireggwald, up the side of the woods, couple of times round the fig. of 8, down through the middle of the woods, Vita Parcours, ponds, Waldrand, trough. 8.13 kms, in 1:27:48. Pedometer made it 6,450 steps - I was surprised it wasn't more, reckoning it should have been upwards of 8,000, but thought I must have been mistaken about the stride length, and noted it down.

Took it with me again on my morning errands and my walk to work. The same walk back, and a final walk up the hill from the shopping centre. What?! - only 1,089 steps?! - that CANNOT be right! The walk to work alone takes 12 minutes, walking fast, and is therefore over 1 km - nearer 1.25 kms. I reckon I walked AT LEAST 3.5.kms altogether, maybe 4. And you credit me with a measly 1,089 steps?! I've come to the conclusion I must walk too smoothly, so a lot of the steps don't register. Running is different, as it naturally involves more 'bounce'. So I'm going to continue calculating on the basis of 1,000 steps per km, which is still safely on the right side of honesty; ergo, 8,130 in the woods on Tuesday, and I'll call it 3,500 on Wednesday morning. A much more believable 9,765 on Wednesday night.............. but that's a story for next time.

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