I am getting used to walking now. The main evidence I have of this is that my back didn't stiffen up during my cool down today. My lower back has a tendency to tighten up to the point of not being able to move when I do any kind of exercise. At this point I'd be tempted to start increasing my pace, switch between walk and a jog and a run. However with the roads and sidewalks being slick with ice, I didn't think it safe. I'm not going the Robie training distances everyone else seems to be doing, otherwise I would have needed to walk seven miles today. I'm fine with going the shorter distance. I'm not in-shape well enough to try keeping up with those with more experience than me, but I would like to figure out how everyone seems to move so quickly on the slick roads.
Because of my slower pace I am quickly left behind. This has, unfortunately resulted in me sometimes being unsure where to go. We don't go to the same places every week. Last weekend we climbed Shaw Mountain, today we headed toward a park. This week and last week I didn't find the cone marking the half-way mark for the 10k trainers. I'm not sure if I just turned back before the cone was supposed to appear or if I took a wrong turn at some point. I'd like someone who knows how to get to the cone to escort me down, but I also understand my pace doesn't make that comfortable for a lot of people. Their are people who will escort you, but they tend to escort a large group and they stay at the groups pace instead of at the slowest persons pace. So they leave me behind early in the walking journey.
None of this really bothers me. My main goal in joining Run/Walk was to get me to exercise regularly and in that respect the program has been successful for me. I've also had some nice conversations with some of the other members. The free advice I get from physical therapists and the massage occasionally offered the walks has been a big help as well. For this season my goal is to get used to moving my body, enjoying it like I once I did and looking forward to long walks, anywhere. My weight is an issue. I believe that's the main reason my knees and feet will mainly protest, though being flat-footed doesn't help. But I've already lost some weight since joining this program. I'm feeling stronger as well.
Right now I am wanting to sign up for the Spring Season. With me hopefully having gained a good walking/jogging/running foundation during my current season (winter), I would like to work on speed and distance during my second season. We'll see how the rest of this season goes and if I can afford a spring season membership closer to when that date runs around.
As of now, I do recommend anyone interested in joining a Run/Walk group to join Boise Run/Walk. Those who are more social than me would probably be better at making friends than I. The group is friendly, helpful and easily to talk to. Everyone seems to make an effort at learning people's names, though the group is large enough that it can be hard to imagine someone being able to know everyone's names.