I’ve continued with the alternating feet stuff, and I’ve had a bit of a target in this process. During Mondoville’s Homecoming celebration, there’s a 5K run/walk. In the past, I had considered taking a shot at it, but would have felt silly taking it at my glacial pace. I would imagine myself setting out and promptly being abandoned by the horde of Mondovillians, eventually crossing a long-deserted finish line in the dead of night, picking my way through the abandoned paper cups and hot dog wrappers left by alumni who left hours before. So, I had resolved some time back that I wouldn’t consider doing this unless I felt confident that I could run/walk/shamble/stagger 5K in less than an hour, which would still be slow, but would at least get me done before the evening’s football game.
But for some reason, I had it in my head that a kilometer was closer to 0.7 miles than 0.6, so I had been thinking of 5K as three and a half miles. I’ve been averaging 3.4-3.5 mph on my half-hour saunters, and I was thinking I needed to get up to about 4 mph to take a shot this fall. I can do 4 mph (which I’m told is basically the walk/jog borderline) for bursts of a couple of minutes without significant trouble, but for an hour? That might be tough.
But then I happened to actually look at the numbers, and I realized that 1 km actually equals 0.602 miles, and that 5K therefore equals 3.1 miles, and 3.1 mph seems to be pretty much the average human walking pace. As I said, I’m averaging 3.4-3.5 mph for a half-hour now. Therefore, if I can maintain my current marching pace for an hour, meeting my target should be within reach. If I can do it faster by then (mid-October), so much the better, but I don’t have to feel as much like I need to make a dramatic improvement in sustained pace (i.e., I don’t have to feel like I should be able to jog for an hour) in order to do this thing.
But of course, it’s one thing to bang this out on a treadmill (“KEEP UP OR DIE, MAGGOT!”), and it’s another to maintain a pace in a less controlled environment. The obvious solution is to find some music at or above the tempo I need (3.5 mph= approx. 130 steps/min), so maybe I’ll invest in an mp3 player and put something together.
Still, I guess the important thing is just to keep showing up and hoping the rest will follow.