The walking training continues apace (see what I did there?) and I am finally starting to see some improvements.
It has been 5 weeks of walking training, and in that time the Nerd and I have walked 116.9 miles around Toronto. I started out barely able to keep a 3 mph pace, and now we are regularly busting out a pace of 4 mph even at distance. Where a 3 mile walk used to be a challenge that I had to work up to, that's now an "easy" walk that we can knock out before work without too much of an effort. This morning we walked 8 miles with lots of hills, something that would once have knocked me out for the day. This morning we got home from our walk, showered, and then headed out on the road to walk to a local diner for breakfast - - walking, naturally. Then more walking to get the Nerd some clothes for the races tomorrow.
For the longest time I felt like I was not making any progress, but as you can see in the above chart, progress has definitely been made. My earliest paces were averaging about 3 mph or a little more, around a mile in 20-22 minutes. Not bad, but not fast.
As you can see, over time the pace has steadily increased. My most recent walks I was averaging around 4 mph, at a mile in 14-15 minutes. That's 5 minutes shaved off my previous best mile time.
Last October I walked 5 km for charity with my office team. It took me about 54 minutes to walk the 3.1 mile course, or thereabouts, which was a minute off my previous personal best time for that distance. This morning the Nerd and I walked 8 miles at an average pace of 15:36/mile - - at this pace I would have finished that 5 km race in 47 minutes or so, or 7 full minutes lower than my fastest time last year. Although I don't see the progress from day to day, when I look at the longer term trends or compare my progress year on year, I can really see a difference.
I am not a super fast walker yet, by any means. Last weekend we were easily smoked by an 80-year old man who was trying to catch up with his friends, and earlier this week a tiny little woman easily kept ahead of us no matter how fast I tried to push the pace. The reality is that I am a big girl moving a lot of mass, so I will never be a speed demon. Plus, I have that bouncy walk thing going on that is hugely inefficient. Ah well, I am getting stronger, more speedy, and have better endurance and faster recovery with every walk, so I embrace the progress that I see.
One of the women I work with keeps asking me if the weight is falling off me with all the walking. I can honestly say "no". I am not snacking, and I am trying to keep my calories in a good range, and I an exercising (either walking or elliptical or weights, or a combination of all three) 6 days a week, but despite how challenging I find the walks, it looks like walking is just an easier workout for me than pure elliptical training. My weight is not plateauing yet, but those last 42 pounds are coming off verrrryyyyy slowly, grim death marches notwithstanding.
Very pleased with the progress so far...one step at a time!