I have three weekly items in my to-do list which set a rather low bar for my weekly mileage: first is to walk one mile, once per week. A few years ago my doctor prescribed this for me. He told me it was intentionally an easy goal so that I could commit to it and keep my commitment. I added a second recurring task to «walk or run at least two miles», and more recently I added «run at least three miles.» Six miles per week is a pretty poor training regimen, but it’s a minimum of three outings per week.
I hadn’t intended this when I created the latest recurring task, but it occurred to me as I was warming up (walking) today that perhaps my «three mile» run ought to be specifically three miles of actual running. That is to say that I should add up the miles I run separate from the miles I walk while I’m out on a run, and that no matter what my total distance I ought to count it as a three mile run only if I run three miles.
It also seems appropriate to change the task from «three mile» to «5K» because I measure my runs in kilometers even if I know most distances (eg to the grocery and back) in miles.
Today I also took advantage of my warm-up to intentionally set up walk/run interval goals. Rather than take walk breaks whenever I feel like I should, I planned my walk breaks in advance. I started with a one-mile walking warmup, then ran a mile, then walked a half mile, then ran a mile, walked a half mile, and so on. It didn’t work out quite perfectly because I wanted to get pictures both of the [Hornet]([canonical-url:media-gallery/detail/1662/509]) and of the [A‑4 Skyhawk]([canonical-url:media-gallery/detail/1662/510]) in front of [Encinal High School](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encinal_High_School). Those locations were nine-tenths of a mile apart.
At six and a half miles, half of which had been running and half walking, my leg and knee began to hurt. It was a pretty dull ache but persistent. I am still not sure what the pain is, but I don’t keep going when there is pain I can’t immediately identify. Unfortunately at that point I was still two miles from home. So I walked the remainder of the way, stopping at Trader Joe’s again to pick up bananas and limeade. I was limping noticeably by the time I arrived home but I don’t think I seriously injured myself, just pushed something a little too hard.
So the actual distance run today was 3.25 miles out of a total of 8.67 miles traveled. It took eight and two-thirds miles for me to be able to check «run at least 5K» off my to-do list.
And I suspect I’m going to be sore for a couple of days.
All that said, today was a great day out. It fulfilled one of the primary rewards of running for me: I got from one place to another entirely under my own power. I don’t really get a sense of distance and location if I drive somewhere, not the same way that I do if I travel on foot. It’s not practical to walk everywhere, but I get to do that kind of exploration when I run. Coming home and saying that I did x number of miles is an achievement, but one with less meaning than, «I ran out to see the Hornet.» The best runs I’ve done have all been ones where I tried a new route or got to explore an entirely new area. Sometimes it’s great to go farther along the same route, but that’s because it means there is new ground that I haven’t covered before. Running is the pure do-it-yourself method of travel and today that vital aspect of the exercise paid off nicely.