I love to walk. I know a lot of runners hate to walk. And I agree that it does feel slow and like a waste of time sometimes. Like you might just miss getting to the bagel shop before they run out of Everything bagels if you don’t pick up the pace.
But walking can be so therapeutic. And let’s be honest, if you run ultras, there is a good chance you could use more therapy. I’m just saying.
My only problem with walking is that I tend to get more lost than normal – and as we know, that’s saying something. I just start wandering around, like a person who accidentally walked out of a mental institution right after she was given her sedation meds. I usually have no plan, just a vague time goal. Sometimes I carry money (which has come in handy more than once to save me from dehydration and an overwhelming need to buy half-price Snow Village pieces which I didn’t even collect and had to give away as Christmas presents), but usually I just head out “au natural”, money-wise, that is.
Tuesday, after a couple of weeks of really hard training, I was just pooped (that is a scientific word, people). I did not want to run. But it was a glorious sunny day in Southern California (seriously, I think they have a deal with the devil for warm weather and an overabundance of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People), and I wanted to be outside. I was stuck and frustrated with a project I am working on, and for me, the only way to get unstuck is physical movement, or wine. But since it was nine o’clock in the morning, I opted for the one least likely to require a stint in a facility sleeping in the twin bed next to Lindsay Lohan. Yes, every now and then I make smart decisions.
I wandered around for a couple of hours, distracted by the smell of roses and the sight of squirrels dodging traffic. I was listening to Roz Savage’s book, “Stop Drifting, Start Rowing,” happily imagining myself rowing across an ocean, when I came to and realized I had no idea where I was. Um, weird. I had my cell phone, and could have easily checked the GPS, but I didn’t want to turn off the book. And I kind of like trying to find my way out of lost situations. Weirder, I know.
So, I kept walking, thinking that eventually I would come to a street I recognized. But that didn’t happen. I thought I had looped back and retraced my steps, but when I finally pulled up my GPS, I was 10 MILES from home. Dodo. So now my lovely leisurely walk had to become a run because I DIDN’T HAVE 2 1/2 MORE HOURS TO WANDER AROUND!
Anyway, I made it home, drank a lot of water, and then googled mental illnesses that involve aimless wandering, squirrel obsession, and weird, unexplained attraction to Snow Village.