Thank you to our friends at XShadyside 24 Hour Gym Pittsburgh for providing today’s giveaway prize!
There’s almost nothing as painful to a runner as not being able to run. And regardless of the reason for the time off – injury, illness, logistics, even just tapering before a big race (how do I put this nicely?) – we can kind of be jerkfaces. (Okay, that wasn’t so nice after all, but you know it’s true.)
For runners who can’t run, the closest alternative is probably walking. But unfortunately for some, walking just doesn’t cut it. This goes for all types of runners: fast runners, slow runners, run-walkers, walk-runners, so-slow-it-feels-like-walking-runners. Because if you call yourself a runner, then you are one. Period.
If you’ve been following along, then you know that I’ve been unable to run since December 2015. So I know this better than most. I do a LOT of walking, and even though I’ve come to love certain aspects of it, it just doesn’t come close to running. I used to run in my neighborhood all the time, but I rarely walk there. But when I got home from dropping the girls off at school yesterday morning, I stood in my driveway and thought, “Wow, this is PERFECT running weather.” So I charged up my Garmin, laced up my running shoes, and off I went.
As I walked, two thoughts ran through my mind. 1) Why isn’t walking as fun/interesting/exciting as running? and 2) What can I do (and what am I already doing) to make walking more fun/interesting/exciting?
Here’s the list I came up with. Some of them are things that I already do; others are ideas from around the web.
7 Ways to Make Walking Feel a Little More Like Running
1. Explore. Walking allows you to explore terrain that might not be suitable (or your preference) for running. I love walking on the beach, but I’m not the biggest fan of running there. Not certain about trail running? Try walking the trails first. Explore different parts of your hometown, but don’t be shy to drive a bit farther out to find your perfect walking spot.
2. Treasure Hunt. Since switching to walking, I’ve discovered a passion (obsession??) for beachcombing – sea glass, seashells, shark teeth, you name it. I’d never take the time to hunt for treasures if I was running on those same spots. If you don’t live near the beach, search for unique rocks. Learn to identify flowers, plants, and trees. Look for interesting pieces of trash – or better yet, collect the litter you find and dispose of it properly. You’d be amazed what’s out there when you (literally and figuratively) stop to smell the roses.
3. Listen to Books. Podcasts work too – but I happen to be a big fan of Audible. For some reason, it seems easier to focus on an audiobook when I’m walking versus running. (Maybe because most of my concentration is spent on breathing when I run.) I’m on a memoir kick right now – I’m currently alternating between Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton.
4. Meditate. Running without music is almost unbearable for me. But oddly enough, I walk without music almost all the time, especially when I’m on the beach. The rhythm of the waves calms my breathing and my mind. And searching for sea glass (in particular) requires deep, almost meditative concentration – something I’m unable to replicate anywhere else. Kevin Geary, founder of Rebooted Body, suggests this:
…Breathe only through your nose for the entire walk. Don’t open your mouth. If you need to slow down at any point, do so, but keep breathing through your nose…This is a mental exercise as much as it’s a physical one. It also happens to be the number one way to ensure you’re completely present on your walks.
5. Walk with a Friend. Walking with a friend is no different than running with a friend (or friends), except that slower breathing might make it a little easier to talk. My best running friend is also my best walking friend. We pour our hearts out to each other on our walks. And like with running buddies, no topic is off-limits.
6. Write. At least half of my blog posts are composed (in my head) during my walks. And if I’m worried I might forget an idea, I make a note of it in Evernote using speech-to-text. This is also something I don’t do when I run. When I’m running, my primary mental objective is to get “outside” of my head. Walking, on the other hand, keeps me “in” my head.
7. Go Somewhere. Have a destination in mind when you start your walk – make your way to a coffee shop or to a friend’s house. Or even stop at the grocery store to pick up a few small items, and then carry them home in a backpack. You’ll (probably) be less sweaty and smelly, plus it’s much easier to carry stuff in a small backpack when you’re walking.
I found some other great ideas on skyaboveus.com – check it out, and let me know what you think! What things can I add to my list?
Now for the fun part – the giveaway! Our friends at XShadyside 24 Hour Gym Pittsburgh are providing today’s giveaway prize – a $25 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods. To enter this giveaway, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.
Stuff you should know before you enter the giveaway —> * This giveaway is open to US residents only. You must be 18+ to enter. Winners will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner may be selected. Mommy Runs It is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any of their affiliates. Giveaway ends 2/2/17 at 11:59 p.m. EST.*
Jenny Q. says
I would get my son a new soccer ball.
Audrey Stewart says
My husband would buy golf balls.
Terry Stevens says
I would buy my granddaughter cleats for the upcoming soccer and/or baseball season.
Susan Hartman says
I like the Columbia Darling Days Hoodie.
Alison King says
I would get these shorts for my hubby.
I’d get a new gym outfit
Cheryl Donlan says
I would buy a pair of Speedo Women’s water shoes for kayaking.
Danielle K says
So many things I could buy! New running clothes, more KT tape, maybe some more Body Glide, new socks or a new sports bra. I desperately lack cold weather gear though, so I’d probably grab some long sleeve shirts and leggings, maybe a pullover. I like this shirt: http://m.dickssportinggoods.com/p/reebok-womens-cold-weather-spacedye-print-half-zip-long-sleeve-shirt-16rbkwbcwsd12zpxxapt/16rbkwbcwsd12zpxxapt?&color=Sd%20Wht%20Blk
I would put it towards a new pair of sneakers.
I would use it towards these beauties: Brooks Women’s Ghost 9 Running Shoes
Ellen B says
Dana Rodriguez says
I want the Under Armour Women’s Power In Pink Favorite Fleece Wordmark Popover Hoodie.
laura bernard says
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-mens-pro-swoosh-compression-tights-16nikmmnpcltghtswapb/16nikmmnpcltghtswapb?&color=Black/Dust my husband wants these!
Keri justice says
I would love these under armor pants for myself
Marilyn Nawara says
I would use it toward the purchase of the Under Armour Women’s Power In Pink Favorite Fleece Wordmark Popover Hoodie
kelly tupick says
I would love to buy this http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-home-game-jersey-new-england-patriots-rob-gronkowski-87-16nikwnflptrtsrgraptxx/16nikwnflptrtsrgraptxx?&color=
If I won I would get this Nike long sleeve running shirt http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-therma-sphere-element-running-long-sleeve-shirt-16nikwsphrlmnttpcapt/16nikwsphrlmnttpcapt?&color=Turf%20Orange/Htr/Ref%20Silv
Angela L says
I would buy a north face jacket!
Sarah Hayes says
Id love to get new shoes. the Nike Women’s Zoom Structure 20 Running Shoes are so awesome
Noelle Carroll says
I love these http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-dry-t-shirt-16nikwnklgndvnrtxapt/16nikwnklgndvnrtxapt?&color=Obsidian/Hyper%20Jade they really are great when working out in the summer
aaron reck says
I want of the UK Kentucky Wildcats beanies. I think it be good in this cold weather.
Melissa T says
I would love to get these Nike socks http://m.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=87698746
Rhonda Grisham says
Wow! They have some amazing deals on clearance right now! I think I would use it toward these capris! http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=99043666&cp=4406646.4413874.4418822.4420735&categoryId=4420741
Sarah Gillespie says
I would put it towards a nice new jade yoga mat!
Nicole Martin says
I would put them towards these! http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=45594886&cp=4406646.4413987.22298356&categoryId=114281726&fg=Gender
I’d probably buy this http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=105391576&cp=4406646.4413874.4418822.4420735&categoryId=4420750
maleficent m says
i would put it towards these cute boots Quest Women’s Powder 200g Winter Boots
Jennifer Marie says
I love these shoes.
Jennifer Marie says
I like these cute Nike running shoes!
Brent Strassburg says
I’d use it towards a new Braves jersey since I lost 60 pounds, the jerseys I have are too large. 🙂
Amanda lea says
I’d like to buy http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=19736306&ab=HP_2_P1_Apparel_Multi_Promo_BigWinterOuterwear&cp=4406646.70516396.4415818.13368847.18993096&categoryId=112111496
Steve Weber says
I would get some Men’s Puma training pants in size M
I like this sports bra! http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=29600886
amanda sakovitz says
I would buy this
I would probably buy these for my hubby so he can run outside without freezing! http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=37805676&ab=TopNav_Apparel_MensApparel_PantsTights&cp=4413874.4413878&categoryId=4414034
Oh I really love the Under Armour Women’s Fly By Printed Leggings 3.0! Those are so cute and would be so comfortable for exercising!
Brooks Ghost 9 catch my eye.
A new sports bra. I’m slowly replacing all my old, cheap sports bras, and the nice ones are totally worth it!
Nicole Vosburgh says
I would love this work bench!
Lee Mckeon says
I would buy some new running shoes!
Rachel Travis says
Nancy Loring says
I have always wanted to try snow shoeing since we get so much snow around here in the winter. http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=91921076
Christina A. says
Oh…I didn’t post a link in my prior comment! I like these! http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=87033376
Christina A. says
I would buy some new yoga pants!
I would love this jacket in the Nightshade color. http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=94807766&cp=4406646.70516396.4415818.13368847.18993096&categoryId=112111496&fg=Gender
I’d love a yoga mat bag like this one: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=93134506&cp=4406646.70516396.4397039&categoryId=21314526
I like this Nike sports bra.
Kristi L says
I’m in need of a new pair of Nike compression shorts so that’s what I’d spend it on.
I need some k tape to wrap my knee
I’d buy a new pair of running tights for the cold days I do my long run.
Laurel C says
I would love to have the North Face Women’s Morninglory 2 Fleece Jacket. Looks warm!
I would buy The North Face Women’s Osito 2 Fleece Jacket
Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More says
I would get a new pair of shorts.