The first step before walking: shoes. Granted, I have shoes, I have three pairs of shoes, but none are “walking” shoes and across the board the advice I got from friends who run and walk was to get good walking shoes. And not just good walking, shoes, but go somewhere to get fitted for them by someone who knows how to pick the right shoes for my feet.
I am nothing if not obedient. :::glares at the Spouse Thingy::: There's a small Fleet Feet nearby, and they do fittings, so this afternoon we went out for a late lunch and then headed for Fleet Feet.
I have to admit, I was impressed. It's a very small store, but right off the bat their goal seemed to be to get the right shoes onto my feet. There was no hard upsell; hell, there was no price discussion at all. Once they knew what I needed, how many miles I was already (not) walking, and my ultimate goal, I was told to get my feet naked, roll my pants legs up a bit, and walk.
After I walked, my feet were measured. And here is where I found out something interesting, perhaps only to me: I have high, tight arches. The guy doing the fitting explained how this affects my gait, and ya know what?
It can cause hip pain.
Ya know what I get after a mile or so?
So after being observed and measured, and after having orthotic inserts suggested, he brought out a couple of shoes for me to try. Usually, trying on shoes is a nightmare; I have huge feet, and unless they give me that ahhhh feeling when I try them on, I can be pretty sure they're going to hurt my feet and back in short order. This time, having someone who knows what he's doing pick them out, was relatively painless.
The second pair felt just right, but to be sure, he brought out a third pair. That only confirmed that the second pair was right...they fit like the proverbial glove, although it's going to take some getting used to as far as the orthotics are concerned.
And they're kinda spiffy. I was worried I'd get stuck with really, really ugly shoes.
They're high mileage shoes, but he did say (as have several people) that I would need to get another pair a few weeks before the actual Walk, and give them some time to break in.
And yes, Murf, I got the right socks.
Tomorrow morning begins Day One of the actual training. I have my Garmin Forerunner to track distance, pace, speed, and heart rate, and from that I'll get spiffy maps of where I walk.
I'm getting up in the morning to walk, peoples. MORNING. That's gotta show you how serious I am...