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Personal Life

I Walked My First (Unofficial) Marathon

I walked 26.86 miles at a pace of 20:21 min./mile (data courtesy of Withings)

I just got back from the longest walk of my life. And my first marathon. In the headline, I say it was my first “unofficial” marathon because I was just walking on my own and not as part of an official event. Still, I trust the data from my Withings Pulse HR activity tracker (if anything, it underreports steps, since, in the past, I have worn a Withings and Garmin tracker at the same time to test the devices).

I did not plan this feat; rather, I decided to go for a marathon shortly after going on a walk today. I reasoned I could walk a marathon — and I was determined to do so — because I hadn’t walked in a week due to smoke from the wildfires in Canada. The weather also helped.

Hourly weather forecast for Chanhassen, Minnesota, on August 4, 2021 (image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

As the first screenshot illustrates, I started walking at 7:06 a.m. and walked for a total of 9 hours and 7 minutes. I did, of course, walk a little more than a half mile extra.

My psychology teacher from high school was also the cross country coach. I remember he once told our class that marathon runners are known to have problems finishing races. For example, I believe he said they can have diarrhea mid-race, due to the stress they put on their bodies. I did not have any problems. But, then again, I was just walking.

The closest I’ve come to my marathon today was when I walked 23.55 miles on August 27, 2020. As I say on Facebook, “I would’ve walked 26.2 miles for a full marathon, but I had eBay orders to ship.” That was a bit disappointing.

I would like to walk an official marathon someday (assuming that is something people do); but, for now, I’m content with my unofficial marathon.

Those “26.2” stickers just look so cool on a car’s rear window. Does it really matter if you were only walking? Who would know?