For what it's worth, after a day off Tuesday for appointments and errands because I can't walk and run errands on the same day, it takes too much energy to walk and then go out around town or to appointments, I decided to increase the distance.
On each leg of the walking, the way to Gig Harbor and return I've looking for additional routes which I check the maps to see if I can add distance in quarter, half or whole mile increments to the route. As I've noted I had identified two additional routes of 1-1.10 miles on each leg.
Recently I found another which added 0.5 and 1.1 miles to the route to town increasing the distance there from 3-3.2 miles to 3.7-4.2 miles. This includes a long hill of a quarter mile which is a good test of the legs.
So yesterday I added the longer route making the whole trip 7.5 miles and suffice it to say it made for some tired legs, but today it was easier, which shows me the choice is that I can settle for what I have and live with the results and slow improvement, or I can push the legs and body and see what happens.
This means the leg muscle will get better with the exercise but also will be tired more each day. Since the legs strength, coordination and balance aren't where they were a year ago, to me it's not much of a choice, the more I walk the longer distance the more the legs and body will improve and the back hurts less.
Just an interesting change discovered while walking.