I come from a fairly tall family. My brothers are about 6'2" and both have ground eating strides. Mom and my sister both about 5'7", I used to be about 5"8 1/2" (I've shrunk), Dad was an even 6'.
I learned at an early age that my brothers would not adjust their stride to match my shorter legs, so, learned to stretch my legs to keep up. This is something that has stuck! Over the years, I have shortened my stride a bit (my brothers are in different cities now), but, over all I still manage to cover a lot of ground while not appearing to be in a great hurry.
I found, when keeping up with my brothers that 3 or 4 inch heels helped considerably. Of course, now that my arches are fallen, I am wearing sneakers (runners/walkers/cross trainers, if you prefer), something I would never have considered as daily foot wear when I was in my twenties (in fact I don't think I owned any from the time I was about 18 'til I was about thirty something).
Of course, the last few of years has changed that! The weight I am now carrying is not conducive to long strides, so I arrive out of breath and huffing like a steam engine. I can't seem to slow down without thinking about it every step I take. Last year (and right now) have been the worst, because of the lymphoedema. While I am wrapped up like a mummy to reduce the swelling, the lymph fluid in my arm is being forced through my lungs. Not a good thing when you already have bad lungs (and can't seem to quit smoking). This is when I have to force myself to slow down, if I start to think about anything other than keeping a slow pace, I speed up - at least until I start to cough. Then I have to stop completely until I get my breath back! It is really hard going to my appointments, as where I go is located near the University of Alberta, so I get off the bus and am in a crowd of Uni students, all walking as fast as I normally do!
I was walking from the bus to the store the other week (obviously before my wrapping) and as I was approaching the intersection from one direction, a power walker was approaching from another. The light changed when we were both a few feet away, so, I lengthened my stride in order to catch the light. We would have arrived at the same time had I not done this, as it was, I beat her to the light and across the four lane intersection, just by doing that. I found it funny, here she was, her legs moving as fast as they could and her arms pumping away, there's me, just striding along ahead of her. I wonder what it looked like to the people in the cars?
So, has your stride changed over the years? Do you stretch to your maximum stride, or do you take smaller steps?