After two very long weeks my foot seemed ready to cooperate with my training and I headed out for 12 miles (19k). That was last weekend. I felt really good for the most part and got an early start so I would be out of the heat of the day as quickly as possible. What I find interesting about these walks is how I can feel on top of the world, and not even a full second later feel the intense need to sit down and never get up again. That is how I was from about 8.5 miles and on. It was brutal. I looked at my sportband every few seconds seeing how far I had gone (the weekend endurance athlete equivalent to the nagging child in the back seat saying "are we there yet?). At 9.3 I was only feet away from my car. I stretched for a moment in the grass, debating whether or not I had it in me to complete the 12 miles or not. I hit "end" on my Nike Sportband, got in the car and cranked up the AC.
Then I called dad to have him help talk me off the ledge.
Dad was realistic. He reminded me that I will know when I need to stop and just to listen to my body. He reminded me that I hadn't walked in 2 weeks. He reminded me that it was over 100 degrees outside.
I decided to sit in the car longer, enjoy an apple and the air conditioning a little while before I decided to head back out or go home. This was when I got my second wind and understood this weekend's lesson.
It is okay to rest.
I know that may seem like a silly lesson - but I don't like to stop once I start. If I stop - I stop. So if I felt the urge for a break, I would allow myself 15-30 seconds of stretching then start again (sometimes less than that - I want to keep moving forward). Enjoying that wonderfully delicious fuji apple in the car (and it was an absolutely intoxicating fuji apple) gave me just what I needed to head out again. And I did. I only made it to 11.3 but like dad said you know when you need to stop.
By the way, I headed out the next day for 7 easy miles and it felt really good to hit those back to back. I was surprised, but these distances are getting easier to get through.
Yesterday I headed out for 13 miles. I wanted to get an early start and bought a flashlight the night before and then overslept. I didn't start until 6. I knew it was going to be a hot day.
I laced up my new shoes and headed out. The air was still. Usually there is more wind by the lake and I really hoped it would pick up. It never did. There were fewer people out than usual and more gnats. There is one section about 1/2 mile long that is filled with gnats. They fly in your face, ears, all over your clothes. I learned the first week to keep my mouth closed during this portion of the walk. You get the idea. I shudder now thinking about it.
This walk I was determined to let myself rest whenever I wanted. If I wanted to sit on a bench for 30 minutes so be it. When I hit 6.5 I turned around and headed back the other direction. I was afraid that if I passed my car at 9.5 that I would be tempted to stop because my feet were really beginning to hurt. I might as well create the situation where I must complete the walk.
Still glad I did it this way, but mad that I didn't get that earlier start because the last 5 miles are in full sun and right on the water. It was exceptionally uncomfortable. Finally I pushed myself to a covered picnic area about 1/2 mile from the end of my route and hung out there for some time eating figs and talking with a runner named Patrick.
But I have left out something. I was also having a hard time concentrating, was somewhat faint and had the overwhelming urge to lick my arms. LOL I'm a salty sweater - - and this week's lesson for me: "I must take salt." Now this is really counter to my natural way of thinking. I have to avoid salt because it triggers my Menieres Disease symptoms. I don't touch the stuff if I can help it. But I came home and poured a little salt into some water and drank it up. So now I know.
You may have noticed earlier that I mentioned wearing new shoes out on the 13 mile trek. I don't know if that was the best decision or not and I still am not sure. My other shoes were too small and were extremely painful to wear on longer walks. These were not broken in however, and now I am suffering.
Blisters on the balls of my feet and around the entire heel on one foot. Alas.
I did not make it out for my 9 miles today as a result and am now hobbling around with layers of band aids, moleskin and athletic tape. It could be worse.
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