Saturday, 21 June 2014

Another week of walking training in the books...almost

Well, it's week 3 of our walking training for the big Weekend to End Women's Cancers walk in September, and so far we have walked 23.7 miles this week, with another 6 miles to add to the count scheduled for tomorrow.
Toronto, from the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park)

We tried to fit today's walk into the schedule before my usual shopping/coffee/gossip-fest with my mom, so the Nerd and I left around 5:15 this morning in our attempt to walk 12.5 miles before shopping.  We made it - just! - but my legs were completely aching and sore while I was shopping (although a brief nap and some time in a haircutter's chair completely put me back to rights by the afternoon).

For today's grim death march - er - pleasant stroll, we walked out to the Waterfront Trail to Leslie Street and the Leslie Street Spit and Tommy Thompson Park.  The route was an almost perfect 12.5 miles, and it was such a lovely time of day to go out.  I will say this about Toronto, joggers and cyclists get out early, but there were hardly any of them out there for the first half of our walk.

What was extremely cool about today's walk (other than finishing, of course), was the diversity of wildlife we saw at the Park.  There were the usual seagulls, loons, Canada Geese and ducks, naturally.  But we also saw a male Oriole in all his orange splendour, as well as a variety of terns, swallows, egrets, swans, sandpipers, and a multiplicity of bunny rabbits.

Ttust me, this is a bunny

The sounds of all the different species were very distinct, as well - - from forest sounding birds to waterfront birds to the absolute cacophany from a nesting colony of seagulls.  Neat.

Last week when we did our 12.5 mile march, I was in definite agony and struggling for the last 4.5 miles.  This week I was relatively comfortable for the first 10 miles, and uncomfortable for 2, and only seriously in discomfort for about half a mile or so.  The last couple of miles today were not fun, let's not kid ourselves, but I can definitely see an improvement in my comfort level for walking at distance.

Tomorrow's walk is "only" 6 miles, which feels like an easy stroll to me now.  The Nerd teased me when I told him we only had to walk 6 miles tomorrow, and reminded me that  2 years ago, 6 blocks were an impossible walk.  Last year, 6 miles was an endurance test that would have led to aching legs for the entire next day.  This year, it's a break from the half marathon distance walking we can do.  And although I definitely feel like I have walked a long distance today, my legs are mostly fine now, hours after the walk.  If last week is anything to go by, I will sleep very well tonight, and I will feel perfectly normal for our walk tomorrow morning.

I have significantly reduced my elliptical time over the course of the week because I do not ellipticalize (yes, that's a word) on walk days, so as to avoid burn out.  I can still do weights on walk days, because my weight program is largely a core and upper body workout. 

I have also maintained a good focus on what I have been eating this week, and have really controlled my snacking.  For me it's all about what I put into my mouth, because there is literally no amount of exercise that I can do that can make up for a serious binge.  Trial and error over the last couple of weeks has shown me that my calorie sweet spot is between 1600 - 1800 calories, regardless of my activity level.  Eating back my calories entirely doesn't seem to work for me, so I am now trying to stay within this range whilst avoiding snacking on peanut butter or M&Ms. 

We'll see where we walk tomorrow!

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