Saturday, 14 June 2014

I never thought I could do it ... but I did!

I walked 12.7 miles in a single sitting today, over almost 4 hours. 

The Nerd and I walked from our downtown apartment along the waterfront past the boardwalk all the way to the Humber River, and then came back along King Street through the theatre district and the financial centre back home. 

As you know I am training for this charity walk in the beginning of September.  The walk will require that I walk between 30 and 32 km in a single day.  There is no time limit, of course, but the laws of physics apply, so the faster one walks, the faster one finishes. 

I went from not being able to walk half a block without having to stop (before I began working out) to my current fitness level where a three mile walk (about an hour's walking) is no problem at all.  Last weekend the Nerd and I did two training walks, one 6.5 miles, and one 7 miles, and I could handle each with little difficulty.  I got a little tired near the end of each walk, but overall I felt pretty good. 

But today's training plan called for a 12.5 mile walk.  That's more than double my longest planned walk from last weekend, and easily the longest that I had ever walked in my entire life.  Not cumulatively, of course (although it certainly felt like it).
Mile 1
The day was a perfect one for walking, 20 degrees with a light breeze off the lake to keep us moving.  When we turned for home along King Street we lost the breeze, but gained some nice sunshine.

I was feeling fine up until around mile 8 (which, to be clear, is still to that point the longest that I had ever walked in a single stretch in my life).  Then my hip flexor started to ache on the right side, my feet started to hurt, and my back started to tighten up - - it was as if my entire lower body decided that it had had enough walking, all at once.  Two and a half years ago I would have felt like this just crossing the street, and now it takes 8 miles for it to happen - - things are definitely looking up!

So I have to say that I wanted to stop walking pretty much the entire last 4 and a half miles.  Every step hurt, and I must have looked like a zombie lurching down the street at some points.  I took a  couple of short breaks just to try and ease up on the legs a bit, but I did not stop.  I walked and I walked and I walked and then I finished.  12.7 miles all in all, in 3:54:53. 

I did not stop and I did achieve my training objective for today of walking 12.5 miles.  And although my legs are on fire and my feet are sore and it will take a bloody act of will to get out of bed to do it all over again tomorrow, I am very proud of myself for pushing through and doing the full distance.

I know that it will get easier over time, and pretty soon 10 miles will feel like nothing (at least I fervently hope so).  I walk 4 times a week, and week by week I will get stronger and stronger.  This is literally the worst that I should feel during my training, because this is the toughest fitness:distance ratio in the entire training plan. 

So I have taken a few Advil, and the Nerd and I are going to have a drink on the roof and look at the lake and relax and congratulate ourselves on our walk.  I think a little self-congratulations are in order here. 

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