Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Cost of Walking

I don't know why, but I added up most of what I spent getting ready for the 3 Day. And...wow.

Six pairs of shoes. Yeah, six. Wore out the first two, got the next two too small, so got two more... $800

Socks, somewhere around 45 pair. Six pairs of Thorlos at $13/pr. Three pairs of Bali (I think that was the brand) at $10/pair. Eighteen pairs of Reebok at $36. And twenty-four pairs of Wrightsocks at $10/pair. $381. On socks.

Camelback (2...one waistpack and one backpack): $20 and $60
Other Waistpack: $10
Water bottles: $10
Cleaning Kit: $15
Sleeping bag: $70
Air mattress: $20
Air pump: $20
Suitcase: $80
Flashlights: $30
Tarp: $10
Blister care: $40

Total: $1566

That doesn't even include odds and ends, the clothing I bought because I didn't really have anything suitable for long walks, or all the burgers, drinks, and frozen yogurt I bought.

Granted, two pairs of the shoes were unnecessary, so I can subtract $280 from the total, but overall...I spent a lot to train and then walk nearly 60 miles.

On the bright side, I have all my stuff for next year, except shoes. So I kind of have to do the whole thing again to make it cost effective.



I'll start training as soon as I have all the feeling back in my feet. It's getting there, slowly but surely.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Four Days Post Walk

And I still have an issue or two. One I expected: water weight. When you traumatize your muscles like that, especially when you're taking in a lot of salt (even though you're sweating like crazy) when you're done your muscles can hold onto all the water they can. The day after the walk my weight was only up a pound and a half; today it's a total of about six. No worries; I know what it is and it'll come off over the next couple of weeks.

feetsOne I didn't expect: numbness and tingling in my toes. I had issues early on in training with loss of sensation and some tingling in my left big toe, but that abated about 95%. I still had a little, but not a lot. On Day 2 of the Walk I realized I could barely feel that toe, but looking back to the numbness earlier I worried less about that than the hot spot that was developing where I normally get blisters.

I slapped some Moleskin on the hot spot and continued on; I didn't get a blister (though I admit, I thought I had...it felt all mushy under the moleskin and I was afraid to peel it off for what I might find under there) but I do have really sore balls of my feet. No surprise there.

On Day 3, halfway through the day I realized there was some tingling in my toes, but damn, we were going up and down the streets of San Francisco; there are some serious hills involved there (ok, they feel serious, but I think it's mostly that it's repetitive...up and down and up and down...) As we approached the last couple of miles my feet just hurt all over. Major hurt. But not unexpected.

It wasn't until I was in the car on the way home that I realized there might be a little more than just sore feet going on in my shoes; I presumed some swelling and didn't want to take my shoes off in the car for fear I wouldn't be able to get them back on. Since we were planning on stopping for food on the way home, I decided to keep them on.

We did stop, but when I tried to get out of the car I was so stiff--thanks to SF traffic it took us nearly three hours to get home--and opted to just pick up a pizza and take it home. When I was able to take off my shoes there was immediately relief--the feets were a little swollen--but the numbness and tingling was very apparent.

Monday morning, still apparent.

Same with Tuesday and Wednesday.

Today, I'm not sure if it's just a little bit better or of I'm used to it, but there's still quite a bit of tingling and sensation loss. No, I don't think it's permanent; I think the pounding on pavement and hills squished the nerves and they'll recover, but I'd really like to get back to working out before I turn into a giant blob, and if I start walking a lot now, who knows what I'll do to those nerves?

I'm giving it until next week; if they're still all tingly one week post-walk, I'll see my doc.

Still, all things considered--no FMS flare-up, no arthritic payback--my crappy body held up quite well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

...and we walked and we walked....


...and then we walked some more.

Blogger Babes for Boobies
Me, Phyllis, Michelle, Joette
Marty, Roberta, Karen

I have to admit, my tendency towards verbosity is failing me a bit right now. How can you describe an experience like 3 Day? Amazing, incredible, awe-inspiring don't even scratch the surface. Neither do hard, painful, and tough. But it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, definitely the most tough physically, and almost the worst in terms of pain. Yet it was also far more amazing and jaw-dropping incredible that I can even begin to say.

DSC_0110There were 1400 people walking in San Francisco, and at least 350 volunteer crew members. I'm sure everyone there had more than just "hey this will be fun!" as a reason for doing this. I saw many, many names on shirts and signs, visible reminders of how much has been lost to breast cancer, how many have beat it, and how much more can be done.

If you've ever wondered if you could do something like this, two things to consider: how much you of yourself do you think you can dedicate to training for what will become Something Significant in your life, and...fark, Thumper did it.

Now, I knew there were going to be a lot of people walking and crewing for this event, but I didn't know. It's one thing to hear that there will be over a thousand people playing in the same game as you, but it's a whole other thing to see it. It's a whole other thing to feel it. The vibe is intense, and the atmosphere is electric; even if you walk into it alone, you won't be alone.

DSC_0022If you can be part of a team, it'll be even better. You'll start as friends; three days later you'll be friends. You'll end feeling like you couldn't love these people more. You'll see more things to admire about them, you'll appreciate their resolve, and you'll be amazed by how tough they are.

You'll be amazed at how tough you are.

I will admit, I had moments of pride over the three days we walked. I faced a few obstacles that I normally avoid like the proverbial plague. Steep hills. Massive numbers of stairs. In any other situation I would have turned and found a less painful way to get from point A to point B, but with teammates by my side (and behind and in front of me) I went ahead and tried. And with only one exception--I had to avoid a Hell Hill on day 2 in order to be able to tackle day 3--I did it.

Yet, anything I did paled in comparison to the people around me. Roberta walked with a painful3 blister under her big toenail on one foot and a fitful arthritic toe on the other. Michelle walked with sciatica. Joette walked with a bad knee. And Karen...holy crap, Karen had major surgery just a few weeks ago and has undergone follow up treatments since then.

They all had reasons--not excuses but very valid reasons--to drop out, but they committed to it. I wasn't just impressed...I was blown-away-impressed.

No one whined, either.

There may have been some sharing of information--"Ow, my foot hurts," "Dammit, I think I have a blister," "There's another damned hill"--but there was no whining. How can you whine when you're walking for people who have been through so much more? You just don't. You put forth things for information, as Roberta said many times, but you do not whine.

So I did not whine. I did not whine a lot.

P1000464I did not whine about how damned cold I was in the tent the first night (and I equally did not squeal with bot delight and damn-I'm-stupididty when Michelle pointed out an important flap I had not closed, thus letting in all the cold and wind. I did not whine about the fog, wind, and cold the next morning as we headed for and then crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, nor did I whine as we descended Hell Hill. I also did not whine on day one when we approached the never ending (all right, 133 steps) stairs we had to climb in Land's End park. And I didn't whine on day 3 when confronted with ascending Hell Hill #2 in the city (Clayton & Ashbury, I think.)

I did share a lot of information in the form of "son of a bitch," "dammit," "Oh, fark," and a few other descriptive phrases.

My teammates discovered a few things about me as well, I believe. They think I'm quiet (eh...I just don't think fast enough for normal people conversation, I believe; it's easier to write, so that I can edit.)  I won't sing along (originally I just didn't know the words...then it was just funnier to not sing.) I don't dance (ok, that's just because no one should have to see that.) Yet, they didn't shun me halfway through, so I don't think I was too socially unacceptable.  ;)

Am I all over the place yet? My head still is... The thing is, it would take way too long to really pick apart and describe it.

But it was amazing. Painful. Joyous. Tough.

And I did it with some truly incredible women, who deeply inspire me.

On to 2011.

A few pictures...more are at my Flickr page...but it might take a while to get them tagged and descriptions added, and they're in no particular order.

DSC_0052 (2)


Blog post coming...

We survived the 3 day, and it was an incredible and overwhelming experience...so much so that I need to pick through my brain to find the things I want to say.

But you gotta know, the cape was there... :)

Stay tuned for a real post...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

and we're waiting, waiting...

Killing time until we hop in the car and head for SF; it seems a little surreal that the walk is tomorrow, that after all the time training, it's finally here.

As long as my feet hold out, I think I'll be fine. Blisters are my main worry, followed by movement-induced food intolerance and not knowing my tent mate. But mostly, blisters.

Out of curiosity, I pulled out the Garmin and checked the history. Since my first training walk on May 11, I've logged in just a little under 600 miles and burned through 65,000 calories.

You'd think I would have lost a few pounds, but no. I may actually be up a pound or two.

Still... It's been an amazing thing to do, something I never thought I'd even try.

Onward to San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My bag is packed, I'm ready to go...

...standing here outside your door...I hate to wake up up to say goodbye...

Yep, it's only Tuesday and the walk isn't until Friday, but I'm packed. I thought it prudent to pack early, and it was a good idea because when I started packing last night I realized my bag was just this much too small. So the Spouse Thingy and I went tp Walmart today and got a slightly bigger bag, and this one is really spiffy. It's not a whole lot bigger, a 29" compared to the 27" bag I already had, but it's bright red and has 360o wheels.

It truly is all about the spiffy.

Now I sit here and twiddle my thumbs until Thursday, when I'm heading into SF to spend a night in a hotel before the walk starts on Friday. And don't worry, the cats aren't being abandoned...they'll be cared for. So any party they had planned...it's not gonna be as fun as they'd hoped.

Three more days! Well, two until I meet my team mates! I promise to not throw up on anyone.

I'm excitable, don'tcha know ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Taking names


Today's intended distance: 10 miles.
Today's reality: 8 miles.

Not a real worry; I cut it short because when I stopped to change socks and check my feet, I felt the start of a very small blister, and this close to the 3 Day I'm not willing to risk making it worse by continuing on. So I slapped a blister bandage on and headed home, and we'll see what it looks like later. There's 8 miles on the schedule for tomorrow, but again...not gonna risk it if that thing looks like it'll expand.

Now the big thing...

For at least the first day of the walk, I've got this spiffy pink Supergirl cape, and I'm not afraid to wear it. What I'd like to do is write on it the names of people we've lost to breast cancer, and the names of people who have survived it. Uppermost name will be Anne Burkinshaw, a friend of mine (we had the same birthdate!) who lost her battle with breast cancer years ago. I miss her, and walk to walk in her memory.

I'd also like to carry the names of those important to you, including yourself. So if you're a survivor, you've had breast cancer, you lost someone or care about someone who has survived it or is going through treatment for it, and want me to carry their name, just leave a comment with their name, and if you want me to write "in memory of" or "in honor of" with their name.

If the cape proves too unwieldy, I'll also write the names down on either my t-shirt, or even a white handkerchief that I carry in a pocket...but those names will go with me the entire walk.

I will be honored to carry these names with me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's the views, Marge...


Why I think walking 3 days in San Francisco will be a tad easier than walking 18 around home:


Views like this, they can keep you going, I think. We've spent several days in SF just walking around now, and I haven't tired of it. Granted, our pace has been slower than it will be on the SGK 3 Day, but we've pretty much kept moving all day long. Lots of stops and starts, but it's movement.

A couple of times I turned to ask the Spouse Thingy if I was walking too fast, and at one point I had to ask him, seriously, "Did you ever think I'd be the one asking that?"

Between us, it's been a typical question over the years. Invariably, it's him asking me; for me to turn to him and check my speed is a new thing. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it feels good. A reason it feels good is that he's not in bad shape; he Trikkes, and he's got some decent cardio conditioning going for him. But a year ago we wouldn't have even tried walking around San Francisco, because I couldn't have done it.

At least I didn't think I could do it.

Ten more days. I get more excited with each day that passes; sure, there are some nerves, but for me those nerves are tapped into my weird little phobias and not so much the whole walking thing.

I'm shy. I may not come across online as shy, but I am. This whole thing involves meeting people, people I already like but people I've never met nonetheless. If you ever wonder why the Spouse Thingy tags along with me so much, that's a major reason.

Another reason he's with me...I'm a freakishly weird about not being able to go new places by myself the first time. I do dry runs all the time, finding places I have to be at a later date, just because I have to. New restaurants, new anything, he'll go with me that first time. In that, he's my enabler, but in the sense that after that, I'm able. I can go alone.

(Unless there's someone new there, in which case I'll go alone but inside I'll be all OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!)

I have food issues. Not toddler-esque I'm not putting this odd looking thing in my mouth because it just looks wrong issues. My issues are more like, what's in it? Mushrooms? Please don't let there be mushrooms. Mango? Please no mango. I don't want to die tonight! Food allergies are a bitch, they make eating fun.

But worse than that for me is the slightly maybe major problem of being able to eat and then walk. Some not very pretty things can happen when I eat and then do anything other than sit there like a lump. Let's just be delicate and say I may be living on Immodium for three days...

So yeah, I have some weird phobias and doing this will tap into a few of them. But hell, so what?

I get to do this!

And I get to do it in one of the most scenic places on the west coast.

I have to admit, that when I began the training, in my head was this thing that was all, "You have to be able to take every damned step of the Walk; you have to keep going all day every day, and you can't take the sweeper van because that's failure. Other people can and that's perfectly fine, but if you don't walk every step of all sixty miles, you have failed."

Ya know what? I'm over that. I will do what I can do for as long as I can do it, and I will enjoy every second of it that I can. And how can you not enjoy walking around a city where a casual glance to your right pops things like this into your field of vision:

A sea lion at play.

Just ten more days...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mmm Bop...


8 miles.

8 uneventful miles.

That's a good thing.

I slept in a little, thanks to cats who for whatever reason decided to be nice to me, puttered around a bit, and then headed out. I was a little worried that my feet would hurt like a mofo after yesterday, but other than one little spot on each foot (same place on each foot, even, which tells me it's just how my feet were striking the surface) all was good.

I had some hip pain flare up around mile 6, but that wasn't unexpected.

I stopped at 6.5 for some frozen yogurt, and as I sat there, just outside the door, this guy walked up with his little girl, sho was maybe 5, and as he opened the door he said, "Don't tell Mommy."

LOL hell yeah, you know she told Mommy...

During part of the walk I listened to music, something I usually don't do (they won't let us on the walk, so I figured it wasn't something I wanted to train with. No point getting used to that) and I realized on the last leg that I was walking to the beat of the music. Not a bad thing, but I went from walking at a 20 mile/minute pace to a 15, and peoples, I'm too old for that chit...

I think on Tuesday we're heading back into SF to walk again, maybe scope out the Golden Gate Bridge, and figure out where the night-before-the-walk hotel is. This means we'll drive in, so if you strain and listen carefully, you'll hear a beau-coup* load of swearing riding on the breeze...

*That's French for butt-load. Really!

Friday, September 17, 2010

WooHoo, blister free


I couldn't face the idea of 18 miles in tiny Dixon this morning, so I headed to Vacaville to start at the Factory Outlet stores again. I got there before they opened, so I had a good hour of walking around it by myself, and by the time people started showing up, I decided to wander off the outlet store area and walk around town.

Ok, a little corner of the town. Vacaville is small, but still quite a bit bigger than Dixon.

I made sure I went where there were places to stop.

Like the library.

Which has this spiffy fountain in front of it. It took some self restraint to not take my shoes off and run through it.

It wasn't exactly hot today, but it wasn't exactly cool, either. 85 with humidity...oh yeah, I wanted to run through the fountain.

After I'd looped around the library and wandered down Elmira Road, resisting the lure of the aromas Burger City was putting into the air, I headed back to the outlet stores; I was at 10 miles when I got there and stopped for lunch.

I decided to be different today and not find the nearest McD's for a burger. Instead I opted for Subway...kind of iffy when you have issues with eating and then walking. But I figured I'd stick to the outlets for a while, guaranteeing places to stop if need be.

I ripped the sandwich in  half and stacked the meat on one side...I'm a little weird that way. But a smaller sandwich = less food to screw with me.

Another mile around the stores and I headed home to finish up around here.

Was boring.

Very boring.

I did start to have issues around mile 13; my hip decided enough was enough, and because my gait changed my knee joined in on that around mile 14. But by then I was a couple miles from the car, so there was no point in cutting it short. I timed it so that I would finish at Big Spoon Yogurt, only to find that today is their 5th anniversary special, and the first 100 customers after 5 pm would get free yogurt.

It was 4, and people were already lined up.

I fell to the ground and sobbed and wailed, and then went home to complain loudly to the cats.

They didn't give a damn.

Not that I would exaggerate or anything.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Are Teh Smart


We had every intention of going back to San Francisco on Tuesday and racking up a few miles there, but the Spouse Thingy slept like crap Monday night and dragging him around half awake seemed kinda mean, so we switched plans and drove up to walk around the Galleria Mall in Roseville, where there were lots of places to sit and vegetate if he wanted or needed to. It worked out for the better, because I'm sporting new shoes and trying to break them in on a longer walk was probably not my best idea.

No, I saved my best idea for yesterday. I could have walked in the morning, but it was a nice day and we haven't taken a bike ride in a long time, and the bikes missed us terribly (shut up, they did so!), so we geared up and headed out for 75 miles of sun and zooms. But I still wanted to get a walk in, so at 6:30 I headed out.

Ya know, this time of year the days are already getting shorter.

And I'm night blind.

At 7:30 I was a mile and a half from home, the light was dimming and I only had about 5-10 minutes before it would be too dark for me to safely see...I wound up calling the Spouse Thingy to come get me.

The smarts, I has them.

On schedule for tomorrow: 18 miles. I may do like I did for the last 18 mile day, start at the Outlet Stores, maybe wander around Vacaville a little bit, and figure out where to go from there. Head towards home around lunch and finish there, perhaps. We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm stupid, but I finished...


Thanks Max and his YOU WILL LOVE ME AND LOVE ME RIGHT NOW freak-fest at 4 a.m., combined with Buddah's quest for air conditioning the night before, I was a basket case this morning and when I rolled out of bed, one of my first thoughts (after "Why do I put up with you?" as Max head butted my boobs) was "I am not walking today. Nope. No way."

After I fed the little monsters and had some time to wake up, I pondered just doing a couple of miles. Maybe to the yogurt place and back. that would be doable. Now, I went ahead and filled my Camelback, slapped a blister pad on my foot, got everything ready like I usually do for longer walks. I don't know why; habit I guess.

A mile and a half in, I had a whole bunch of self-defeating chatter going through my head.

  • I feel like crap. I could turn around and go home.
  • Damn, I'm walking slow. Why am I so damned slow?
  • It's gonna get hot. I left late, and it's gonna get hot. I could go home now.
  • I wanna puke.
  • It is hot now..
  • No really, I think I wanna puke...
When the clammy feeling hit, the lightbulb went off in my brain, and I mentally slapped myself in the back of the head. I got everything ready to walk, but I neglected to fuel up; I left the house without having had breakfast, my blood sugar was low, and yeah, I felt like crap.

So I headed for McD's, reasoning that I could still turn around and go home, and by the time I was doneI'd have 3.5 miles, and that's not too bad.

But, kinda like I expected, within 5 minutes of downing the burger and refilling my cheap-assed large drink, I felt much better. So I decided a few more miles wouldn't hurt.

I wandered along my usual route, but when I spotted a bike path from the corner of my eye, I decided to follow it just to be different. It's nice and wide, plenty of room for people on foot and people on bikes or Trikkes, but it's hardly ever used.

I've only been on if a few times, and only pass maybe one other person every time I'm on it.

This is probably why...those cars.

The path runs along I-80 and when there's a lot of traffic--which is most of the time--it's pretty loud. Today wasn't too bad; I passed a guy on a bicycle, wasn't wishing for ear plugs, and at the end of the path is a Carl's Jr with a conveniently located restroom.

I availed myself of the opportunity and headed back out...and realized after a few minutes that I had paused my Garmin and not turned it back on. So I turned around and walked back, guessing it was about a quarter of a mile, and mentally rewarded myself a bonus point for nailing it. I headed back up the bike path and continued on, trying to figure out what mileage I'd be at by the time I got back around to the yogurt place.

6.5 miles. Perfect.

From there it's a mile and a half home...which would give me 8 miles in total. Considering I wasn't planning on walking at all, and then was going to cut it short, I impressed myself.

Yeah, I'm easy that way.

Saturday, September 11, 2010



...but these guys were a little bit distracting...

'Tis apparently the beginning of soccer season. The park, which is normally very quiet save for the few regulars walking its perimeter, was overflowing with kids and parents and siblings. The parking lots were full, street parking slots all taken. And the noise? There's nothing like hundreds of little kids all jockeying for attention of one sort or another all at the same time.

I had to stop and watch for a few minutes. This is one of the things I miss about having a sport-aged kid (or band aged, drama club aged, take your pick, it was all fun.) Watching the tiny ones learn to play is at least 4 different kinds of fun, and it was worth the break in my stride and the few extra minutes to see some excited 5 year old score a goal.

Other than that, today's 10 was just routine. And yes, I did stop for frozen yogurt. I had to pee, they have a restroom, it was right there, and not buying any would have just been rude.

And I'm nothing if not polite, dammit.

Friday, September 10, 2010



Here's the problem with moderate distances being easier now: I don't feel justified in stopping for frozen yogurt. Six miles used to be a reason to stop at around mile 4.5 to indulge, but yesterday's six didn't feel like effort enough to warrant the reward. I'm not even sure eight is enough now.

Tomorrow's ten? That might. I'll probably stop around 5 to change my socks and check my feet, and around 8.5 if I'm near Big Spoon, I'll stop. I don't think I'll maneuver it so that's where I am at 8.5, but I'll feel like it's all right to stop if I am.

Today was shopping for odds and ends to pack for the walk; I think I have most of what I need. I probably ought to count my socks and make sure I have enough for changes every 5 miles...and I need to blow up my mattress to make sure it's usable and make sure the pump works, and check my sleeping bag, but as far as stuff...I think I have it all.

Three weeks from today, people!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Straight Up..and up...and up...


If this street wasn't a 50% grade...it sure as hell felt like it. I know it was steeper than it looks from here.

BTW, if you're heading out to tackle the inclinous, don't make the first hill you head up on a freak show of steep.

On the other hand, doing it first gets it out of the way.

After meeting DKM for lunch (YAY!) the Spouse Thingy and I spent about 5 hours walking around San Francisco again. We went up and down the hills streets, and then wandered through the touristy part of China Town.

China Town is, not surprisingly, kind of cool. The streets are crowded with people aiming cameras at the buildings and other people, making it a little difficult to get any speed going, but by then we had taken it down a notch and were doing a lot of looking around, too.

All in all I think we only did 4-5 miles, but my legs felt like a whole lot more after some of those hills, so I call it Good Enough.

I mean, I know I can do distance now, so why the hell not go for some leg strength and the cardio benefits of climbing stretched of asphalt-covered torture?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One-third short...


Well, physically I could have done it; my left foot, on the other hand, decided to cut me short today and I only got in 10 miles. I took a short break at 5 miles, thinking the next one would be at 10, but the feeling of a hot spot convinced me to go ahead and stop for lunch, after which I peeked at the offending foot.

More damned blisters. They're small, and I'm determined to keep them small, so I slapped some Moleskin on and headed home. This close to October, I figure not risking bigger and uglier blisters in more important than 5 miles that I have no doubt I can do.

Truly, I don't doubt it. and on the walk itself I'll Moleskin up and keep walking, but now is too close to that to risk it.

I fully intend to baby myself when I need to...plus, I kind of want to be able to walk the hills in SF on Tuesday. I'm hoping some liberal use of Witch hazel will dry those little suckers up by Monday night and I'll be good to go. I don't even have to be able to walk a huge long distance on Tuesday, just long enough to walk from the Bart station and hopefully meet up with DKM, then to Union Square where I will deposit the Spouse Thingy and spend a little time going up and down the inclinous streets around it.

No, I don't think "inclinous" is a real word. I probably justr made it up, but you know what I mean, and if everyone else adopts it, then it becomes a real word. So find ways to work it into your vocabulary, ok?

Great. You're aces.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

damn, I'm fast...


According to my Garmin, I did 16 miles at an average speed of 65 mph today, which might explain why my feet hurt.

I had GPS issues today; part of it due to where I was walking and the Garmin not being able to keep track of me all the time, and part of it due to me forgetting to pause it when I wasn't actually walking.

Like, when I was driving. Duh.

I decided to walk the nearby Factory Outlet stores today; I got there about half an hour before they opened, and people were slow to show up, so for my first two hours it was nice. I didn't have to dodge anyone or smell anyone's cigarette smoke or body funk. I was walking at a pretty good clip, but the Garmin kept losing the signal, so I have to go by time on that part of it. I was going at about a 19 minute mile pace, so I figure for those 2 hours I did 6 miles.

I went across the street to the other half of the Outlet after that, and the Garmin was able to find me. Four miles there, then I decided to get in the car and head towards home for the final 8 miles. When I got to the McD's parking lot--lunch frst--I realized I hadn't paused the GPS, and it had me smokin'...

The rest? Totally uneventful, other than the creepy guy on the bicycle who seemed to be (possibly not) following me. I noticed him when I was over by the big park; he'd pedal a little ahead of me, then stop and get off to fiddle with his chain. I'd cross the street to have distance between us, he'd pedal ahead and have more bike issues, I'd cross the street... on and on until I was on a well traveled street and there were lots of other people around. Oddly enough, I didn't see him after that. Go figure.

Do I know for sure he had ill intentions? Nope, but I trust my gut, and my gut told me to cross the freaking street every time he stopped to "fix" his chain (always on the side of the street I was waking on) and my gut told me to get where there were lots of people. The Gift of Fear, people...it's not just a book.

I used that as an excuse to stop for a few minutes for frozen yogurt, then finished the last 3 miles in the same small area, near McD's where the car was parked and where there were people. Just in case.

After I got home the Spouse Thingy peeled the solar cover off the pool and I floated for a while, and then he went to get me pizza.

Not a bad day :)

The key for me is, though, that while my feet hurt and I had a couple miles of an uncooperative hip, today's 18 wasn't bad at all. I'm not wiped out. And I'm not dreading tomorrow's 15. I just have to decide where I want to walk.

Friday, September 3, 2010

18 Delayed


The plan for today was 18 miles. The reality was insomnia last night topped off with lots heat today, so I'm delaying it until tomorrow. It's supposed to be a bit cooler, and with luck I'll fall asleep at a normal-people hour tonight so I'll be rested enough.

Not that I didn't walk today; I went over to the factory outlet stores in Vacaville and walked around there, trying to get a feel for the distance. Like the ├╝ber-intelligent person that I am, I forgot my GPS thingy, but I have a good feel now for how much distance I cover in a given time, and each side seems to be right around three quarters of a mile. So tomorrow, just to be different, I think I'll head over there to start walking. If I get bored, there's a whole lot of Vacaville I can wander around.

I'm weirdly looking forward to it. Maybe because it'll be somewhere different to walk, I don't know. All I know is that I'm not dreading it, and there are restrooms all over the freaking place! ;)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Countdown Begins...


Just one more month. This time a month from now, the first day of walking should be over, or close to it. I'm still scared to death about the whole thing, but my concerns have shifted.

I'm no longer worried about being able to walk 60 miles in 3 days. I'll either do it, or I won't. I'll either have to hop on the van that carts people from where they're at to the next pit stop, or I won't. My feet will hold up, or they won't.

I'm thinking the distance will be fine, and my feet will be fine. Which is why my brain is now drifting to some fairly valid concerns that I can do nothing about. Things that will either happen, or they won't.

Thumper + food + walking = bad idea, most of the time. In the TMI arena, you take someone with IBS characterized by the wonderfully medical sounding 'dumping syndrome,' stick food in them, and then have them do much of anything...well, you can surely imagine. It's not pretty. Breakfast and lunch will be problematic; even moreso if there are any mushrooms within sight of my food. Kiwi, mango, black olives...that would be unpleasant.

I don't want to walk 60 miles and then die because I didn't realize I was eating a mushroom.

(No worries for real..I don't get anaphylaxis, just really really sick...at least with the mushroom. Mango, that might kill me...)

Food issues in general...there are too many things I can eat but shouldn't because of the way they attack my gut. Whoever winds up in a tent with me better pray there are choices that don't require me to eat a banana. I love the damn things, but they do not love me in return.

Then there's the whole diabetes insipidus thing. The DDAVP I'm on right now, tablet form, doesn't work especially well--which normally for me is a good thing, because it means I don't wind up carrying an extra 10 pounds of fluid--so I'm always a little bit thirsty and pee like a pregnant woman. I plan in taking the nasal spray version with me, and that works really well. Too well. I won't feel thirsty and I won't pee as much as I probably should...and I'll hold onto too much water.

Chances are I'll end this walk 12-15 pounds heavier than when I start. That will not make me happy...I'll know it's water weight and it'll come off over the following 2-3 weeks, but still. How many people walk 60 miles and pork out? This people, that's who.

I have to admit, though, more than any worries popping up in my brain, I'm getting excited. I get to meet people! I get to annoy new people! I get to make new people look at each other and mutter, "WTF?"

That's always a good time. Yep ;)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The hills are alive, with the sound of OMG WTF?


All righty...the Walk will be in San Francisco and San Francisco has hills. Lots and lots of hills. It's almost like some sadist sat down in city planning over a hundred years ago, rubbed his hands together while cackling, and declared this would be the most painful city ever to walk around in. But, since it has the hills we'll all be facing in October, those are the hills I want to train a bit on.

So, in the interest of a half fun day of taking in the city, and a half OMG-WTF! day of walking hills, we drove to Concord, hopped on the BART train, and went into San Francisco.

Powell Street near Market Street
The picture doesn't show what I hoped it would, which was the sheer I'm gonna walk THAT? feeling I had when I looked past the cable car.

We'd already walked about a half mile up Market Street when we decided we were going the wrong way; we turned around, got our bearings, and turned up Powell Street...and all I saw was the road creeping up toward the sky.

But we pressed onward, and walked. We climbed three city blocks and then stopped to try to help some kid dragging his suitcases, who wondered where his hotel was (all hail the iPhone and Google Maps...), decided to turn and walk a block to the right so give my knees some time on flatness, and then headed back up a little bit of a hill.

Yours truly, near Ghiradelli Square
We wound up wandering through Chinatown (I think...it was certainly all Asian and the shops were Asian and 90% of the shoppers were Asian, and I couldn't even read price signs...and there was the Chinese Hospital, which I take as a clue) took a street that angled off where we were, and ended up at Ghiradelli Square.

Laugh if ya want, but I've never been there and just wanted to see it.

I get bonus points for resisting the lure of the chocolate.

After that we walked along the Wharf, down to Pier 39, and then wandered back down Powell Street in search of the start of the cable car line.

Maybe not thrilling, but at least I got to ride one!
Yes, we could have walked back; it's only about 3 miles from that point, but I've never been on a cable car, and if you're going to be all touristy in SF, you take the freaking cable car.

It was not the thrill I'd hoped for.


We headed into the Westfield Mall to scope it out; it's touted as being really big, and it is in square feet terms, but not so much in quality shopping. That was fine, since we were there to walk and not really shop, though we did look for a sweatshirt for me since I was getting cold. I settled for a black track jacket, and am oddly happier with it than I would have been a sweatshirt.

We also walked up and down Market Street, until it was late enough that we knew we should head back. All in all we walked for a good 5 hours, less the time we sat down to have a quick lunch. And it was quick, I'm guessing 20 minutes from the time we sat down until we were back wandering around.

I suspect we'll do it again next week, although without going all the way to the Wharf; I may just do hills around Union Square, and let the Spouse Thingy chill out at the Square. He admitted that at the end he was ready to stop walking...I honestly could have kept going, and wanted to, but realized I couldn't because of the time.

It definitely beat walking the Dixon flat flat flat sidewalks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm totally walking...


Golden Gate Bridge 8-26-10
I have been walking...not "training" walking, exactly, but I'm getting the miles in.

The Spouse Thingy had a few days off, so I've been getting the time in a little creatively; on the 25th we checked out a mall near Sacramento that we'd never been to, and we spent a good two hours walking around there.

On the 26th, we went to San Francisco so that I could see the Golden Gate Bridge up close, and we walked across that, and then spent some time walking around Union Square and then Pier 39.

Yesterday we walked around a flea market, and today we walked around Six Flags. Since we don't tend to ride a lot of the rides, we walk around looking at stuff, and logged in at least 6 miles there today.

Tomorrow we're probably going back to San Francisco, and all we're planning on doing is walking the Wharf, seeing what's there that we haven't seen before.

Lots of walking going on, just not "walking."

But it totally counts, right?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Why ask Why?

Simple enough question. “Why are you doing this?”

Look, I've kind of expected that question all along and have had a pat answer: nothing I've gone through—none of the chronic pain (I'm not proud, I'll list it: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Myofascial Pain, and arthritis in my lower spine and in both hips), the months in the wheelchair, the brain tumor, the marathon peeing and drinking and wondering when the hell my meds will kick in, or worse when they'll wear off—has been half as hard as someone else hearing they have breast cancer, and then what they go through in treatment. The chemo. The radiation.

It sounds like a great answer, right? Doing this long walk because even when you add it onto everything else, it still seems insignificant.

But before I could type out my at answer, I was hit with, “And don't give me any of the typical bullshit. I don't really need to know why you're doing it. YOU need to know why you're doing it.”

Well...fine. Color me stumped and momentarily speechless.

“Don't tell me either that you're doing it because The Grate Jeter Harris Hizself's mom asked you to. Why are YOU doing it?”

The person posing the question? He doesn't really expect an answer. He's the kind of person that asks random crap just to make other people ponder themselves. I imagine he asks himself random crap like this all the time, just for the exercise of self-introspection. I imagine he asks his wife things all the time to just get her to stop in time and in place for a moment, to simply consider.

I had plenty of time over the weekend to ponder the why of it all. I distracted myself from the sheer number of steps required to complete 17 and then 13 miles with a really good audiobook, but that didn't keep my brain from working in the background while I was listening to Joshilyn Jackson read her own work. The last two miles of Saturday's 17 hurt like hell, and I pondered it over and over.

What the hell am I doing to myself?

When I got up Sunday morning and had knee pain that rated an 8 on a 1-10 scale, I briefly considered not walking at all. Why go through the pain? After all, this is the training portion, this isn't the “real walk.”

Except that it is.

I got up and walked, not because I'm a masochist, and not because I'm some wonderful person who said she'd do it, so she's doing it. I got up and walked because all the steps leading up to The Walk count. They're part of the process. They're part of bigger picture. They're just as real as It is.

I'm not kidding anyone; this training is kicking my ass, and it fucking hurts. That pain you feel the first day after starting a new exercise routine? I start from there. My best days start from some version of that. I knew that when I accepted the invitation to sign up for this walk, and I decided to do it in spite of it.

And the truth is that I didn't say I'd do it because getting a diagnoses of cancer is harder than anything I've gone through; I didn't do it because chemo and radiation and mastectomy are more difficult. When it comes down to it, I wanted to do this because what I've gone through has been hard. It's been gut wrenchingly hard, and it's been Phuckit-am-I-going-to-die? hard.

Hearing a bad diagnoses? I've been there. I remember what it felt like to be told I had a tumor clinging to the underside of my brain, and that it was big. I remember the dread of being told that because it was big, and because they just couldn't tell from the MRI exactly what type of tumor it was—something harmless or something insidious—that it had to come out; I know now how fear drips from your fingertips in electric slivers. I will never forget the feeling of checking into the hospital and just not knowing. How badly will this hurt? How long will it take? Will I wake up and hear “Sorry, but it sucks to be you”? Will I wake up at all? I still feel the resignation of knowing that I wasn't getting out of it, that someone was going to reach into my head and cut something out, and if I bolted it just meant more uncertainty.

Will I live, or will I die?

I've done hard.

I don't want other people to do hard.

I don't want some 20-something young woman who hasn't even started her life to have to face anything that hard. Or some 20-something young man. Or 30 or 40-something. 90-something.

This wouldn't even have to be a walk for breast cancer. My mother had lymphoma; I could easily do a walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and I may at some point. Hell, I probably will. My father had kidney cancer. I could easily walk for symptom awareness, how to save your own life.

It's all hard. It's all fucking hard.

But this? I can do this. If any or every step I take means there's a small chance that someday someone else won't have to sit there and hear about some wayward thing growing in their body, that's some of the why of it all.

The possibilities.

The hope.

That doesn't make me some Pollyanna tightass halo-glowing wonderdork; I'm not doing anything thousands upon thousands of other people aren't doing and haven't already done this year. Hell, if I hadn't been asked to join a team*, it never would have crossed my mind. And when I was asked, it scared the hell out of me.

Because I knew it would be hard.

I will probably find myself weighed down with more doubts over the next month; the next long walk weekend is 18 miles one day and (I think) 15 the next. It's going to hurt, and I'm going to complain about it. Not whine, but complain, because it's going to hurt, and it's going to be hard.

The thing is, hard isn't fatal.

Why am I doing it? I think the answer is because I need to know that I can. That everything that's been hard hasn't been in vain. So that I can say I damn well did it.

It's a selfish motivation.


I can live with that.

*Blogger Babes for Boobies...if you haven't donated yet, please consider picking one of my kickass teammates to toss a few bucks at.

What 30 miles in two days looks like:

Afterward, anyway...

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Ok, 13 miles after 17 miles = a whole lot of suckitude. My feet held up just fine, but the rest of me? Not so much.

I'm not sure what I did between last night and around 4 am, but I woke up then with ropy pain behind my right knee--ligaments or tendons, I'm not sure--and by this morning it was a clusterfuck of "do I walk or not?"

I loaded up on Naprosyn and walked. And at 5 miles I was sucking down Motrin.

At 7 I sat down on the first bench I could find for a few minutes.

Then at 8 miles., because my hips were joining in on the whining.

And at 9, thanks to my back.

Took a break at ten.

Sat down at 11.5...and then shuffled the rest of the way home. I walked slowly all day; it took me about 40 minutes longer than it should have, and I spent a good part of the day wondering how the hell I'll be able to do two 20 mile days, much less three.

But...I'm hoping for pain free days on the walk. My feet should be all right--the socks seem to be just what I needed--and I'll have adrenaline and a goal to walk towards.

But still, today? It sucked hard and every step I took was lead-weighted with doubt. It was not my best day, not by a long shot.

Saturday, August 21, 2010



Ok, I did 17 miles and didn't die.

The last couple of miles...that hurt. Really, really hurt.

But...no blisters. Sore feet bottoms, but no blisters.

I got the bright idea last night to buy an audiobook to listen to while walking today, thinking it would help...and it did. It was easy to get lost in the story instead of counting down miles, so it wasn't until I'd piled up over 10 miles before I realized foot fatigue was setting in. I really felt it at 13 miles and just wanted to be done, and wound up sitting down almost every mile after that for a couple of minutes, but I hit the door at 17 miles and only have 3 minutes left on the audiobook.

Would have finished it, but the pool was calling my name.

I might have to d/l another one for tomorrow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

And we're walking, walking...


Alrighty...so yesterday I did 6 miles.

Nothing special.

Nothing spectacular.

This is good. Because I did six miles without any new blisters and without any weird pain. There was a little tugging right around where the blisters were, but that's it. Just a little tugging.

I didn't do any special prep--I wore the new Wrightsocks double layer running socks and some antiperspirant  on my feet, but that's it. No Moleskin, no blister bandages (though I did have both on hand, just in case.)

Tomorrow...17 miles. I'll take 3 extra pairs of the spiffy new socks along and change every 5 miles. and I'll add Body Glide to the prep, but I won't cover anything with Moleskin unless it seems like I need to along the way.

I'm also intending on eating my way through town...those calories don't count, right? RIGHT?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Moving On...


Pretty, eh?

The good news is that the blister has ripped open and is drying out. The bad news is that the blister has ripped open and exposed tender new flesh that seems ripe for more blistering.

We shall see.

Yesterday I managed 5 miles; it was questionable when I stopped, whether or not my feet would have help up for further distance. I'm not sure what to do for tomorrow's walk; I should trim the dead skin away, but I don't know if I should cover it then or see what happens and deal with it if it looks like there are going to be further issues.

I hate my feet, I really do...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm Still Around...

I didn't stop walking...exactly. Somewhere between the first of the month and the sixth, there were a few miles, and on the 6th I did 15, and on the 7th I did 11.

On those days, my blisters raised their ugly heads, and I decided I'd better take it easy for a few days and figure out what I needed to do to get rid of them, get them to callus over, and then walk this past weekend. Surely I could do eight miles one day and six the next, even after a break.

I came across a few answers: Wrightsocks double layer anti-blister running socks (guaranteed blister free; I'll believe it when I see it), witch hazel to dry the blisters out, and antiperspirant to keep my feet from sweating so much. I bought the witch hazel and was planning to shop for the socks, but then my dad died and all training plans went out the window.

Instead of walking on Friday, I was at his funeral (which was, oddly, a damned funny experience) and on Saturday I was on a plane headed home.

The thing is, Thursday night, after having wandered through airports and the like, those blisters were nasty looking.

Friday they were no better.

Last night, when I got home, they'd painlessly opened up, drained, and were drying out. And they look like they'll callus over.

I'd like to think my dad had a hand in that.

Today the Spouse Thingy and I drove to a Fleet Feet in downtown Sacramento and found the socks, then got some antiperspirant for my feet, and this evening I'll take a short walk to see how it feels, and if it feels all right, I'll get up in the morning and go a little longer.

Because, really, if I can get control of the blisters, I don't think the 17 mile walk this weekend will be too hard (though the following 13 might hurt...)

I reserve the right to whine just before and after, anyway.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The suckiest mile


was the last one. The last half mile, that really sucked. I got to the small park near our house, knew I was within a quarter mile from the front door, but still needed a half mile to complete 14.

I nearly said to hell with it, that was close enough, but no...I walked around the park once, lapped back, and hit the door at 14.01.

I did the same thing today that I did last week: broke it up into less mentally challenging chunks. At five miles, I planned on stopping to get a cheap McD's drink and change my socks (got a burger, too, because hell, I was hungry so why the hell not?)

At 10 miles I stopped for frozen yogurt and to change my socks (because, hell, I didn't get fries with the burger, so why the hell not?)

I had an unexpected detour into the grocery store because I realized my Camelback was getting low, and grabbed a drink to go, then headed towards the big city park.

And at 12 miles, my feet and knees were telling me "Enough!"

By then it was hot out, I was tired, and I just wanted to get home. Which was a mile and a half away. Funny how that worked, eh?

I think 14 would have been less problematic yesterday; today I was already a little tired when I started out, and while the first ten were all right, that last four kind of sucked. Especially the last half mile...I'm pretty sure I shuffled through that one at a wonderful 23 minute/mile pace.

Now, if only I had some vodka slush to cap off the afternoon...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Home Brewed Sweet Feet


Some of the oddest advice I've ever gotten, but I figure, what the hell, it can't hurt.

To toughen my feet, Murf tells me, I should soak them in strong brewed tea. And he wasn't kidding (surely you can see where I assumed he was...); supposedly the tannic acid in the tea will help.

So, I'm brewing some tea, bought a small litter box, and will soak them later. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

But as for walking today... I got up this morning and figured I'd give it a try. Worst case scenario I would turn around and go home. Best case, I'd hit the 8-9 miles I'd wanted to do today.

I hit 10 miles and could have gone the whole 14, so I'm guessing it was the best case scenario. If I'd had one more pair of socks on me, I might have gone for it. At 9.5 I thought about going home and getting another pair, but a little voice in the back of my head told me to not push it, and do another 10 tomorrow.

The only difference today was the way I cut the Moleskin before I put it on my foot. I cut it so that it would snug closer to my toes, with a small strip going between my big toe and second toe. I can only guess that placement kept my skin from pulling and reduced friction...but it's only a guess and it could have just been a really good day.

I'll try it again tomorrow and see what happens.

In the meantime, I'll soak in the tea, and hope that the kitties don't assume they can pee in that box...

Friday, July 30, 2010



Ok, so the foot felt fine when I got up today.

Smeared the Glide on, put on socks and shoes, it felt fine.

Walked, it was feeling fine.

Hit 4 miles, and hmmm, doesn't feel quite as fine.

But, I was only planning on 5 miles, so I headed home and hit the door at 5.05, peeled off the shoes and socks, and looked... same damned spot, a little bit red, a little uncomfortable.

So, I dunno...Since it happens in different shoes, I'm guessing it's the way my foot strikes the ground, or more likely as I rotate through the step, the way I push off the ground with that foot. I'm not sure what's different--a few weeks ago I was doing 8-9 miles a day without any problems.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow...I have 8-9 planned, but am also walking a route that will get me home in fewer if need be.

Thursday, July 29, 2010



No walk map today; I went over to the Factory Outlet Stores to walk around rather than around town, reasoning that there are a lot of benches there--just in case--and besides, I needed wanted another pair of shorts...

The good? The shoes feel comfortable.

The bad? I can feel that one spot on my left foot. It's not painful now, but I can still feel it there, like it's mocking me. So I only did about a mile, got my shorts, and went home. I'll probably do another mile or two later, on the treadmill, and see how that feels.

But, I have a bad feeling that I won't hit any really high mileage days this week. On the advice of a couple of runner friends, I'll probably try a shorter walk tomorrow--5 miles or so--and Saturday only go 8-9, and then another 8-9 on Sunday and see how the foot holds up. If it's not sore, I'll walk M-W, 6-7  miles each day, and the should be able to do a 15 mile day next Friday and hopefully a 10-11 on Saturday. Theoretically, anyway. That would keep me pretty much on track.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New shoes. new shoes...


All righty.

In the interest of not letting my foot split open like an over ripe melon, I pretty much stayed off it on Sunday and Monday. Although I did slap some shoes on yesterday afternoon to go to Sports Chalet and buy some new ones...

...and I really hope I didn't make a $140 mistake. I walked for less than half a mile last night to see how they felt outside the store, and I was thinking I may have blow it. The right shoe rubbed my ankle funny and the nail on my big toe kept catching a seam...not terribly impressive.

I swear, they fit fine in the store...

This morning I slipped them on and headed out for a shortish walk; at .25 miles I stopped long enough to relace them to reduce heel slippage (and that worked) and my toenail wasn't catching on anything, so off I went.

These shoes feel quite nice on my feet, but I still have the hot spot. Right now I think that's less a product of the shoes and more an issue of not being completely healed yet. I did a little over 5 miles and it wasn't bothersome until I got home and took my shoes off...then it was damn!

But, they do feel nice on my feet. The kid in Sports Chalet recommended a men's shoe since I have freakishly wide feet, checked whether or not I have any pronation (I am neutral, thank you veddy much) and recommended a shoe with cushioning right where my biggest issues lie.

So, we'll see. I'm not sure how far or if I'll walk in the morning. I want to give that spot a little more time to settle. It's not raised in a blister at the moment, but it is touchy. And I would like to be able to hit a high mileage day either Friday or Saturday and again the next day, to not lose too much training ground.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kinda gross, but...


I'll share anyway.

After walking yesterday, I took my shoes and socks off and they stayed off; walking around the house was fine. No pain and no pressure, other than just a very little bit of discomfort on the one spot on my left foot. But then I needed to go to the store, put my socks and shoes back on, and holy hell.

The level of discomfort was astounding. and it wasn't just the one spot. I got home, took them off again, and started really looking at my feet.

It's not just the ball of my left foot.

click to biggify
Outside edge of my right heel. I didn't even feel this before, but I've got a couple of nice blisters working there. It's under thick skin, which may be why I didn't feel it earlier.

I sure as hell felt it last night.

There's also a nice one on the outside side area of my right big toe; again, under some really thick skin, and it didn't photograph well at all, so a picture seems pointless...that one looks like it will callus up nicely, though.

Ignore the bandaid outlines...
I took the blister bandaids off my left foot and the skin seems a little chewed up there. It's a little red where the hot spot is; the blister doesn't really show, but I can move it around with my finger.

Right now I'm in Adidas socks. I tried the Thorlos thick cushioned socks--initially I thought they worked so I bought like 6 pair--but they were chewing up the same spot on my left foot...or that's what I thought was doing it.

I switched to the Adidas and until my mileage started creeping over 5-6 miles, I thought things were fine. I used Moleskin to pad the balls of my feet when they started bothering me, which had been on the 9+ mile days.

I'm using Body Glide all over the bottoms and side of my feet.

Now, I know I have touchy feet. Even with the perfect socks, I'll be replacing them every 5 washings or so. But I didn't think my feet were this touchy. I doubt is has anything to do with having FMS or CMPS, because it's not pain, it's just...this.

The other common denominator is the shoes; I did go try on other brands, but couldn't find anything that felt like it fit well.

I'm really not sure what to try next. I'll keep my feet out of shoes as much as I can today, and tomorrow if I need to, but with the pain issues I have I can't just stop training or I'll lose more ground than the average person. Not whining about it; it just is what it is. I have to keep walking or it'll be almost like starting over.

Ideas (but please, not lectures) most welcome...

Saturday, July 24, 2010



Today's goal: 9 miles.

Today's reality: 7.25 miles.

Endurance wise, no problem. It wasn't too hot, the distance wasn't too much.

My left foot, on the other hand (so to speak), stopped cooperating at around seven miles, and rather than risk shredding a blister, I called it quits early and went home.

It helped that I was very close to home anyway. And that there was cold chocolate milk waiting. And that I really had to pee...

I know...they're wrinkly...
I prepped my feet before leaving the house today. I covered the offending blister (top blister bandage) and slathered my feet with Glide, and it felt doable.

At 4 miles I stopped to stick another blister bandage on (lower one) because it felt like I might be getting one there. And my right big toe needed Moleskin. I hoped that foot had another 5 miles in it, and it probably did if I changed my gait a bit and walked more on the blade of my left foot, but being so close to home and knowing I could do the nine miles if I pushed it...I just went home.

I need to toughen my feet up. They're sensitive as hell--I literally have to get new socks every month or so because after they've been washed 4-5 times I can feel the fabric against my feet and it's irritating--and I always have shoes on to "protect" them (from a zombie attack, you know). I'm thinking a band sander and some medium grit paper should do the trick.

Tomorrow's a rest day, and in the interest of healing the blister, I think I'll just sit here all day and not do a damned thing. Kind of like every other day, eh?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lucky 13?


I dreaded today. Twelve miles kicked my asterisk last week, and I wasn't sure how I'd be able to pull off thirteen. Twelve was my giant wall, the point of No More, and I was about to walk face first into it.

But...I got up this morning and decided to not think of thirteen miles. I was going to start with three, then stop to grab a drink and munch on a granola bar. I planned after that to go five more, then stop for lunch at 8 miles total, but at 6.5 I had to sit on a bench in the park to address some feet issues.

I have a particularly bothersome hot spot on my left foot; the Moleskin wasn't helping at all, so I slapped a blister bandage on it, waited a couple of minutes, and got back on my way. I stopped at 9 miles for lunch, then decided just 2.5 more and I could stop at the frozen yogurt place.

That would put me 1.5 miles from home...for a total of 13.

Yep, I molded today's walk around the idea of eating my way through Dixon.

But, it worked. By mentally breaking the walk up into smaller chunks, it wasn't this overwhelming idea of walking further than I ever had before. It was just going to get a drink, then going for lunch, then going for dessert, and getting home.

Because I had to stop to take care of my feet, I took longer breaks than I intended, but my total walking time was 13 miles in 4 hours 16 minutes.

I'm not sure how my feet will be in the morning, but I'm planning on 9 miles...we'll see how well that goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ow # 2985


Yesterday's map.

Fearing an attack from some very unhappy calves because of walking the Ramps of Doom, I got out of bed very slowly yesterday morning. But it wasn't too bad, so I geared up and headed out to walk, and was zipping along when I realized I hadn't reset my GPS thingy from the day before, so it was showing a whole lot more than I'd actually done.

I'm getting pretty good at figuring out distances around here now, knew I'd gone about .6 miles, so I reset it and aimed for another 4.5 miles to get in a total of 5. And damn, I'm so good, I nailed it.

Then the bad things started.

My calves clenched their icy fingers of hate around my bones, squeezed, and grumbled "You are never walking fully upright again..."

As the day wore on, the calves got more sore.

When I got up this morning, I swear I heard maniacal laughing as I swung my legs over the edge of the mattress. And when my feet hit the floor, my calves exploded in a bloody mess all over the walls and floor and required a call to Servicemasters for cleanup.

Not that I would exaggerate.

But, I'm feeling it more today than I did yesterday. This is where the suckiness of having FMS and CMPS comes into play...I'm supposed to cross train today, but I don't think that's going to happen. Since I have 13 miles on the schedule for tomorrow, I'm giving my legs a break today and hope that they like me a little bit more in the morning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



The Ramps of Doom

These are evacuation ramps at the hospital in which the Spouse Thingy works. There are 16 of them, two per story of the building, and he occasionally walks them at night when he's not doing a case, just for jollies.

Because Dixon is so freaking flat, and I need to starting walking some decent inclines, he took me there today.

Oh holy...

I am not in ramp shape. I am in flatland shape. When I walk around town my heart rate is usually around 110, sometimes in the 120s if I really push it. I got on those ramps and my HR went up into the 130s, and when I finally cried Uncle, the 140s.

I kept my usual walking pace, but it didn't take long for my calves to start complaining and for my lungs to issue a resound WTF?

We went up three times and down three times, then walked to the cafeteria one more floor down to sit and get a drink. The idea was to go back, but after sitting for a few minutes, I realized that if I wanted to be able to walk tomorrow, I needed to stop.

The Spouse Thingy did try to make me feel better about it, and swears that the first time he walked the ramps, he only went up and down once, and after doing it for over a year, he's only done it 4 times without stopping, coming back later to do it twice more.

This may be my cross training for a while; on his days off making the drive to walk the ramps. I'd go without him, but they're located in an employees-only area, and it wouldn't be the greatest idea to get his in trouble just because I want to make use of their ramps. I may have to shift my days around, but I'd like to get there twice a week, and be able to walk them a good 10 times without stopping.

Three times up and down is only, btw, 1.07 miles.

My asterisk was kicked by 1.07 miles.

At least I got a Diet Mountain Dew and some pretzels out of it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It called to me...


The training schedule called for four miles today.

I did six.

Not because I'm all gung ho and always have to do just a little bit more than is required.

Nope, I did it because at 3 miles, I heard something calling my name. It was clear as a bell. Thummmmmmppppperrr...come heeerrrreeee...

I am nothing if not obedient--just ask the Spouse Thingy--and followed the sound of my name.

Right into Solano Bakery, where, in the display case, was a chocolate glazed donut calling out to me.

The internal struggle of I-want-one-but-I-shouldn't lasted about .00009 seconds, when I decided that because I hadn't had a donut in over a year, dammit, I was getting one.

So I added two miles to my walk, because as good as that donut was, I don't want it hanging around any longer than necessary.

And I'm starting to wonder how many people who undertake the training for this walk end up gaining weight...donuts are evil and I'm sure I'm not the only person who hears them calling.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The pain...the pain...


I dragged my sorry asterisk up at 6:15 in the freaking morning. SIX-FIFTEEN, PEOPLES! It wasn't masochism; the talking heads doing weather on TV all agreed, today would be wicked hot. 100+

So I got up. And I was out the door by 7:15.

The first six miles...not bad at all. It was pleasant out, and I kept finding all kinds of shade to walk in. Some road construction forced me into turning right when I wanted to turn left, but hey, a new route! I wound up near Burger King at six miles and went inside for a short break (read: it was .2 miles closer than McD's and I seriously had to pee...) and sat there listening to a group of old people dissect my appearance. They concluded I was probably homeless--I only spent $1 there, after all, and I was kind of grimy looking--and debated whether or not it would be offensive to offer to buy me some breakfast, but before they could come to a conclusion, I got up and went outside to peek at my feet and slap some Moleskin on.

I made a mental note to sweat in a less grimy fashion from now on, though.

The next few miles...not bad at all. It was definitely warming up, but by then I was at the park, where there were lots of trees and some shade to walk through.

At 10.5 miles I was feeling a little warm, but hey! Frozen Yogurt RIGHT THERE! How fortunate I just HAPPENED to wind up there right when I was thinking about taking a short break!

But then the ugly started to happen.

At 10.75 miles, the road construction dudes totally blocked the direction I wanted to head towards home, and pointed me down a road I did not wish to walk. There was no shade down that road, the sun was beating down, and the temperature was now at Um, Only Morons Are Out Walking Now.

It would also, I figured, add another mile onto this walk.

At 11 miles, I was swearing under my breath, but hey! A street I forgot about that cuts through right in front of me! So I turned left and was almost happy with the thought that at least I was not going to walk an extra mile.

But my heart rate was up, I was mouth breathing, I was miserable, and I just wanted to get home.

At 11.5 miles, I was looking around me to see if there were people nearby, just in case. I realized the park was just ahead, so instead of going right I went left--same distance--because I knew there would be people wit their spawn at the park, and wouldn't it just make everyone's day if I DROPPED DEAD right in front of the KIDS???

At 11.75 miles I was at the park, muttering to myself, doing a lot of self assessment--HR still higher than usual, but not too high; still mouth breathing but not too hard; I was still sweating and not thirsty--and thinking it had to be 98-99 degrees.

I hit the door right at 12 miles (the GPS thingy says 11.78, but there was that .25-.33 miles where I had the damned thing paused because I are teh SmaRt) and headed straight for the shower--man, that was gross peeling off sweat soaked clothes--but even after that I was still sweating.

So I checked the thermometer. And then weather.com. Just to see how hard core I am, how much of the hot I can take.

90 degrees.

I am such a warm weather weenie.

The good news is that it wasn't the distance that got me, it was the fiery furnaces of hell that were blasting down. Because truly, 90 degrees without shade, that's got to be at least an outer circle, right?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And the Kindle goes to...

Sandra S...because of the value of the prize I'm withholding the last name unless the winner gives permission to share.

Peoples...your awesomeness and generosity overwhelms me, and I'm going to try to scrape up a couple more fun things to give away.

Thank you for allowing me to hit my goal so early. Seriously, thank you thank you thank you!



Shouka 2I have no idea exactly how far I walked yesterday, but I'm guessing it was between 4-5 miles.

I mean, I got up yesterday morning fully intending to hit the pavement and crank out 5 zippy miles, but the weather was nice and we have season passes to Six Flags, so we headed there instead.

Other than a 15 minute killer whale show and a 20 minute dolphin show, plus a raft ride, we mostly walked. So it totally counts.

This morning I got up thinking in terms of cross training, and since I haven't gotten on my Trikke lately--like 6+ weeks--I decided that would be an awesome 45 minute workout.

Um, yeah.

I have lost all my Trikking endurance, and 20 minutes kicked my ass. But, it was 20 minutes with my HR in the 150s, which is going to count. I'll work on getting my endurance back on that thing sooner or later.

Tomorrow is 12 miles; part of it might have to be done inside on the treadmill, because it's supposed to get stupid hot, and I'm not quite stupid enough to stay out there when it's over 100. How far I go outside will depend on how early I drag my sorry asterisk up in the morning.

Don't forget, tonight at about 10 pm Pacific Time I'm drawing the winner of the Amazon Kindle!

And because you people are so freaking awesome,


You totally rock the pink.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I almost puked. Almost.


I left the house this morning with two things in mind: 5 miles, and speed.

I zipped along, quite pleased with myself; I was making really good time--this was going to be a piece of cake!

The first mile...that was sweet. My heart rate was in the 130s, which meant I was burning some ugly fat off my asterisk, and I was breathing a little hard, but not too hard. I could carry on a conversation, if someone had been walking with me.

Yes, I talked to myself. Just to test out how I was doing. Really. For that.

And then...1.5 miles and I wanted to barf all over everything. I could feel my oatmeal push up into my throat, threatening, so I paused my GPS thingy, started a new lap on it, and slowed down a little.

The rest of the walk was uneventful. No throwing up. No dodging piles o'dog poop. It wasn't too hot. It was actually quite nice.

That first lap...when I plugged the Garmin in, it read 3.4 mph. Not too shabby. The rest I did right a 3 mph--a 20 minute mile--which seems to be my average.

Tomorrow I'll try to cross train a bit; not sure how, though. We have a back yard to dig up and level, so that might be it. Manual labor.

I'd complain, but when we're done, we'll have ourselves a white trash pool to set up.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I'm coming into the last push for this; y'all know I'm walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure starting October 1st. It's 60 miles over 3 days, all to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment. I'm training my ass off (hopefully in some literal terms) in order to manage it, and I need donors.

Yep, I need your money. And you have a chance at winning a shiny new Amazon Kindle. Maybe even more, if I can cough up another prize or two, but if you donate by 9:59 P.M. on July 15, 2010, you're eligible to win the Kindle. (Winner will be selected around 10 pm on the 15th, by random number generator.) For every $5 you donate, you get a chance to win. Donate $10, you get 2 chances. $20, you get 4. And on and on.

My goal is $2300 and I'm still nearly a grand away from reaching that.

The bigger picture, though, is that the Susan G. Komen Foundation does incredible things for women, and by tackling this walk, we can help raise the funds that keep the foundation going. And by donating to my effort, you have a chance at getting the leading e-reader on the market. Don't want it? If you win, sell it! Pop that sucker up on eBay and it'll be gone in ten minutes! You could invest five bucks and turn it into a hundred.

Don't make me beg. Though, I will if it'll work.

I asked nicely.
 Have I told you lately that you're my favorite person? You are, you know you are.

Keep checking in here to see my progress...Where I didn't think I'd ever walk more than 3 miles without crying, I'm doing up to 12 now...I will be ready for this walk. If you know me, you know why being able to do this is significant. So chuck some bucks my way, and I will love you forever.