WALKING FOR A CAUSE...AND SOMETIMES JUST BECAUSE

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Holy fwying wabbit twacks, Batman!

It's going to be hot this weekend. Oh-holy-hell hot. The kind of hot that makes people curl up in a whiny ball of please-don't-let-the-a/c-die-today and offer up their first born kids to make sure that doesn't happen. Predicted highs are over 100, somewhere between 101-104, but as far as I'm concerned once it's over 95, it's whine-worthy-heat. Hell, let's be honest, if it's over 85, I'm complaining

The training schedule calls for 13 miles on Saturday and 9 on Sunday, and I'm thinking "Ehhhhhh...maybe."

I'll get up as early as I can force myself on both days and walk until I'm uncomfortable, but I'm admitting it up front: if I don't hit my mileage either day, I'm not losing any sleep over it. I'm getting into the experimental frame of mind, anyway. I know I can walk 15 miles. It's not even a "Well, I might be able to walk it;" I know I can. And I'm 99.9% sure I can do it three days in a row, barring injury.

Magic socks!
What I need most is to condition my feet for it--the rest of me can do it, but I imagine my feet might have something to say about it--and to build on my own endurance so that I'm not so beat up by the end of the San Francisco 3 Day that I can't recover in time for Atlanta.

I ordered a dozen more pairs of the spiffy Wrightsocks double layered wonder-socks to help keep my feet happy. So far this year the socks are the only special thing I've done to my feet--no Glide, no antiperspirant--and I've only had one hot spot. I slapped Moleskin on it and it never did blister up. I carry the Glide on my longer walks just in case, but so far the socks alone seem to agree with my sensitive tootsies.

I've also been hitting the pool at the gym and swimming. Swimming slowly, for sure, but a mostly non-stop (I have stopped for like 10 seconds a few times for some water) freestyle stroke that seems to be helping my walking pace.

I need prescription goggles...
This morning I walked 5 miles and then hit the pool and swam for an hour. The key thing for me here is that the 5 miles was an easy walk, and at the end of the hour I still could have stayed in the pool for another half hour or so. So the plan now, in the interest of continued conditioning, is to walk every day for 5-6 miles, then swim, and only do one long training walk.

As my cardiac conditioning improves, I'll probably add the Street Strider in there a couple of times a week (because as I've learned, that's one hell of a workout, and I'm not in Strider shape...) We're also planning on heading into San Francisco at least every other week to walk the hills and get ready for that.

It was suggested to me recently--and surprisingly by more than one person--that I should approach this whole thing knowing that I can always jump in a sweep van and skip chunks of both walks. Like, why work out so hard?

Well, if I was footing the bill for the whole thing myself and doing it just for kicks, I'd be all right with that. But a whole bunch of you have donated a whole bunch of money, so I damn well better be doing what I can to be able to walk 120 miles in 6 days.

It's one thing if something happens and I have no choice but to hop in a sweep van; it's a whole other thing if I have to do that because I didn't prepare well enough. I did have to skip 2-3 miles on day 2 of last years' walk; we were nearing the end, heading towards the hill from hell leading back up to the Golden Gate Bridge, and there were serious doubts about whether or not my back and feet were going to be able to handle it. Roberta pointed out the nearby sweep van and strongly suggested it. So yes, I did take one last year. I'd like to not take one this year. I know now what parts of my body were most affected; I'm hoping to condition myself into being able to tackle that mother of a hill this year.

It's your money, folks. So far you've chipped in for me to walk my furry little ass off in San Francisco, and I have high hopes of getting at least half the amount for Atlanta.

But...if it's over 100 this weekend, I may  be curled up in a ball on the sofa instead of pounding the pavement, byt you can bet I will do everything I can to be in the shape I need to be...even if it is still round.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Drip...drip...drip...

Last year I battled blisters. By this time I was trying to figure out how to protect my feet and failing in a fairly spectacular style, what with getting blisters under my blisters and going through Moleskin the way I would have liked to have gone through chocolate.

This year the feet are holding up; today I realized I had a hot spot around mile 7 (out of a planned 12) and slapped some Moleskin on it, and it was fine.

Not me...I sweat way more than that...
This year, my battle is going to be with heat.

We went to Six Flags a few days ago and spent the day just walking around, chewing through five miles of blacktop. It wasn't even a hot day, but I had to stop and seek shade a couple of times because the heat was getting to me; the first time we caught the Shouka whale show and reveled in the shade and the nice breeze that kicked up, and a couple of hours later we ducked into the dolphin show...where the was no breeze but plenty of shade, and during which I almost told the Spouse Thingy I needed to just go home. I felt a little queasy and very twitchy, and wasn't sure how much longer I could take walking around the park.

By the end of the 20 minute show, though, I felt much better. He got us another drink, we sought out the little shack that sells mini-donuts, and then walked back to the front of the park to grab my new pink cape.

I felt really wimpy when I checked my phone and the weather app said it was only like 72, but the Boy assured me later it was in the mid-80's. And being in a place where we were walking on blacktop with little shade, I didn't feel too bad about getting overheated.

But then came today and a planned 12 mile walk.

When I took off it was 65 degrees out and there was plenty of shade to walk in. I immersed myself in an audio book and mindlessly wandered around town, and was enjoying it quite a bit, because the book is Craig Ferguson's "American on Purpose" and he's reading it...it's funny as hell. A very good way to pass a few hours.

At around 5.5 miles, though, I started feeling the sun beating down on me, and decided to head for McD's and their wonderful $1 large drink. I could take a break there, enjoy the a/c, and I'd only need 5 more miles after that.

I hit the door at 7 miles, took a 20 minute break and then went outside to take care of my feet (because really, I am not gross enough to do it inside the store) and decided I had cooled down enough, and off I went.

I couldn't find any shade to walk in.

The more I went on, the more miserable I felt. After a mile, I headed in the general direction of home because I was starting to feel like crap. Queasy and twitchy. Irritable. I went into Safeway and bought some Gatorade, but that didn't help much.

I continued towards home, reasoning that I can walk the streets around the house and kill off the rest of the distance, or failing that, I have a treadmill.

At 9.5 miles I was near the house, and there was no choice...I had to go inside. I was close to painting the sidewalk in grape Gatorade, and my gut was churning, which meant I risked painting the pavement on much worse.

So here I sit, trying to cool down, annoyed as hell because it's only 84 freaking degrees outside, and I got overheated.

I'll finish the last 2.5 later, either on the treadmill, or I'll wait until the sun is starting to go down to walk outside.

On tap for tomorrow is 7 miles; hopefully I'll get out a little earlier and get it done before I lose the shade, or I'll head into Vacaville and walk there, where I know there's plenty of shade around the Factory Outlet Mall.

I want to finish the book, after all...

Edit...my pedometer has me at 11.5 miles. Believe the GPS, or the pedometer? Hmm...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm melting...

It's hotter than fark here right now, so even though I should have walked today, I did not. I might walk tomorrow, though said walking will likely take place at Six Flags (because that totally counts) but today was for swimming.

And not in our cheap plastic round pool in the back yard. One, you can't really do laps in it. Two, it's a lovely shade of green right now and the idea of getting into does not appeal to me.

The pool at the gym, that appealed to me. So we braved the heat going from the house to the car (because truly, it was melt worthy. Like almost 100. Almost. We are weenies...) and then from the car into the gym, and I was actually able to get a lane to myself.

That was nice. No trying to share a lane with anyone, no trying to swim around the Spouse Thingy.

Now, the nice thing about the swimming, aside from enjoying it, is that I'm already noticing a benefit to my cardio conditioning. My pace is a little faster--not a lot, but still noticeable--and when I do push I don't feel like my heart is about to pop.

And that is a very good thing, having  a non-popping heart.

It looks like the weekend will be a little cooler, so getting out there for 12 on Saturday should be fine as long as I get my asterisk out of bed early enough.

That...that my be my downfall...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

3 to go...

I got started later than I should have today, but when I did get my asterisk out there and walking, I was motivated. I was going at a decent 17.2 minute/mile clip (which for me is pretty speedy) and was really feeling it. But today also must have been Be Out With Your Puppy Day, and I cannot resist a puppy that shows an interest in saying Hi to me.

Not one of the actual puppies I encountered today...
In the first hour and a half--time enough to walk five miles--I was stopped by at least 6 different puppies, each demanding to sniff my fingers and then have me scratch behind their ears, so by the time I took my first break I was only at 4 miles.

No biggee. Sometimes you just have to stop and scratch a puppy.

But then it started getting warm. I walked another mile, started feeling not so hot and decided I needed fuel, so I stopped again to eat, and presumed all was well. I was fed and well hydrated, so it was time to knock off the next 7 miles.

Except...that little burger was not settling well. Kinda like last week. So I think I need to find something else I can tolerate on my walks. I kept going, thinking sooner or later that burger would have to find a spot in my stomach to just settle, but by then it was a bit warm and I was away from shade.

At a little over 7 miles, I was close to my car and decided I stop for a while. I'll go back out after it cools down a bit for the last 3 miles.

Tomorrow is 5 miles...I think I'm going to ride out to the gym, park my bike and stow my gear in a locker, and walk in Vacaville. After I'm done, unless it's way too crowded, I might jump in the pool for a bit, or at least soak in the hot tub for a few.

Presuming I remember to take a swimsuit.

I don't think they'd appreciate a nekkid Thumper in the hot tub...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's cardio conditioning, yo....

Totally not me...
I can walk a mile in about 17 minutes if I push.

I can swim a mile in about 30 minutes.

Clearly, my idea of a SGK 3 Day SwimFest is not a good one.

Might be fun, though...

In other news, we joined a gym and I'm using the pool for some cross training. I managed half an hour nonstop today, but I also walked 5 miles before that, so I felt totally justified in declaring myself done after 62 lengths (1500 meters) of the pool.

In other other news, no one has hollered "That she blows!" as I swim past them... So I have that working for me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Just Said I'd Do What?

Really, she looked a little like this when she looked up from the computer
Yeaaaahhhh...

Kinda like that.

I'm $508 away from reaching my fund raising goal for San Francisco. I can Twitter and FB and bug people for that amount. Not worried about it.

So.

Sooo...

I went and registered to also walk in Atlanta Oct 21st. That means raising $2300 more. If other people can raise $4600 for a single walk, I can do it for two.

It's for the boobies, people!

In other news, today's six was done in Vacaville, about 10 miles from here. I parked at the Outlet Mall and walked a loop around it, Walmart, and Target...right about 3 miles. It was SO MUCH FUN that I did it again.

Almost got hit by a car, too. That was fun. I was crossing at a parking lot entrance--I looked before I started across, but there was a bush there so we didn't see each other--and voila! There was a car! The driver freaked and screamed out her window OH MY GOD I'M SO SORRY ARE YOU ALL RIGHT and since she actually stopped about 2 inches from me I replied quite nicely "You got DIRT on my little finger!"

She thought I was serious.

I bet she creeps around corners for the next week.

Oh, and lesson learned... A Diet Mountain Dew is $1.66 inside Walmart, but if you get it from the vending machine right outside, it's $1.25. I shall remember that and save a few cents next time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Eat The Burger...Maybe Not

The weather was very cooperative for a ten mile walk today. It was in the mid-60s with a light breeze when I left the house, and 77 with a strong breeze by the time I got home. It was warm enough for shorts, but never got anywhere near uncomfortable.

Well, other than after I stopped and had lunch.

I knocked off the first six miles at a pretty good clip, hovering around a pace of 18:15/mile, which for me is zippy. I was right in front of McD's at that point, so I went in to make use of the facilities, and decided I'd better eat something, so I grabbed a burger and a drink.

Usually, this is not a problem. Other food rears back and attacks me if I eat and then start walking around, but I have a good track record with the little burgers...though the last time I got one it didn't set well with me, and this time I got half a mile from McD's and turned around to go back before horrible, awful things happened. I sat down for another 25 minutes or so to make sure it had passed, and headed back out for the last 3 miles.

Uneventful, the way I like it.

I may have to find something else to eat along the way if the burgers are going to start being a problem. It won't be an issue with tomorrow's 6 miles, but next weekend's 11...I may need to figure it out before then.

On the non-food front, so far this year my feet are holding up. They're sore at the end of the longish walks, but I haven't had any blister issues yet. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Have feet, will walk

Online check-in for San Francisco has begun. Ya know, provide medical information, give them your insurance stuffs, take the safety quiz (don't tell anyone, but I didn't watch the video. Still got 'em all right...) buy towel service, and pick a tent mate.

People.

This year, I will not get a tent to myself.

This year, I will tent with a snorer. Now, I've told him to NOT snore, but you know men. They never listen.

But. we're both checked in and now just have to wait for the hotel info to pop up on the 3Day site, and I have to keep walking. I really feel like I could do it right now, if the route were flat. I need some hills...I envision many days in San Francisco to walk them, plus the gym has an incline trainer and I may give that a whirl.

As of tomorrow...90 days!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Return of the Stink

Yep...I'm back to smelling ammonia after a long sweaty walk. Clearly, this means I need more carbs on board. So I really should stop at the donut place along the way. And maybe on the way back, too.

This was from yesterday. Apparently I walk at nearly 4 miles an hour without breaks.

I knew that 10 miles seemed a little long.

Could be, too, that I forgot to turn the Garmin off when we were done, and it recorded the distance between the outlet mall and home, and I didn't notice it for about an hour.

I prefer to think I killed that nearly 20 miles.

On tap for today was 6 miles. It was cloudy when I headed out, with the potential for more rain, so I wore a sweatshirt...I should have factored humidity into it, because by the time I stopped for s short break at mile 4, I was overheated and nauseous.

Fifteen minutes in Mickey D's and a large Diet Coke later, I was fine...took the sweatshirt off and headed out for the last two.

And promptly overestimated where I'd need to go to get 2 more miles. I only overshot it by half a mile, but my ego was wounded. I should know distances by now, right?

Right.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

...and I didn't melt...

10 miles.
It was wet.
It was cold until I warmed up.
It was really boring for the first 3.5 miles.


Then DKM showed up to walk with me
(she threatened to just watch and cheer)
and the next 6.5 went a lot faster.
Much easier walking with a friend.

Tomorrow...6 miles.