On average, I walk around 30 miles a week now, but sometimes I walk more than that in just one weekend. I typically do my longest walks on Saturday, anywhere from three to seven hours, and slightly shorter walks on Sunday. And then I try to get in at least two shorter walks during the week, about one or two hours at a time.
I had to slow down for a couple of weeks after I fell down the stairs. I could walk only an hour at a time, and I was only able to walk a little over two miles an hour, when previously I could walk up to four miles an hour. That was frustrating, and rather painful but not unbearable.
Saturday before last was my first long walk after the injury, and I was ecstatic to be able to complete the 18 miles with a large group of 3-Day participants. It was both easier and harder than I expected: easier because my sore hip did not bother me at all (though I did take Advil, and I did have to walk at a relatively slow pace); harder because my feet go SO sore on my second lap around White Rock Lake. What surprised me the most was how utterly drained I was after walking 6.5 hours. I had to slap my cheeks repeatedly on the one-hour drive home to keep myself awake. And when I got home, I collapsed in an easy chair for a two-hour nap. After that, I was STILL tired. In fact, I was exhausted for three days!
Waking up early the next morning and slipping into my Five Finger shoes for another 10 miles took all the discipline I could muster. My calves were tight, my feet still hurt, and I felt like I'd been rudely awakened in the middle of the night even though it was 7:00, two hours later than I'd risen the previous morning. But I drug myself out of bed and walked 7 miles, which was all I had time for before church. My feet had felt bruised, but walking actually seemed to loosen them up. Same thing with my leg muscles.
I've got another 18-mile walk scheduled this Saturday, followed by 15 miles on Sunday. That will be the peak of my training. After that it will wind down in preparation for the event--walking 60 miles in three days.
I should also share that I have exceeded the minimum fundraising amount for the walk, for a total of $2432.79. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations, your prayers, and your support. And thank you to God for blessing my recent garage sale fundraiser not only beyond what I expected, but beyond the beyond.
I can't wait to share the story of my 3-Day adventure. In the meantime, here are a few tidbits about my training so far....
Here are pictures of some of my training buddies over the last seven months. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
(For a Couple Blocks Some Nights, If I Sweet Talk Him)
|Sister Melody, Me, Aunt Sue, Sister Amy, Sue's Dog Miley, Allyson|
|Elizabeth and Daughter Abigail|
|Gentle, My 3-Day Partner|
|Ethan, If I Beg|
|Lori with Daughter Abigail (Now age 4)|
Abigail always says, "Are we walking with Sar-wah today?"
|Pamela, the Girl Who Saw the Angel When She Was Sick with Appendicitis|
|Allyson and Me at a Charity Walk, Two Weeks After My Injury|
I walked so slowly we were almost dead last. Even a barefooted toddler passed us up.
|Sweet Laura, Of Course |
Man, I Miss That Grin
My Most Faithful Buddy
There's one more walking buddy, the most faithful and enthusiastic of all. Guess who? Yep, Lola. Her new harness makes her almost manageable.
Notice anything unusual about the picture? Look closely at the leash. That's right: there's slack in the leash! We've never had that before.
In a world without other dogs, she'd be a great walking partner. The harness really works miracles in averting her natural instinct to pull against the leash--except when another dog is within five feet or so. Lola is strong enough to just about pull me off my feet when she lunges at other dogs. We follow a circuitous route, avoiding all the fenced dogs in the neighborhood. But we can't go to the park at all; it's teeming with dogs on a mild day. I don't know which is worse, the embarrassment of dragging my naughty dog past other people with their perfectly behaved dogs, or trying to separate her from other naughty dogs who hurl themselves at her.
A More Noxious Problem
The most embarrassing problem of all is one I never expected to face. In the four years we've had her, Lola had never, ever pooped anywhere except our backyard. But I guess our frequent long walks have made her more comfortable outside her own turf because last Wednesday she dropped a big load when we were still about a block from home. Uh oh!
I'd been so presumptuous over Lola's sense of propriety that I hadn't even brought a plastic bag along. For a moment I was seized with the temptation to slink away and pretend my dog had nothing to do with the steaming pile of dung, but my conscience wouldn't let me. The poop was in the worst possible spot, at the edge of the road right next to the front door of a parked car. (Don't worry, I didn't take a picture!)
We hurried home for some plastic grocery bags. On the way back, I silently prayed that no one would come out of the house and find that poop before I could clean it up. God must have thought I needed some humbling, though, because when we got back my worst fear was realized. A woman was in the front yard!
I skulked past and walked a few more houses down, then casually retraced my steps. Whew! She'd just shut the front door. I knelt on the sidewalk and tried not to breathe as I did my very first pooper scooper duty. It wasn't so bad, I guess, except that I had to carry that smelly poo over a block. I felt so ridiculous carrying a grocery bag full of crap down the street.
On yesterday's walk, Lola blithely pooped not two minutes after we'd left the house. I think she's enjoying this.
Oh well. She is a dog, after all. And I have to say, it's most gratifying the way she dances with joy and whines in expectation when I bring out the leash. None of my other walking buddies do that.
I'm thankful for all my walking buddies, many of whom would not even be my friends were it not for my 3-Day training. I've been blessed in so many ways, and I look forward to seeing where this adventure will lead.