Saturday, November 21, 2009

I Walked the Equivalent of a Half Marathon Today

With only one pit stop, no less!

I walked 13.15 miles in just about 3 hours and 20 minutes. Everything seemed to work well once I managed to kick inertia to the curb and leave the house. The hardest part was walking past my house at the 10.5 mile mark, to finish the last 2.6 miles. The funniest part must've been seeing me walk up and down my block about 5 times to finish the last .16 mile.

My clothes worked out fine. I had enough water bottles and Gu to keep me going, no chafing, and I had no blisters after walking over 13 miles. So, something I'm doing must be working really well on that end! The only thing that continues to be a minor issue is my one toenail, even with shoes a size larger than my street size and band-aids on it to protect it. It's nothing that hurts while I'm walking, and it doesn't really bother me to sacrifice a toenail or two to the cause, especially since it's neither gross nor painful. I just can't figure out why it still takes some damage even though I've got way more than enough room for it in the toe box.

On the fundraising front, I am DELIRIOUSLY happy to report that I received an extremely generous donation check that now puts me within less than $500.00 of my fundraising commitment. WOOHOO!!! We're talking a major miracle, here, and I am still in shock! I'm almost there!!! My aim is to meet my minimum commitment amount by November 30th, but I will be accepting donations up until the day of the marathon at Every dollar helps, and no donation is too small! One thing that has really amazed me is the generosity and support of complete strangers. It is truly miraculous!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's Broccoli Got to Do With It?

Yesterday's training walk was a 12-miler... in the rain! Last week, I had a very rough time finishing 10 miles, so I wasn't too sure that I'd make it the full 12 miles. But, I did, and with energy to spare, surprisingly! (I promise I'll get to the the broccoli part eventually.) So, what was different this week from last week? What worked this time around? This is what I did differently:
  • Wore my "Emergency Rain Poncho" to keep dry. This had little or no effect on my actual walk, other than to make me a real fashion statement. Also, if you ever need to rely on an "Emergency Rain Poncho" in an actual weather emergency, by the time you got the thing opened and on, the storm would've passed six times over. Seriously, they're like trying to un-stick Saran Wrap. Do yourself a favor, and use a large trash bag or recycling bag instead. I've since bid on, and won, a GoreTex jacket on eBay.
  • Ate my whole wheat bagel with peanut butter about a half hour before walking. This worked! Last week, I ate my whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thin with peanut butter before I left the house, which I guess was way too early. On previous walks, I'd get a bagel at the cart on my way out of the subway, and that has worked as well. So, now I know to have my bagel and coffee about a half hour before I walk.
  • Brought two different types of sports drink, one high in carbs and one high in potassium and with bit more sodium - both from PowerBar. This worked! I alternated between the two, and it seems to have worked out fine.
  • Brought a second whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and ate half after about 5 miles, and half after about 8 miles. This worked! I wasn't lightheaded after my walk at all, nor was my stomach growling. I think I need to have some sort of solid food in my belly after a while.
  • Walked at a slower pace. This worked, but I'm not sure I'm all that happy about it. I started off slower (still under a 16 minute mile) and didn't really push myself too hard to go faster. However, by the time we finished 12 miles, I still felt good enough to walk about another half mile to the subway station, and then walked another half mile from the bus to my mother's house afterwards. I did not feel like I wanted to die or kill my coaches. This is a good thing!
  • I walked with someone else. This really worked well for me mentally. It was nice to focus on a conversation, rather than how far I still had to walk. Plus, I got to learn a bit more about one of my team mates.
Now, I promised I'd get to where the broccoli fits in eventually. Maybe one of you can solve this mystery. For the past three Saturdays, right before we get to Harlem Hill in Central Park, there has been broccoli on the jogging path. There are no horses or anything in sight, just heads of broccoli, sometimes whole and sometimes squished all over the path. I haven't been able to find a reason for this. I've asked my coaches, and I've Googled "Central Park broccoli" to no avail. Does anyone know why there is always broccoli on the jogging path just past East 105th Street in Central Park? Enquiring mind wants to know!