Saturday, November 14, 2009

On the road again...

Despite a morning that saw 40 degree temperatures, I woke up with a determination to take a walk. So I dutifully donned my new shoes (pair #2 from Next Step), my long walking pants, a bright pink short sleeve tank top, under a sky blue long sleeve shirt, under a black North Face jacket. But I had one stop to make... the podiatrist.

Since the beginning of my walking adventure, I have been hampered by pain in my feet, particularly in my left foot. It begins as a numbness followed by a cramping that can bring tears to my eyes. Cyrus at Next Step, frustrated with my problem, told me I should go get my feet x-rayed and consult with a podiatrist, which I did Friday morning before my walk.

The Dr. says I have the most common nerve problem known to man... it's called Morton's Neuroma. What happens is over time the nerve between my 3rd and 4th toes has thickened to a point it doesn't really fit well in the foot any more. ( I am simplifying this to my elementary standard.) Basically, I am to avoid narrow shoes, high heels on special occasions only and then preferably platform shoes. I should wear inserts that lifts my forefoot up and pray I can control the problem with these measures before I need surgery. The good news is he feels confident we can do this and by next year, and by the time of the 3 day, we will have it all under control. He asked about my bunion on my right foot, and I told him how when I saw it for the first time I thought to myself how much my feet were looking like my mothers. Well, he said "best to start taking measures now, so I won't have to break your toe. Then you'll really be out of commission!" He says the inserts will also help with this problem too. Let's hope so.

Armed with a new pair of temporary inserts, off I headed to test the new shoes. The walking Gods have blessed us with some stellar walking weather here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Today was the kind of day where you could see detail on the east bay hills. It seemed the perfect day for a ferry ride to San Francisco. I parked at the Sausalito Yacht Club and walked over to the ferry.

While waiting for the ferry a couple from New Jersey struck up a conversation with me. "So is the weather always this good?" "Bet those homes on the hill are expensive, bet they are over a million.""Do you have a restaurant you could recommend?""We are going to rent bikes in SF and then ride over the GG Bridge then ride over to see the redwoods."

Ok, that one made me stop in amazement and take a hard look. They seemed to be pretty fit, but you never know. "So you guys are pretty fit right?" I asked. "There aren't any hills in the way are there?" they wondered...... "Oh yes there will be a few hills. You might want to ride to downtown Mill Valley and not out to Muir Woods. There are some Redwoods there behind the town and the town is charming." I just pictured these nice people cursing at each other as they headed over to Muir Woods, up Shoreline highway or over Sequoia Valley Road, down into the woods, then coming back over trying to make a ferry for SF. It didn't seem a very pretty picture. And as we parted ways at the Sf Ferry terminal I said a silent prayer that they still would love SF after the day they had ahead of them. Me, I knew my day would be far more manageable.

There is a different feeling in the air as you walk in November. A crispness that wakes you up and energizes your walk. The stores along the way are preparing for the Holiday season. Justin Herman Plaza has the annual ice skating rink set up. As I passed Pier 39 I noticed the tree trimmers, with their cherry pickers, gingerly placing strings of lights and brightly colored red bulbs on a 100 ft tree. I looked carefully to see if it was SF appropriate and "green"... meaning not real. It appeared to be GREEN as is REAL however and I wondered if they would get grief for this.

As I wound my way through Fisherman's wharf, I found the streets less crowed. The smells however were just as intrusive. There is a sickly sweet smell in most tourist areas, as the vendors seek to lure people inside their shops with the aroma of forbidden foods. To me it smells like a county fair and makes me feel like I do when I go on an upside down ride... which is NOT GOOD!

Walking past Aquatic Park, you can see the refurbishing of the buildings and grandstand proceed at a snail's pace. In the chilly Bay Water one brave sole was doing her laps. The pelican and seals spun and dove into the water in larger than usual numbers. You can hardly imagine there was a time when the pelicans here were endangered. They are flourishing now. And by the way, who can tell me why they don't break their necks when the plummet into the Bay? And how by the way do they see little fish under the shiny surface anyway?

Walking along Crissy field, I felt bad knowing next year the 3 day will have to relocate because of the Doyle Drive reconstruction. I wonder where we will end up. I hope the grass is as soft and the view half as pretty. I know though, that will be impossible. (I just heard they found a species of madrone under the Drive that they thought had been extinct. Maybe there is hope for next fall after all! It surely will be years for them to decide what to do about this discovery.)

This little dog looked like Allison's dog's cousin!

Up and over the bridge. The wind is hardly noticeable, and that is unusual for the bridge. Once I hit the other side of the bridge, I finally took off layer # 1, putting the jacket into my fanny pack before heading down the hill into Fort Baker. Since the walk, Patti and I have regularly waled to Cavallo point on Sundays for a bite to eat. The early starts have allowed us to go on to other duties on Sundays like open houses or production work. Its a wonderful indulgence.

When I made it back to the car in Sausalito, I did my inventory. The walk proved, the inserts were helping (but not solving) my nerve issue. It also proved shoe pair #2 would be returning to Albany as blisters poised to develope indicated to me these shoes were too short. As I jumped into the car I notice the final thing on my check list.... Is the a smile on my face? Check!

PS Registration is open for the 2010 3 day - 60 mile walk. The dates are Oct 1-3. Email me if you are interested in walking with us! Or start your donations early and make one today to my walk! I was #4 in SF this year, let's go for #3! The more we do, the quicker we can all say goodbye to Cancer! DONATE