Monday, August 8, 2011

Ramping up

The walk is 6 weeks away... about ...well a few days more than that, it starts on Sept 23. This means, training must start in earnest. That means, photographs may be a few fewer, while the miles are a few further. I actually got to walk with team mates in the past couple of weeks. Allison took a walk to and from ATT park and the Ferry building, and Patti joined me for two walks, the first Occidental Road to Forestville and back, the second yesterday MV to Sf Ferry and back via ferry.

It feels good to get out there and prove to yourself this task of walking 60 miles in 3 days is not only possible, but something you can actually SEE yourself doing. Allison was nursing a neck injury, and she needs to check out a foot problem she has had in the past 2 walks. Being a wiser woman today that on the first walk when she hobbled the last day with a stress fracture, Allison is well aware of sweep vans and the wisdom of not doing permanent harm to yourself while walking for the health of others. Even yours truly is of a different mindset. If... I pull up lame, or have a blister the size of Montana, I know not only is it ok to grab a ride to the next pitstop, it is a prudent move so you can walk another day. I think all of our team will not hesitate doing this, but none of us will plan on it. We all sign up for this walk with the intention of walking the entire 60 miles. (I think I have a good shot).

Our Sonoma County walk was the first 10+ miler Patti had done for awhile. We picked the old railroad right of way because it's is nearly level, very picturesque and has a great taco place at the half way point. Patti had never been on this route so I was eager to show it off.

In past walks along this trail I have taken a lot of photos. As you get in the home stretch for the walk, I find I pay more attention to the walking and less to the scenery.

On these walks too, we practice the skill of stretching and resting and hydrating (all 3 day basics).

You get off to earlier starts, like yesterday, off at 7:30 am in the early morning fog.

You need to build in a few extra miles to your old routes, like starting at the middle school to head to the ferry building in SF (18 miles instead of the 14 I have been walking).

You pass familiar sights along the way, like snowy egrets.

The benches you used to walk past, become platforms for stretching.

There are still a ton of tourists on the bridge but the scenery is always changing, like these Polynesian boats on the bay.

Or this old America's cup boat recognizable by its towering mast.

You may try and alter the route slightly like walking through Fort Mason. Here we saw a chair hanging on the side of a wall.

And at the end of a walk, sort of like toasting coming of age, you feel justified in stopping for a glass of wine, and grabbing your I-Phone to check in with people you left behind.

I am charged up about the coming 6 weeks. I have marked off 3 days a week for no nonsense training. I see on the 3 day site that I have moved to #3 in fundraising for the DC walk and that just makes me even more committed to try and go the distance. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. If that isn't enough, how about this.

While walking on the Embarcadero a fellow passed me on his bike, he turned around an mouthed "thank you". Then he put his hands together and bowed to me (Namaste). He had seen my shirt with the 16 year survivor on the back. He was thanking me for walking. He was honoring me. If I can't walk the distance for me, I can for those people it means so much to. I can walk this walk for him, for the warriors who have fallen, for those who are battling now. I can walk this walk. 60 miles... I can do that.