Wednesday, August 23, 2006

95, 040 Feet of Fun

I was out the door this morning at 6:00 a.m. and returned 4:19:08 later having walked 18 miles at a 14:23 pace. I was a little surprised by the pace in a good way. The entire route was as flat as one could hope for and since most of my shorter walks are primarily hills it seems my body was thanking me for level terra firma.

Thankful that is until my body was jolted into the awareness that this wasn't going to be a short walk and then the lower back and feet decided to join forces for a grand assault on my initial stellar pace.

Mile 1---------= 14:00
Mile 2---------= 13:57
Mile 3---------= 13:54
Mile 4---------= 13:50
Mile 5---------= 13:51
Mile 6---------= 13:57
Mile 7---------= 14:12
Mile 8---------= 14:43
Mile 9---------= 14:06
Mile 10- ---=--- 14:07
Mile 11 ---------14:18
Mile 12--------- 14:31
Mile 13--------- 14:38
Mile 14------ -- 14:54
Mile 15------- - 15:04
Mile 16----- --- 14:54
Mile 17----=--- 15:01
Mile 18------- - 15:02

As I said, I'm happy with the overall time since my goal for the marathon is a 15:00 mpm but I'm concerned about the escalation of time as the miles ticked by. When I walk my first 20 miler next week I'm going to be extremely dilligent about averaging between 14:30-15:00 from the start to see if I can maintain a more consistent pace overall.

18 miles is the longest distance I've ever walked and given that I think I'm feeling relatively fine one hour later. My piddy pats are sore on the bottom but no blisters. My calves are a wee bit stiff as are my feet in general but going through a series of stretches for the rest of the day and tomorrow should get everything back to normal. And I'm tired but I think that's less from the 18 miles and more from getting up so crazy early in the morning to pound the pavement.

I kept a mental inventory of how I was feeling along the course and at mile 10 my lower back started doing it's thang and so for the remaining miles I had to briefly stop once or twice every mile to bend down and slowly stretch. I pop Advil or Alleve before heading out on a long walk, and when I'm being a good phatgirl I get to the gym to focus on back strengthening movements. The problem is that after years of essentially carrying a second person on my frame I did some signficiant damage to the lower discs, but if the only lasting effects I have after years of abusing my body is some general soreness and tightness when walking further than I ever imagined I would be able to, I'm more grateful than grumbling.

I drank most of the Smart Water in my 2-liter camel back on the walk along with a large water bottle I bought midpoint at Whole Paycheck Whole Foods. In terms of food fuel, I popped one Cyromax Energy Gel at mile 8 and a second one at mile 11. I probably could have started those earlier and taken in an additional one or two but I'm still trying to figure out when to use them. Up to now I've been waiting until it seems as though I'm walking as fast as I can through a field of molasses in snowshoes. I probably should set specific points in the mileage to take in a Gel regardless of how I feel. I would imagine one too many would be better overall than one too few.

All things considered I'm really happy with my accomplishment, which has made me generally grateful about everything...the mild weather, all the people on the walking trail who smiled or said "good morning," the pleasure of listening to good tunes and a good book on my Ipod, the stunning crepe myrtles that lined the path, the cool bath and ice cold Lime Diet Coke waiting for me at home, the nice lunch with my wife on the patio of our favorite restaurant, the chance to read a half dozen new entries in some of my favorite blogs within the last few minutes, and that my body is working with me and not against me to do something I would have never dreamed possible. How blessed I am.


Steve said...

Ur smokin !!!!......At that pace ur gonna leave me in the dust.

Makes a half marathon seem like nothing huh.

Good job!

Jules said...

CONGRATULATIONS! What an accomplishment. Your perspective on difficult tasks is so positive and uplifting.
Treat yourself to a pedicure or leg massage! Your whole body will smile!