Saturday, September 16, 2006

One Mile Short but Close Enough...

The absence of phatgirl blog entries this week was due to life. Contrary to what you might have been led to believe I actually have one, a life that is, complete with a relationship, commitments, household chores, and a career and this week they all converged in rapid succession to curtail my loquacious blogtifications. But on a lazy Saturday afternoon I've carved out a chunk of time for blogging and I return as sassy as ever!

On Monday I logged up four miles on the dreadmill in a cycle of 120 seconds at 4.3 mph, 60 seconds at 4.6 mph, 60 seconds at 5.00 mph, 120 seconds at 4.3 mph, 60 seconds at 4.6 mph, 60 seconds at 5.00 mph, 120 seconds at 4.3 mph, 60 seconds at 4.6 mph, 60 seconds at 5.00 mph, 120 seconds at 4.3...wash, rinse, repeat. Mostly walking, some jogging, lots of sweating. It felt good despite the lack of nature and the overabundance of recirculated air.

Tuesday was work, more work, and then some work to cap off the day. No training, unless walking to the office from the car and from the office to the corner coffee shop counts for interval work. No? Oh well.

Wednesday morning had Dana and I scurrying through housecleaning chores in preparation for my sister Barb and bother-in-law John's arrival that afternoon so Barb and I could do our last 20 mile training walk together before D-Day. That would be "Done Day" as in we are so done with walking so much for so long! If you've never done long-distance training, let me explain how things break down. Walking one hour is a stroll in the park, walking two hours is a solid work out, walking three hours is a major accomplishment, walking four hours is exhaustingly rewarding, but walking five hours is just insane. My no like it.

Not only that but my sister and I have arrived at the collective realization that between marathon registrations, multiple pairs of racing shoes, assorted walking clothes, Garmins, Ipod Nanos, Gu, Glide, and travel expenses, this walking is no bargain-basement priced activity! If you'd like to make a financial donation to support Phatgirl and Sister, operators are standing by now to accept your call.

After a Thursday dinner involving carbo-loading, an activity for which my sister and I have been preparing since childhood, we headed out Friday morning at 6:30 for our 20-miler. After an hour commute by car and rapid transit, we arrived in San Francisco on an absolutely perfect day! Clear skies, calm wind, cool temperatures. Our course was essentially a big loop beginning at the Ferry Building, taking us across the Golden Gate Bridge and back again, with a few side excursions along the way. A highlight of the walk was being met at mile 14 by Steve of BayCityWalker fame who had graciously waited for more than an hour to join us for the last part of the walk. We realized as we were getting close to our finish point at the Ferry Building that we were one mile short of our 20 mile walk but after nearly five hours of walking with only two GUs in our bellies, lunch sounded far more compelling than wandering in circles until our Garmins pronounced 20 miles, so 19 miles and the FINAL long walk before the marathon was done! Over and out!

In terms of how my body held up I'm happy, grateful, and relieved to report my lower back did better than ever (I stopped regularly for quick preventative stretches) and the Evil Twins were on their best behavior since I made the shift into double-digit mileage walks. This is all good news!

The not good news is that with the old and familiar aches and pains in check, my left foot rebelled on two fronts. The first was a tenderness on the bottom pad between my big toe and its next door neighbor that developed by the end of the day into a small squishy blister, possibly the result of breaking in my new Brooks on their first long walk. So said Steve and who am I to argue with "the man"?

The other problem was a growing soreness and stiffness on the front of my ankle, just above where my shoelaces tie together. Both these problems combined made the last four miles downright physically miserable though I still enjoyed the pleasure of the company of Sis and Steve. The blister is just a blister and ergo no big deal. The other problem is a little more concerning since today the area is swollen with some redness and remains sore and stiff. I'm sure it's going to be fine but it's still a bit disconcerting all the same and so it's ice until Monday morning when I get in touch with my physical therapist. Worse case scenario is that my over all marathon time will be slower than anticipated, I'll be walking with the added support of one of my nordic poles, and my sister will be forced to endure an entirely new level of whining unprecedented to date.

And speaking of my sister, let it be noted that she looks as fresh and strong at mile 18 as she looks at mile 1 and could no doubt maintain a ridiculously brisk pace for the entire distance. All of this makes for a rather combustable combination of admiration and irritation in my gut. I love her dearly and yet in a deep, dark, shadowy corner of my inner being I want to slip glue in her Gu.

In the next two weeks that remain, I'm going to tamper down a little more than my original training schedule outlined, keeping my walks to 3 and 4 miles at a time, doing more stretches, and eliminating the final 12 mile tempo walk altogether so that everything that needs to heal has time to heal. That's my plan Stan.


Jules said...

I was beginning to worry that something bad had happened to you as you have been so faithful in your blogging!

Congrats on your latest accomplishment!


Steve said...

It was nice meeting your Sister and personal masseuse.
Can't wait to meet up with you guys in Portland. (I might head up there a day earlier).