Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

Any time you have a long distance event coming up - a half marathon, a marathon, a three day walk - you had better have a session or two where you come close to actually doing the event, using the clothing and gear you will have with you that day. With the Komen 3-Day just two weeks away, I was running out of time to do this. This weekend had to be it. I not only had to get in some serious miles, but I had to carry the stuff the Komen organization suggests.

This is an impressive list! Rain gear! Extra socks! First aid kit! Water bottle! Sunglasses! Bandanna! Body glide! Insect repellent! Wallet with ID, credit cards, medical card, money! Sunscreen! Hand sanitizer! Feminine hygiene products (well, OK, that is one I can cross off the list). It became clear to me some weeks back that my only realistic way to carry all this was to (a) hire a Sherpa or (b) use a good sized fanny pack. So I chose the latter and dug a very old fanny pack out of my hiking gear. It is far from the most comfortable thing in the world, but I have been wearing it on training walks for several weeks. And today, I stuffed all of the above into so I could get a good feel for what it would be like to wear it on event days.

Then, I had to come up with a route. I did not want to walk 18 miles by myself, so I planned my day into three separate routes: 7 miles with Team in Training with my friend Nicki; 5 miles by myself; and 6 miles with my friend Kristi. As it turned out, TNT was doing the good old Northside 12 miler route today: up Boulevard and Hermitage, along Bryan Park until Dunbarton; over to Staples Mill and down into the Windsor Farms neighborhood; and winding along Portland and Douglasdale back to Byrd Park. Nicki was game to do all 12 with me, and it was great to have her company. When we got back to the park, there was Kristi ready to do the remaining miles with me. All told, including the warm up and a few extra steps here and there, I walked 19 miles today, or even a little more. I feel it. My left heel hurts. My calves hurt. My hams hurt. My hips hurt. But I did it, and after an ice bath and a shower I feel semi-human again. My next test will be 10 miles tomorrow morning.

Here are some photos:

A water stop with first class service!
Nicki at Hermitage Avenue near the A.P. Hill statue:

Art at Bryan Park. I am wearing my special shirt for the last day of the 3-Day. It has a photo of my late sister Ann on it:
Lake and bridge at Bryan Park:
Kristi, me, and Nicki - all lymphoma survivors, all marathoners
Byrd Park, start and finish of so many training walks and runs over the past six years:

Kristi in front of Agecroft Hall. Just 4 miles to go!

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