I have a friend that is doing a 60 mile walk in Chicago next weekend to raise money for cancer research. She did it last year and then kind of let exercise slide for a while so signed up for it again. She's been putting in the miles and will do fine. They have TONS of aid stations and support along the way and it is much more about putting one foot in front of the other and getting to the end than it is any kind of speed. Today, even though the weather was fiercely hot and humid, I agreed to walk with her for HALF of her training time. We met at the Dunklin St parking lot for the greenway trail here in Jeff City and then she drove us out to County Park Lake. We got out and headed up the hill on the trail (a nice wide concrete walk going through most of town).
After the first mile, she suggested we stop and stretch. She warned me of the minimal amount of shade on this leg of the trail which I generally knew, but probably hadn't remembered. The hill up Edgewood by the new El Jims was kicking my butt. I was sucking wind and had to slow a little. SO HOT! Jabbered on about tri this and that (stuff I've read on blogs, stuff I went through over the last few weeks, etc) and slogged my way along in jean shorts and a tee. I know this was the wrong thing to wear, but I only really have one outfit and it hadn't been washed since the Show Me Games so this was what I had. I know - another trip to buy some gear isn't far into my future. I did try out the new shoes and socks I bought at the Starting Block and they worked out pretty well.
By the time we got to JCMG, I was kind of hitting the wall. Not enough nutrition and water was getting warm (and low). Thankfully, I had packed a granola bar and I nibbled on some of it and sipped some more water as we came through a shadier section of the trail. But then my guts started to twist and I thought my pants might get some brown action. And there went the last of my water. Did I mention it was HOT? Got to Schnucks and swung in to get some ice and water. Man that cold felt good. Jen went to the bathroom (I did not as the sphincter was no longer contracting). I was feeling better after the water and just wanted to get to my car. We were about 2/3 done and started back down the path. More shade was much appreciated, but I was getting tired and more hot and ready to be done. Stopped on the bench near my car and sat with Jen as she doctored some blisters she is fighting, changed socks and let her stepdad bring her some more water. We finished 6.7 miles and she was heading back - without me. Poor thing! Way to go Jennifer! You rock!
That is the longest I've walked in a really long time. It was nice to chat with Jen as we went. Her Runkeeper app told us that we were walking around a 14 mph pace so not crazy slow and good considering the heat. Told her I'd do a shorter walk with her next week as she tapers. :)