Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Little Buddy

I made a new friend on today's walk. It wasn't deliberate. My friend Sean brought him along. My new friend fit right in.

It was a lovely walk. The rain stopped for awhile this evening. Sean brought Carlos over. After a detour to the library, we walked into the park. Wind was cold and blowy. My face went numb by the time we got to the Bison Paddock.

Carlos kept my heart warm.

He is curious about the natural world. Carlos stopped along the way to inspect gopher holes. He said hi to some of the people we passed.

It's the peeing on the trees that gives Carlos away. As if you couldn't guess. My friends are too smart to be fooled by deliberate misinformation.

Gotta get in a quick 4 miles tomorrow before sketch class. Then, the big weekend walks start. Saturday is 12 miles (going solo). Sunday is 6 miles (thanks for the company, Ka Yun).

Anyone want to join me for part of the long walk (Saturdays get longer until I hit 17 miles on the 23rd), let me know! I'd be happy to have you join me for a few miles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Auntie K's Tale

Gather around, little ones. Aunt K is going to tell you a story. This story really happened to Aunt K. (Sarah, please stop poking your brother.) No, this is not the story of Aunt K getting kicked out of Disneyland. You heard it yesterday. (George, honey, boogers are for flicking, not eating.)

On Aunt K's first day of high school, she was so excited. She woke up early. She put on her favorite pair of jeans and her pretty new shirt. Since high school was too far to walk, Aunt K rode her bike. Aunt K knew how to get there-down the road, take the bike path, and end up at school. What Aunt K didn't know (George, flick) was that she could lock her bike in the back of school, closer to her locker and without having to go around to the front.

Kids, I made a reenactment of that day. (Who can explain reenactment? No, Sarah. It's not about acting out a wee.)

Here is the picture* of me riding to school:

Now I didn't know how to get to the bike cage. Aunt K decided to ride down the driveway. The only problem with that was no other people were riding their bikes on the driveway. Aunt K didn't know what to think. While she was looking around, she rode over speed bumps. On the third speed bump in, Aunt K had a problem.

Aunt K fell off her bike. Hard.

She fell on her knee. This was very painful.

Luckily, people stopped. A friend took Aunt K's bike into the bike cage. Another person helped her into the office for an ice pack. In the office, her neighbor called her house. Great-Uncle Wes (no, he doesn't smell funny. He just eats a lot of peanuts) came and took Aunt K to the doctor. She had a bad bruise and had to use crutches to walk for 2 weeks. Aunt K even missed two weeks of swim practice, having to wait until the swelling went down in her knee before she could go into the water.

Why is Aunt K telling you this story now? To show you that given her history of silly injuries (Sarah, hurting yourself during line dancing doesn't make you retarded. The word is ridiculous.) Aunt K is somewhat surprised she is still walking this far into her training.

And walking she is. Aunt K missed Monday and Tuesday, and managed to squeeze in a quick 2.7 miles in Lafayette after a long meeting today. There's a real question about her ability to fit in any walk tomorrow-late meeting and starting a class after work. So Aunt K needs a swift kick in the patooty to remind her that this is a priority.

Alright kids. Let's go find some swings.

*Not actual bike, speed bump, or physical location. In fact, these pictures are from the opposite side of the country. No animals or people were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 miles!

Three things I learned on the first 10 mile walk of my life.

1. Start early. People who organize things will bring you coffee and bagels. Better to eat on your own, but the coffee helped with the energy to start.

2. It's better with people. I met some nice people to walk with. A mother-daughter pair did the last 5 miles with me, making the end of the walk go much faster.

3. Do it pretty. We started in the Presidio, went up the hill, down Arguello, and into Golden Gate Park. Then we had a restroom break and headed back. The weather was clear and the air was warm. It is a perfect San Francisco day.

Tomorrow is a "little" 6 miles. Next weekend is a reduced load, (5 and 3 miles), then the big walks start to kick in.

All that, and I don't need a nap.

Lunch will be great.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I have to admit, I took two days off. Sunday was a short walk to the morning brunch. Monday was nothing. So today after work, I realllllly didn't want to go for a walk. I sat on the couch, ate some mixed nuts, and contemplated sitting on the couch.

Seriously contemplated. Procratinated on the internet. Realized the Shuffle was low on juice and charged it.

Then realized it was 7, and time to decide.

3 miles. 50 minutes.

And I liked it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Eight Miler

I did 8 miles on Thursday.

Hiking. Over rocky and sometimes washed-out or creek-like trails.

It felt great. Can't believe I made it.

Props to The Killers and Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Both bands came into the music rotation at just the right time.

8 miles. Combined with the 5 miles I almost got through today (rain and no rain coat), that's half of the first day's distance. A third of the total ground covered.

Looks like I'll make it. Look how far I've come now, baby!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walking through Marlborough

Best cross-country trip in the past 9 months! I made each flight, and landed nearly on-time. Yeah!

Today's walk is a little different. I'm on the east coast, in Marlborough outside of Boston. (Hey stalkers-don't get too excited. People live in my house when I'm not there.)

Total distance via 3.27 miles
Total time: 60 minutes

Interesting sights: There are a lot of individual war memorials in the 4 blocks of downtown Marlborough. Every block or so it seems there is a mini-park (think parklet size) with a bronze figure. Houses are clapboard on the outside, with lovely details in the buildings. The businesses are local-type: a realtor, some pizza places, a Thai restaurant, local police station. A few empty storefronts, but not enough to make it feel abandoned. This is a nice town. People all shared a hello as I walked by, though I noticed I was a bit younger then the average pedestrian. Of course, it is Wednesday during working hours.

Another interest I have is in old graveyards. I find walking through and reading about the people who lived in a community fascinating. You can learn about families, life expectancy, poetry, and expectations. Grabbing the camera for some exploring is next on the list. That or enjoying the A/C and watching the Big Lebowski.

Tomorrow and Friday I am will take the weekend's prescribed walks. That's 8 miles and 5 miles. 5 miles doesn't sound so long. 8 miles sounds far. Alison is loaning me her car tomorrow, so the plan is to research some hikes in the area and have an adventure.

Hello, Massachusettes! Glad to be here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's Getting Better All the Time.

Three things to celebrate!

1. One day of work until Spring Break. It promises to be a busy, crazy day, but it is only one.

2. Visiting my dear friend Alison (and her fantastic husband David) near Boston next week. The internal jukebox is playing "Think I'll go to Boston". (No I'm not singing it aloud.) Weather is supposed to clear, and I've been promised very little to no flooding.

3. You all received my fundraising emails, and I've received over $100 in the last 36 hours. Officially, I've raised 14% toward my goal of $1800. Thanks to all who are able to donate, and to those helping in other ways.

Today's walk was just around the neighborhood-a quick 3 miles in about 50 minutes. Hear that Patty? (I got a little grief on how slow the first few walks were. Good to know I'm improving.)

I'll need to keep 3 miles per hour pace on the day of the walk. Let's do the math real quick- 3 miles an hour at 26.2 miles is at least 8.7333-or 8 hours, 45ish minutes-of just walking.


Did I just sign up to spend more time walking then a typical work day? I may have to rethink the tent sleeping scenario. Even my ThermaRest might not be enough to recover in peaceful slumber.

Guess I'll have to find out!

Coming up on Saturday-the first walk over 5 miles (it's 6). Got a friend helping out on the route (right Char?). Otherwise, I found a great route through the park. Advantage: starts and ends at my house, so I can come home and nap.