Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30

It's hard to believe in 10 days I'll be attempting the 39.3 mile weekend. Not attempting-completing with flying colors. This has taken such large chunks of time. Time seems to be the thing that has been a major challenge. As you know, I am a very popular person. In fact, it has gotten so bad that I had to get bodyguards for the paparazzi because they are getting mobbed.

Well, that may be stretching it. Just a bit.

I do like to have a busy schedule. Freud would say I fear death, or something disturbing about my father. My idea is that I like to keep busy because I was so shy as a kid and feel like I missed out on a lot of potential friend time. There's no hidden desperate quality to my schedule (as some psychoanalysts may be quick to conclude). It's born out of a true desire to enjoy life to it's fullest. For those who feel like it takes forever to find time with me-I'm worth the wait. For those who think this sounds rather narcissistic, I agree. However, I've wandered away from my point.

My point is this-time. Last weekend my best friend, someone who has been in my life since we were both 14, was married. It was a beautiful ceremony. Intimate and thoughtful, just like Kacey and Rich. I had the honor of standing up with the bride, so my weekend consisted of spending time with the whole family and helping Kacey's mom breathe. The weekend was busy, and I completed zero walks on Saturday and Sunday. Luckily, Monday was my last day of work before summer. I was able to get home at a reasonable hour, and clock 10 miles in about 3 hours. My right knee has been sore since the kneecap popped out of joint a few weeks ago, so each time I walk, I ice it immediately afterwards. The 10 miles were easy-I took the same route as the last 10 mile day, only this time reversed. This lead to more interesting scenery at the end of the walk, and a greater sense of accomplishment. The biggest change was going from mostly downhill to mostly uphill.

The 5 miles on Tuesday (first day of summer break!) were around Lake Merritt with Edna. It was warm, I was sleepy, and we got the walk done. Company makes a big difference in these walks-I would have given up after the first lap, but had to make it seem like I wanted to do the full 5 miles for Edna's sake. We'll stick with that story for a while.

Now I taper. Tomorrow is 3 miles-that will take less then an hour. This weekend is 5 and 3-an easy accomplishment when I'll be in Tahoe with friends who like to hike.

And now-the single digit countdown begins. (Dum dum dummmm)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

32 Miles Means I'm nearly there!

It's hard to believe I managed 32 miles last weekend. The 22 mile day was daunting-just as difficult mentally as physically. I've not quite figured out why that is the case. Something about the distance and going solo for most of it means I get a little bored but there's more there I can't quite get my finger on. Perhaps it's the loneliness-even around people it feels somewhat isolating.

The 10 miles on Sunday was again accompanied by Charlotte, who both made it through a long weekend of walking and kept my spirits up. We took a large loop up 7th Ave. (not nearly as steep as anticipated) to the top of Glen Canyon; took Portola through West Portal and onto Sloat; passed the concert-goers for Stern Grove; hoofed down to the beach; followed the shore to Golden Gate Park; stopped off for beer and lunch at Park Chalet (because, I mean, it was beautiful and a beer sounded good); then once again up MLK to my house. That route is a nice one-mostly downhill and flat for the last 7 miles. Next time I may try the opposite direction, just to try the uphill over distance factor.

Something I'm not sure I mentioned on the last post-took a side path along the coast in the Presidio on Saturday. There's a path that drops down past one of the many batteries (ex-big gun sites) and takes one nearer the coast north of Baker Beach. Didn't really think about it at the time, but there ended up being a lot of steps. Not as many as the Dipsea, but a lot. It reminded me that 1. steps are evil and 2. if I want to try the double Dipsea this summer, I better start training on steps. There are some pretty steps in my neighborhood (see ). That's 162 stairs-going up and down 4 times should approximate the Dipsea stairs. Anyone want to join?

Took a 3.5 mile walk yesterday out in Concord. The Iron Horse Trail has the most amazing thing-it's marked every .25 mile so you know how far you have gone. The trail where I pick it up (near a school) is flat and not terribly shady, but it's quiet and there is a good bit of bike traffic, so it feels safe. A pedestrian bridge is being built over Treat by the Bart station. It's a dramatic structure, reminds me of the rib cage of a dinosaur. Sorry-no pictures currently posted online for a link.

The big walk is only 2.4 weeks away. This weekend training will be adjusted to account for a fantastic event-my best friend Kacey is getting married! She paid me the compliment of making me her Maid of Honor, so I'll be with her family all weekend, helping where I can and offering comic relief as needed. I'm so excited! This means the 10 mile walk for Saturday will take place Sunday evening when I get home, and I'll do the 5 miles on Monday. After that, it's reduced distance for the next two weeks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

22 Miles

For some reason 22 miles seemed really far. Not much further then I had already walked, since I finished the 21 mile day a few weeks ago. 22 miles just seemed far. The high winds were a mental deterrent as well. The wind blew so hard along the Presidio that a few times I thought I would loose my footing.

It got done. Thanks to Char for meeting me at the 14th mile and getting me through to the end. One little ankle roll on Mission St.-a little stiff this morning but not too bad. We ran into some friends in the Lower Haight, and picked out pretty yellow house colors in the Upper Haight.

Total walking time: about 7 hours 34 minutes.

The new best thing to do after a long walk: a beer on the couch and some Little Britain on DVD.

Next up, 10 miles today. Then I start to taper.

Only 20 more days to the walk!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alright. It's 8:30. I've procrastinated on the computer for the last half hour. I'm leaving for my walk now.

Friday, June 18, 2010

22 Miles tomorrow

I'm walking 22 miles tomorrow. Gulp.

The only thought in my head right now is "Please just let me get through this alive".

I'll be fine. I'll be fine. I'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I got a whole list of what to expect on the walk. If you are curious about the event itself (other then the route-don't have that), check out the link:

Click on the "Cheering Stations" for some ideas about where I'll be:

Oh, dear, I'm going to have to climb the Dolores St. hill at the end of the walk. Bonus points to whoever has coffee for me along the route-forget water, I'm gonna need something stronger!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I miss you!

But that doesn't stop time from passing.

Participated in the Relay For Life last weekend-another great organization that raises money for breast cancer research. My best friend Kacey's mother runs a team annually (go Marlene!). Marlene is a survivor, and one of the most dedicated survivors I know. Her fundraising team came in 5th this year. Particularly amazing given the top 4 all had corporate sponsors-Marlene's Maverick's came from friends and family.

Which brings me to my latest thought. The thing I was most worried about at the start of this event was the fundraising commitment. $1800 is a lot of money. Through private donations, that is friends and family who have been generous beyond my expectations, I have raised over $2000. This is an enormous sum-more then some families live off of in a single month.

Thank you again for all your support and love.

Last weekend was 10 and 5 miles. Next weekend is 22 and 10. Anyone want to take a few miles and keep me company?

Also, if you want to be at the finish line on Saturday, July 10 email me. A friend is organizing a cheering squad for the finish line that day. Or Sunday July 11-I'll need some happy smiley faces then, too. And I will accept champagne and massages.

Monday, June 7, 2010

31 miles

The weekend ended on 31.8 miles total. I trust (one of the best referrals I have gotten on this quest). Other great recommendation: mint chewing gum. Pop in a piece when tired and drink some plain water while the minty freshness is in your mouth. Easy pick-me-up.

The 10 miles were a push on Sunday. My legs were feeling it-my hamstrings have been tight, and the weekend pointed that out. I can tell when I'm getting tired because my ankles turn more easily (the right one went twice, though no injury or stiffness). The muscle tone is great-I feel individual leg muscles as I walk uphill, rather then general work in the leg area. Less sun, more fog, so it was cooler and more comfotable to keep the jacket on. Due to a little confusion on the route, I ended up improvising a way home, which meant I walked through a part of the Presidio I've never walked through. Adventure!

Total walking time on the 10 miles was about 4 hours. Slower then I had been planning on, way below the 20 minute mile mark. Tiredness and stiffness contributed to that time. It means I do need to go on the daily walks to keep my endurance up. Monday-30 minute recovery stretch walk. Going to have to get some more work done to get out of work at a reasonable hour tonight!

Anyone feel like walking this week?

And if you read this far-here is the most amazing news of all. Due to a donation from my mom's friend Terri, the fundraising minimum has been met! That means that the kindness and generosity of the people in my life have helped me raise an amazing amount of money for a worthy cause! Scott-if you read this-you are not off the hook. My parents have been kind in their donations, my brothers have failed to show their financial support. So let Scott know that he needs to step up and open that wallet of his (it tends to be stuck shut when these opportunities arise). Scott, I love you. Now man up.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

20 Miles

You know, I just did the map for this walk, and realized we extended the walk a little further then I originally thought. Worked out to about 21 miles. That explains why it took longer then anticipated. Longer as in we left at 9ish and got home after 5.

The route (click the title) was basically across the city, follow the beach until you hit the ball park, then cut west. It sounds simple, takes us through areas of the City people come from all over the world to visit, and keeps us in areas with access to things like water and restrooms.

Weather was amazing. A heavy fog sat along the coast, holding in heat and humidity. The humidity I could do without, the fog was beautiful. Here's what you can imagine-walking along a dirt trail on Lands End, coming to the crest of a ridge, and getting the first glimpse of the ocean which is about 100 feet below you. Now, as you proceed down the path, you see a break in the fog along the water, and the towers from the Golden Gate Bridge emerge from the top of the cloud bank. You can see only fog, water, tower tips, and the expanding sky. It was a beautiful sight.

The distance was long, and not having a strong feeling for mileage was challenging. Of course, "you have to challenge your mind as well as your body" (thanks for that lesson, Napoleon Dynamite). Ka Yun had a hard time with the people on the pavement-Embarcadero was crowded with the tourist season underway-though pushing for a faster speed wasn't in the cards for me at that point. Stopped at Reds Java House for burgers (umm, burger) for lunch, then stretched out in Duboce Park.

A few lessons:
1. Keep drinking water and eating snakes.
2. It's ok to take a break along the way.
3. Sunscreen. Lots of it. Put it on more then once. (Areas with a sunburn: under my neck, top of my arms, nose, lip, scalp, top of the forehead.)

BIG thank you to Ka Yun for accompanying me on this trip. She didn't totally know what she was getting into, though she did a great job and didn't whine enough for me to hit her (that was the deal, after all).

End of the day: nice shower, had a few friends over to help me eat some leftovers, and I slept late-10:30 am! Now, I gotta get off for the 9ish miles to do today. Taking the shuffle for potcasts and putting on LOTS of sunscreen.

Friday, June 4, 2010

For Orielle

Thursday, June 3. Only 37 days left until the walk. I'm supposed to be in the best shape so far, per the weekly emails I receive from the Avon Walk people. Since I've only done weekend walks for the past few weeks, I'm pretty sure I'm close, but can do better.

In an effort to keep the training on course, we extended today's walk. Bonus-got to walk with Orielle. She's a coworker and friend since grad school. The best thing about spending time with Orielle is the laughter. Something about our chemistry leads to us cracking each other up. As in grabbing our sides, peeing our pants funny.

We didn't make any major funnies on this trip, just some minor hilarities. What we did make is plans for the summer. A camping trip with some rafting (gotta love the ability to get away mid week), pinball day, and paddle boating on the reservoir.

We managed to complete two loops around the reservoir (5.4 miles), in a reasonable amount of time (1:41).

The cool ending to the day was going in for a haircut at the salon school and finding out the supervisor is also doing the Avon Walk! She was great to talk to (we decided we are kindred spirits) and I'm hoping to run into her at the walk.

Tomorrow-20 miles!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was a blast. I went camping with a group of friends who are fun to hang out with. We got in a nice hike, which was great, meaning yes, even camping over Memorial Day, I got some walking in.

The best part was the mini rafting trip. Mini because in the two plus hours we spent on the trip, we realistically spent about 20-25 minutes on each run. It was great-nice little Class II/III rapids.

Anywho, I've got another brisk 4 miler under my belt. Tomorrow is a cross-training day, still need a cross-training exercise. Now that my sketch class is over, I can walk on Thursdays up to the walk. This weekend is the last of two long walk weekends. This weekend is 20 and 10 miles. Ka Yun is joining me for the walk-if she and I can both make it!

For the route, check this out:

See you on the flipside! (Not even sure what that means anymore.)