8.4 Miles & Lessons Learned

A couple of weekends ago, I decided to head out for a training walk on my own. I didn’t really know how far I was going to walk, but I had a route in mind. I had a plan. Walk until it isn’t comfortable anymore, and then head home.

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I started out walking and stopped for a coffee, because mornings just don’t work without it. I forgot to stop my HRM watch. Oops. About a mile later, I realized that I wore the wrong socks, and so my heels were rubbing and I was going to get a blister. I stopped and put on band-aids, which I had decided to carry in my Camelback. I forgot to stop my HRM watch there, too. Double oops.

So then I kept on going. I passed the town line, I passed a vintage car for sale. I felt pretty good and was happy with my choice of route, so I passed my first “turn back” point and kept on going. At this point, I realized that I must not have rinsed out the Camelback well, because the water tasted like dish soap. Oops number three.

I passed other people out on the road and said good morning to them. Hey, might as well be friendly, right? I hit the end of the road and took a right…realizing I was walking my route to the gym every morning and wondering if maybe I should do that some day.

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Instead, I turned right and started walking up the street. I came to my next potential turning point and still felt great, so I decided to keep on going. At this point, I looked at my watch and sort of wondered how far I went. I knew I didn’t want to go TOO far, since my recent training walks had only been a 5K, but I wasn’t ready to stop.

After passing this Church and cemetery, I knew that it was in my best interest to turn for home. I wanted to keep walking up to a farther turning point, but I had a feeling I’d regret that. The next street was walked from end-to-end.

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Around this point, I could really start to feel my shins, and I was hoping that this wasn’t a sign that I was getting shin splints. I slowed up a little bit and decided to take it easy. And then I sprinted across Main Street to get to the side of the road with sidewalks while the road was clear, since I’d have had to backtrack to find a crosswalk. Jaywalking. Fourth oops of the day.

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This sign is the “two miles to go” sign. I know once I get back into town, I’m on the literal home stretch. I could really feel my shins at this point, so I slowed down yet again. I’m not sure if I’m just used to walking faster, but I really felt like I’d slowed to a crawl. Just under 40 minutes later, I could see my front door, my shins were in a lot of pain, and I just wanted to stop. I walked into my house, stopped my watch, and saw that I had walked for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

I didn’t bring my backup phone to track my route, so I entered it manually on the Runkeeper app and was pleasantly surprised with my distance! 8.4 miles?! What?! 17:56 pace when I had two stops and had to slow down? No wonder my shins were bothering me!

What I got out of this is the following:

  • Rinse your Camelback out completely
  • Remember to stop your watch for accurate timing
  • Just put band-aids on your heels in the beginning as a preemptive measure
  • Jaywalking is probably okay
  • It’s a MARATHON, not a SPRINT

Thankfully my shins healed pretty quickly, so I don’t expect the shin splints to be a repeated problem, especially if I’m not trying to set any land speed records in the future. Hopefully with the beautiful weather keeping hold, there will be many more posts like this to come.

(I am still working on writing up recaps of my day at Dana-Farber, but this one was a whole lot easier to write!)

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