Entries in Walking (11)


The last AVON Training Walk -- 6 days until we Walk!

The AVON Walk is fast approaching -- only 6 days from today!!! This Friday, June 1st, Christi and I will head to "Event Eve" at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosemont to meet up with thousands of fellow walkers as we prepare for the BIG Day on June 2nd!

Today was my last Training Walk before Friday. It was a nice walk to/from Lundahl Middle School at 6:40am this morning. I started off at a relaxed pace because I just didn't see the need to push myself today. It was a sunny, 75 degree day with a slight wind -- couldn't have been a better day to get outside!

On my way back from the school, I was all warmed up and feeling good so I picked up the pace. I averaged a 14:00/mm pace for the last 3 miles of the walk which was awesome. Of course, the first 3.7 miles were around a 17:30/mm pace so the overall pacing was 15:53/mm for the 6.7 miles I walked. Total mileage for May is now 90.9 miles!!

A cool thing happened during my walk back home. I passed a woman who was running towards me, and after having greeted her with a smile and a "Good Morning!", she said "Excuse me", stopped and came back to me. She asked me who I was. When I told her, she said "I know you! You are friends with Tonya." I said "Yes I am".

Then she told me that Tonya had told her about my journey, sent her some of my blog posts, and that she found them very inspiring. I was really touched by that. And then she told me that Tonya has started running herself and has already lost 20lbs!

I started this journey so I could live a good, long, healthy life. And along the way, I started this blog for two main reasons: 1) to track my progress and keep myself accountable to my goals, and 2) to share the journey with others who may find my experiences helpful and motivating for themselves. Hearing that Tonya has begun her own journey really made my day!! ROCK ON, Tonya!!

Well, this week will be focused on getting all my gear, clothing, fuel, and supplies together for the AVON Walk. I am VERY EXCITED!!! I cannot wait for the Walk to begin on Saturday morning at 6:30am at Soldier Field, when we walk a Full Marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Then we eat, rest, and start again on Sunday when we walk a Half Marathon distance of 13.1 miles, returning to Soldier Field for the closing ceremonies. Everyone tells me that these 39.3 miles will be fun, emotional, and amazing. I fully expect to be overwhelmed and amazed.

I want to thank ALL of those who have supported me with their words, prayers, hugs, and financial donations to the AVON Foundation. I walk for a wonderful cause -- finding an end to breast cancer. And I am thankful for having friends and family like you who have helped me to reach this point. I will be thinking of you all on Saturday morning and throughout this tremendous event. Your partnership means so very much to me.


Pink Ribbon Angels walk Lake Geneva! (well, hiked really)

Last weekend was pretty busy! I was scheduled to take my longest training mileage walks, with Saturday covering 8 miles and Sunday covering 20. I got the miles in, but in an unexpected way.

On Saturday, I walked for 6.3 miles early in the morning and then spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon fundraising for my upcoming AVON Walk. We held the "Bark for the Cure" event -- a 5K walk where you can take your dog on the walk with you through the Moraine Hills Park. It was the first walk I have been to where the sponsors and vendors were for the pets mostly. It was a lot of fun. The humans got t-shirts and the dogs got bandanas to wear. It was in the mid 80s so we had lots of water for both humans and dogs. And after the walk, the post-race food was a 'bob for hot dogs' activity. It was classic!

While at the event, several members of our team "The Pink Ribbon Angels" were talking about doing our Long Walk of 20 miles on Sunday. Sue suggested we take a walk along the circumference of Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva. WI. She said it was 21 miles around, and there was a printed tour guide to the walk (you are basically walking in the backyards of the million dollar beachfront properties around the Lake). We all thought it was a great idea. If you are going to spend hours walking, why not do it in a very scenic, beautiful setting!

So Sunday, we met and carpooled to the Lake at 7:15am. The weather was sunny and warm (in the mid 80s), with a nice breeze off the Lake and a threat of rain later in the afternoon.

Well, it turned out to be 22.4 miles and was not just a 'walk'. The 'path' we followed turned out to be one heck of a 'trail walk'! In fact, I think I would call it a 'hike'. We encountered sections of forest, fallen tree trunks to climb over, rocks, grass, dirt, steep hills, steep declines, you name it. It was tough!

It was a beautiful walk, actually. But most of the time, we dared not take our eyes of the 'path' we were following lest we get tripped up and get hurt. At about the halfway point, my right foot caught a root and I fell down -- inches from the edge of the lake (it would have been an ugly 10 foot drop to rocks below). Luckily, I caught myself (embarrassed but alive).

It was a lot of fun though. I brought plenty of fuel and a hydration pack (which was a godsend) so I was good there. But I could've used some trail shoes and not my usual Brooks running shoes.

It took us, including a few rest breaks and three porta-potty breaks, 8 hours and 19 minutes to complete the walk. Way longer than we had expected (none of us realized what kind of walk we had gotten ourselves into) but it is in the books! 22.4 miles for the day, after burning over 6300 calories. Total miles for the week came to 28.7.

The first thing I did when I got home was take an ice bath. Heavenly! When I woke up this morning, I was full of energy, and other than some soreness in my quads, I felt really good! I guess I should do more 22 milers, right?

On Monday, I received my AVON Walk final materials! I have my wristband to get me into Soldier Field, access to the aid/food stations along the route, and the Wellness Center/Park where the Full marathon ends on Saturday afternoon. Very cool!

Today I went downtown to pick up my race packet for the Soldier Field 10-Mile Run race this Saturday. My running partner Mike and his wife, as well as a good friend Jess, are also running this race so it should be a lot of fun. The best part of this race is finishing it by running across Soldier Field (the home of The Chicago Bears) to the Finish Line at the 50 yard line! I cannot wait for this race!

After the 26th, I have a 6-mile walk scheduled and then I rest until the beginning of the AVON Walk on June 2nd. Let the fun begin!