30 April 2007

. . . and I will walk 500 more . . .

** a little bit about food, but mostly about the walk


HAHAHHA!! yeah right!

Way back - a few months ago - my friend Karen had asked me to do this walk with her (www.onedayhike.org). It's 100K in one day (starting from Georgetown and ending in Harper's Ferry, WV). It seemed like a good idea at first, but as time went on, we stopped training and decided to do the 50 K instead (this one starts in White's Ferry). So.. that's what I did this past weekend: walked 50 K (for you American's, that's roughly 31 miles) in under 10 hours. OMG, do my feet (and legs, and body, and everywhere else) HURT!!

As with all things that include lots of vigorous activity, you have to make sure you eat well, and often. So, the night before (Friday) we carb'd up with pasta, potatoes, corn, carbs, carbs, carbs, etc. For breakfast, we split a bagel and made potato & egg burritos. Along the walk itself, they had water and snacks and sandwiches and soup and "feet aid" and chairs and gatorade and paramedics and nurses and motivational sounds and people sitting on the ground.. and it goes on and on and on...

Here's a picture of me waiting to use the port-o-potty at the start of the race, while they were still relatively clean. The walk itself was exactly what I was expecting. It was long and tiring, but we kept up a pretty good pace and finished, which is the most important part. Anyone that ever says, "Oh, you're only walking. . . blah blah . . . " has never walked 31 miles with minimal stopping before. It's killer, especially with little or no training beforehand. I have to say that the last mile was killer. Most of the trail is nice and flat, but gravelly (stupid rocks!) which is killer on the feet. The last "mile" however, which takes us through the historic town of Harper's Ferry, is the mile from HELL! When you get off the trail, you need to cross a bridge over the Potomac River to get into West Virginia. Then there's a nice person at the end of the bride telling you that the end of the walk is just up over this hill. Now, let me tell you about this hill. It's not a 5 degree incline hill, but more like a 15 degree incline hill. And after walking 30 miles, it feels like a mountain. It's a bit relieving on the legs since your work different muscles, but your feet are still dying from the ordeal, so no good. You reach the top of the hill and then go down hill (which is even worse feeling than the walking on level ground), then there's someone at the bottom who tells you to just go up another hill to get to the end. But you go up the second hill, and there's no end! There's a bit more down hill and then you have to go UP an inclined driveway to get to the end (maybe some more hills in between, but I was so out of it that I can't recall). We were lucky to finish when we did, because it started pouring rain five minutes after we made it to the center. Here's a picture of me forcing a smile at the Bolivar Community Center (the end!). The other guy in the picture is this hard-core Marine that we met upwith (named Greg). He was doing the full 100K. Apparently, he didn't realize that there were going to be stops along the way, so he packed 23 pounds of water with him at the start, and he ran the first 23 miles in about four hours. Then he got wiped out, I suppose anyone would, and walked the rest of the way. We met him at around Mile 39 (for him - Mile 6 for us). He was pretty cool. Kept calling us "yous guys", and he gave us a ride home from DC to the apartment so we didn't have to take a cab or the Metro (because I couldn't walk anymore even if I had to - maybe if someone was chasing me with a knife).

They had some food at the end point, but I just couldn't eat. Something gave me a really bad stomach ache at the end (I think it was the Gatorade). I forced down some yogurt and chili, but I felt like crap. Karen was doing surprisingly well, and didn't have any blisters. I ended up with two - one the size of a nickle on the ball of my foot (which still hurts now) and a little one at my heel (which isn't so bad). It was pretty gross when I drained them.

Next day, we had brunch at Filomena's in Georgetown. Karen tricked me and got everyone to say that they weren't coming to brunch, but they all showed up. SUPPLIES!!! This was supposed to make up for the fact that no one will be able to come down to visit me for my birthday (IN TWO WEEKS!!!) It was really fun. A good way to lift my spirits after the walk. I ate so much, since I was starving and didn't eat much the night before after the walk.

photo album here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2055135&id=7404083

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