I usually don’t write reports on training walks, but the “20 miler” is different. It’s almost like a marathon because towards the end, you kinda enter that nomans land ( anything over 18 miles) where your body starts telling you. .”Ok, Ive had enough now” “Why are you torturing me” ..”Just put a bullet in my head.”…you know, those kinda of things. Well, I’m proud to report that I completed the dreaded 20 miler , and so far, seemed to have survived it with only minor breathing problems. I wont say anymore about my lungs cuz I don’t want to jinx myself (sometimes there’s a delayed reaction).
As for the walk itself, it was well, as you might imagine…as difficult as any 20 mile walk would be. I racewalked about 90% of it . Let me re-phrase that, I stayed in “racewalking form” for 90% of the walk. ( there’s a big difference). My actual pace varied from about 15min/mile to as fast as 11 min during the racewalking segments. The walk took almost exactly 6 hours to complete and that included appx 15-20 of various breaks…. This is about par for this type of walk.
I used the inhaler about 8 times, which is the norm for me on a good breathing day. The most difficult part was dealing with the pain Ive been experiencing lately in my arms and shoulders. I think swinging my arms during my faster walking really exacerbates my thoracic outlet problems. Other than that, I experienced the usual shin pain which had to be massaged out every mile after mile 15, and what felt like the “pre- cramp” twitches in my thighs and calves which started happening after about 13 miles. Of course, the last 3 or 4 miles were the toughest, not because of my breathing or the pain in my legs, arms and shoulders, but rather because of sheer boredom and the concern of not being able to finish the walk before rush hour ( I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic trying to leave the city.)
After the walk, which ended at the farmers market in front of the Ferry Building( if you’re ever in the city.. check it out), I proceeded directly to the Sees candy store and promptly purchased a half dozen rum nougats…. my version of post exercise recovery food…( Much better than muscle milk 😉
So, now I can experience a real taper. Kinda short, but nevertheless still a taper. First taper walk of 10 miles is next week , followed by an 8 miler a week before the marathon.
With the bulk of my training out of the way, all I have to do now…is not get sick for 3 weeks!