Sunday, January 26, 2014

Danger Thin Ice

I do remember the dangers of thin ice from growing up in New Jersey - every winter my buddies and I would wait with great anticipation for the Shore Hills pond to freeze so we could play hockey.  We were lucky, nothing bad ever happened to us during our early season "testing the ice", but I always respected the danger.  It's been many years since recalling those times but on yesterday's walk, they all came back.

At about mile 5 I looked up and noticed this sign.  I've been in Georgia for 20+ years now and do not recall ever seeing signs like this here before.  This month must be one of the coldest around here for quite awhile with a significant amount of time below freezing.

Walked out onto the pier a bit curious if I'd see the ducks and geese - they were all gone except for these two.

It seemed odd, where did they all go (usually see 50-60 of them) and why were these two the only ones there?  I had one Nutra-Grain bar on me and decided they probably needed it more than I did so I started breaking it up in pieces and throwing on the ice.  They came over quickly and scarfed down each piece they could get.  I guess the ice hinders their food source so the must have been hungry?

I did notice on one of them that its wing looked like something was wrong with it.

Maybe that is why these two were still here?  Maybe they were injured and could no longer fly?  Don't know.  Hopefully it warms up soon so they can feed from their natural sources.

Continued on with the walk and could hear a pinging noise in the distance.  As I got closer, I knew exactly what what it was - just could not believe it actually was that - the sound of a baseball coming off an aluminum bat!

Little League tryouts on a freezing January Saturday!   Brrrrr...

11 miles was enough for me this day, too cold and too windy.  However, I know I will have to refer back to this post come summer, when we are going through a 90 degree heat wave.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Be at the Bridge at 19

Another 20 mile walk in prep for the Great Saunter.  Unlike the previous, this one was on a picture perfect clear blue sky sunny January Saturday afternoon.

It was a great day for a long walk and others were out on the Suwanee Greenway doing the same.

As a proponent of slowing down and looking and taking in surroundings, today I learned you miss things if you never stop.  As I stopped to take this picture, in my peripheral vision, something different was spotted to the right:


Maybe I should stop more often.

The walk continued.  The walk lasted just shy of five hours, roughly about a 15 minute per mile pace.  I'm always intrigued with the amount of thoughts that go through my mind during these long walks, so many and so varied.  I'm not so sure a long walk "clears" my head.

One of the challenges I have on these long walks is estimating getting back to my truck at the 20 mile mark.  The walk is not a go 10 miles in a direction then turn around and go back, it's much more of a zig-zag, up & back, and go around until it's 20 miles (I do have Garmin w/footpod for measuring mileage).  So at about mile 13 or so, I just kept telling myself to "be at the bridge at 19", at mile 19 that is as the truck was parked a mile from the other side of the bridge.

be at the bridge at 19

Sunday, January 5, 2014

20 Miler on a Cold Dreary Saturday

This 20 miler was for prep for the Great Saunter.  I do need to condition my head and body for walking 32 miles.  It was a cold (in the 30s) dreary winter day.  Mary had to work and I really was not motivated to do any DIY projects, so this really long walk  sort of made sense.

Not too many others out on Suwanee Greenway this day.  There were a few, but nothing like it is in warmer weather.  

mostly frozen - rarely see this in Georgia

In hind sight I guess this was a good workout - I wanted to stop and go home, a lot.  It was cold, wind in my face, headache - this was not an enjoyable walk.   I kept on battling the thoughts of just do 8 miles, just do 10 miles, just do 13 miles, and finally I got to the point where I could see the end (20 miles).  So this was much more of a mental workout - the push to continue did win.  

My Garmin read 4 hours, 58 minutes, 55 seconds at the end and I anxiously looked forward to food & warmth.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Walking 2013 & 2014

A few hours ago the book closed on the year 2013.  I like to look back, to see what kind of year it was and see where I am on the three goals that I have regarding Walking to Retirement.  But more importantly, I like looking forward (and planning) to see where these goals will take me in 2014.

Walk 10,000 Miles: 3990

In 2013 added 1,441 miles to this goal bringing the current total to 3990.  Back when I started this goal, I showed the 10,000 miles in a picture - the equivalent of walking from Miami, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska and back.  On that map, current mileage would put me near the town Whitehorse in the Yukon.

2011:   989 miles
2012: 1560 miles
2013: 1441 miles

Ironically I have no goal for how many miles I will walk in 2014.  The other goals drive my actions.  I'll just have to wait until 2015 to see what this turns out to be : )

Complete 100 Races/Events: 45

In 2013, completed 15 races bringing the current total to 45.  The break down for 2013:

12 - Half Marathons
1 - 10 Miler
2 - 5Ks

I guess I do favor the half marathon distance.  This just sort of happened.  Many of the half marathons I do are also full marathons and at some point on the course there is a split - half marathoners to the right & full marathoners to the left.  Each time one of those splits occurs - I am thrilled, elated, thankful,... I'm not doing another 13.1 miles that day!

However, one of the events I want to do in in 2014 is a 32 mile walk around Manhattan.  To prepare my body and my mind for walking 32 miles, I will need to do a marathon or two.

To stay on track with this goal, I'll need to average one race a month in 2014.

1,000 Days of Walking: 168

This is a new goal created on July 17, 2013.  The goal is to walk (go for a walk specifically) for 1000 consecutive days.  As of yesterday, it has been 168 consecutive days consisting of 231 walks (some days I take two or three walks).

I really like this goal - it forces me everyday to not get lazy.  Also, the fear of having to start all over at day 1 is a huge motivator to get out there, no matter what.

Happy New Year !