Sorry, but I want to talk about this some more.
I’m not proud of a lot of things I’ve done in my life. I’ve “accomplished” “things,” but none of them have really meant all that much, either to me or to others or to anyone.
But these 5,000 miles? I’m proud of it.
Listen. I am Captain Mediocrity when it comes to everything other than being 1) a stubborn bastard and 2) punishing my body because it’s a piece of trash. Walking 5,000 miles this year allowed me to combine both of these lovely talents.
While I will probably never see another year that was more ideal for achieving this goal than this one, there still were a lot of obstacles that tried their hardest to prevent said goal from being met. I had to stubbornly ignore or actively fight against these obstacles.
The main one was the weather. It was ridiculously cold at the beginning of this year (mainly in January and February). As in, “it’s dangerous to be outside for more than 10 minutes at a time” type of cold. There were a lot of painfully cold walks, one walk where I was sure I lost my toe inside my shoe due to frostbite, and a good number of days where I had to spend four hours on a treadmill to get my daily miles without dying in the cold.
Then the summer got ridiculously hot. “Ridiculously hot” for Calgary is like in the 80s, but when you’re walking 15 – 30 miles a day, that’s hot. I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go walking before the heat of the day set in and the sun hit its peak. 4:30 IN THE MORNING. THAT’S USUALLY WHEN I GO TO BED.
Not to mention the smoke from the wildfires. There were a decent number of days where I probably should not have been out walking for 4+ hours due to the air quality, but I did it anyway. Again: stubborn bastard + body punishment.
Another obstacle was time. A 15-mile walk takes me about 3.25 hours. A 30-mile walk takes me about 6.5 hours. That’s a big time commitment. I was able to do the 30-mile walks in July/early August when I wasn’t working, but the 15-mile walks were done year-round. And that time commitment doesn’t include “prep time” (getting dressed, taming my unruly monster of hair, putting on sunscreen or winter gear).
Seriously. Considering I walked 15 miles a day 6 days a week pretty consistently throughout the year, that’s a huge amount of my time spent on this goal. Even if you like doing something (and I love walking), reserving four hours for it every day is a big deal. It was like having 20-hour days most days in which to squeeze in everything else I had to do. Sleep was the thing that got sacrificed the most, I think.
A third obstacle? Physical limitations, I guess. During the first month of the near-daily 15-mile walks, my body was like OH GOD WHAT THE HELL, but then it got used to the extra work. It was fine for most of the year, too, but I noticed right around the beginning of November that it was really starting to affect me physically. I wasn’t tired per se, but I was getting pretty worn out. By that point, my body was like OKAY I GET IT YOU LIKE TO WALK CAN YOU PLEASE TONE IT DOWN NOW?
And then, of course, there was the injury. I’m not sure if this was actually caused by all the 30-mile walks in July/August or if it just happened to be one bad misstep that messed something up in there. Hell, I still don’t know exactly what I did to my leg because I hate going to the doctor, but I do know that it still hurts more than I was hoping it would this far out from the actual incident. My guess is that I tore a muscle. I’ve never had any sort of physical injury like this, so I have nothing against which to gauge its severity, but I can’t imagine a strain or a sprain or anything like that hurting as much and as long as this has. I just know it’s not my knee. And I am very grateful that it’s not my knee. But I didn’t let it stop me. I walked through a lot of pain right after I hurt it so that I wouldn’t get behind on my mileage. But I do want it to get better. I hate walking as slowly as I currently am and I really miss running. I suppose I could, you know, do the smart person thing and rest it once this year is over.
Anyway. Sorry. I don’t mean to brag or any of that kind of crap. I’m just glad I was able to make this goal. This goal has been the only thing that’s kept me going at some points in this year.
I did it, yo.
I hit 5,000 miles walked for the year.
I did it.
This goal has been work. This goal has been all-consuming, especially in the second half of the year when I really got serious about it. This goal has been very physically demanding at times. This goal led to an injury that I’m still freaking dealing with even though it happened back in August.
But it’s all been worth it. Because now I can say I’ve accomplished my goal. 5,000 miles in a year. How many people can say they’ve walked 5,000 miles in a year? It took me 356 days to do it…that’s an average of a little over 14 miles a day. Every day. That’s a lot.
Sorry for going on about this so long, but I usually fail at everything I try to do, so accomplishing this one goal, even though it is kinda stupid, means a lot to me.
Let’s see how many more miles I can get by the end of the year.
TOMORROW I WILL HIT 5,000 MILES
(assuming I don’t, you know, die in my sleep tonight)
I HAVE FEWER THAN 50 MILES TO WALK TO REACH MY GOAL OF 5,000 MILES
If I had walked 15 miles a day six days a week (as was my goal at the beginning of the year), my current mileage should be: 2,340
What my current mileage actually is: 2,433.19
Nice? But 90 miles a week won’t get me to 5,000 miles for the year!
To be on pace for the 5,000 miles, my current mileage should be: 2,500 (duh)
So I’m a little behind.
TO BE FAIR, I’ve had to take quite a few days off from walking entirely in order to get all my work done for teaching this semester. And since I don’t have anything else to do in July*, I’m going to try to not only make up the difference in miles but try to get ahead of pace.
So yeah. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it!
*“Get a job, you lazy bum,” you say? Well, I technically got paid for a whole summer’s worth of work teaching during spring. Plus, I’m still holding out and hoping that I’ll get another class to teach in the fall (pleasepleasepleaseplease). PLUS, I’m going to Moscow in August and then on a week-long cruise with Nate, and I don’t know if any job would be willing to give me that much time off right off the bat. So for now, I’m going to take advantage of the awesome opportunity I have to spend a whole month walking to my heart’s content. How many people get to do that?
So as you probably all know, I’ve been doing my “walk 15 miles six days a week” thing this year. I’ve been half joking that I’m going to try to get to 5,000 miles by the end of the year.
Then I found this out:
That distance? 4,989 miles.
And now I practically have to make it to 5,000 miles. Walking across the Pacific Ocean? Awesome. Especially since I walked across the Atlantic Ocean last year.
Counting today’s walk, I’m at 1,776.3 miles. That puts me about here:
Long way to go!