As some of you may know, I’ve been training to walk a marathon (42ish km) in September. It was a goal somewhat inspired by my partner, Chris’s training for the spring Toronto marathon. I’m mostly, following a running marathon training schedule, doing one long walk a week, (usually on a Saturday or Sunday).
Last weekend I did 23kms in just over 4 hours in the Kawarthas passing many beautiful wild flowers and grazing farm animals. My goal now, is to focus on physical and mental endurance. Speed is less important to me than it is to Chris, though I’m not exactly walking at a leisurely pace.
This weekend Chris did another running marathon with about 20 other Achilles athletes in Ottawa. I took the opportunity to tag along, excited to do my own 25 km walk along the canal. Looking at the hot weather ahead for the weekend we both worried about whether we would be able to make our goals.
On Saturday morning I woke up at 5am, the air felt humid but with a cool damp feeling that motivated me out of the house to start walking at 6am. I passed early dog walkers at the start, runners and cyclists later in the morning. During my entire walk I didn’t cross a single traffic light, instead, I saw baby ducks, chipmunks, fish and people on kayaks.
The next morning when Chris did the marathon, it was also overcast and slightly damp. Just cool enough to run without medical worries. For the first time,I got to experience watching the fastest runners start and finish. Plus watch others I didn’t think would make it to the finish line, complete the full marathon.
The runners I saw cross the finish line before Chris had done twice distance I had 24 hours before at double and triple my pace! Watching the marathon racers I did notice they were never alone. They had fans cheering them all the way. There is always someone to pass or passing you. It’s a sport you do on your own, but not alone. Chris ended up getting a personal best time of 3:17 for the marathon, and is very happy.
I’m starting to get used to the 21-23km distance. Right now it’s finding the mind strength to go longer. Four hours walking alone, I’ve mastered, but I know it would be a lot easier to finish the marathon with others. Want to join me for some or all of it? Email Leehe@wholeself.ca for my weekly walk destination emails.