Last August I shared with the blogosphere my goal to walk a half marathon, 13.1 miles! Originally I set said goal in early 2011. However, I did not start seriously working towards the goal until last year after I completed the Inside the Park Home Run one mile fun walk at Progressive Field August 10th. That event stirred up my ambitious side, leading to the aforementioned August blog post. Within that post I wrote the next steps, purchase a pedometer and work towards the shorter term 5k goal.
Well, I’m happy to report I pursued those next steps. Tuesday, August 19th, two days following my post, I began walking, tracking my distance with a pedometer. I managed 4.38 miles my first go, but completely exhausted myself.
Still 4.38 miles proved more than a 5k (3.1 miles). So I registered for my alma mater Notre Dame College (NDC)’s 5k color dash scheduled to take place Saturday, September 28th. Every week leading up to the event I walked, increasing my endurance. On Monday, September 5th I broke the five-mile mark, without experiencing complete exhaustion too!
Unfortunately due to lackluster registration NDC cancelled the 5k. Since I did not receive my refund check until December I lacked the funds to register for another race. Nevertheless I kept walking weekly. Saturday, October 25th I completed 6.72 miles, a new high.
Looming ahead though, Cleveland’s careless cold and senseless snow haunted me. How could I keep those villains from erasing all the progress I made over the late summer and fall? The senseless snow especially, which makes any walking difficult for me thanks to his buddies ice and slush. Ask anyone with cerebral palsy (CP). Snow, ice, and slush do not play well with CP.
To counter Cleveland’s winter I turned to the less ideal alternative, my stationary bike. I consider a short ride on my stationary bike 10 miles. Typically I aim for 13 miles although with spending more time with the bike I’m pushing myself further and further. In November I began going 15 miles.
Thankfully December proved rather nice, at least by Cleveland standards. As such, I capitalized on the chance to get some walking done. The nicest days actually emulated fall, letting me see I could still go five-plus miles without much difficulties.
Not to say the last five months went trouble free. On my second walk with the pedometer my body fought me from the first mile. My right ankle did not want to cooperate. I even fell pretty hard 3.6 miles in. Perseverance saw me through, giving me the confidence I could handle distance walking even on a bad day.
Then in early December I dealt with constant lower back pain. Every morning I woke up I relied on a heating pad for relief. ICYHOT assisted me during the days too. Seeking to avoid more pain I reduced my stationary bike rides to 10 miles. Slowly the pain faded away and I increased the miles again. In fact this past week I returned to biking 15 miles.
Upon spring’s arrival I will resume weekly walks and find some 5ks or longer races to complete. How that goes will determine when I can conquer my half marathon goal.
Your turn now! Comment below sharing a long-term goal you remain active pursuing.