There really is a reason for me to inflict that on you. Bear with me a moment.
As I mentioned a couple of times before, my friend, Suzanne, signed up to do the Susan B. Komen 3 Day Walk in Boston at the end of July and talked me into signing up with her. She didn't have to talk very hard, as I was looking forward to the physical challenge. (Note that I first met Suzanne when she and I both did the 3 Day in southern California, back when Avon ran it in 1999. She works for the same company I do and we worked together later on.)
The first complication came with fund raising, as the Komen / Planned Parenthood kerfuffle broke out just about when I started that. That posed a pretty serious moral dilemma for me, particularly as breast cancer is not really one of my significant charitable causes. (I tend to give my money primarily for educational causes, e.g. scholarship funds and promoting literacy.) It wasn't a huge issue in that I was comfortable enough with the way things got resolved that I could just donate the money myself.
The other complication was that I had seriously overestimated how much free time I had for training. I've been doing lots of 5-7 mile walks, but never managing to find time for much more than that.
So the weekend before last, Suzanne came out here so we could walk together. (She lives in Los Angeles. Her biggest concern was trying to figure out how she could cope with walking in humidity.) I'd planned a roughly 15 mile route for Saturday and 6 to 8 for Sunday, followed by a spa appointment.
We walked from my place to the W&OD trail, which is a rail trail that cuts across a large swath of northern Virginia. It started out well enough, but I was wearing shoes that were getting to their end of life and I got a blister on the ball of my right foot. That was still not a huge issue. But about mile 13, I got a serious cramp in one leg. We rested and Suzanne gave me an electrolyte tablet to put in my water. We made it another mile or so, at which point there is a running shoe store and she made me buy new shoes. (Which was something I needed to do, so was actually useful.) At that point, we had lunch at an Indian restaurant and took the metro back to my place.
There was time for showering, napping, and reading parts of the newspaper before I picked Suzanne up at her hotel and took her out for her first taste of Thai food. Elephant Jumps is always a good choice and now she knows what she was missing. (She also reminded me that I had been the person who introduced her to Ethiopian food.)
That blister was a huge issue on Sunday, however, and I pretty much limped through the barely 6 miles we did. (I should also note that she got to experience my notoriously bad sense of direction. It appears that the parking lot I was looking for does not actually exist, but I should have been able to figure that out sooner. Fortunately, it is harder to get lost doing an out-and-back on the Mount Vernon Trail than it is on the surrounding roads.)
I managed not to get us lost getting brunch at a nearby IHOP. Then it was time for our spa appointment. Yvonne's Day Spa is the only place in the U.S. that does fish pedicures. Yes, we actually had the dead skin on our feet nibbled at by fishies and here is photographic evidence.
It was mostly sort of ticklish and not at all unpleasant. It was followed by a normal pedicure. Overall, I would do it again.
There turns out to be a bit of a saga regarding the cramp I'd gotten on Saturday. Without going into a lot of detail, it was most likely related to side effects from blood pressure medication (which has since been adjusted). And, by the way, I was fine, with no significant muscle soreness the next day.
But what with recovering from the blister and the blistering heat wave that has made it inadvisable to do much walking, I don't see any way I can be ready to walk 60 miles in 3 days in a few weeks. I've decided to cry uncle and quit. I feel bad about this, but Suzanne is being understanding. I am still going to go up to Boston that weekend (and take her out for a blow out dinner after the walk is over). I am rethinking some of the details of my travel plans for that weekend (probably doing some other walking, possibly volksmarch events in Maine and/or New Hampshire).
I also want to get back to training to work up to longer walks again, with a goal of doing the one day hike of the C&O canal towpath in April. (The whole hike is 100 km, but there is a 50 km option, which is definitely do-able. Registration is not until February, so I have time to see which option makes sense.)
I hate quitting anything so this is rough on me. But I have a plan ahead, so I'll survive.