Well folks, I did my last long walk last Saturday morning, three weeks before the Long Beach Marathon. I know three weeks is a long time to taper for just a half marathon but it may take that long for my ankle tendons to recover, not to mention left leg shin splints. I was finally able to summon the energy to wake up early Saturday morning so I could join our AREC running club. The marathoners were doing their second 20 miler while the halfers were doing 10. I wasn’t sure if I was going to start earlier than 7 a.m. or start with the whole group on time. Fortunately I saw Deb and asked her if I could walk with her. She was planning on doing 6 miles. We started with the whole group and by the first quarter mile we were trailing everybody. I haven’t talked extensively with Deb since she got a new job a few months ago, so that’s what we chatted about mostly, and also about the eating disorder - anorexia nervosa because she knew somebody who was having that problem. Her partner was out of town and was doing her 20 miler on trail in Maryland. Other than the first year of AREC training, Deb and Kate have been training with the group for 6 years now. Deb had already done 8 miles in prior weeks so she decided to cover the same distance on this day. We separated ways upon reaching 6 miles, she on the way to the finish and me on the way to the 10 mile turnaround point. Oh, boy, was I ever appreciative of her company because the 6 miles with her didn’t feel that long. So I continued on, turning around at Ocean Boulevard and 60th Street. When I reached the finish, I decided to extend the walk one more mile out and a subsequent mile back with another 1/10th tacked on. That way if I ever make it to the starting line three weeks hence, I know I could do 12.1 miles, and all I had to do was one more mile to finish.
There is however one glitch to this plan. Even though I’m already signed up for the race, I didn’t realize till last week that I’m scheduled to work that weekend. Last year the event happened to be on my weekend off and I mistakenly thought it was the same this year. I’ve been asking coworkers to work for me but so far none have been available. My only recourse may be to call in sick on Saturday night so I can do the race on Sunday morning. That would mean that the nursing supervisor would have to put me in to work the following weekend.
Given how bad my ankles have become in the past year (they are aching as I type this), I had planned this race as my last hurrah because dealing with the pain after long walks isn’t worth it any more. I can’t even do a walking workout more than twice a week. That’s why I really need to be at that starting line in three weeks. I’m still hoping that someone can cover my shift otherwise it would be an expensive race t-shirt for me with no finisher’s medal if I don’t make it to the race.
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