|Stanley Avenue hill with 13% incline|
The week before I left for the Philippines, I joined the Long Beach Walking Club workout in Signal Hill. If you have followed this blog, you would know that I have walked with this group a few times before. There were a few more participants than usual and that was a pleasant surprise. As I was wont to do, I went ahead of everybody going up hills then returned to the pack afterwards. In the last couple of flat miles, I noticed this woman who was walking as fast as I was. I haven't met anyone in that club who could match my pace until that day. Since the walk was almost ending, we were only able to talk briefly, and this included learning that she originally came from Guyana. I know, I know, the only thing most people know about Guyana is that that's where Jim Jones killed his religious followers decades ago. I don't care to go into details so you could just please Google or Bing Jim Jones and Guyana, if you are interested to know about that infamous incident.
Fast forward to October 13, 2012 which I showed up for the walk again after having been gone for several weeks. Since the last time, I had been to the Philippines, seen my mother in her last days, buried her, came back to the U.S., only to be assaulted at work by a patient. Anyway, I seem to have digressed.
There were the usual walkers plus a couple of new ones I never met before. Also present was Cheryl, the one from Guyana who had a similar walking pace as I did. Wonderful! Now I'm really going to get a good workout with added company. We left the pack before the first mile except for Laura and her dog. She happens to be an AREC member but we didn't know each other. I've only seen her name mentioned before at AREC. So I quickly introduced myself and kept on walking. When we hit the first major hill, Cheryl told me go ahead and she would catch up with me on the downhills and flats. Not willing to lose her company, I rejoined her after cresting the hill. She did not go up on what we call Bonus Hill but she waited for me at the base. I was so thankful for that because that was the part of the course which I still haven't burned in my memory. We resumed walking together after I descended Bonus Hill. By this time Laura and her dog had gone ahead since she didn't do the extra hill either. And so it went - Cheryl would let me go ahead on the uphill portions then I would pace with her on the flats, which I estimated to be about 14:30 per mile pace. Cheryl and I talked about my recent trip to the Philippines and she told me about how her mother died a few years ago in Guyana. She moved to California recently after living in Maryland for a few years. We joked about her not responding to a jury summons from Maryland and that she may now be considered a fugitive, never able to return to that state again because U.S. Marshalls may be waiting for her at the airport. From what I gathered and I hope I'm not mistaken, she is a representative of a nutritional products company.
Anyway, we finished the walk way ahead of the pack and exchanged email addresses. She wanted to send me a You Tube link about high cholesterol and other alternative health information. While she waited for the others, I walked a few hundred feet to the very well known Rossmoor Bakery to check out their goodies. Nothing caught my fancy so I didn't buy anything. When I returned to my car and drove away, Cheryl was still waiting for the other walkers. My goodness, we must have set a really fast pace compared to the rest. Cheryl mentioned in an email later that she must have waited another 15 minutes or so before the others finished. She didn't have a choice because she hitched a ride from one of the other walkers and needed a ride back home.
By the way folks, the purported 900 calorie burn advertised for this Meet Up workout is grossly overblown so please refrain from overdoing the calorie replacement afterwards. Also, it's a wee bit short of the supposed 6 miles, but not by much. Maybe not more than a quarter mile lesser.
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