One Year Ago Tomorrow

23 09 2007

This blows my mind … a year ago tomorrow is my 1 year ‘anniversary’ of walking.  I’d signed up for Team in Training through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to walk the Disney World Marathon January 2007 and I realized I’d not done anything really competitive for some 25 or so years.

I did everything wrong at the Boulder Backroads.  I wore new shoes, socks, water belt and hadn’t really trained.  I guess I was looking at wanting to truly know where I stood.  When I was done the answer would have to be … barely!  I drove from Boulder to Denver exhausted, dehydrated, delirious and sincerely questioning my sanity.  I also had to be at my coffee shop job at 5 a.m. the next morning … waking up at 3!

I made it with my copy of Dave McGovern’s Marathon Walking stuffed in my bag.  I’d had it for a while and had glanced at it … this time I paid attention.  I couldn’t do most of the trainings with TNT, so this was going to be it.

I’ll have to post the photo from that event at some point because it’s truly instructive.  I weighed in the high 180’s and was over tired.  I got to working out at Curves and the YMCA and did my best.

With my copy of Marathon Walking firmly in my grip, I went to Walt Disney World.  I’d done a few events and I’d watched the walkers from the Rocky Mountain Road Runners … I’d left with best wishes from my running friends there but I knew it was up to me.

I powered through it … and was hooked.

My training has been spotty, but I realized I’ve not been passionate about a lot of things that anyone really understands.  This is one of those things.  I’d actually heard about racewalking prior to this from my friend John at the Road Runners who let me know I didn’t have to RUN to do events. 

Denver Memory Walk – 9/17/05 –> Bailey – my rescued Cattle Dog/Corgi mix (don’t ask who rescued whom) and I did the Memory Walk for family friends suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  There was a run and a walk.  I signed up to do the walk since I had Bailey with me.  Both of us were pinned up with our race numbers and wandered around taking in the scene.  I was AMAZED at all the people.  I was DISMAYED, however, when the walk started.  It was a 5k – or two times around City Park in Denver.  Wearing funky sweats from my Junior College and a sweatshirt to cover my fat, Bailey and I took off.  Next thing I knew we were out in front with the little kids.  Ok – this is fine.  I was trying to figure out this walking thing anyway.  I was coaching Bailey along – whom, I realized, was never going to make it through another event … not fair to her! – and we ended up lapping the huge field.  When I was coming through the second time, I asked where we were supposed to go after we’d finished …. and that’s when I realized something was really unfair.  They didn’t care about walkers.  A lot of folks I’d passed were already scarfing down bagels and snacks talking about how they’d completed their event.  I was sweating … Bailey was staring at me and the bagels … and we headed over.  This huge woman glared at me as I gave Bailey some water and a bagel … “These are NOT for DOGS but for those who completed the event!”  I glared … Bailey glared … the flash across my head was “Excuse me, Ms. Tub-O-Lard!  Bailey and I went around 2x … the whole course … did you?” But I didn’t … I ignored her and got Bae something to nosh.

Walkers weren’t taken very seriously … so I figured I’d leave Bae at home and walk at the back of the runners.  Screw it!  Most of the runners I saw walked 1/2 of it anyway and still called themselves runners … I didn’t do that when I used to run … so I decided I wasn’t going to hike or run or whatever when I was walking …. AND I WAS GOING TO SMILE AND HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE AND ENCOURAGE FOLKS ALONG THE WAY!  Too many snotty people in this world.

That’s what I’ve been doing for the past year.  I’ve been learning the rules of racewalking – and applying them as best I can.

It’s been a year of fits and starts … but it’s been a year … now it’s time to get down to business!




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