Why do we walk?

West on the Lakeshore PAST the gazebo

Recently, I’ve walked  a few times from my house to High Park to meet up with the 8AM group, knocking 10k off my distance at the same time. Walking on your own gives you lots of time to think and talk to yourself. One of today’s topics was ‘why do we walk’.

The majority of the group, as I have observed, walks as a means to an end – if I walk with the group, then I can eat a hearty breakfast (which sometimes consists of more calories than were burned…). Some of that group trains for a particular event – 10k, 15k, 21k, and so distances are determined based on the published schedule.  Others just come out for the fun! I’d say all of us enjoy the social connections and friendships that have developed over time.  I sometimes call this group the “walking couch? – I always come home from walking less stressed as I had someone to share my woes with.
A very small percentage of us train for marathons, and I am excited that Ela and Helen S. will be racing in the Marine Corps Marathon with me on Oct. 28th. If you have never completed a marathon, here’s abrief run down.
Training for a marathon is hard work, no doubt about it….but very exciting and satisfying when we reach the starting line. We follow a 16-week training program, with training regimens 3 days a week. We are performance athletes, and think about the race all the time as it affects our sleep (did we get enough) and the food we eat and drink.  The weekly mileage also takes a physical toll on our bodies. Mentally, you may not realize how much of a game you have to play to convince yourself to get up at 5:30am to get out the door, too.  Marathoners also notice that mileage is a relative thing….a month or so ago, 24k seemed to be an achievement, now its celebrated as a light week, as we vary between 24k, 27k and 32k for our longest walk of the week.  Before we know it, we will start ‘tapering’, cutting back our mileage to allow our bodies to rest and our brains to get excited as we think about the marathon being only a few weeks away.
Completing your first marathon is a life changing event.  Completing your second or seventh is almost as exciting. No one says you have to walk fast (most races allow 7 hours to complete the race) but you have to complete it to say that you are a marathoner… Many of our members are marathoners, and I personally hope that we will have more TPW’s walking and training for a marathon.
Garage Sale at Carol’s
This Saturday TPW held a very successful garage sale.  Its success was three-fold.  Firstly, we raised $850 for Women’s Habitat ! Secondly, most of us managed to resist the urge to bring home more garage sale items than we got rid of! Thirdly, we helped the neighborhood contribute items to the Diabetes Canada truck that picked up bags and bags of clothing and multiple boxes of leftover items from our sale. Kudos to Rorie, Linda, Lee and Carol for an awesome event, and to all of us for participating actively and raising money for a good cause.
Last but not least, good luck to our racers in next week’s Kitchener-Waterloo Walkers Classic – the only walker only half marathon! We’ll be thinking about you as we walk our distance next Saturday.

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