health & fitness Archives

March 13, 2006

The Big Walk

It's official. Mark & I are registered to walk the 95th Annual Bay To Breakers race in SF on Sunday, May 21st.

Back at the end of January, Mark's sister sent out an email asking if anyone wanted to join her again this year. I forgot all about it. Then a message went out to everybody at work looking for 15 people to do a centipede in the race, carrying letters spelling the name of one of our websites. Since they expect to keep that at a slow jog/fast walk, I decided I'd be better off walking separately. I was shocked when Mark mentioned that he'd be interested in joining me.

The primary reason for the sign-up is to motivate me to walk more. I seem to have plenty of excuses for not walking. The race gives a convenient excuse in favor of walking (especially without feeling guilty for not taking the dogs along). Since the week before Christmas, I have been going to a strength training class at the gym (and have missed only twice) but my cardio effort has been sorely lacking. It is always too hot, too cold, too light, too dark, too busy, too tired... I could go on but you get the idea.

The race is a 12k (roughly 7.5miles) across San Francisco. The course rises slowly from sea level until you get to the end of the 2nd mile and are faced with an 11.5% grade on the Hayes Street Hill. That appears to go for about a mile, after which the course has a mild downward slope until you get back to sea level at the finish.

So far I have determined that 3mph is a reasonable pace (except on that hill...) for me to walk comfortably and that I can handle an 11.5% grade for at least 5 minutes. I haven't made it to the gym early enough to try to walk a full 7.5mi on the treadmill yet but I'm hoping to do that tomorrow as soon as I get off work at 1:00pm (if there are people waiting, the equipment has a 30 minute time limit and the gym really fills up after 3pm). My goal is to cross the finish line. This means that we need to walk the course in under 3.5 hours, as the finish line gets diverted at 11:30am in order to close by noon. In theory, it sounds pretty easy at this point. I'll know more once I can actually see how well I fare on endurance at the gym.

Also, I probably won't wear anything costume-y but if I did I would have to find a long blonde braided wig, a viking helmet, and a SPAM tshirt. :)

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