Mileposts Along My Half Marathon Walk Today
Point of Origin
Happy 370th Monthiversary!
Yesterday, I did something I had never done before in my life.
I walked 13.3 miles, a distance just a tad bit longer than a half marathon.
The reason? Well, there were three principal reasons. Here they are in ascending order:
- I hadn't walked for an entire week! If I am to maintain pace with meeting my year's goal of 1000 miles, I'm a few miles short this month. It had rained steadily for the last few days, putting a damper on my schedule, but yesterday was absolutely gorgeous.
- The stressful demands of the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Hub Challenge has prompted me to spend a lot of time indoors, stuck in front of a computer. (In addition, pulling my hair out is not something I want to be seen doing in public.)
- Yesterday was the 22nd day of June. Call it silly and sentimental, but my wife and I wish each other a Happy Monthiversary on the 22nd of each month. In two months, we'll be celebrating our 31st Anniversary. Don't tell her I said this, but the monthiversaries help me remember our anniversary, and I'm always big on whatever gets me brownie points with her.
I dedicated yesterday's walk, then, as a monthiversary present to my wife.
Let's Get Motivated with Suzy!
I wrote a love note to my wife indicating the route I would be taking, and I stuck it on the bathroom mirror. Shortly after 7 AM yesterday, I left my yard. I had just barely walked a few yards up the road when my cat, Kona, came running from the yard kitty corner from ours. He stopped right in the middle of the road, looking up to me as if to ask, Where are you going? You're not leaving me, are you?
Patting him on the head, I told him I would be back and motioned for him to go back home. Fifty yards up the road, I turned around and saw him still crouched in the middle of the street. I turned left on 12th Street and silently prayed that he would be safe.
Cats will meander through the neighborhood, but unlike dogs, uncompromisingly refuse to be seen walking with humans.
At the 1.1 mile mark, I started jogging. I lovingly call my pace the old man trot. I'm attempting to slowly work my way up again to jogging. The emphasis is on the word, slowly. Recently, I succeeded in jogging a half-mile. Yesterday, in spite of not having walked for an entire week, I still wanted to aim for at least the same distance. I managed to do so in spite of a laborious effort, and I was even able to add a little bit more. My new personal record to beat is now .6 mile.
A short while later--at roughly the 2-mile mark, I came upon a field of alfalfa and took the above photo.
I continued to head east on the Old Milton Highway. Fields of alfalfa and wheat with the occasional fenced-off pasture and vineyard lined either side of the road, and I imagined the view from above was that of a giant checkerboard square. I was a pawn moving laterally--and thus counter to the rules of chess--across that board. At my age, and in the revelry of my celebratory walk, following rules didn't factor into the grand equation.
After maneuvering the large bend in the Old Milton Highway and turning onto Langdon Road, I came upon the above weather tower vane. Even in an agrarian community, it's not a common sight, so I paused to take this photo. The property owner also raises miniature horses, a topic of interest that I'll hopefully write about in the near future.
I am constantly monitoring myself to ensure, at least at a layman's level, that I'm doing okay, and I was thus pleasantly surprised that I had arrived at the 5-mile mark feeling no pain. It was close to 8:30 at this point, and the weather was perfect for a long walk. Walking over to the right side of the road, I took the above photo of a field of winter wheat. About a hundred yards away were huge bales of hay neatly stacked and stored under a massive tarp. In the distance, the Walla Walla Blue Mountains basked in the early morning sun.
Somewhere between the fifth and sixth miles, my cellphone rang. It was my wife, and she chuckled as she told me she'd called out for me, and when I didn't answer, got a little worried. Then she came upon my note on the bathroom mirror. Her reaction was, "Wow, he's ambitious!" I wished her, "Happy Monthiversary!" It's a game we play--to see who'll remember first. I laughed as she took a few seconds to get her bearings.
I got my bearings when I met her.
By this point, I was well aware that this walk was going to be longer than the furthest distance I had ever walked in my life. I felt pleasantly fatigued at this point, and my feet were overheated, but other than that, I was okay.
So I kept on going.
At this point, I was near the heart of Walla Walla. I needed to use the restroom, so I stopped in at the 8-mile mark and dashed in for a short while.
In the above photo, you can see the mugs and glass section of the St. Vincent de Paul Retail Store. Quite a few of our eBay sales were sourced right here at this Catholic-affiliated thrift store. Their motto reads: We need what you don't need--to help those in need.
If you look carefully at the window, you'll see a reflection of the Walla Walla County Courthouse located across Main Street. You can also see me in my walking sweats taking the photo. I'm only now noticing the police car, also in the reflection, the officer(s) within probably wondering why I was taking a photo of the store.
A pawn shop, one might conclude, is a favorite hangout for an eBay hustler. Personally, I've never had an inclination to deal with pawn shops. Admittedly, I don't know or understand a thing about them. Secondly, and maybe it's a bias derived from watching a lot of seedy television shows, my main concern is that I might spend good money acquiring something from a pawn shop that would later turn out to be a stolen item.
In any event, at the 9-mile mark, this was my subject of choice for a milepost photo.
Mill Creek courses right through the middle of Walla Walla.
As I walked along the last long stretch on my way back to College Place, I was cognizant of the fact that the actual length of my walk would end up being about 13 miles.
With three more miles to go, the sight of the water enticed me to jump in and cool my agonizing feet. Those dogs were barking!
Okay, so now I was nearing the eastern entrance to College Place. My pace picked up a bit as my brain sent out signals to my weary body that we had less than two miles to go.
A cute thing happened a quarter mile before I reached this point. My wife passed by, headed in the opposite direction. I waved frantically at her, and that must have left an impression on her peripheral vision because I saw her adjust her rear-view mirror and wave at me.
God never sends us more blessings than we can handle.
My iRunner cellphone app verbally announced that I had just walked twelve miles. Prior to going up a hill on Larch Avenue, I passed this church.
The number 12 is significant in the Bible (twelve sons of Jacob; twelve tribes of Israel; the age of Jesus when He first appeared in public at the temple; twelve disciples, etc.), so I thought this was an appropriate place to take my milepost photo.
Milepost 13 (.3)
Ah, home! That's where I want to be!
Well, it was a good walk. I realized two personal bests--my longest walk ever, and a comeback achievement of jogging .6 miles.
In the process, I was blessed to have you come along with me. Thank you for your good company, and I hope we can do this again sometime soon.
Oh, and one more thing. I found Kona the Cat napping on my bed. That was the crowning touch to a very memorable day.