This past Saturday I walked much farther than I've ever walked in one stretch--26 miles, in my solo Walk-a-Thon to raise money for the National Foundation for Cancer Research. The route--going through Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, Union Station, Columbia Heights, Friendship Heights, Dupont Circle, Woodley and Cleveland Parks, Georgetown and Downtown D.C.--took a little over 8 hours, and fortunately the weather was terrific for the walk. A few observations about this:
1) Though I didn't stop for food, I did have to twice stop to get iced tea and Gatorade. While these drinks each cost about $2, when you're as dry-mouthed as I was when I purchased them, you'd happily pay five times that if that's what they were charging. Nothing feels quite as good as a beverage after the 20th mile.
2) I often walk a lot--several miles a day most days--but this really pushed some limits. About halfway through you can feel yourself hit a bit of a wall, and your normal gait turns into a stagger. Though this was less due to muscles or joints and more to do with the powerful blisters forming on my heels.
3) Speaking of blisters--they still hurt today. My heels are more blister than non-blister.
4) I can now say I've walked from my home to Maryland--and without taking the most direct or shortest route to get there. The route passed through all four quadrants (though stayed on the west of the Anacostia river) and hit a variety of neighborhoods. It looks like some pleasant brunch places in Adams Morgan and up Connecticut as well.
5) Tourists who think it's a good idea to walk abreast and block the sidewalk are mildly annoying on normal days. Ten miles into your walk they induce extreme stabbishness.
6) By the final miles of the walk it occurred to me that if someone tried snatching my iPhone I would have had to just let them go.
7) Next year this might be more fun in a group. Eight hours is a lot of time to go without talking to anyone.
8) Fortunately, with pledges totalling $52.50 per mile, I managed to raise $1,365.00 from my donors. Well worth the long trek.