Tag Archives: spring

I Did It!

csIMG_8212Before today my longest walk was 8 miles. That was a 3 hour walk. Today was gorgeous and I had hopes of being able to take a very long walk. How long, I wasn’t completely sure about. I am in the process of completing all the areas north of 496. I had about five areas I need to walk before I will be able to say I have walked everything north of the highway. The chunk I walked today was actually supposed to be 2 separate walks. However, when it’s near 70 with perfect partly sunny weather it’s hard to take a short walk. If you add into that the beauty of everything coming into bloom at the same time and the harmonious bird songs filling the air, well that’s the perfect excuse to walk over 13 ½ miles (almost a half marathon) in a four hour walk-a-thon.
csIMG_8209Flowering Trees were everywhere
csIMG_8181Maples Lining the Streets
It wasn’t my intention of walking the most I’ve ever walked before. I just couldn’t help myself. It’s true that part of the walk was because of the facts already stated, but a much darker truth is that I am very stubborn. I set my mind to doing something and I will not fail. I might wail out a frustrated, “I can’t do this”, but I will pretty much be planning my next attempt at the end of that sentence. Some think I continue to do this project because I am kind, thoughtful, generous and full of positivity. Don’t get me wrong, I hope those things are true. Yet, another part of me just won’t let me stop. I started it and I’m going to finish it. Tell me I can’t, well I’ll show you! Stubborn. It was my stubbornness today that had me over stepping my abilities and left me panting for a small drink of water 3.5 hours into my walk. Towards the end, for an hour or so I had been searching all the homes I passed, hoping someone was watering their lawn. No one was. I hoped to pass a business I could buy a drink from. I didn’t. Finally, when I didn’t think I could make it (I was weaving as I walked at this point) I saw a woman in her home. I got my courage up and I went up to her porch and laughed at how ridiculous my statement was going to sound: “I went for a much longer walk than I had intended because I’m trying to walk all these streets in this area so I don’t have to come back and walk it again”. Well, it was something like that. I continued, “Could I have a glass of water. I’ll just drink out of your hose even.” She didn’t hear the last part because she had graciously turned back into her house and was getting me a much needed glass of water. When I saw the full cup of ice water in a plastic cup, I almost cried. She gave it to me and asked about my journey. I told her about my walking project but she then cut me off and ordered me to take a drink; (I’m thinking I might have looked a little rough). I finished that off and told her the rest. I do like meeting people while I’m out and talking to them. She loved the idea and wanted the blog so she could check it out. She then took my glass back inside for a refill. When she returned she had the glass full and a cupcake with a napkin. csIMG_8222My Cupcake and Ice water. 
It was her daughter’s birthday. She gave me my treasures and sent me on my way. With this boost of refreshments I was able to complete this entire section which I was thinking that after all this work I would need to come back to walk 4 blocks. But I did it! I walked it all; almost a half marathon of neighborhood walking for this project! That’s the most I’ve ever done, time wise and distance wise and I’m not too sure I’ll do it again. But I might. Just don’t tell me I can’t.

My Marathon

Training for a marathon; I hear that phrase often. As someone who’s never actually ran a marathon I really don’t know what that means. I would assume there are strength training sessions and endurance sessions. I know my cousin, who’s run many marathons, watches what he eats and drinks very cautiously, especially around race time. I know there are hill work outs and speed work outs and then there’s the rest day. I think many of us have taken that specific day and ran with it. Sometimes I think to myself, why would someone want to work that hard, push that hard for something like a race? It’s a race where you actually have costs and no obvious benefit to yourself. To push it even further, why would someone who’s just finished running 26.1 miles continue to the nearest hospital to donate their blood? I am volunteering for Lansing’s marathon this weekend and it’s been said over and over how difficult it can be for some of these runners to think straight after completing this competition. I was told that the volunteers would cut the bananas in half so the runners don’t need to struggle with peeling it. Yet, after yesterdays Boston Marathon some runners had the ability to complete the race and then continue running to the nearest hospital to give the very blood that pulsed in their veins. Now, that’s strength endurance!
I never thought of this project as a true marathon. However, there’s another definition of a marathon; “A marathon is a long lasting or difficult task or operation of a specified kind”. I think, under that definition, I am walking a marathon. It will take me 3 years, over 400 miles, multiple pairs of shoes, strength training and schedule adaptations, to accomplish this goal; this self imposed, made up goal. Do I have some costs that went into this? Yup! Does it seem to have any obvious personal benefits? Possibly. Have I in return for setting this goal, working towards this goal and ultimately achieving this goal received some sort of intangible blessing? My answer to that is an unwavering absolutely.
So, what’s your marathon? Are you slacking in your training or are you pushing each day to excel? I believe it’s these type of activities, the ones that take so long to complete, are the ones that give us the most benefits; in the long run.
My walk: part 1 and part 2

Lansing Marathon is still actively looking for volunteers, especially course marshals. Please follow this link and sign up if you can!

Perfect Place

While walking through Lansing I’ve learned to appreciate a good area. I’ve created my Personal Neighborhood Assessment guidelines. Some of these “rules” are things like the cleanliness of the sidewalk and homes, the types of cars in the driveways, whether or not there are lawn ornaments (it would seem that fear of burglary or vandalism would prohibit their presence in troubled neighborhoods) and landscaping. I like to walk into neighborhoods and see folks watering plants, mowing their lawns or relaxing on the porch. On the other hand folks arguing on the front lawn, yelling at their kids or secretly talking by running cars tend to cause a bit of trepidation. So far on my journey I have not in any location found myself in a precarious situation. I haven’t had to call for help, or seek out assistance or fight off an attacker. I am not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it hasn’t happened in the year and a half that I’ve been venturing throughout Lansing. I realize the possibility is there. I often keep track of my surroundings, checking whose walking nearby. I memorize which houses have security systems and I always carry my phone. Using pepper spray is not entirely out of the question either. Given all this, I really enjoy a walk that takes me into an area where I feel completely safe; the perfect neighborhood. I know that there really isn’t such a thing; bad things can happen anywhere. But there are places that the chance of those bad things happening is severely reduced. Today I walked one of those places. This was my fourth time walking in Groesbeck. I had started it last year around Easter when I hid plastic eggs throughout the neighborhood and posted picture clues to their location. It was fun!

I liked that this place was a place I felt comfortable doing that in. My second time was a drop off. My husband had a business meeting in the area so the twins and I went along to take our walk. It was a great summer day. We ran into friends and family alike while walking. The third time was a family walk. My brother in law lives in Groesbeck and his family and my family all went for an afternoon walk. We weren’t the only ones.

On this last walk I completed all the streets I had missed before in this neighborhood. I am a little sad that I will no longer “need” to walk this beautiful neighborhood. I can only hope that as I continue to move into areas I am not as familiar with I will find a new “Groesbeck”; a place where homes are well kept, the lawns are pristine and the lawn gardens are breathtaking.