Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Preparing for a 100 Mile Walk


Although Cale and I won't start our walk to Great Wolf until this summer, we have already begun preparing. Mostly this has involved a lot of walking, although in a fit of whimsy I also ordered us calling cards (pictured above).

Because it gets dark at 4:30pm here in the winter, for now we are just walking on the weekends while there is light. This Sunday, for example, the whole family walked 2-1/2 miles to IHOP for breakfast, and 2-1/2 miles back home. Cale and I then walked another four miles in the afternoon. Our house is well positioned to encourage long walks. While we live close to absolutely nothing, we can walk to just about anywhere on the Eastside (including downtown Bellevue, downtown Kirkland, and downtown Redmond) in less than four miles.

Doing all of this walking has been a real treat (although my oldest begs to differ). The boys have discovered a number of creeks (including Goff Creek, Valley Creek, and Kelsey Creek) and duck ponds, and seem to be slowly putting together a map of our extended neighborhood. They are also learning a lot about street safety, including which side of the road they should walk when there are no sidewalks, where (and where not) to practice their balancing skills, and how to behave in a predictable manner for cars.

I have also upped my speed on the treadmill desk I have at the office, in hopes of walking more during the work week as well. For the past 10 months I have been walking very slowly, at just over 1 mile per hour (the speed recommended by the creator the of the treadmill desk). By the time we leave, however, I would like to be consistently doing 2 miles per hour.

In the coming months, I plan to look in detail at each day of the walk, to ensure that the route we have planned is relatively safe and that we have places to stop along the way (to eat, to use the restroom, and to rest). An important question as I do this will be: What is our walking speed? To find the answer, Cale and I walked for an hour and measured how far we traveled. The answer is: 3.5 miles. However, the pace felt brisk. I think I will probably assume 20 minute miles, but may need to pad that a little further.

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