Forest Park / 50 Mile Walk

2008-05-04 : Here are some maps of Forest Park I've grabbed off the web, for ease of use with my iPhone I also have a vague plan to make my own map that is more accurate and easier to read.

According to Google Earth, the outer bycicle path is 5.66 miles.

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My dad told me a story that when he was in the military stationed in El Paso, the President said every American should be able to walk 50 miles in a day. He said a bunch of the guys wanted to show they were tough, and set out to do a 50 mile hike. He said they never made it. They made it about 25 miles. They got blisters so bad they could barely walk, and they had to hitch a ride home.

That got me thinking. Walking is by far my favorite form of exercise. Could I manage a 50 mile walk? I think that would be a notable accomplishment. With a little preparation, I think I could do it.

This must be what my dad was talking about: Kennedy March: "I think most American people are so weak, they can't even walk fifty miles within twenty hours".

  • There's a song?

    2008-05-10 : Did one lap, in serious form.

    2008-05-25 : Track

    2008-07-07 : Did 1 lap. Did checkpoints. wore slip-on merrils, tshirt, shorts, sun shirt, hat. Brought and drank 700mL. Thoughts: hot (85°) - will need pleny of water - find camelback. Shoes still debatable - need tougher feet or better shoes. need sweat rag for face. Handkerchief for neck still a good idea. will need some designated workout (stinky) shirts. checkpoints - use 11b. need simpler ui - currently have to double check that right checkpoint button was hit by waiting for reload - bigger buttons - map is dark and hard to read in sun. fix bug on redo (obviously).

  • Lap time: 1:25:26.417 (1.424h) = 3.97 MPH (9 laps / 50.94 mi would take 12h 49m).

    2008-07-08 : Did a lot more work on the app. All workout-time features are in place. Now it just needs archiving and review features.

  • Did 1 lap with checkpoints. Wore slip-on Merrils, t-shirt, light shorts, sun shirt, hat, bandana. Emptied pockets, carried 700mL, small towel. Thoughts: Wore moleskin on left heel. Pace info was great, was able to keep up a better pace. May skip checkpoint 11. Towel was nice. Sun shirt flaps a lot - would like to replace tshirt and sun shirt with long sleeve workout shirt.
  • Lap time: 1h 21m 5.932s (4.19 mph)

    2008-07-09 : Did a little more work to enable "Viewer" mode.

  • Did 2 laps. Wore same as last time. Brought a granola bar. Thoughts: I kept the pace, but two laps kicked my butt. That gives me a lot more respect for 50 miles. This is going to require serious training. Good. Less windy today, so sun shirt was not as annoying. Network started having problems around checkpoint 9 on the first lap, was patchy for a while, then died completely after checkpoint 12. I was very frustrated for a while. Thankfully it came back at checkpoint 5 on the second lap. It really would have sucked if it was down on the last checkpoint. The only way to work around this would be to rewrite the app in AJAX. This would also fix the "slow start" problem. Pause worked - was able to refill water bottle. I still don't know what's up with the 8-9, 9-10 segment times. I double checked the distance on Google Earth, and my data is correct. I guess I charge up the hill at the end of 8-9, then wait at the stop light and am exhausted and slow for 9-10. Yet I seem to recover by the next segment. The stop light at checkpoint 9 is always the worst slow-down. Again, if I had the ability to do multiple events in rapid succession, I could hit the checkpoint then pause for the crossing. Right now the first round trip time is so long, it's not worth it.
  • 2 Lap time: 2h 40m 22.810s (4.23 mph)

    2008-07-10 : Did 2 laps. Wore tied-on shoes, light shorts, new Nike white long sleeve fitted shirt, hat. (No sun shirt, no bandana.) Carried 700mL, towel, granola bar. Thoughts: I love the shirt. I think I'm going to go get another one. Now I just need white running tights. I think I prefer the bandana too. Maybe a white one.

  • The workout did not kick my but this time. I don't think it was the shrit, so I think it was the shoes. I wore my old tie-on Merrils which are pretty worn out but servicable. I'll definitely keep wearing those until I get a new pair. Also, the ground was not as wet, and I didn't slip as much. I don't know if that was due to the shoes or not. In general, it was just a much easier walk today. At the end of two laps, I felt I could certainly do at least one more. Yet, my pace was faster today. Also, the 8-9/9-10 mystery remains. I was sure I was consistent on the 9-10 segment and it still clocked in as slow (3.2mph). On the 8-9 segment I clocked in as flying (5.7mph) - I just don't believe it!
  • While I still think that AJAX, a good view mode, UI for archiving, and reviewing archived times would be good for the app, it's working well for during the walk.
  • 2 lap time: 2h 36m 29.210s (4.34 mph)

    2008-07-11: Did 2 laps. Wore tied shoes, light shorts, white l.s. shirt, hat, bandana, camelback. Thoughts: This morning I started out in the rain, which flustered me a bit but wasn't much of a problem over all. I draped my towel over my iPhone holster to keep it dryer, and by checkpoint 3 it had pretty much stopped. My feet were damp but I didn't notice any problems. The camelback (2L) was nice for water. It's harder to gage how much I'm drinking though. The weight was barely noticable. The shoulder straps slipped wider on my shoulders than I like but they didn't fall off and again it was so light that I just ignored it. The tube flopped around annoyingly at first, but either I got it situated or learned to ignore it by the end. I had another network glitch at checkpoint 9 again. I put moleskin on my right heal at the start and my heals were fine, but the balls of my feet are getting abused now. I think the biggest thing I need to work on before doing 50 miles is not muscle endurance but toughening up my feet and/or getting the right footware. I've started stretching before and after each walk under a nice tree between home and checkpoint one, and I go to the apartment workout room to do some extra exercises when I get home.

  • 2 lap time: 2h 36m 49.363s (4.33 mph)

    2008-07-14: Did 1 lap. I let my feet recover over the weekend. I got a late start today (I was lazy) so I just did one lap. Same as last time, but with white bandana. :) Feet were fine, no problems. Network timed out at checkpoint 8. Nothing interesting to report, just chugging along.

  • 1 lap time: 1h 18m 25.537s (4.33 mph)

    2008-07-16: Did 3 laps. Got a good early start. Wore my "standard" outfit. I started out slow today and never really got moving much faster. By the end of the third lap, my legs and feet were pretty tired and I was slowing even more. Still, not too bad. I felt much worse the first time I finished two laps. My feet were most sore on the sole right behind my second toe (same on both sides), but no blisters. I had half a power bar. I could have had more, I think. The problem is that they get sticky and hard to get out of the wrapper. I've got two ideas. One is to cut one into chunks and flour the chunks. The other idea is to stick the chunks on to wax paper.

  • 3 lap time: 4h 3m 7.317s (4.19 mph)

    2008-07-17: Did 3 laps. Started early. Wore my standard outfit. I started pretty good today, slowed down on the second lap, then got my second wind, pushed hard, and kicked butt on the last lap. (3rd lap, segment 5-6 [0.94mi] at 4.5mph - Who's your daddy?!) I'm tired now! :)

  • My feet held up pretty well. I put a big patch of moleskin across the front arc / ball of each foot, and that worked pretty well. It makes my feet feel numb though, which is a strange sensation. No moleskin on my heals, and they were fine. Feet are pretty tired though.
  • I chopped a Powerbar into four pieces and stacked them up with wax paper between them. It was nice that I was able to have a little bit after each lap, but it didn't reduce the mess any. The Powerbar stuck to the wax paper, the paper tended to rip as you pulled the bar off, and then you were left with gooey paper. I guess I'll try flour next. Maybe I'll try cutting the bar into eighths and keeping them in a zip lock baggie with some flour - Power pellets! :)
  • 3 lap time: 3h 55m 37.976s (4.32 mph)

    2008-07-18: Did 3 laps. Wore my standard outfit. I was a little creaky this morning, and decided to try to maintain a more relaxes 4.2mph pace. It took me a couple of segments to get up to speed, but I was doing pretty good. Then, on the last lap, at checkpoint 7, I realized I was getting a blister on the bottom inside of my right heel. I had put a patch of moleskin across the whole bottom of my heel this morning since it was feeling tender, but now it was a full blown blister. I tried to patch it up with the moleskin I had with me, but no luck. There wasn't anything I could do but limp home. (I'm still crazy enough that I limped the remainder of the course and didn't short cut.) Thank goodness it's Friday! I'm going to go to Walgreens and build myself a more extensive blister kit. I was debating with myself whether I felt more tired at the start of the first lap or the third lap, but by the time I finished limping home I was definitely ready to stop. Even limping home, my time wasn't that bad.

  • I tried Powerbar eigths with flour. It worked pretty well, kinda. After the first lap, the pieces were stuck together but came apart easily, After the second lap, the pieces were starting to merge back into one blob, but I was able to pull peices off and my hands basically stayed unsticky. By the end, they were getting pretty gooey, but I was able to get the blob to separate from the plastic bag pretty easily. I think I'm on to something here. When I put the pieces in the bag, they were dusted but there wasn't any extra flower in the bag. As the pieces get hotter, they get stickier, so I just need to put more flour in the baggie.
  • 3 lap time: 4h 8m 18.295s (4.10 mph)

    2008-08-12: First day back from vacation. (I flaked on Monday.) Wore my standard outfit. My plan for today was to try for an easy 4.0mph pace. I did 3 laps. My muscles and my energy were fine. I was ready to do a couple more laps. My feet are still the problem. By the third lap, I was getting some serious sore spts. I even stopped at the beginning of the third lap to apply moleskin. The centers of the balls of my feet were sore, so I put moleskin diamonds there. However, the inside of the ball of each foot (behind the big toe) was getting sore by the end. Perhaps a peice covering the whole front arc? And even worse, the inside of my left heel started getting really sore again. I finished OK, but I'll need to do something for tomorrow.

  • Powerbar in a baggie with lots of flower worked well. OK, the flower was messy too, but at least it wasn't sticky.
  • 3 lap time: 4h 12m 56.018s (4.03 mph)

    2008-08-14: I flaked on Wednesday, but am giving the excuse that I was letting my feet recover. Today I slept in, then did 1 lap as a jog/walk. That worked out much better than I expected. My jog times aren't very log but my recovery time is fast, and I was able to feel it a little bit in my legs so I know I'm accomplishing something. My feet were fine.

  • I'm worried about how to accomplish the 50 miles. Energy wise, I thik I can do it, but my feet still can't get past three laps. Either I'm going to have to come up with much better footware, of spend a lot fo time toughtening my feet. The problem is it takes three laps before there's even a problem, and I don't want to spend that long! Next thursday would be a good time to do a 50 mile push, but I've pretty much given up on it.
  • 1 lap time: 1h 15m 25.301s (4.5 mph)

    2008-08-15: At Michelle's persistent suggestion, I tried hiking boots, with my white wool hiking socks and navy liner socks. I was hoping for maybe four laps, but I had to bail out after two laps. My pinky toes were getting painfully jammed, and I was starting to get a blister on my left foot on the inside of the ball of my foot. So that didn't help. It's possible that if I tied them tighter it might help, but I doubt it. I think I'll try thicker socks in my regular shoes next.

  • 2 lap time: 2h 42m 13.990s (4.19 mph)
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