The last time I attempted Let's Take a Walk's 50k with the girls, we didn't finish up and my legs didn't like me very much even though I didn't take it the whole 50k. However, because Gina's off in Melbourne being the good housewife she is, I was short a team to walk with.My friend Melvin had agreed to do the walk with me since he'd done it twice before. But even with Mel, we only had 2 and LTAW required 3 to a team. What do you do in times like that? Post it up on Facebook and you will inevitably find a bunch of people insane enough to join you. And so we welcomed Chris and Shah to our team which we 'creatively' decided to call 'The Team with No Name'. As a digress, that makes for a rather confusing name because every time we checked in at a check point people would look for 'No Name' rather than what we were actually called.
Our pre-walk training was conducted one week before the actual walk because Chris was based in Melbourne and didn't arrive till early December and I was overseas when he just got back so our team training got pushed pretty late. It was pretty much a crash course, training wise, since we decided to jump straight to a 20k walk and did the last 20k on our route. That being said, this was probably the most training I've done for a big walk ever, so despite it's lateness and the fact that it was barely even half the total distance we were supposed to walk, it was still better than doing nothing.
The few days after the 20k walk I could barely get around. So I decided to read up on what I was supposed to do pre-50k walk. I was going to do anything to get me through the damn 50k, so 3 days before I started carbo loading (random aside: plus I also decided to wear my compression pants for the walk). Now I generally don't like carbs, but hell if it was what made the difference in me finishing or not, I was going to stuff my face with them. The night before I force-fed myself whole wheat pasta (which is probably the most disgusting thing ever created), so I was all set!
We met at 7.30am on a rather drizzly Sunday at Hong Lim Park and got ourselves registered then we got started. Essentially the checkpoints were:
2. Rifle Range Road
3. Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3
4. Punggol Promenade
5. Pasir Ris Town Park
We made checkpoint 1 and 2 in pretty good time. The sky was overcast and the rain made for pretty pleasant walking. We even had time to stop for a quick breakfast at McDonalds at Queensway and for me to ice my leg (will ramble on about that later) and make another stop when Chris' lovely missus came with ice (another ice stop for me!), isotonic drinks and trail shoes for Chris.
We hit MacRitchie reservoir right after checkpoint 2 and then the sky opened and we got completely rained on. The ground was sticky and whilst I liked the fact that my feet got a short break from pounding the pavement, the terrain slowed us right down. After that short spell of rain, the sun came out again and baked us (that was pretty much how the day went - rain, sun, rain, sun rain, sun - I felt and probably smelt pretty disgusting at the end of the walk) and made the last bit of the MacRitchie portion a bit painful.
Shah had to drop out after that because her back was killing her, but fair play to her, she was sick the week before and couldn't attend the 'training walk' and yet she'd made it 25k! Pretty awesome!
After we popped Shah in a cab, we were starting to flag. Made it to Bishan Park for lunch at McDonalds and more icing before heading to checkpoint 3. After that, the walk lost all element of fun. We had done the last 20k the week before so we knew what to expect and what was coming was just a whole lot of flat park connector walks with not a lot to see. We were also starting to realise that our 7.30pm target to finish was looking very very unlikely. Plus, by that time we had walked for about 9 hours, my feet were starting to ache and each step was pretty darn painful. Chris was also going through the same agony with his feet and Mel, although he had no issues with his feet, was starting to get a bunch muscle problems.
We stopped at a food court for dinner about 2k from the finish point because I just couldn't bear the thought of having another McDonalds meal and we weren't sure there were restaurants that'd still be open when we were done with the walk.After stuffing our faces with food, we headed out for the last 2k which was probably the most painful but yet our fastest 2k in the entire walk. And then it was all over! We finished 50k! In just under 14 hours! Woohoo!!!!
My feet were swollen the next day and I still have a nasty heat rash on my ankles and feet. My podiatrist has put on his 'serious face' and told me that I had probably aggravated my sesamoiditis as we had both expected and because of that I had to be good and take at least a week (or more) of rest and relaxation and no walks or runs till the new year which kind of puts a dampener on my training for the adventure race in January!
All the same....WE FINISHED 50 KM!!!! Awesome awesome walking, team!!!!