Oh, wait - do I really want to say "Whoo-hoo!?" I am SORE! Of course, I should have expected as much being I fell off the training wagon last week due to a root canal and seriously oppressive heat. If I don't walk a little during the week, how am I going to survive the longer weekend walks? Horribly - that's how! But, surviving I am doing, even if it is surviving in pain!
Here is the low down on the training walk I RSVP'd to... The 3 Day Training Walk blurb hailed it as an 11 mile Stone Mountain walk. Being I had never been to Stone Mountain, I inquired about the terrain only to find out that the walk was completely paved and only slightly hilly. At first blush, it seemed more like walking around a city block rather than a mountain because where I come from, mountians have elevations of anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, come in ranges, and are only paved with two lane (sometimes one lane) highways, not sidewalks. They don't stand by themselves at 2,306 feet or have a paved walking surface circling it. But, I'd never been there before, so who am I to judge?
On the day of the walk, I met up with Michelle, training walk leader, and Sarah for a car pool at 6 AM. I am not a morning person and actually surprised myself by being there only 5 min late (thank you unexpected traffic at 5:45 AM on a Saturday)! I showed up a little sleepy, but really excited about arriving before my carpool! Once we arrived at Stone Mountain, the three of us met up with other walkers at the Walk Up Trail bathrooms at 7 AM. I surprised myself again this morning - first by being up so early and second by being awake enough to smile for this photo!
The plan was to walk the 5 mile loop surrounding Stone Mountain twice, but on our second loop we were supposed to walk the little bit to the carving, for an upclose view and extra mileage. Somewhere along the way, I'm not sure when, we lost Amanda, who headed to wait for us at her car, as her back prevented her to continue. Sometime after that, we ended up taking a left at Albuequerque and walking (hiking?) a stunning mountain trial for 6 miles.
Being we were on an official 3 Day walk, we didn't stop to take pictures along the way (although I think I will talk my husband into this sometime soon so that I can have photos - it was AMAZING!), except for the one taken above. Thank you Sarah for stopping and snapping the photo!
The first loop went by fast due to the fact we were all talking and having a great time. The second loop (which included 2.5 extra miles) went by fast even though the conversation was completely at a stall due the fact we were getting tired and in a single file line. There is nothing that makes a walk more enjoyable than great friends and awesome scenery!
And here we are at the end of our 11 miles:
We are sweaty - walking through a heat advisory will do that - but we are smiling, even after tackling 11 miles. At this point, we sent for Amanda to pick up those that couldn't take the heat - 100 + degrees is no fun! I pushed to walk the rest of the way to the car, another 1.5 miles past this picture!
The best part of the day was after all the walking was done, Michelle, Amanda, Sarah, and I ate at Subway for lunch. We were so out of it, someone tried to order Starbuck's, and none of us could move the chairs! But, we had a great meal, plenty of laughs, and great camaraderie! I wouldn't exchange this experience for the world!
Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna