Saturday was my walking group's longest walk yet - 20 miles. Even walking at a fast pace, it takes at least 5 hours to walk this far (it took me 5 hours 8 minutes, although I stopped twice to get boulders out of my shoes, once for a bathroom break, and once for a lively row with my hydration belt).
In any case, it was decided to head out at around 6AM (as opposed to our normaly early 7:30 AM start time - keep in mind it's a Saturday morning when getting up early is rarely considered fun).
It's still pretty dark at 6AM. Here is our group heading out. We had the benefit of sporadic illumination supplied by the freak thunderstorms that were moving through the area. (We very rarely get thunderstorms around here, so this was pretty cool for most of us).
There is a nice, relatively flat paved trail we can use for our walks. Coach Luap (not his real name) likes to start us off with a 4 mile walk on a gravel trail that requires us to climb a couple of hills first though.
I hate this sign. I would take it down, but I suspect the hill would still be there. Also note that it is starting to lighten up a bit.
This was my view after reaching the top of the hill and starting back down. We pretty much never get clouds like this around here - they were stunningly cool, especially with their occasional lightening flashes. The clouds did a great job of keeping things cool and shady for most of the walk.
San Jose Fit had an aid station set up at the 6 mile mark on the paved trail. There were refreshing beverages, fruit and potato wedges, and other good things waiting for us there. I had been walking for about two and a half hours when I reached this point (the four mile hill-infested trail followed by six miles of the paved trail). I was a bit tired but feeling basically good. And then it dawned on me that this was my halfway point.
We continued up to the 8 mile mark, turned around, and headed back to the start.
In the end, my feet were pretty sore, and of all things, my nipples were sore from my shirt rubbing against them (this is a common issue with male runners, and there are products designed to prevent this - really), and I was very tired.
But I had recovered by the evening when my baseball group made the grave mistake of heading to the Giants/Dodgers game.
That game wore me out more than any walk ever could.
That's it - move along...