In Training

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The before picture. Photo by Denise Gotta Run Bonin


Linda and I walked just about every trail on Newcastle Island Park and some trails twice today and yesterday.  Carrying our full (20 lb packs that are supposed to be 16lbs)  we managed to cover 14 kilometres on Saturday (we left late as it took us 2 hours to pack our packs) and 16 k today. Cathy, my sister, came with a pack that weighed maybe 3lbs – when she wasn’t looking we put our lunch kits in her pack.
Walking gives you time to think. And this is what I thought about today: Training is just a way to upfront the pain.
 I would like to point out that the maps on Newcastle that show the distance around the island are wrong although that could be due to which trails were used to measure. In any case, the Park map says 7.5 k when our GPS tracking program tells us it is 10k. More to the point no matter how you measure it, our hikes are short a full 10 k of our 25 k per day average we expect to do! It only took 3.5 hours but by the time we had breakfast we still only managed to start by 10:30 and we were finished at 3:30. So if we are to do 25 k and want to have a bed to fall into at the end of the day, we need to arrive at our albergues (dorm style hostels for pilgrims) around 4pm. Preferably by 2pm as the albergues can fill up,  which means you have to keep walking to the next one, which means we have to start walking by 8am at the latest. And we need a few café con leches along the way. So no wonder you see and hear of pilgrims walking in the pre-dawn.
Tuesday we fly to London, and on Friday we begin our walk.
Distance walked: 16k
Pack weight: 17.5 lbs. better than yesterday but it doesn’t include the IPad.
How we are feeling: Physically: a bit sore but not too bad. My knee seems fine, only an occasional twinge. Mentally: ready to take on the challenge
Food: trail mix (note: worth bringing if we can find it in Spain, it must have Smarties in it), tuna salad on olive bread, mandarin oranges (add to our food cache).
What I learned: my newly purchased flip flops are silly, hurt my feet, look good, weigh 164 grams and would only be good for the showers. My heavier older ergonomically designed ones (an extra 213grams) can do double duty – I can walk in them to give my feet a change.

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