Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ready to Rock N Roll 13.1 Miles

There is something very special about your first time.

I always walk.  My aim is to walk or cycle if I can avoid using the car. That’s one of the advantages of living where we live. Not fully urban, but I can do a lot of errands on foot, including taking the kids to their respective schools.

Every November for the past 4 years, we’ve watched the participants in the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon and Half Marathon run, walk, or stagger past our street, cheering them on. Every year I think “That would be fun to do.” Except, I’m no runner. I can’t run. I can barely make it a mile when I try. But walking? I can do that. I walk 2-3 miles without even thinking about it. I’ve hiked with a backpack 10+ miles (admittedly, in my younger days).  In May, while walking the kids around, I decided I’d set a goal of walking the San Antonio Half Marathon (13.1miles). I wasn’t entirely convinced I could do it.

I started walking more and more. With the new Museum Reach  of the San Antonio Riverwalk and then the Mission Reach opening, walking in San Antonio was easy. Well, except when it was 90F+ at 8:00am. But, that was useful too….one never knows how warm it’ll be on a November Morning in San Antonio.

Waiting to start
A friend pointed me to a training website.  Though my schedule, Frédéric’s travel and Lenaïc’s  unwillingness to sit in a stroller for more than 45 minutes, I couldn’t stick rigidly to the training schedule. A week before the race I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it. My normal pace at 4 miles is about 15:30 per mile (walking!), but I assumed it’d be much slower when I was walking 13.1 miles. I was hoping for close to 3:30, would be ok with 3:45, and was just praying it’d be under the 4 hour limit.

Well, I did it! 13.1 miles walking, 3hours, 19 minutes, 52 seconds.
Just finished and got my medal!

Calling Erin at mile 9.5 to tell her when to bring the kids out 

Walking faster than ever
Looking up at the only "hill", just before mile 13

Breaking into a run
By my GPS watch, I walked 13.32 miles in 3:20:00,
thanks to lots of zig zagging

After crossing the finish line I wanted to jump up and down and cheer. This was way more fun than I expected.  Three days later I’m still on a high. And now I understand why people do it.  It’s an addiction. I’m already planning my next one.

For you runners, I’m a slow poke, but for walking, and my first, I’m pretty proud!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Teaching kids about the Elections

Angelina, in first grade, has spent a lot of time lately learning about the electoral process. The school set up voting booths, discussed the candidates, the kids voted. I think just for President, they didn't go into various other elections, which might have been funny as one of her classmate's dads is up for re-election to the state legislature.

She's been coming home every day talking about the election, asking who we're voting for and why, and just overall very excited. I'm excited for her. It's been fun to see this little person with a big mind learn about the democratic process.

Our school is on a busy street near downtown. Lots of (slowish) traffic. Today, as kids entered school, there were kids with signs saying "Get out the vote!" and similar. All non-partisan, no reference to one campaign or another, just encouraging people to vote.

And even the candidates made a little visit..... that's Angelina with the pink headband, looking down, just to the left of "Mitt."

Whatever happens tonight, we have exercised our right and responsibility to make educated choices for leaders for our country. Many people in many countries don't have such a right.

(And lucky us in Texas, we have early voting so we voted last week)

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