Moonwalk Training – 14 Miles

6 weeks to go

An important part of my training has been numerical ignorance. As a metric Australian, I had no real concept of a mile. It was meaningless to me as a unit of measurement. So last year I signed up with great enthusiasm, unable to fathom 26.2 miles. 26.2 units of something didn’t sound bad at all.

It’s like when I first came to Scotland in 2003 and couldn’t comprehend the pound. "Β£3 for a sandwich?" I’d say, "Sold!"

But of course the danger comes when you do the conversion. "Eight dollars for a shithouse mayo-drenched sandwich!? HIGHWAY ROBBERY!" (the exchange rate was particularly rubbish at the time).

Likewise, it occurred to me recently that 26.2 miles is actually 42 kilometres. I know how far 42 kilometres is. I can relate that distance to places that I know. Suddenly the Moonwalk went from being a casual walk in the dark to: a bloody long way.

"That’s like walking from Cowra to Canowindra and back!" I spluttered to Gareth. "Why would anyone want to do that?"

"From where to where?"

The next day I was telling my Aussie friend Jenny about the Moonwalk on the phone.

"42 kilometres?" she said, "That’s like Cowra to Canowindra and back!"

Back to the training
Saturday’s walk was 14 miles and it just about took the first mile to calculate that 14 miles was 22.5 kilometres. Man. That’s soooo many numbers.

But the sky was gloomy and threatening so I trudged on regardless, trying to forget that I was walking to Canowindra.

Map Scenery
It was a long and lonely walk; I hardly saw a soul all afternoon. Just lots of rabbits and bees. Bees are so huge in this country. Australian bees, or at least the ones I’ve been stung by, are lean and mean. The British bees are round and furry. Like cockroaches wearing bee suits.

Podcast-o-rama. Inspired by this list on Textism, I listened to The Bugle (with The Daily Show‘s John Oliver), This American Life, and Stephen Fry banging on about Oscar Wilde. All those intelligent folks made for a very smug and soothing walking experience.

Pain Report
The soles of my feet started to hurt around mile 10, and both knees were aching by mile 11. It wasn’t an injured kind of pain, just the ache of fatigue and cannae-be-arsed-ness. I thought I’d collapse once I got back home, but I felt revitalised enough after a bottle of water to give the kitchen another coat of paint before dinner.

14.03 miles in 03:37:28. Average pace 15:30 (3.87 mph)

All this walking makes me HUNGRY. I wouldn’t advise getting into this sort of caper if you think it’ll make you lose weight. In April I walked 78 miles, plus weekly kickboxing and Spinning and twice-weekly weight training. In between? I ate. And ate and ate and ate.

Somehow it all balanced as my weight stayed the same and my flesh is still safely contained by my jeans. But I wonder how I’d have reacted to all this training a couple of years ago, when I was still gung-ho about weight loss and scale numbers. Right now my motivation is to get fitter and stronger so I’m willing to listen to my body if it says, "GIMME FOOD!" But back then I think the raging appetite and weight fluctuations would have truly messed with my head.

28 thoughts on “Moonwalk Training – 14 Miles

  1. Way to get through those 14 miles…you’re sooo going to be ready in 6 weeks…just keep pushing through. And of course you’re hungry, you’re walking more than the pioneers did back in the day…you could probably eat an entire buffalo and be completely justified for it. You just keep kicking @$$ you’ve sooo got this!

  2. DG I love they way you describe these things, I can so identify. I’m doing the reverse conversion Edinburgh to Oz. I’m only just learning the value, distance and weight of stuff without converting and it’s been over 4 years. There are times when the ignorance is great and others when I’d best be a little more informed.

    Are you doing all these huuuuuuuge walks on your own?

  3. That is one hell of a long way.

    I bike 20 miles to work and back, and that’s enough of an effort for me, thanks.

  4. That’s a lot of walking! But it sounds like fun- I love walking with a passion. And I can definitely see how that would make you really hungry!

  5. Well you are just doing fantastic work on your training! That’s a massive amount of miles to accumulate in April. AND you’re renovating AND you’re kickboxing AND you’re working…wowie. Keep up the great work, girlie!

  6. Hello DG

    Still cheering you on! Yay!

    May I ask a question? Please could you expand on what you wrote:

    “But back then I think the raging appetite and weight fluctuations would have truly messed with my head.”

    Do you think the weight fluctuations made you physically or mentally hungrier? Or both? Or the fact that you were exercising more meant you were – legitimately physically hungry – but you were afraid to act on the physical hunger?

    I just want to flag it up for a DG answer session at some time!!!!

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxx

  7. cheers, groovers!

    Ani – I do the short ones with work pals during the week but quite enjoying longuns on my own, it’s kinda peaceful!

    btw thank you for your lovely email, i’m in the middle of writing back πŸ™‚

    Mrs L – do you mean how i feel about it NOW or how i would have in weight loss mode?

    right now i’ve just been eating more if my stomach is growling. i tend to get on the scales a few times a week for a general peek and noticed over the month it’s been swinging back and forth a couple of kilos, which in the past would have made me panic. even though i peek at the scales reasonably often, i usually just note what it is at the start of each month, kind of like an average, indicator of overall trend, etc etc… if this is clear as mud i will rephrase when i’m less tired πŸ™‚

  8. HAHAHAHA I can’t believe you didn’t figure out how many kilometers 26 miles is!

    Oh, I’m not really laughing at you, I am in complete sympathy. It’s so much nicer going the other way, the miles seem like nothing at all when expressed as tiny little kilometers.

    That’s a very good pace, too! Let us know what a person would get, exactly, by walking to Canowindra. Just tired, or is there some sort of implied reward?

  9. A reward, Marla baby… well, it’s a wee town where I used to live. You could visit my lovely grandparents or take a walk down the ye olde main street or visit the fish fossil museum… hehe.

  10. I can relate–the beau and I joined some friends last summer to walk the entire shore of Manhattan. That’s 32 miles and change. I’m happy to say we made it the whole way without a single blister. But yeah, there was some serious burgers and fries self-rewarding afterward.

  11. haha, fish fossil museum! I’m a Sydney girl and while I’ve never been to Canowindra, I love the local attractions of our local towns. Although, knowing our country you’d think it would be the Big Fish Fossil Museum!

    Well done on your training – you’re doing really well!

  12. Dear Diet Girl, I totally feel your pain! I just did my 20 mile walk this weekend, training for the London Moonwalk in 2 weeks.

    Now can someone tell me how I can burn 2400 calories and gain 4 pounds in the same day?! I probably ate more than normal, but not THAT much more πŸ™‚

  13. Nice going. It’s an awful long way.

    I know what you mean about the eating. When I did half marathon training I put on heaps of weight! I reckon if you just want weight loss then interval training is the go, but it’s nearly as satisfying.

  14. Stuff adds up. If you eat more than you burn, you gain. I wonder if it takes a few days some times. Last summer I did a five-day, 250mile/402kilometer bike ride and gained 5 pounds! Man, I was pissed. I figured it was because the ride sponsors fed us so well. We could have all we could eat, so I did. Some of the stuff was higher calorie than what I’m used to eating. And, I ate dessert for lunch & dinner each day, something I don’t usually do. I hope to do that ride again some year and plan to eat more sensibly.

    DG-I have the opposite measurement problem. In the US, we still use the old standard measurements. But, cycling and flying gliders has given me an opportunity to get used to the metric system.

  15. I started running in the last year and I’m up to the not so far distance of 10k. On my long run days I eat a bit more but I try and be careful about it because I am still trying to get some pounds to disappear.

    Friends are trying to convince me to do a half but I don’t know if I am ready and able to balance the distance and eating; scary.

    Way to go on the walking!

  16. Hahaha. That must be a rural Australian thing, I reckon. If someone says “100 ks” to me (in any capacity) I can’t help but muse “Oh Jeez, that’s like going all the way out to Ouyen” … Ouyen is a town in the Mallee with two competing roadhouses and not much else 100 kilometres from Mildura and it will always be my milestone!

    But witness the fitness indeed. Well done! You walked 22.5 kilometres!!! That’s a quarter of the way to Ouyen.

  17. I have been reading your walking adventures and how you are trying to work out walking routes. Have you been to I am in aussie and if I want to walk 5 kilometers from my home I just go to this site and it just maps it for me so easy

  18. g’morning comrades! cheers for yer comments…

    quarter of the way to ouyen… mwahahaha πŸ™‚ #100 Kays will always be Cowra to Bathurst for me!

    i agree kathryn! intervals do the job but you don’t get the challenge and smugness of training for a longer thing. hehe.

    SS Belle – i can totally see how that could happen! it’s a delicate balance, even though i am eating more i am paying attention to just how much to make sure it balances out…

    Katt – ooh yeah! my work buddies got me hooked… the precision! which means i take great pains to tell you all i walked 14.03 miles!

  19. LOVE the cowra / canowindra analogy !!! I never thought of it like that !! so now when the brother says he wants to run a marathon I’ll picture him running from Cowra to Canowindra & back !! πŸ™‚

  20. Ah was that the S.Fry thing about how self-pity is the most destructive emotion and leaves only itself in the end after having destroyed basically your entire life? Good stuff that, Walk on matey! I was going to ask about the hunger situation so you’ve noticed! Gotta stock up on lentils hey? πŸ™‚

  21. Don’t worry about the bees – what about the f***ing SEAGULLS! HUGE MOFOS!


    I’ve got some DG reading to catch up on, so enough typey type.

  22. Heh, I’m glad the metric to standard measurement conversion trips up Brits too. The 15K sounded so much shorter before I found out it was 9.3 miles. And I totally relate to the eating. I actually *gained* weight training for my half-marathon.

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