Today I did something crazy (for me), I decided to go for a long walk, longer than normally, from home to Basel and back again, ending up with 27.5 km in 5 hours. More than I ever walked in one go.

It sure helped that we had a lovely weather today, with 8 to 14 degrees Celsius, blue sky and not that windy. But the walk idea didn’t come out of the blue; I had planned to do it. So decided to do a few notes and finally do another blog post.

I used Endomondo on my iPhone for tracking:

Walk to Basel

Walking

I have started to walk more often as a way to improve my walk and prepare more for the Spartan Race, during November and December 2015 I increased the distance and did several 5+ km walks, did a few 7 and 8 km and one 11 km. This year I also been walking but longest was 5.5 km (Yes, It track all these). I also started running more, with longest none stop run been 2 km (I was never a running so this is a big achievement for me). I decided to put myself to the test and go for a longer walk, an idea I had last year but actually, I doubled the distance.

The plan was to walk to Basel and then see how I felt when I arrived, if I was wasted then I would just take the train back home. I also decided that if I had any form of pain or didn’t feel like it then I could always bail out earlier and just head home. At the same time I wanted to keep a good speed, aimed for 5 km to 5.5 km per hour (average).

Walking to Basel

So just before 11:00 today I left for my walk to Basel. I quickly ended up at the Rhein (the river) and walked along it, some of the path would qualify for trail track, with lots of stones and uneven terrain, so here my speed dropped a bit. Things went pretty well, no knee problems, no problems with my calves (issue I had a lot earlier when running or walking fast). I did some short breaks, to get water and such and at 10 km I checked my left foot, had some blisters but continued.

After 14 km I arrived (with a big smile) at the main translation in Basel. Quickly went to the toilet, then bought some more water and some bread from the bakery (with chocolate) and off I went again. At this stage I did consider to take the train as both feet started to hurt from blisters but I was stubborn and continued.

I decided not to follow the Rhein on the way back and just stay at the road, not that nice but a bit shorter.

At around 20 km my feet where killing me, both of them. Also had some pain in the hips but otherwise doing fine. No knee issue at all and no pain in the muscles (big surprise). I had some water and sweets and off I went again.

Arriving back home

Finally after 27.5 km I arrive to the local super market and stopped the tracking. Quickly went shopping (I knew that after I get home I would not be leaving again) and walked slowly (and in pain) home. Thanks god that the lift/elevator worked when I got home, I was not in the mood for 10 floors :-)

Made a smoothie, had a nice bath and then took care of my feet, it was a good move to buy some plaster for blisters. Big blisters on the bottom of the foot and some on the sides, I’ll spare you for pictures :-)

Now I just walk around in a funny way on the side of the feet. No knee pain, no store leg muscles (That will come tomorrow I guess), have some pain in right ankle, probably from walking wrong, hip and back are also sore.

So all in all a success I have to say. Now a few notes on what I did right and what I did wrong.

What I did right

I’m happy to report that I did do something right today :-)

  • Shirt / jacket
    I was wearing my long armed running shirt and my running jacket. Due to the nice weather I was not wearing the jacked 80% of the time. For some of my previous walks I have been wearing my normal jacket, way thinker and heavy, I would have been wasted with that one.
  • Backpack
    I borrowed a small string backpack from my son, was perfect for the things I took with me and also had space for the jacket.
  • Water / food
    I had a bottle of water with me that I refilled in town, so around 2 liters of water for the walk (Probably too little). Also took some protein bars and an energy gel with me.
  • No music / podcast
    Since I used the iPhone for tracking I didn’t want to use the power too quickly so no music for me. Was good as I could concentrate more on my walk and what was happening around me, at the same time let the mind fly. Five hours of meditation in a way.

What I did wrong

First time I went for such a walk so sure something went bad.

  • Socks
    Before leaving I considered wearing some of the socks I have for running but decided to wear normal think socks. I been wearing these for the other walks but they are NOT suitable for long walks. My feet hate me now ;-) I’m sure this caused more blisters.
  • Shoes
    I was wearing my hiking shoes, very nice shoes but could have been one size bigger I guess, they are also rather heavy for such walks but stable. If I had taken my running shoes then I’m sure it would have went better.
  • Jeans
    Finally, the jeans. I just wear normal Levi’s Jeans, didn’t cause any issue but some thinner pants would have been good, maybe some compression tights.
  • Cap / sun lotion
    Been bald and been in direct sun for several hours is not the coolest thing, unless you remember a cap or sun lotion, which I didn’t do. Got a bit red but nothing bad but that will not happen again.

A thought

During the walk I realised that time and distance passes in a strange way when you walk. Several times I thought, oh, I was just passing that ‘landmark’ just before but that was actually 45 minutes ago and several km behind me. Oh, I just had some water, nope, that’s 30 min ago. Time just pasted so quickly, I mean, 5 hours on the road!

The route

Map from Endomondo of the route I took today

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 22.05.44

Next time

I’m not planning to repeat this walk in the very near future but could imagine in a month time (or earlier) to go for another long walk, now that I learned a few lessons so should go smoother next time. I might not walk that far next time but time will tell.

So that’s my story of todays walk, let’s see if my body hates me tomorrow :-)

Thanks for reading.

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