Saturday, December 20, 2008

4.5 Miles on Lincoln Avenue

I walked home last night, 7.2 miles. It wasn't too bad. I mean, it did take forever. There was a lot of leaping involved, because there are huge slush puddles at every busy intersection. And
fellow pedestrians kept wanting to commiserate with me, but I wasn't feeling particularly social after, say, mile 3. But I did it. And I wasn't all that miserable or even particularly tired by the end, although I was absolutely exhausted this morning.

The last time I walked to or from work was in Lubbock, Texas. I was signed up with several temp agencies at the time, and one of them called me that morning with a job. Both my parents had already left for work. Mom worked an hour's drive away, and Dad wasn't an option either for some reason...maybe he didn't have a cell phone yet. There was a bus system in Lubbock, but the closest stop was several miles away from the place in question. So I walked.

I'm not sure why I didn't take a cab--I can only assume I didn't have any money. I don't remember anything about the walk, but I do know I got to work by the time I said I would and I got the job, which lasted for several more months and earned me enough money to get out of Lubbock. I started to walk home that evening, too, but before I'd gone more than a quarter mile a coworker drove past me and forced me to accept a ride. After that day, I worked out a system with my parents where I could either borrow the car or get a ride from Mom.

If last night's walk went well, I was going to consider doing it regularly. It didn't go well enough for that. In spring I might try biking. I'm terrified of being in city traffic on a bike but I'm sure I can get over that after a couple of tries. We'll be in a new place by then, anyway--although it's more likely to be farther away from work than closer.


Carrie said...

Wow, that's a long walk on a crummy walking day! I think the hardest part about biking in Chicago is just getting up the courage to do it. Hopefully you'll be able to find some pleasant streets to bike down (there are some that I strategically avoid).

Anonymous said...

Experienced walkers can do 4 mph continuously (for 8 hours or more). 4 mph is the fastest possible before it becomes more efficient to run. You'll actually find that slow joggers are not making much headway on you at that speed. If you get into it, there's always "backpack-running" from time to time. This can put the speed up to 5-6 mph without sweat/oxygen problems.
I'd consider a bike though ... you could always find a route where the traffic isn't crazy.

Scarlett said...

@Carrie: I actually like walking when the weather is in the 20s, but the slush *was* a little much.