Tear you down; Build you up (or not)


With my new training plan, I walked just over 33 miles last week.  Thirty-three miles is just about two days of walking on the Camino, and I did this 33 over five days, so I still have a way to go, but I will tell you this:  This week felt good!

I’ve been in training before.    My first organized fitness program (other than physical education in grade school) was when I attended a police academy in late 1979 and early 1980, for 13 weeks.  I was barely 25 years old at the time.

What I remember most about that experience was that the training philosophy was to tear us down–physically, mentally, communally—in order to build us back up.  This was done to help us become mentally and physically stronger and to build a strong bond between us.  We would need all of those attributes as we launched into our law enforcement careers in the 80’s.  Some of us made it through the academy; others didn’t.  Personally, I was not going to quit; If I left prematurely, they would be carrying me out on a stretcher.  Thank goodness it didn’t come to that, but I felt every ounce of the tear down…and experienced every bit of the build-up.  At graduation, I was in great shape, and felt a bit invincible!

Well, that was then and this is now–a mere forty years later.

The tear you down/build you up just doesn’t work well for me anymore.  I need every ounce of energy I can muster just to wake up and do yoga!  To dress, eat, walk, and get on with my day takes energy too.  The best I can figure is that I need to conserve and build; start with the base I have and add to it gradually and sensibly.  And this new training plan seems to accommodate that.  Thank you to the commenter on the last post who reminded me that muscles need time to mend and grow.  That is the truth!

So enough on training for now.  My mind is on what’s happening out there…Spring has sprung!  And the Sailor Bar flowers are beginning to bloom…

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I can’t believe it’s been so long…

So, here it is March, nearly a year later. Let me catch you all up.

I am still planning on walking the Camino del Norte this year. My original plan was to walk in May but I read so much about the wet mucky mud in the spring, I knew I had to rethink my planning. Due to my desire to walk on semi-dry soil, I have changed my departure date to late August. Hopefully by then the coastal vacationers will have largely gone back home to fall school and work schedules, and the coast will be clear(er).

Since revising my travel schedule, my training finally started in earnest in January, just in time for torrential California rains, and a freezing February. March weather has been much better and I have been logging a few more miles. My Training Schedule–Rev. 2 still seems do-able, and I think I am on track.

Sally enjoying a short three-miler with me

I have my new wardrobe and, I am happy to say, it matches! I have black pants, grey shirts, a grey fleece, a grey sun hat, a black and white scarf, and for evenings, a new black wrap-around travel skirt. I do believe I will look, well, coordinated. There have been a few other new additions: a smaller, lighter backpack (30 liters instead of 36, and light blue instead of pink), a new rainproof poncho to replace the rain jacket and rain pants system, and a new pair of black Tevas for showering and “after-walking” walking around.

New shoes (same as the old shoes)
and my new black pants

My plane tickets are purchased and my first three nights are reserved. I have decided that I will buy new trekking poles in Irun, where I will begin walking, because I don’t want to have to bother with checking luggage. I have been using two wonderful Camino cell phone apps, Wise Pilgrim and Editorial Buen Camino, and have laid out each stage — each days’ stopping place — planning, but not wed to any notion of rigidity. I feel pretty settled about the logistics of my trip.

Sailor Bar. My own little Camino…

I also feel more settled about this walk. I’ve done this type of walk before. I know “the ropes.” This time I will be better able to go with the flow. I know I have to train more, to gain more mileage and strength, but I also know that will come. And, a few days ago, as I walked seven miles with ten pounds on my back, I was reminded of just how liberating it is to simply be, walking…