I told every one two weeks ago (wow! That went quickly) that I was doing the Discovery & East Coast Radio Big Walk on Sunday the 18th. I had chosen to do the 15km route which took us from Ushaka Marine World down the promenade and past Suncoast, past Moses Mabhida Stadium, past Blue Lagoon up through to Durban North and back to Moses Mabhida.
I had uhmed and aahed about the distance that I should do for the walk, you are given four options -5Km, 10Km, 15Km and 20Km. I usually do a 5km North Beach Park Run nearly every week (walking not running) so I knew that 5km would not be enough of a challenge. I thought about doing the 10km but knew that I would also be able to handle that distance, a MAJOR factor was that I would only get 3000 Discovery Vitality points if I did the 5Km or the 10km. For the 15Km and the 20Km you receive 5000 Discovery Vitality points… a big plus in a persons trip to Gold, but I didn’t want to do 20km, (the brother did last year and nearly died) so I decided to do the 15Km walk.
After my mother (my biggest get healthy supporter) and I signed up my dad then decided he wanted to take part and so we booked him into the walk. The brother decided not to to participate this year, and we missed him a se trudged along our 15Km route.
The day starts bright and early when you are taking part in the 15 or the 20Km event, your race started at 7:45 but we needed to be at the ‘cattle corral) at 7am, being wise we parked at the finish line and made the most of the complimentary shuttles to the starting point. At the starting point the parentals and I took the below selfie… I’m sorry this is the only photo that I took that day and if you read the rest of my post you will understand why.
Ok, on to the walk… The walk started out as planned with a casual saunter along the Durban beachfront, about 1km into the walk I realized that I had forgotten my orthopedic insoles (for my shoes) in another pair of shoes… Now this part takes a bit of explaining…
Approximately 4-5 years ago I over-stretched ligaments in my right ankle, I literally tripped on flat ground while carrying a fifteen kg box of books, I then stupidly went back for another two boxes of book thinking that I had just done my usual sprained ankle. Now that also needs some explaining- I have overly flexible joints, it’s official diagnoses is hyper-mobility, basically meaning that I have joints that either dislocate, are double jointed or are very flexible. When I over stretched the ligaments in my foot I was very stupid and funnily enough out of medical aid for the year, so I decided against going to the doctor and getting X-rays and I did what I knew the doctor would tell me to do, R.I.C.E= rest, ice, compress and elevate. I also borrowed a friends moon boot and after a few weeks of thinking I wasn’t in pain tried to get back to gym…
Unfortunately this is where a lot of my problems came in, my ankle wasn’t fine and at times I could barely walk because of the pain. I damaged my ankle in the Sept/Oct time of the year so thankfully once medical aid was flowing again in the New Year (yes, that long later!) I went to my GP who advised that I see a podiatrist and orthotist… I literally went from that appointment to the orthotist (if your going to have something done you may as well go right then and there). He checked out my ankle, my feet, my back and my hips and recommended two things, one was an ankle brace which I had to wear for close to a year (!!!!) and the second was a pair of orthotic insoles- because not only had I ligament damage because of my low arch I was putting unnecessary pressure on the tarsals and metatarsals (bones) in my feet. So I had my feet molded for a pair of insoles and was told I should be wearing orthopedic shoes for the rest of my life, but they are all ugly so I said no… Haha, no he said to make sure that I had a raised heel (no converse style shoes, no pumps, no sandals and no slops) and always wear a shoe with a supportive ankle.
So every closed pair of shoes I wear (e.g. My trusty gym shoes) I 99% of the time have my insoles in to keep from further damaging my feet. Thankfully I’ve never had excessive pain and soon after wearing the brace and the insoles I was able to get back into exercise again. So in another words I always make sure that I have my insoles and good shoes on when I’m walking a long distance.
Anyhow, I thought that I would be fine as I hadn’t had any real issues with my ankle in years, so we carried on at a steady pace and made sure that I was okay, I also kept thinking ” hit the ground with your heel and push up with your ball”, which is how your steps are meant to happen. Thankfully I was fine until about 8-9Km in, I started to feel like I had over stretched the ligaments all over again! Very very painful! Thankfully (as I’m so cautious with my ankles) I packed a compression bandage in my handy Zomato back pack (we were given these at #DBNBloggerMeet) , so we quickly stopped on the side of the road for me to strap my ankle. I made sure to do a tight strapping because I wanted to finish the walk and so we carried on, I was fine for another 2-3Km but then the pain started to radiate up to my knee, so we slowed down again. It was around this point that I asked if we could get McDonalds on the way home, “of course” the mother said… (Don’t judge me for wanting or liking McD’s)
At about the 12Km mark I was ready to kill all the happy smiley cheerleaders and DJ people cheering us along! I decided to stop for a minute to take some weight off my ankle and of course that was the exact moment that my friends came along happy and laughing and shouting for me to join them… I seethed through clenched teeth and pointed to the wrapped ankle… After a quick break I started up again… At some points of the walk I think that snails and tortoises could have been faster than me.
As we were heading down the final stretch of NMR Ave ( or Masibola Yengwa) we got a phone call from the father, he had raced ahead and was at the finish line wondering where we were… 2Km literally took us over 30 minutes! I was so disappointed , I’ve managed to cut my 5Km time down from in the fifties to in the forties and it took me over 30 minutes to do a distance that would take me 20minutes!
Well we finally reached the end after joining up with the happy smiley people who did the 5Km… I really, really wanted to punch them all and made a determined effort to just keep going… Without hitting anyone… Although the kid who kept asking if we were nearly finished was looking for it. My dad was standing at the finish line phone ready to take a picture, and I was there in the grumpiest of foulest of moods because of the amount of pain I was in… Yes I cried coming over the finish line but only because I thought I was going to never finish or die from pain! In the queue to get out… There were way too many people around and I was having complete sensory overload (32 000 people, all in one place!) and just needed to get out. One the way out we were handed fruit cups from Discovery and an Aquelle water, well I nearly snatched one out the persons hand and ran (well… At this point I could barely walk so I wouldn’t have run), they kept asking people what flavor water they wanted and everyone kept asking for that one flavor that they didn’t have (ironic, right?).
So I grabbed my water, collapsed on the grass and ripped my shoe off, only to find the hugest blood blister! Re strapped my ankle and limped halfway to the car before stopping to put my shoe back on and go over the gantry to the gravel filled parking area. On the way home I was exhausted and nearly fell asleep in the back seat, it was weird though, if I hadn’t have had the problem with my ankle I probably could have walked for miles as I wasn’t actually tired of walking or feeling unfit, my stupid ankle just couldn’t do it. Oh, and I also had another huge blood blister on the other foot… Now I’ve walked around for miles and miles, I’ve traversed around Venice, Rome, France, New York and Washington (all when I was a lot less fit than I am now) all in a day but I have never had blisters like I had from this walk
Oh, and I never got my McDonalds… But I did technically have pizza for breakfast as it was 11am and it was the first thing I ate… oh and sorry there aren’t more photos!