50 Miles FAQ

Posted on 02/01/2016

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If you’re here, you want to know more about the 50 mile walk and maybe even want to participate. Cool.

First all, I plan on doing this April 8th 2016.

So, read below. If I don’t answer your question, by all means, leave one in the comments.

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FAQ

Why are you doing this?
Because it’s hard. Because I like to challenge myself to do things that are not easy. It’s good on the fortitude. I also do it to raise money for charity. You can too.

What charity do you donate to?
I like the Feeding America charity. They give food to hungry kids and people in the U.S. who don’t have enough money to buy food. I may change it in the future, but who knows.

How is the money delivered to the charity?
I use the Feeding America website. They collect all money. I never see it. My goal this year is $1,000.

What day are you doing it on?
Late March, early April. The weather is the biggest decision maker here. If it has to be pushed out a few more weeks, that’s okay too. Just not too deep into May. We live in Texas after all. As we get closer I will announce the day.

Can I do this alone, without you?
Yep. Go for it. If you want to challenge yourself, I recommend it. But I also recommend making yourself accountable so you don’t quit at mile 8 and go home and crawl back in bed.

How hard is it to walk 50 miles?
Damn hard. The first ten miles you will be feeling pain. Just about every part of your body will tell you you’re making grave mistake if you keep going. Around mile 20 you will start to doubt yourself, your hip flexors will start complaining. Around mile 30 you will barely be able to lift your shoes off the ground, and the soles of your feet will BURN from the constant motion. Mile 40 you will be thinking “Only 10 more miles–wait! I have to walk ANOTHER ten miles?!” But when you get that 50, you will feel it. Emotionally and physically. Also, I got my “second wind” around mile 40 last year and hit what runners call a runner’s high. It lasted for quite a few miles. Running and walking are two different modes of transport. They each have their challenges. There’s no way I could run this. I am no ultra marathoner!

What gave you the idea?
This article: Esquire

How much training do I have to do?
Well, it’s just walking, and I assume you know how to do that already. But seriously, before you commit, you should take a few 5+ mile walks and see how your body does. Then up it to 10-15. If you can do that, you can do this. Like I said, once you get above 25 miles, it’s a head game more than physical. The body’s already done.

Can I rest during the walk?
You bet. I rest a lot. Sitting and standing become a real chore later in the game, however. You’re carrying water and supplies on your back, so your back and core are getting a constant workout. So prepare. I would say when you feel the need to rest, walk some more before you do. Set a goal of something ahead of you, and make that the place you’re going to rest. But don’t rest too long or you’ll never finish.

How long does it take?
Last year it took me 20 hours. Well, maybe less. My GPS app screwed me out of a mile, so I ended up walking 51 miles. In your training you should determine what a comfortable speed is. Remember, when you rest, your walking speed goes to zero, so the longer you sit–well you get it. If you’re in good shape, I’d plan on anywhere between 16-20 hours of total time. That includes rests and walking.

When do you start the walk?
Last year I started at 4 AM. This year I want to start between midnight and 1AM. That way, when the walk is done it’s kind of a normal time, not midnight. I know this seems like not a big deal, but it really is. It was lonely getting done at midnight, driving home in my car with my wife, going to bed. So that means starting at the latest 1AM Friday.

Where is it starting?
Starting in Denison, Texas. See route here: Google Maps

If I decide to do it, how do I get to the start and who picks me up at the end?
That’s all your business. I will give you a place and a time where I am starting and a general path. From there, it’s all you.  It would be neat if anyone else who wanted to do it could start at the same time, as in all of us a group, but transportation is your own deal. However, I won’t make the start time 1 AM and have it start in the boonies an hour away.

Where will it end?
It ends at the end of 50 miles. But I will have a simple idea of the map. My goal is to start outside the Metroplex and have the path come into it for the end. It’s better to get as much mileage outside the city in the beginning when you’re fresh.

Where do I poop?
Yeah. That’s a great question. I would suggest in a gas station or restaurant along the way. Bring toilet paper, just in case.

How do I track the 50 miles?
GPS in your phone or some other device. I just used my phone. Make sure to bring a charger. I checked my phone all the time. Get an app that measures speed and distance. That way you can get an idea on just how fast you’re going and if you’re meeting your goal.

If I go with you, do we have to stay together the entire time?
No way. We may start together, but I may need to rest before you do and vice versa. You may need a potty break, and I want to keep going, etc. I would imagine there will be times we walk together and times we are miles apart, just seeing each other in the distance. It’s a long, long, long walk.

What do I bring?
I recommend some sort of a backpack. In it, bring water, snack foods (energy, protein, etc) a change of shoes, a change of socks, toilet paper, sunscreen, tissues, some sort of hat to cover your head, a windbreaker or water-proof jacket, moleskin for blisters, an extra charger for your phone (don’t forget the charging cable), flashlight or headlamp, and maybe some chapstick. Oh and headphones.

Can I stop and get food along the way?
Yeah sure. Last year I stopped and got some donuts, stopped for lunch at Sonic, and then later stopped and got a hot meal for dinner. Remember one thing, however: YOU WILL STINK. So don’t go walking into some fancy restaurant, they might kick you out. Oh, and don’t forget every minute you’re not walking is a minute you’re adding to your time.

Why are you doing this on a Friday? Why not a Saturday?
I do it on a Friday to give myself two days to rest afterward. Trust me, you’ll need it. Your poor feet won’t want you limping on them for a few days.

What if I sustain an injury?
Up to you if you keep going or stop. I was lucky last year, only blisters. Who knows, I may pull a hamstring this year and have to stop. You just never know. Hydration is the key to mitigating a lot of injuries.

What if I can’t make the entire 50?
Once again, up to you. If you have to stop at 30, at least you got out of bed and challenged yourself. If you only want to do 25, that’s cool too. If you want to meet me at say 9 AM and walk with me for a few hours, by all means. If you want to just get a ten mile walk in, and join me at noon, I won’t mind the company. It definitely makes the time go by faster.
You’ll just need to contact me and meet me along the way and have someone drop you off and pick you up. Or walk halfway to me from your car, then turn around and walk back with me.

What type of adventure should I expect?
Great question. It IS an adventure. Even though we’re just walking along the side of the road you will have all sorts small exciting things happen. I had to walk over a massive bridge last year, along the side of a skinny road. Came across mean dogs, and friendly feral cats that I fed some beef jerky. (You should prepare for dogs too. I only ran into 3 of them, and they all left me alone, but be prepared). I had to stop along the way for a freaking 10 minute train to pass me. I happened to run into some friends along the way. All of them unplanned.

Can I have people meet me and visit with me?
You bet! Company makes the walk go by easier and quicker.

 

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