87 Miles (and Counting)

Not quite a month ago I posted “Walking for RBG,” about a scheme to honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg, raise money for several pro-woman causes, and spend more time in the great outdoors. I chose the Run/Walk 87 Miles Challenge option. The miles can be accumulated over time, and I don’t need to tell you I had no intention of running.

So this past Friday, a dreary, drizzly, unseasonably warm morning, I passed the 87-mile mark. Here’s my virtual certificate:

I’d sworn never to take my phone on walks, but I needed it to keep track of miles. I installed the Map My Walk app and changed my vow: I would not make or take phone calls or texts on walks. I’ve pretty much kept to that, but I’ve often used the phone to take photos. Since I was already in the habit of doing this with my point-and-shoot, I don’t consider it cheating.

Statistics can only tell you so much, and I don’t want to become one of those people who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing (as an Oscar Wilde character described a cynic), but at the same time I’ve learned a few things from packing my phone on my walks.

My expanded morning walk loop. I alternate clockwise and counterclockwise.

Like my regular morning loop around the neighborhood is 2 miles almost on the nose, not the 3 to 3.5 I’d been guesstimating. When time allows, I’m now expanding the loop to bring the total up to 2.5.

My evening walks are usually a little under 1.5 miles. My daily total is around 4 miles, not the 5 I’d been guessing.

The Map My Walk app tells me both my average pace and my fastest pace for each walk. My average works out to just under 3 miles per hour. My fastest works out to 4. I’ve long believed that my usual walking pace was about 4 miles an hour. The slower average must have something to do with the fact that I’m always walking with Tam, who moves briskly but stops often to sniff or mark a tree. When he stops, I stop but the app doesn’t.

I could test this theory by going for a walk without Tam, but he would have quite a bit to say if I tried it. The Map My Walk app has a Dog Walk setting. Would it compensate for all the stops and starts of walking with a dog? I tried it. The results were identical to the Walk setting, so I guess not.

Several of us local activist types are doing the Run/Walk for RBG challenge and keeping track of our progress (with maps and photos) in a Facebook group. I was the first to reach 87 miles, and #2, very close behind, also has a dog — more than one dog, as a matter of fact. Moral of story: If you want to walk more, get a dog. Truth to tell, though, I did it backwards. I walked regularly, so friends would ask me to take their dogs with me. One thing led to another and eventually Rhodry came into my life. I’ve been walking with a dog ever since.

Thanks to our Facebook group, I finally figured out how to do screenshots with my phone. I get nearly all my tech support from YouTube, but this was a challenge because the technique seems to differ from phone to phone, even those from the same manufacturer. So if you’ve got a Samsung Galaxy J7 and haven’t figured it out yet: Press the volume button (on the left) and the power button (on the right) at exactly the same time. (It seems to help if I press both buttons at their lower ends, but this may be magical thinking on my part.) The edges of the screen will close in a bit — click! — and voilà, the image appears in your Gallery.

Speaking of galleries, here are some photos from my recent walks, some in the neighborhood and others further afield.

The savanna at Waskosims Rock Reservation, October 21

Autumn light on the Dr. Fisher Rd., October 24

Fallen tree at Sepiessa Point, Tisbury Great Pond, October 31

Donkeys on Elias Lane, November 7

Very red tree, Elias Lane, November 7

Afternoon sky at Great Rock Bight, November 15

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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3 Responses to 87 Miles (and Counting)

  1. Joanie Ruppel says:

    Congratulations on a job well done!


  2. Cynthia Riggs says:

    Susanna: Congratulations! A mile-and-a-half extra. Great cause. Cynthia

    Liked by 1 person

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