A few weeks ago I was sitting on the top of a boat, sipping Gin and Tonics with my friends, and as I watched the passers by on the trail around the lake I said to my friend, “We should hike the entire Town Lake Trail. It’s only 10.1 miles.” My friend immediately agreed. Easy enough to suggest while casually cruising down the river with a cocktail in my hand, but slightly different in practice. While it ended up being as good an idea as I thought, I had not put a whole lot of consideration into how long 10.1 miles actually is or how much my legs have not walked anywhere near 10.1 miles in, well, ever?
We had ambitions of starting out early in the morning, but those were put on a slight rain delay. We sat in a parked car under the overpass for 15 minutes while a storm raged its way through downtown and then left as quickly as it had arrived. So, with water bottles, granola bars and extra toilet paper (because you never know) in hand, we headed off on the trail. What a breeze! I walked with a spring in my step with the hundreds of other Austinites on the trail. We stopped for a while to cheer on the competitors in the Austin Triathlon and I felt a bit of camaraderie with these athletes. I mean, I was walking 10.1 miles. And then there weren’t so many people on the trail as wee moved further down the river and towards the east side. I noticed that my legs began to ache just the slightest and I thought, “That’s Ok, I mean, we’re almost half way.” Except we were definitely not half way.
By about mile 7 my legs were starting to band together and I knew they were going to declare mutiny at any moment. At about mile 8 they did. What my legs failed to account for was that the Hike and Bike trail is a loop so they really had no choice but to keep going. So we did. I dragged my flailing and throbbing legs al the way back to the car, and then another .2 miles and further to my favorite local diner.
So many times on the trail I looked out and wished that I was still on that boat sipping gin and tonics, but then that would have been my life back in Rochester; staying where it’s easy. My legs aren’t as sore today as I expected, although I haven’t yet tackled the stairs descending my apartment. And even though I worried about limb mutiny along the trail, I totally made it and we have now planned to do it once a month. I mean, why not? It’s only 10.1 miles.