Day 41: 170 miles and Counting

Today was my 41st day of daily walking. Yes – I did intend to make a post about the 40th day, because it’s a much “nicer” number, but being me, I forgot. Naturally.

Since beginning my Walking Journey a month and a half ago, I’ve experienced blisters, foot pain, knee pain, exhaustion, skin drying out (from the wind/winter cold?), and myriads of other issues that come with starting exercise from zero.

My blistering went away after a week. The foot pain happens again and again once I add a certain amount to my routine. When I went from 3 miles to 5 miles, my feet began hurting after 3 miles. When I went from 5 miles to 6 miles, my feet began hurting after 5 miles. Now, a week in, my feet no longer hurt. I guess I can use my feet pain as a metric to see when I should begin adding on a mile to my routine!

My knee has on and off been bothering me for the past week, but I feel like it’s getting better by the day. I hope it’s nothing chronic. It could have been triggered by my jogging a week ago. I haven’t attempted jogging/running since then, and just hope that it’ll get better with time and training.

170 Miles Walked

From a quick calculation, after 41 days, I’ve walked over 170 miles. That’s quite a good number of miles! At the moment, every two days, I’m adding 12+ miles to that number, and it’ll only go up from here.

Apparently the distance from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States is around 2,800 miles. If I walked 10 miles a day, it will take me 280 days to “walk across” the United States. It will be super cool to be able to celebrate something like that in the future!

In the meantime… Only 2,630 miles left to go…. Hah.

Insatiable Hunger

Since I began walking 6 miles a day a week ago, I have been getting extremely hungry and thirsty all day, no matter how much I eat. My husband tells me same thing happened to him when he started his hardcore workouts, and his cravings went away after a week or two.

After a week, I think it’s already beginning to calm down. For a while, it seemed like no amount of “normal eating” could satiate me. I would eat, and an hour later, have a grumbling stomach. Breakfast. Grumble. Lunch. Grumble. Dinner. Grumble. Grumble. Sleep.

I’m hoping that it means that my metabolism is going up, which would mean I burn more calories by simply existing. That would be really nice, as I’m sure my metabolism was at “survival mode” for a long time as I battled my medical conditions.

Chronic Pain

Last week, I mentioned that I was going to start Physical Therapy, but then the Coronavirus situation escalated extremely rapidly. So I canceled the evaluation, and I’m going to re-evaluate whether I want to go or not after the pandemic calms down.

The reason why my husband suggested I try Physical Therapy was because of my chronic back pain which was getting worse for months. First, we switched my pillow to a gel-infused therapeutic pillow. When that didn’t do much, added a latex mattress topper to our mattress. And… I think that may have been the magic sauce!

Almost immediately, most of my back pain disappeared, and I’m sleeping so much better than before. I used to wake up multiple times a night, and when I did wake up in the morning, always felt like I’d been run over by a truck. It was extremely difficult for me to get out of bed, and sometimes it would take hours.

I’d been wondering what the cause of my back pain could be, ranging from sitting at my computer all day, to not enough exercise, to weight gain… And it didn’t really dawn on me that it could be my mattress. (Though to be honest, I’m sure all of the above potential factors were actual factors.)

If you are also experiencing chronic back pain, I highly recommend giving a mattress topper a try! It may just change your life! Yes- $200 is a bit pricey. But given I was ready to make appointments for $120 Physical Therapy sessions 2~3 times a week… It’s a steal! And all I have to do is sleep – and sleep well – on it!

Hiroko Nishimura
AWS Community Hero. Special Education teacher turned IT Engineer turned Technical Writer. Author "AWS for Non-Engineers" (Manning Publications). Technical Instructor "Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers" (LinkedIn Learning).

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