A couple of weeks ago I went to the dermatologist to get a body scan: you get naked and they look over every inch of your skin for signs of sun damage, abnormal moles, and skin cancer. I live at the beach and I’m a thirtysomething now, so I figured it was high time I get checked out. It was my 1st ever exam like this and I’m glad I went: they biopsied 2 sites. One was negative, the other was not. While it wasn’t skin cancer, it had the potential to become that in the future, so they did a punch biopsy to remove the entire mole and the skin around it…..it left a big hole, so they stitched me up. Ugh. For the 3rd time in 5 years, I have stitches. The worse part is that this is on my right arm, right by my wrist and I can’t lift anything over 20 pounds in fear of ripping my stitches and having an even bigger mess. This means no arm workouts for me that I was so diligent in doing; no rock climbing, no yoga. I have another week or so until they take the stitches out, so I felt the need to do something epic to make up for my lack of lifting. My ultimate goal is to do a deadman pull up.
I can’t run during the week because of the sun: it’s dark before work and it’s dark after work. I love running at night, but I live in Wilmington, a city that is above the national average in murders, rapes, and robberies. Really, it’s just not a good idea. So I’ve turned into a weekend warrior, run-walking 4 miles when I can. I decided for a change of scenery I’d drive to the pier at Carolina Beach and do my typical 4 mile: 2 out, 2 back. I had my GPS watch on so I could track my milage. I started walking south towards Kure Beach when it hit me: I should walk to the Kure Beach Pier. That doubled my workout: 8 miles around trip. I was on!
It was so good for my soul. I really pushed myself. I saw a dolphin in the shorebreak with a baby – another woman who saw it said it appeared she was nursing – and had it been summer, I probably would have ran out there to try and be near them. I found beach glass, I had great music on my iPod, and the sun was shinning. I took off my coat and tied it around my waist because I got too hot — perfect day! However, I am not super woman. Running on packed sand is hard on the legs and the last 2 miles I walked the entire thing. While I had water with me, when I got back to the car I was visibly weak and didn’t feel quite right. I stopped at Food Lion on my way in for a quick snack of a Kind Bar (love love love those things) and a bit of chocolate (hey, I needed the sugar and I totally earned it). Once I got home and ate more food and drank more water, I laid on the couch for an hour and a half. Muscularly speaking, the next day I was a hot mess. So sore, but it was so worth it.
This weekend, it was again really nice out, so I decided to do it again. This time The General came with me. He hasn’t been able to run in over a year because he blew out a joint in his toe and can’t run without immense pain. Walking, while it can bother it, isn’t as bad as running. So we packed a bag of granola bars and water and walked towards Kure Beach. We stopped twice to rest and rearrange socks. For being 42, he’s quite the trooper. But I knew this already: we’ve backpacked Europe 3 times in our relationship. It was a great beach hike, with another picture perfect North Carolina winter day. We had some great meaningful conversations and laughed about stupid things as well. Another epic adventure! And we weren’t all that sore this morning either!
When I did my solo run/walk, I did it in 2 hours. Walking with The General, it took us 2 hours 23 minutes. “Next time, we’ll try to shave off 20 minutes,” The General said. I’m already looking forward to our next hike!
Another life goal of mine is to walk from Ft. Fisher to Bald Head Island (which is now technically a peninsula after a hurricane), which is about 18 miles one way on the beach. I’d spend the night or 2 on the island and then backpack back to Ft. Fisher. Someday!