Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond

Walking....1 mile at a time

At some point, it seemed that building up muscle might help with whatever-it-is that's going on with my legs. No, I don't know. Yes, I'm investigating it. Whatever. The point of this post is the walking, not the why I'm walking (other than to exercise). I don't think I've ever stuck to an exercise schedule through a tax season before, but this became crucial. I would get all bent over and tight from stress sitting at the machine hammering numbers. Then, before Miss E's bus, I would go out and walk somewhere on the Washington & Old Dominion trail, out in the fresh air. This is a former railroad, now a bike, hike, bridle trail that is nearly 50 miles long from out here in the hinterlands to just outside DC in Shirlington. The best part of it is the ability to walk mileage markers, so you can reduce it to chunks. At this point, I can walk one mile in one direction and then reverse and walk the other way back to my car. I used to walk this trail for 5 miles or so at a time, but those days are over. I am content with 2 miles 5 days a week. The trail is marked in green:

I went to their office and got a more detailed map so I could see where to park and where the mileage markers are in order to pick up the trail at various spots. I've walked half of it now, pretty much continuous, the western half. Do you know, I've never walked the Purcellville stretch of about 2 miles? Too many streets to cross in town. Some day, I'll do that section once. I rewalk many parts of the trail, especially close to home. As of today, I've walked 132.75 miles, according to my records on myfitnesspal.com (you could be my fitness buddy, too!) I guess this means I've covered the same mileage markers an average of more than six times each. This link to the original map has the ability to zoom in on parts of the trail http://www.wodfriends.org/map1.html.

I have favorite walks I've done far more than six times each, usually the more natural areas or where I like the houses. Back when I started, I walked late in the day when the sun had warmed things up. I wore several layers and I shivered in cold winds off the Short Hill range. Now, I'm looking at walking earlier in the morning and hoping for a breeze. And eventually, I intend to walk every single step of this trail. So on the map above, I've walked almost all of Purcellvile in the west to just west of Herndon. I've walked almost every bit of the trail in Loudoun County. I'm maybe 1.5 miles short of a continuous length. And further east, I've walked about 5 miles in the Reston/Vienna area.

Being out in the fresh air, usually surrounded by trees and animals (and cyclists, oh my!), I can hear my thoughts. There are so many places where human noise fades away. And there's so much to experience. An active quarry and a disused one. Railroad bridges over streams and marshes, or sometimes the current automobile road is high above your head. A hawk with a mouse in its talons. Spring peepers and frogs first soundings. And the changing of leaves and flowers. A wild turkey ran across in front of me one day. And some deer weren't afraid of me at all.

Frog Out
Tags: me, walking

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