Thursday, June 9, 2011
My Secret Hobby
Not many of my sewing and knitting friends know that when I'm not doing those activities I'm a "long distance" walker. By "long distance" I mean anywhere from a half marathon (13 miles---I've completed 12) to a whole marathon (26 miles---only finished 3 so far). I started this activity when I turned 60 (4 years ago) and it's made so much difference in my life.
Now, don't think I'm some kind of super athelete, cause I'm not! I've discovered that all sorts of people participate in long distance events and they have age group prizes up to "over 80". The marathon event planners know they will make more money if they allow enough time for walkers to participate, along with the prize winning runners, so some are now allowing 7 hours for a marathon and 4 hours for a half. Many have a Party atmosphere, with bands playing and spectators cheering for everyone, even the last person.
And don't think I walk a huge amount every day either! Marathon training plans call for you to just go a "short distance" (in my case 3-4 miles) several times a week and then on one day of the week (usually the weekend) you go increasingly longer distances til you've reached the distance of your planned event. Right now I am training for a half-marathon in August and am up to 8 miles on my "long day".
I'll get to "clothes" to wear for long distance walking in a minute but first, here are some of the things I discovered I need to have or take along for that increasingly longer day of walking:
Now about the clothes (this IS a sewing blog). The important rule is that everything next to your skin should be polyester with spandex in it. The big companies all have fancy words for their fabrics such as "wick-away" or "cool-something" but we fabric people know it's really just polyester. I know your first thought is that cotton would be cooler, but when it gets wet (which it will even in cooler weather after many hours of activity) it becomes coarse and chaffs the skin. As a sewer, I've recently realized that I can easily acquire the right fabrics to make my own "work-out" clothes that are much better fitting than the ones I can buy (and cheaper too). So on my last trip to Fabric Mart I stocked up on ITY knits and other fabrics with spandex in them to start making my own. I made the top that's in the picture at the first of this blog and using the same fabric I made some pants and a black poly/spandex top.
I'd love to get these shoes and make some walking outfits to go with them! (of course I already know that this brand and make is good for my feet.)Keep on walking and sewing is my motto!