Yesterday was Sunday, and after three false starts, Moulder and I finally honour our training schedule and meet up to train for bloodylongwalk.
The bloodylongwalk, you see, is exactly that. A walk from the Yarra Bend in the east of Melbourne, around the Yarra, through the city and all the way down to St Kilda. 35 k all up.
Back story: The things that seem a good idea after a bottle of wine, eh? Like moving to Ireland for a year. Or quitting law. Or using a home bleach kit. 35k is, after all, a bloodylongway, but I am a good walker. I do over and above the WHO mandated 10,000 steps day most days, and for me there is nothing nicer on the weekend than strolling up the creek, listening to a nice relaxing crime podcast and then picking up a latte. 35k was rather somewhat of a stretch target but hey, why not eh? Good cause too, (being mitochondrial disease, which I hitherto had no idea about), which is important. But there is an element of whatthefuckhaveIgotteninto. Too late now Bwidge.
Sunday dawns lovely and sunny but windy. Nose reacts predictably and starts leaking on cue. Do chores, get shopping, drop the Husband off to his mate’s house for annual Baffhurst festival and head into town, armed with sunscreen and new brooks walkers. Nofuckinproblem.
Find Moulder at Flinders St. Find coffee. Start striding up Swanston st. Debrief on week that’s just gone; interviews (me) and creative stuff (her). Buy bottles of water. Snark at bloody people walking bloody slowly on footpaths on their bloody androids. Feeling positive. Always nice to have a good catch up with Moulder. Chat chat.
Talk turns to goals for today.
‘We should aim for 20 today.’ She means kilometers, guys.
‘We’ll take it slowly though right?’ I say, anxiously. My legs are at least a foot shorter than hers.
‘Yes of course’ she says. This will be an interesting test of our compatibility as walking partners.
Up we go to the pretty Carlton Gardens, past the expensive looking SLRs and tourists. Through Gertrude Street and up Brunswick St, past trendy people having their second bloody Mary of the day. Ah the labour in vain, that was awhile ago. On to Edinburgh Gardens, table-tennis and hipsters and French bulldogs and cider stubbies. From there up the Park St trail and the exact spot I stacked my bike years ago. Hello what is that beacon of hope I see on the horizon? I see a pub! Could it be? The Terminus Clifton hill! YES. What a great joint. I’m not allowed to go in though, which is probably fair enough.
‘You know what we should have at the end of this?’
‘And fries from lord of the fries’
‘And BURGERS. OMG I am getting hungry’.
This is nice actually. Where are we? We’re at 8k by this point and feeling good. The wind’s a bit blustery but the sun is pleasant on our arms. Only way to get to the trail is cross over and go past my old house. Was it always that small? And look there’s a pot plant in my bedroom window. I need to wee, I wonder if my key still works?
Busy part of the trail now. Many joggers and cyclists. We start to go into single file. Memories emerge, I used to walk along here every weekend. What a lovely part pf the world. The city emerges from behind a hill. Oh we must be on home stretch now. Halfway, please?
Feet check. Not bad. Shall we stop?
Stop for wees and rice crackers and a stretch at the Convent. Granola would have worked better as nourishing snack but we’re doing ok. Sit on grass, feeling the ache of underused calves.
Set off again. It really is very pretty on the trail, walking along the river and the greenery. Notice wattle tree. Too late, breathe in lungful of yellow nastiness and cough like someone in a tb ward. Yucky!
Puff on inhaler. ‘You’re alright, let’s press on!’ I feel like the fat kid in Stand by me.
See fleecy sheep at the children’s farm. He looks very hot in his thick wool jacket. I do hope someone is helping him out soon.
‘Ok, so once we hit 20, we find the nearest pub.’
‘No, we are going with plan a, and getting burgers.’
‘Awwwwwwwww’, I say, probably a bit like an 8 year old.
‘We’re doing it. Don’t moan’.
‘Here, have the rest of these rice crackers’.
Sidle along Yarra and climb up to Bridge road, and we’re on the final bit now, taking that bullet road back to town. The normal creeping feeling of nostalgia I get in Richmond is tempered by the soreness in my hips and knees. “Jokingly” suggest stopping for a beer / getting tram but get laughed at. Moulder begins to edge ahead and I begin to feel like my hips are creaking like they have rust in them.
Finally, we find ourselves at the last set of traffic lights. That’s 20k! We’ve done it. We (me) limp into Grill’d, order burgery and beery goodness. Stone and wood never tasted so good.
What’s the moral of this story? Take more than rice crackers. Be prepared for soreness and whingeing. And remember there is always a beer at the bottom of the rainbow.
*not baby-led weaning, that’s a blog for another day.**
**hahah kidding. I’d rather poke my nipples all day with a fork