In two weeks, it will all be over. Well, two weeks and one day. If I live through this, I will consider this a success.
It's been a hell of a ride. Some weeks have been good; others less so. Last week was miserable. I felt like I couldn't walk. I felt like I was letting people down. I felt failure through every bone in my body. My feet and legs were bloody, my spirit was destroyed. My walking partner for that day, Andrew, was my cheerleader. I might have given up and taken the bus home but I didn't. That in itself was a victory, though I couldn't see it at the time.
I may have written about this before, I can't remember. I think it about it daily, though. Back in January when Amanda and I were sitting in the information meeting about the walk, she asked me if I'd be able to do this if Ruth died. Sure, I said. I'm doing this for me as much as for her. That won't be a problem. It wasn't going to be a problem because I didn't believe she'd really die. At least not yet. Not before this walk happened. But she did and things haven't quite been the same since.
It wasn't really until last week that things really hit me. I know I can't do 26 miles. That's not me being negative. That's me being realistic. My foot hurts too much. My stamina isn't there. My training hasn't been enough to let me do 26 miles. I decided a few weeks ago my main goal would be 13 miles each day - anything I do above that is extra. I'm mostly okay with that, though there's still a part that feels like a failure because I didn't do what I said I would. I will do my best and see what happens.
During my walk with Andrew last week, I stopped several times to elevate my swollen foot and to cry. The reality of Ruth not being here hit me. Amanda told me this would be an emotional event. I don't do emotional so that it's affecting me is a surprise. The pain, the amount of time I've been walking, the things I've missed because of training - it all hit me. I thought doing this walk would lessen my feeling of loss. It isn't really doing that. I'm tired of walking and tired of thinking about it.
Amanda and I walked from the Bethesda metro to the National Cathedral today. Wisconsin Ave has some serious hills on it. Wowza. But we passed Tiffanys, Jimmy Choo, Saks - all places that make me happy. It was sunny out but not too hot. We arrived at the cathedral and listened to the church bells. It was breezy and beautiful. There were tourists all around. People were happy. I was happy.
The walk back to Bethesda was a little rough but not terrible. Hills suck. Always. But walking through Tenley Circle, Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase and Bethesda was fun. We saw things we tend to miss in cars - that's been the common theme while working. I feel better about things today.