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August 13, 2017

Sometimes life gets in the way of training.

A couple of months ago, the vegan spouse went for a long overdue eye exam. Mostly, she wanted an upgrade of her ten-year-old spectacles so she could actually see out of them.  A novelty, to be sure.

She didn’t plan on leaving the exam with a diagnosis of closed angle glaucoma in both eyes.  Essentially it’s fluid in the eye that should escape on its own, but it doesn’t.  If you don’t address it, you could go blind.  If you want to fix it, you have to cut a hole in your iris with a laser.  There’s a choice to be made, but it’s not like choosing between vanilla and chocolate.

So, on consecutive Fridays, the doctor cut a hole in one eye so that the fluid, trapped between the iris and cornea, could escape.  The first eye surgery went just like they write it up in the textbooks.  A quick procedure followed by a reduction in eye pressure and you’re on your way.

The second surgery went as bad as the first one was good.  The doctor nicked a blood vessel.  The bleeding didn’t want to stop so the doctor had to apply undue pressure to the eye and the protective contact lens which was on the eye.  When the bleeding finally stopped, getting the lens out was, in the words of the vegan spouse, “like ripping a bandage off your eyeball.”


But the vegan spouse is nothing if not fearless so our training suffered hardly at all. The day after the first surgery, we thought we might not walk, but we did.  And we walked our normal three hours.  The day after the second surgery, we said we’d play it by ear, but we walked, and only dialed it back a fraction.

It wasn’t until two weekends after the second surgery that we finally deviated from our routine.  Rain was forecast for Friday night into Saturday morning with little likelihood for interruption.  We set the alarm for 5 AM because when it comes to weather, you never know.

At 5:00, it was raining, but not much heavier than a mist.  The hour-by-hour forecast showed rain continuing at 6:00, and then clearing the rest of the morning. And here’s where the mental part of walking comes into play.  We anticipated rain the night before.  We planned on not walking.  We thought 6:00 could be a deluge. I went back to bed.  The rain stopped.

For the first time we walked on Sunday instead of Saturday.  Ironically, Saturday was drier even with the rain.  Sunday was close to seventy degrees and humid.  My glasses fogged up multiple times.  My shirt was soaked.  We equaled our longest walk so far which is still less than fourteen miles.

The biggest change we’ve noticed so far is our speed.  We are getting really fast. When I was asked on the first walk if we were going too fast, I answered “Yes”.  I was practically running to keep up.  But now I am able to answer yes to the question, “Is this pace okay for you?”

Sunday walks may become more frequent as we gear up to sixteen, or eighteen, or twenty miles.  It’s too dark in the morning and we have too many Saturday chores to do.  I might take a vacation day to do a long walk during the week.

And we will allow for life to get in the way of training, but hope that it does not involve surgery or anyone getting too close to our eyeballs.


What are your “life gets in the way” training stories?  Please leave a comment…


Taking care of your feet during long walks or running can be the difference between a quick recovery or a painful and lengthy one.  One way to keep feet issues at bay is to wear appropriate socks while training. Although a bit pricey, we wear Smartwool PH D socks available on Amazon. These socks are one of the highest rated socks among athletes, durable, moisture wicking, light weight and padded in all the right areas.