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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finally - Slowing Down!

I think that after 50 years I may have discovered that I can slow down! Ever since high school I was made as competitive as possible: first my Phys Ed teacher, then my speed skating instructor, then 2 years of sports college and 2 years teaching Phys Ed in the army. Always I had to be the first, the fastest, the quickest, the highest jumper. 

Even when I trained for the Camino I walked fast, at least 5.7 km per hour. As a result when I walked the first half of the Camino over the last three weeks, I seemed to be marching instead of walking. That too may have resulted in the injury that caused me to have to sit down for several days in Leon. 
Today I decided to take it SLOW, and what a difference it made. It took me a while longer to get where I wanted to go, but I noticed much more from the surrounding area. I did not pass every pilgrim in front of me as I had done for the first 350 km. As a matter of fact I was being passed and I did not mind it for once. My previous injury did not come back because I did not need to push off as hard as I used to with each step. It worked!!

Today I left Leon after 3 days of forced recovery. First 2 hours to get out of town and then back up onto the meseta. There seemed to be a little more variety this time. Maybe I noticed it because I was sick and tired of watching crowds of people the last 3 days. Because most people only spent 1 extra day in Leon, I moved with a new "community of people". The ones I had seen several times in refugios or rest places before Leon were replaced with a new bunch. You could also see who started the Camino in Leon because their legs were still milk white while those who had been on the Camino for weeks were dark brown from the sun. 

In spite of slowing down I did 22 km by noon and now I am sitting in a nice albergue in Villar de Mazarife, again, don't even try to find it on the map, it barely makes a speck.
Tomorrow in the direction of Astorga and after that the terrain should become harder, but also more interesting. We"ll see. 

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