The Walk - 2011
They will be sending in short reports from the walk and an occasional picture (when bandwidth is available) about every 2 hours. Watch for them here. The Google Map will be updated more frequently from their Google Latitude automated location feeds. Newest report will always be at the top of this page.
Total round trip elapsed time 40 hr 50 min; distance of 131.46 miles
Elapsed time from San Antonio to Austin of 8 hr 25 min; distance biked of 65.43 miles; avg 7.8 mph.
Final comments from David (Sunday afternoon):
My journey, our journey
“We did it”!!!....; I did not write during the journey but now, almost recovered from the whole endeavor, I feel I definitely need to share what it all meant for me. "Why did “YOU” go?”, is probably the first question some may be asking. And the answer is simple, it was because I have never done it before or even considered it but, I can walk, I can ride a bike, so I was meeting the first two basic requirements. The decision…, just a little tease from Thomas, Darren and Kevin about two weeks before the day of leaving and I said “you know what?...yes I am going to go too”… but those two weeks, for some reason turned into days of excitement and encouragement from Thomas and Stacey while getting ready with the minimum things I was going to need…yeah I was shopping!!
It has been extremely gratifying to spend two days with friends, and see how four people leave on a journey with a goal; and hour by hour, going through the same pains, talking, listening or just walking next to someone in silence the group solidifies. I will not be able to describe here how it really feels when a blister bursts inside your shoes while on the go, or how they hurt after you start walking again after a simple 15 minutes stop; but when Jim, Thomas or Stacey screamed about any of that, I knew exactly what that “OUCH”,”OW” single noise meant.
Was it tough? Yes, very much!!! But I managed though, and I am still trying to figure it out. What can I say, one always hears that you need to prepare yourself or be a semi athlete to do things like this, and I did not do or I am any of that. I am not a real regular at the gym, I walk my dogs for an hour maximum, but as a joke we said that maybe all the years I have spent going out to dance floors have paid off??? Anyway definitely this experience has been more valuable and also has been the perfect excuse to get back to the gym more often, now that I definitely know that “I can do it”!!
But is not all about how fit you are, and believe me I know, cause I am not in the best of shapes compared to Thomas, Stacey or Jim, as you know. And we always hear about self-determination, motivation, encouragement and all those self-help words in books and speeches. Well in my case I have come to realize that they are true words, and the media that worked for me to firmly believe in them has been to put myself through the San Antonio experience.
I have to give a big THANK YOU to Thomas, because he talked to me and found what I needed to drink and eat when I almost gave up with just a few miles to go.
And a big THANK YOU to Stacey because after I managed to recover from the down, he walked next to me in silent most of the time, hehe J
And a big THANK YOU to Jim because he let me know how well I was doing on the ride back and gave me all sort of tips to ride better – I did not think I could have done all the ride back to be honest, but again, it was one of those things, it was just what I had in my mind after we left San Antonio.
A big THANK YOU to the ladies sitting next to us at Chuy’s for all the encouragement when I was saying that I did not think I could ride back.
A big THANK YOU to the staff at Chuy’s for the food, attention, appreciation of what we were doing and fixing my bike – in case they read this – Muchisimas gracias amigos, aprecio mucho todo el esfuerzo que hicisteis en reparar la cadena de la bicicleta”.
A big THANK YOU to everyone that followed us on the amazing blog that Earl created and updated with so much dedication; and from the feedback I was having, believe me that all the words of encouragement and comments on how much I had personally achieved were felt and were part of the help I needed to finish when I thought I couldn't. And thank you Michelle for the water and the 2 visits. So THANK YOU to ya’ll for after all make me believe that I could do it. Finally, here is what I really found out. I looked at the big picture with some naivety but with conviction that it could be done. I got myself into it and was impressed of how much I was accomplishing. I got to a breakdown and almost gave up near the end but with help and looking at the picture again I adjusted my own personal strategy. The goal was still to finish this trip and back, but from then on I was looking down at the road and finding a post, a stain of tar on the pavement, a stone, a piece of broken tire, a road sign or anything that would be 100 yards away, and once I got to it I will see it go pass and my eyes would go to the next until we got to San Antonio. On the bike, where amazingly my legs did not hurt as much as my….ermm, cant’s say that here…I did the same and every downhill where you could coast at high speed and feel the air going fast was a reward that was bringing us back home. My friend Eric has told me that what I did is called meditation. Now the facts:
- I have about 12 blisters on my feet
- I wore my new shoes for 3 days for about 3 hours – I know Thomas, I know – before using them for this
- 5 hours energy extreme bottles and a coke work to get you out of an I almost give up situation
- I had to do the whole ride back on second gear on the pedals cause it was broken.
- Nothing other than the blisters on my feet hurts right now.
- I have 3 new friends and next year there will be more San Antonio idiots like me I hope to join the group. Anybody that thinks that wants to do this next year but does not believe they can, please let me know, send me questions, let’s go for lunch and talk about it, I will be more than happy to help you the same as I was helped to believe that “it can be done”! David
Final comments from Thomas (Saturday afternoon):
The 2nd annual walk was a success. What an amazing journey. I got to spent time with three other amazing people. The time we spent from beginning to end was 40 hours and 50 minutes. Last year, it took us 41 hours and 44 minutes. Once again we had a 100% finishing rate. Four of us left, David, Jim, Stacey, and Thomas, from Austin, and all four of us came back by only using our legs, walking and biking. What an amazing and awesome 40 hours we had. We had some great conversations, laughed a bunch, got to know each other a lot better, but most of all, we all worked together as a group in other in order to accomplish this.
For myself, this year went better than last year overall, although I did develop several blisters on my heals and the bottoms of my feet that I didn’t have last year, but I had my feet taped up last year before we left, and I didn’t tape them up this year. Until now, I’ve never suffered from blisters like this ever before, but I saw this as a positive so that it would give me the experience to know how to take care of these and to learn how to keep going through the pain. But, I don’t plan on any of us to have to deal with this again, if I can help it. I will be doing some research as to why we all got blisters so bad and take the necessary precautions. We may have to start out with our feet taped again like last year.
When you go on something like this, one of the pluses or perks is being able to stop and go into a convenient store and being able to buy and eat whatever you want without having to worry about how much sugar, fat, or carbs the item has. The rule is, if it sounds good to you, then it’s something your body probably needs, so buy it. It doesn’t matter if its Twinkies, ice cream, Coke, candy, etc.
I learned that air pressure on a bike is very important, more important than I ever knew. Until yesterday, having enough air in the tire meant that either the rim wasn’t touching the ground when I was sitting on it, or you weren’t able to squeeze the sides of the tire together with your hand. Luckily, we had a biker, Jim, with us, and he helped educate me on the importance of air. You see, if you don’t have enough air pressure in your tire, you lose too much energy when pedaling and coasting. Unless all you’re doing is riding around the neighborhood for a few minutes, if you plan on going on a long bike ride, I’d recommend you check your tire pressure and make sure it has the recommended pressure set within manufactures specifications.
Some people want to know about how much our legs start to hurt. I’ll say that the soreness we experience is very little compared to the pain of our blisters. If none of us had developed such bad blisters on our feet, I believe all four of us could have walked, instead of biked, back to Austin. If a person can walk around a theme park from open to close without any problems, then they could probably walk from Austin to San Antonio.
The hero of the trip has got to be awarded to David. Without a doubt, David was a huge source of encouragement for us. For most of the journey, David just smiled and kept moving forward. I figure if someone were to look at each of us, the surprise would of this whole adventure was with David. People would be surprised because we all set limits on what we can and can’t do, and some people just believe you have to be a certain way in order to do something like this. For example, I train and participate in ultra runs, Jim is an accomplished marathoner and triathlete and has done a 50 mile race, and Stacey, well, what can’t Stacey do. So it’s probably not much of a surprise that the three of us finished, but what about David? Yes, David does eat healthy, takes care of himself, and does do some cardio, but he’s never done any sort of long distance event like a half marathon or triathlon before. He’s never spent hours running or riding a bike. So how could he possibly be able to complete something like this? How was David going to walk the distance of two full marathons, 2 10kms, a 5km, then bike the distance of a half ironman plus 9 miles one would ask? I’ll tell you my opinion. I believe David finished this because he believed he could finish it. There was a time when things got very difficult for him, around mile 53, and he wanted to quit, and I think it was largely due to the fact that he stopped believing that he could do this. I guess if you want to know how or why he eventually kept going, you’ll have to talk to him and let him tell you.
A lot of people ask why I do stuff like this. For me, one of the main reasons is because I think, as people, we tend to put up walls and barriers on what we can and can’t do. I think the barriers we put up only limit us in what we can do. So, for me, doing these type of things are a way to tear down those barriers. Now that David has completed this, my hope is that he’ll start taking down some of the walls he’s put up in the past and start believing in more things that he can accomplish and doing them. Besides breaking down limits, I also enjoyed the time I got to spend with David, Jim, and Stacey. You don’t spend time with the “work” person, you spend time with the true person.
The stop at Chuys was so amazing. First, the celebration of finishing the walk was so liberating. After you’ve been going for so long, and you finally accomplish the biggest part, you feel like you’re invincible. Then to walk in, be greeted by Baer and the other employees was awesome. They treated us so well and took care of us. My only regret is that we didn’t get a picture with them. There was so much going on in our minds and we were so exhausted, that the thought of getting a picture didn’t occur to me until after we left. I won’t forget to take pictures of this next year.
Thanks to Amy and Diana for being so nice and friendly and making our Chuys visit fun. It was nice meeting you two and we look forward to you two possibly joining this adventure next year.
Just so everyone knows, we will be doing this again next year. My hopes would be that the four of us go again, plus have other new people join. I also hope Chuys will be involved again. I believe anyone can do this, but you have to be committed to reaching the goal, even when things aren’t going good, and above all, you have to believe in yourself that you can do it. If you’re thinking you’d like to come with us next year, but maybe you think it’s too tough, or feel like you can’t do it, I’d recommend you take some time and talk with David.
- Thank you to my lovely wife Jaime and darling daughter Haley for allowing me the time to take to indulge myself in these somewhat silly adventures and for being there and being so supportive.
- Thank you to David, Jim, and Stacey for allowing me to do this with you.
- Thank you to our friends and co-workers who followed us and sent us words of encouragement.
- Thank you to Michelle for coming out to see us on the trip to San Antonio as well as coming back and bringing us some water.
- Thank you to Chuys, Baer and to the entire staff for their generous hospitality, great food, for storing our bikes, and even fixing one of our bikes so we could get on the road. They absolutely went above and beyond for us and we can’t wait to see them again next year.
- Last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to Earl for putting the site together so our friends, families, and co-workers could be updated on our progress, staying up with the updates and keeping the site current, and for being there at the finish.
1:05 AM Saturday:
Arrived back at the office. Once again hugh crowds were there to greet them, but alas it was so dark the crowds don't show up in these pictures.
12:40 AM Saturday:
Arrived at Chuy's. They were closed by then but some staff was still there working to welcome the riders.
11:45 PM they were at I35 and Slaughter Lane.
8:00 PM: They are near the outlet mall, approaching San Marcos. They are too busy pedaling to stop and give frequent updates.
Follow their location on the map.
4:41 PM Friday update from Thomas:
The time spent at Chuys was amazing. We met some great people that took care of us. More to come on that later. Right now, it's time to come home.
(Heading back to Chuy's Austin via bikes that were carried down to Chuy's before the walk started.)
3:20 PM update from Thomas (at Chuy's in Selma):
We are here! Food and margaritas here we come.
Some of you might be thinking we are celebrating a little early since we still have a 68 mile bike ahead of us. Well, when you've had to walk 68 miles in 30 hours, to bike the same distance in 5 or 6 hours is a piece of cake.
The manager on duty, Baer, has greeted us very warmly along with the other employees. They have been great!!!
We are ordering now. They've already brought us our margaritas and water. The margaritas went down fast and were great. Jim and I are having the Elvis Presley Memorial plate, following rule #1 "Man Up".
I'm already looking forward to next year!!!
We'll send more after we eat.
Arrival at Chuy's in San Antonio - elapsed time 30 hr 30 min; distance walked of 66.03 miles; avg 2.16 mph
2:44 PM Friday update from Stacey:
This one is in the books!
Home in 8 hours, it is hot!
2:06 PM update from Thomas:
We are less than a mile a way. These last 4 miles seemed to have taken an eternity. Its like we were moving in slow motion! Oh wait, we are moving in slow motion. More to come when we get to the door.
12:59PM update from Stacey:
If you wanted to come, now is the time!
12:15 PM update from Thomas:
If any of you still play the slug bug game, then you'd appreciate the joy I've had hitting everyone. I think I've only missed one or two on this whole trip. I wonder if bug owners play this game?
Oh, 5 miles to go! David is doing much better and I've seen a few smiles. We are so going to make this!
11:38 AM update from Thomas:
We are almost there, however, we have some blisters that are doing everything they can to keep us from getting to Chuys. They may win the battle, but we will win the war!!!
11:37 AM update from Stacey:
Blisters are growing.
10:35 AM update from Thomas:
Passing the Snake Farm.
10:20 AM Friday update from Thomas:
We have 9 miles left. In reality, we've completed 50% of the walk. Getting through these next 9 miles will be equivalent to the first 58. Jim and Stacey are moving really well. David is in a low funk right now. His spirits are low. He's feeling the physical effects as well as the mental battle. These last few miles won't come free and easy. He's going to have to earn these! He's been a trooper and I still think he's going to complete this. He's carried the biggest smile through this whole thing until now, but I know once we see that Chuy's sign, we'll see that smile again.
The wind heading North is strong. Hopefully it stays that way for us to get our bikes. Then we'll be flying back to Austin.
9:38 AM update from Stacey:
Found a 20 on the road. How cool is that?
9:36 AM update from Stacey:
Wow, I need to figure out a way to not overeat at lunch or I will die on the bike. At around 11 can you call the chuys in selma and give them a heaads up for us. David is is crisis mode, truly impressive!
7:41 AM update from Thomas:
At about 3:50, we made the decision to stop and sleep for a couple hours. We slept for 3 hours. It was so needed and amazingly, even though I'm sure none of us slept for the whole 3 hours, whatever time we did sleep for was enough to re-energize our bodies, almost as if we had slept a whole night.
Our motel this year was an abandoned house that Stacey and I slept in the back of, last year, however, this year, they must have expected us. The back of the house was torn down and opened, so we got out of the cold and slept in the living room part. It felt so much warmer inside than the outside 57 degree weather, but that didn't last long. It seems going for almost 20 hours impairs your judgement, just a little. We left a door opened which allowed the cold to come in, and did it ever get cold. This was the kind of cold that goes to your bones. I sure could of used my leather jacket.
It was tough to get up and get moving. We've been walking for about 20 minutes now and its cold, but we're warming up. We have 17 miles left. We should arrive at Chuys by 1:30pm, hopefully, barring no major blister problems or any other major things that might come up.
The surprise through all of this has got to be with David. Not only is there a chance that he's going to make it, but he is most definitely going to make it. He's doing real well. He's been a motivator to us all.
2:00 AM Friday morning update from Thomas:
We've arrived at the Texas Ski Ranch. We are wearing down, but pressing on to cover as many miles as we can for as long as we can. We are 7 miles from New Braunfels. Jim had a terrible blister on his right foot that popped about 40 minutes ago. We've doctored him up as best as we could. I also had a big blister develop on the ball of my right foot as everyone else. I guess we should have taped like we did last year.
------------------------------------- Midnight ------------------------------------
11:49 PM Update from Thomas:
We are all tired and the exhaustion is hitting us hard. Stacey is refusing to rest and he's right. Its better for us to cover the miles now and rest later, than rest now and have to cover the miles in the heat. We have about 27 miles left. David is having some right knee pains. We've wrapped it and he's not letting it stop him. We are still moving forward at about 3 miles per hour.
11:39 PM update from Stacey:
We reached the outlet mall. Davids knee is acting up. My blisters are horrible. We need to get another 16 mile before we rest. We have basically a marathon to go. The pain is impressive, but it is a beautiful night. We are all dreading the mid 50's it will reach. You can assume cuddling will occur. See you guys later!
9:57 PM update from Thomas:
Wow!!! We just stopped to doctor up some major blisters on David and Stacey. Let's just say the fix so far involved scissors, needle, super glue, and duct tape. Here's a picture of David's foot after being bandaged. We are back on the road. 33 miles until we hit Chuys, get a margarita, a big plate of food, then get on the bikes!
8:35 PM update from Thomas:
We are at IHOP in San Marcos. The food is going to hit the spot. We are hungry.
We are all feeling pretty good so far. There are some pretty bad blisters on Staceys feet, and we are going to try and doctor those up later after we eat.
6:27 PM update from Thomas:
We just realized something. David has covered 26.2 miles on foot for the first time, so he's now a marathoner! Oh wait! He's now gone over that and is now at almost 31 miles, so he's now an ultrarunner! Way to go David! Look out Badwater, here comes David! Everything else seems to be going well for now.
6:07 PM update from Thomas:
My family came to visit us at the Thunderhill race track. It was good to see them. Now, we are on a mission to get into San Marcos, another 9 or so miles, so we can stop for a dinner break.
5:00 PM update from Thomas:
Honeymoon is over!
Since we are at Dairy Queen, Jim wanted to order a plate of ice cream so he could stick his feet into it. David, Stacey, and Jim have developed blisters. I don't have any yet, but I do feel some areas where some might develop. The pavement seems to be baking our feet. We are starting to move slower already. The pace is slowing. I don't have any major issues yet, other than the heat and trying to keep enough cold water in me. The thought of the Elvis Presley Memorial plate at Chuys tomorrow is giving us something to look forward to and a reason to keep moving.
At 4:00 the group is just entering Kyle - about 1 hour behind schedule.
4:03 PM update from Stacey:
Blister on right foot, on the pad, size of a dollar coin. Feel much better than last year. Chuys is sounding sweet! Not too hot. Beef jerky was a mistake but ice cream cone was amazing! Hands are swollen, very odd.
4:00 PM update from Thomas:
We are in Kyle. I think we are about 24 miles in. Only 43.37 more miles of walking to go before we get our Chuy's and margaritas. We've stopped a few times to get water. We are going through water like crazy. We are feeling tired. Remarkably, David is still feeling great. I think he'd make a good ultrarunner. Jim and David are somewhat naive, but Stacey and I are anticipating what will be coming next.
2:00 PM update from Thomas:
We stopped at McDonalds in Buda, across from Cabelas. Stacey, Jim, and David were craving ice cream. Stacey is having a double cheese burger as well, with extra pickles. What other activity can you do where this type of food is considered a good source of fuel? Everyone is still feeling good and in high spirits.
1:39 PM update from Thomas:
We have left Austin and entered Buda. The sign was on the other side of the freeway, so I just took a picture of the Austin sign behind us.
1:25 PM update from Thomas:
Cabelas is in sight, about 2 miles away. We are moving good and making great time so far. We've done over a half marathon. Conversations have ranged from war stories, solving the politcal problems ( I won't discuss those details), and just ragging on each other. Stacey is looking into a blister that seems to be starting on the ball of his foot. More to come later.
12:10 update from Thomas:
We stopped for a quick bite to eat at Slaughter. Everyone had sandwiches and Gatorade. We are still feeling good, but this is what we call the honeymoon phase. That will end in a few hours and reality will set in.
11:06 update from Thomas:
Coming up on 35 and William Cannon. Its been almost 3 hours. Its quieter now. Everyone is still feeling good, but even Stacey has found time to stop talking.
9:55 am update from Thomas:
We arrived at 35 and Riverside at 9:45am. We are finally heading South. Everyone is feeling good. Its heating up a bit. Lots of smiles, laughter, joking around, and repeating movie quotes. All of this will end in about 6 hours. : )
Leaving Chuy's in Austin at 9:00 AM Thursday:
They was at least one Chuy's employee on hand to welcome the runners (and clean the front patio).
Barton Springs Road at 8:55 AM Thursday:
The second annual walk from Austin to San Antonio has begun.
They are off at 8:15 AM Thursday, April 28:
Jim, Thomas, David, Stacey
(It doesn't show in this picture but there were hundreds of supporters and press all over for the start of this years race ;)
Leave TIN's building in Austin at 8:00 Thursday morning, April 28.
Arrive at Chuy's on Barton Springs Rd by 8:40 AM...
Arrive at Chuy's on I-35 at Loop 1604 in Selma (San Antonio) Friday afternoon.
Watch this site for status updates and join them for a meal at Chuy's in San Antonio before they head back.
Bike home to Chuy's in Austin arriving late Friday, April 30 (or maybe early Saturday morning).