Poetry Team in Training

A Prayer in Every Step

The Capital Crescent Trail near Fletcher’s Cove

Today I walked 6 miles at an average pace of 15:17 and it felt great, especially after the challenges of the past two weeks.  When we started this quest, I was a little overwhelmed. Now I’m completely high (and yes, a little sore).

Here’s a poem inspired by my experience with Team in Training…

A  Prayer in Every Step

Our footsteps are a chorus
on the road to peace

Listen, they say:
We can do this together

Our hearts drum
with anticipation
propelling us forward
when our legs grow weary

Excuses live in our minds
but they can not
carry us home.

Instead, we say a prayer
with every step
join hands and
journey through the night.


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Editor's Note

Some Days, You Just Take What Comes


This picture perfectly sums up today’s training session. Roberto hit another personal best, but his warm down routine required ice packs on both legs and some time on our foam roller. I got pulled off the trail by our coach because I was nearly doubled over with menstrual cramps. Though I was disappointed not to finish, I’m grateful that she made that call because it was the right and smart thing to do (especially considering that I’m still not fully upright despite copious drugs and liquids). My body seems to be foiling my ambitions and that’s frustrating.

Yet I wouldn’t trade today for anything. This beautiful autumn day is a great day to be alive and count blessings. I’m inspired by the families who join Team in Training in memory of a loved one, and millions of blood cancer survivors who are with us today because of treatments that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society pioneered. There’s still much work to do… Learn more and donate at Team Bacalski.

Achievements Team in Training

Setting Records and Snapping Monuments

today's runkeeper screenshot with my 15:50 time
Runkeeper Screenshot

Yesterday at our Team in Training session I set a personal best, walking an average pace of 15:50/per mile — shaving nearly five minutes off my previous best time over 3 miles. When I started this quest, walking a mile in less than 16 minutes may as well have been walking on the moon. Now I’ve walked four and because this is called training, I’ll be walking a lot more. Roberto also had an awesome run; no one will be confusing us with the medal-winning Eatons but it’s great that we can share this experience.

It helps so much to have teammates, mentors and coaches encouraging us. One of the mentors will be racewalking the full Disney marathon, and today she gave me some great pointers about form and speed. She also set me on a good pace that I could maintain for most of the walk; it seemed a bit brisk at first but I got into the flow and eventually became impatient at cross walks. I’m jealous of her speed, her endurance, and her fabulous running skirts. Seriously. My walking shorts are great, but sporting fashion has improved immensely with the advent of new fabrics and smarter designs.

Today we had a turnaround route, which meant we could yell Go Team at each other from opposite directions. I snuck over to kiss Roberto when he went sailing by on the other side of the street. It was really encouraging to see other team members along the way. Our coach was waiting just past the three-mile mark and walked that last stretch with me; we met up with Roberto along the way because he was sweet enough to come back for me. That was a great help; the company and the pace they set kept me from stalling as minor workout twinges set in.

And those twinges are real, so it was doubly helpful that we had another TNT coach who talked us through the issue of stretching. She’s an expert on how people hurt themselves because she fixes them in her professional life as a physical therapist. She gave us some great dynamic stretches to get us started (including some in this video), showed us essential warm-down stretches, taught us the joys of a foam roller, and helped each team member troubleshoot particular twinges. Sometimes during my walks I get a sharp but temporary pain around my inner knee, so I got some tips about stretching my hamstring and doing some butterflies after my workout to target that.

Today I definitely feel like I accomplished something yesterday; we did our twenty-minute easy walk in the mall due to rain and then my legs announced that it was time to go home. Check out the cool pictures of our Capitol Hill route and make a donation on our team page — any amount helps!