Q: Why are you doing this?

A: Why not?

Q: No, seriously, WHY are you doing this?

A: Because it’s there?

Q: Stop being a jerk. Tell me why.

A: Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, my birthday this year falls on a Sunday (as opposed to a weekday), so I could do something interesting. Last year, for my 50th, I ran* the Chicago Marathon, but that wasn’t on my birthday. However, one thing that WAS on my birthday was the JFK 50 miler. But that was a bit much—plus it’s an actual event, with cutoff times and all that. So I wanted to do something fun/epic/stupid for my birthday this year.

Second, I frequently walk or jog on the Cardinal Greenway, our local rail-to-trail. And I discovered that the longest continuous section is 51.5 miles long. And it’s my 51st birthday - so it seemed obvious! I’ll walk 51(.5) miles on my 51st birthday!

Q: What has your training been like?

A: Nonexistent. I regularly walk or jog, usually 4–6 days a week. But I just haven’t had the opportunity to actually train for this event. I haven’t done any especially long walks. I haven’t rehearsed my nutrition or hydration strategies. Granted, I’ve done some endurance events before, so I have an idea, but this is far, far beyond anything I’ve done before.

Q: Are you raising money for a cause?

A: Nope. Just doing it for fun.

Q: Can I walk with you for a bit?

A: Absolutely! I’m hoping people come out and walk for a mile or half an hour or until the next trailhead - whatever they feel like! There’s no registration fee (heck, there’s no registration), there are no time cutoffs, and there are no expectations!

Q: Can I follow your progress (or find out where you are, so I can join you)?

A: Yes! I am hoping to use RunKeeper Live. I have to do some testing with it first, and I don’t know how good the wireless signal is at all points on the route. You can also refer to the prospective schedule posted elsewhere on the blog.

Q: How can I cure my own bacon?

A: I’m glad you asked! THIS is a good place to start. Let me know how it goes!