If your New Year's Resolutions include improving your health, walking more, maybe training for a walking event... then WALK! Magazine can help you keep those resolutions!
We are choosing which events we will go to in 2007, and will have training programs posted on our web site soon. We would LOVE to have a large group of people in WALK! Magazine T-shirts show up at one or two of those events. We are in the process of developing a package that includes a training log, T-shirt, training schedule and motivation! The most important part of training is the motivation!
In the meantime, everyone should be walking 3-5 days a week to start building up base mileage.
So, what do you think about the new look to this blog? Blogger/Google, who host this blog site, have offered new options for revising and updating a blog. The old one was very difficult to change and I couldn't figure out how to post pictures. I'm excited that I can now post magazine covers. Maybe you'll even see a few race photos.
I'm making more of an effort to get in a walk every day. To make it a little more festive, the family went to the Columbus Zoo tonight to see the holiday lights. It's been a number of years since we've been to see the holiday lights and it was really fun! The zoo has really made an effort to expand the decorations and the lights were fantastic! And because Christmas is over, the crowd was quite a bit smaller than last week's masses. (I don't do well in crowds.)
We walked around mesmerized for about 2 hours. I have no idea how far we walked since I forgot to wear a pedometer, but I can definitely feel it in my legs. Though I just started my everyday walking program on Sunday, I'm already feeling a difference.
What a great way to exercise and maintain a festive mood at the same time!
I walked to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get new tags for my car today. (Yes, I just celebrated a birthday.) Looking at the others in line, I assumed I was the only person that day to walk to the BMV. I wonder, am I the ONLY person who walks to the BMV?
People in the U.S. will drive anywhere and everywhere. I've had neighbors ask if my car was out of commission because I walked to the library or the Post Office. But I see others who walk to those types of places, so I'm not alone. But walking to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles seems odd. If I had not had the proper paperwork, it's not like I could have gone out to the parking lot to get it out of my glove compartment.
Luckily, I don't mind people thinking I'm unusual because I walk. Let's all make a resolution! Let's resolve that in 2007 we will let our neighbors think we are a little odd because we walk.
Our family has had a very hectic and stressful month. It was extremely difficult to get the regular shopping and holiday preparations completed.
Christmas Eve Day I had free time. I don't know how it happened, but it was really nice. I went down to the walking trail that loops around a little lake, and it was beautiful! The water was smooth as glass and the temps were very mild. As the sun moved down the sky, the oranges and reds reflected off the water beautifully.
What surprised me was there were quite a few people there. Joggers, walkers and fishermen, all enjoying the peace. And they were all friendly.
I even sat on a bench to watch the ducks for a few minutes before heading home.
Two laps and a little over 2 miles is exactly what the doctor ordered!
I hope all of you have a few moments to enjoy some peace and quiet during these hectic days!
Life is starting to get back to normal! The day was beautiful, and I really didn't have anywhere to be for a change, so I went out for a short walk. Today felt just like a spring day and was great for lifting my spirits.
This is a little off topic, but I don't feel that the days have been nearly as short as I have in previous winters. I have not been affected by the early evenings like I usually am. By this late in December, I'm usually going nuts from a lack of daylight. We have not had any snow yet, so that probably makes a big difference.
Let's hope I can start walking more regularly again and not just sneak in stair climbing and quick trips to the post office.
Today I had a couple of hours to kill and instead of sitting in the waiting room I decided to go for a walk. Unfortunately, it was a little too chilly for the way I was dressed to go outside. Being resourceful, I went to the parking garage and climbed the enclosed stairs to the 6th floor a few times. Walking stairs is different from actual walking, so it did not take long for me to exhaust my legs.
Because not many people walk "up" stairs when elevators are available, I did get some strange looks from the few people I saw who were willing to walk down. I could tell from the condition of the steps that the stairs above the third floor were not used much at all. They looked brand new! Regardless, it felt great to be out and moving and really tiring my legs. Not only did it help to release some stress, it inspired me to eat a great healthy lunch.
When you spend a lot of time in a car, as I have done over the past couple of weeks, and don't have time to exercise, you have to be resourceful.
I am overwhelmed by the number of nominations we received for our first Walker Friendly City and Walker Friendly Event contests! Though the gifts and souvenirs were a surprise, I think what surprised me more was the letters I received from Chambers of Commerce and other city groups. I even received a letter from a department of leisure & cultural services. I had no idea cities had leisure & cultural services departments.
We are in the process of sorting and organizing the nominations. And we will make the announcement in early 2007!
I have not been blogging or walking because of the health of a family member and travel needed. Though there are plenty of issues I'd love to discuss, they probably are not appropriate for this type of blog.
Through this I learned something important:
Though I should put some things on hold (such as blogs), when there is a great deal of stress and time commitment, it really is not a good idea to totally quit walking. Rather than sitting around in waiting rooms twiddling my thumbs, I probably would have felt better over all if I had taken a few short walks around the block. I'm sure the stress that I'm holding between my shoulder blades would be reduced if I had. I probably would have been less inclined to eat so many French fries, too.
When we are taking care of those who need us, it is just as important to take care of ourselves.
I don't know why I am so nervous about this upcoming issue of WALK. We have some great articles! The topics include snowshoeing, treating plantar fasciitis, how to avoid gaining holiday weight, how to lose weight, walking faster by walking faster and more. We also have our first gift-giving guide! My favorite article is about Gary Berliant, a Special Olympian who racewalks. Despite many setbacks, Gary keeps plugging along, and has won 3 gold medals at Special Olympics racewalks. He is so inspiring! In fact, seeing what this young man has accomplished makes me feel somewhat sluggish.
I always tend to be hyper-cricital of myself, but explaining why others will like the Winter issue has convinced me I have no reason to be nervous. I am absolutely positive you will find something to like in the Winter issue!
Today I'm putting the finishing touches on the Winter issue of WALK! Magazine. Reading about how to snowshoe has made me really look forward to snow and giving this sport a try! Many of you know that I enjoy walking in snow anyway so it seems like a natural for me.
I just took a break from editing to look out my window. After searching through great photos of beautiful white snow and mountains, I was depressed to see it is rainy and dreary out there. Brown wet leaves cover the ground. It just looks miserable. I need to get in some miles today, but geez - out there in the yucky rain? I feel cold even thinking about going out there. (My neighbors must be more disciplined than I am, several have walked or jogged by.)
It has dawned on me how weird it is that I find fall cold and miserable, but I look forward to winter and snow. Those of you who live in really cold areas have to think I'm nuts. A lot of my attitude comes from not being able to get climatized. I can't stand having the temps be in the 70s one day and down in the 30s the next. I find I am always overdressed and mostly cold until the temps are a little more consistent. And, though rain in November is pretty bad, rain in February is the worst! Being cold and wet at the same time is horrible! (I experienced this during the Last Chance for Boston, Dublin, OH, in February a couple of years ago.)
My obsession with posting about weather and how it makes me feel leads to one thing today: I would rather walk in winter snow than rain, any day!
We are VERY excited about the number of cities that have been nominated in our Most Walker Friendly City contest! (We are accepting nominations until December 1.)Some of the nominations include Flint, MI; New Albany, OH; Morgantown, WV; Virginia Beach, VA; Niagara Falls, ON, Canada; Corvaliss, OR and many more. The most interesting nomination received was from Holland, MI. Not only did we receive a T-shirt from the local walking club, but the package also included a great tasting pastry and wooden shoes. Very nice!
We are still looking for a national sponsor to help us choose and announce our selection. If you have not yet sent in your nomination, you have until December 1!
WALK! Magazine will be introducing our own walking program to help readers get ready for a Fall 2007 half marathon. We strongly believe in proper training before entering a distance event, and all of my columnists recommend at least 9 months to get ready for a half. We also are hoping to get a group of WALK! Magazine readers to enter an event together. I envision a sea of WALK shirts crossing the starting line together!
We will go through our walking event nominations to help us choose an event and our training program will be available soon!
I hate to get up early. The Fall time change is always easier on me than the Spring change for that reason. Unfortunately, I also hate having it get dark so early in the evening.
Today was absolutely beautiful, but because of errands I could not get out to walk while it was light out. I needed to make a quick trip to the store later and decided to walk so I could get a few steps in.
I wore a jacket and shoes that reflect well and I carried a flashlight. The flashlight was more so cars would see me than for me to see anything in particular. Everything was fine on my way to the store - cars seemed aware of my presence and the walk was uneventful.
On the way back, nothing big happened, but in the dark everything takes on more importance. For example, the cars at the big intersection I cross were not using their turn signals. Not normally a big deal when you can see the drivers and can tell if they can see you. It creeps me out when they just suddenly turn in my direction with no notice. I have to hope all of my reflective gear and the flashlight keep me safe!
Regardless, this time of year I have to figure out how to keep walking. I guess I'll just have to stick to the local neighborhood streets or "walk" my errands earlier in the day.
I have received a sample of FitDeck Exercise Playing Cards to review for a future issue of WALK! Magazine. The deck includes a variety of exercises on cards that you would carry with you while walking. At preselected points on the walk you would stop and perform an exercise. This reminds me of the exercise equipment that used to line many walking paths in the 80s.
This is not something I would normally use because when I walk, I just walk. Unfortunately, most of my walking buddies feel the same way.
So, anyone who is interested in trying out this product, let me know and I will send it to you. To be fair to the manufacturer, I would prefer it if only someone who has an interest in this type of product offer to review it.
It's Halloween weekend and as usual I went to a Friday-night party. This year my husband and I went against tradition and did separate costumes. It was entirely my fault - I found something perfect for me, and we couldn't think of anything to go with it.
OK, I went to the party as Michael Jackson. I'm not sure what decade I represented, but the wig was pretty long, I wore dark aviator sunglasses and my skin tone was just about perfect as is. Very few people who know me guessed I was behind the glasses. Those who saw my husband were told I didn't feel like going to the party. (It did feel weird avoiding him most of the night.) The good news is, I technically won the costume contest! The bad news is, the DJ made a mistake and I actually received third place. All of the judges told me after the fact that they had voted for me. The funny thing is, they were more ticked about it than I was.
So, now my question: Does "Moonwalking" count for training miles?
OK, I finally had all of my aches and pains checked out by my doctor. In addition, as soon as I get back home from a short business trip, I'll be seeing a massage therapist and possibly a chiropractor. Between the anti-inflammatories and massages, I should be feeling great in no time!
Would you like to see WALK! Magazine come to an event in your area? If you know of an event that treats walkers great, send an e-mail with the subject line "Nomination Event" to Walk! Magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Qualifying events include marathons, half marathons, charity races, walker-only events or any distance event that attracts over 1,500 participants.
People nominating events will be eligible to win entry to a local event (up to $60), a WALK! Magazine T-hirt, or a subscription to WALK!
Hurry! Nominations must be received by December 1, 2006.
Lately, because I am so busy, I have very few opportunities to sit back and relax. I am working on the next issue of WALK!, writing news releases, attending expos, completing subscription orders, filing paperwork, etc. In addition, I try to get in some walking, I go to my son's football games and I'm driving car pool to various kid activities. Reading is one of my favorite ways to relax, and I never have time anymore.
I have become the Queen of multi-tasking by listening to books on tape wherever I go. They are great for keeping me alert while driving a long distance, or after dropping off a carload of kids, while working on layouts and especially while walking.
Just the other day I noticed I am never surrounded by silence! My brain never has the chance to just think what it wants to think, to wander, to unwind. I was totally unaware this was a problem until the other day when I was alone with my thoughts for the first time in I don't know how long, and I came up with a terrific idea for the magazine. After writing down some basic thoughts and running the idea by several people, I realized it had been a long time since I was alone with my thoughts.
Granted, when you are busy you do need to multi-task to some degree. Listening to the news while entering subscription orders, listening to a book while driving, putting in a load of laundry before heading out for a walk. But there comes a time when the brain just cannot handle anymore. It needs a break. I will make sure I have at least a little bit of silence in my life everyday. I think my brain will appreciate it.
I started a posting earlier this week to let people know I had resigned as Walking Director of the Columbus Marathon, but weather and Internet connection problems prevented it from posting.
Here's the scoop. In September I resigned as Walking Director of the Columbus Marathon. It was within a week of finding out that all of the strides we had made in making the Columbus Marathon walker friendly were removed without consultation. I don't know why everything was cut back because I was never given a reason. In fact, I didn't even know until September. But what upset me the most was that they made changes to the Walking Division and never once discussed it with the two Walking Directors - me and Phil Heit. I'm even a member of the Running Community Advisory Committee, which is supposed to provide the marathon board with input from marathoners. I have been to only one meeting this year, so maybe I'm no longer a member and don't know it.
Anyway, the delay in notification had a lot to do with not knowing what to say. I didn't really want to trash the race, and I was pretty ticked to put it mildly. Also, they very nicely asked me to reconsider, and I was thinking about it. I decided to wait to see what they will do for next year. I don't want walkers to think I condone the changes that were made.
Also, I had a booth at the Expo and I didn't feel comfortable bad mouthing an organization that was doing business with me. From the number of walkers I saw, I'm confident they had a LOT more walkers than last year, and I'm sure it was because of the half-marathon option.
Because of injury (yes, it is still my IT band and I swear I will get to a doctor soon) I did not enter the half marathon as I had planned. I have been pushing for a half marathon for a long time, and wanted to support that. It was very weird sleeping in today. I have not done that on Marathon day in a long time!
I know I'm starting to ramble, but it has been a long weekend and I'm tired.
If you entered the Columbus Marathon, let us know what you thought of the event. And if you don't like something, it would be a good idea to let the marathon staff know. (Of course, if you liked the event, you should tell them that, too.)
The Winter issue will have our first ever Gift Giving Guide! We are very excited and have had some great suggestions so far. We have formed a committee to help with the selection process and will have a great collection of gifts for walkers.
If you have any suggestions for the Guide, send the info to me at email@example.com.
I've been resting my IT band and my knees for over a week. Racewalking (or attempting to racewalk in my case) aggravates the situation. Using the "Stick" to massage the area helps relieve the pain.
I really WANT to walk and today was one of those beautiful fall days that make it impossible to sit inside. So I went out to the bike path around the little lake to do a couple of laps. Because I had intended to avoid racewalking, I wore blue jeans. Not only is it impossible to go fast in jeans, it looks silly when you try.
Well, after two very easy miles, the IT band was beginning to feel sensitive. No pain, but it is sensitive to the touch. I stretched, I'll take some Ibuprofen before bed, and I'll even use the Stick. I'm irritated because it is irritated. I guess I'll have to break down and see my doctor. (Man I hate that!)
I'm sure it is from not training correctly. When you just do the long miles and not the weekday miles - well, you get injured.
Maybe, if I do it right, I can still do a half marathon or two before the end of the year.
The one-hour racewalk hosted by the Buckeye Striders this past weekend was a great event! There were only about 11 participants but there were plenty of judges and lap counters - in fact many of us had planned on walking and didn't for various reasons. (My IT band is still bothering me.) Several others had intended to enter, but were already committed to the local 20-mile race held the same weekend. Matt Boyles and Susan Randall of the MVTC were the winners.
It was really exciting watching the walkers of all ages compete. Many of them were relatively new to racewalking, others have been racewalking for years.
Congratulations to Matt and Susan and to the Buckeye Striders for another successful event!
The New Albany Walking Classic was held today. And as promised it was a great event! How Phil can even control the weather, I'll never know.
There were somewhere around 1,600 walkers at this year's 10K. The first male, Matt Boyles from Yellow Springs, OH, finished in about 50 min. (That is about an 8-min. mile.) It was almost 5 min. before the next walkers crossed the finish line.
The first woman finished under 60 min., though I did not get her name. (Sorry about that.)It was great seeing lots of friends like Bob from Texas, all of the people from WV and og course the Buckeye Striders. Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello!
Congrats to Larry Smith who barely beat out his nemesis, Rob Crouse. It was close to the finish and exciting to watch you guys compete!
Congrats and thanks, Phil! It was a lot of fun and I appreciate your letting us be involved!
I have wanted an exercise ball for a long time. I'm not sure what made me think I would actually use it - I have an exercise bike in the basement that gets dusted off once or twice a year and I have a "step" and videos that haven't been used in years.
Still, I bought a big silver rubber ball. I did try some exercises with it when I first bought it, but that lasted about a week. Everyone got tired of moving it out of the way as it sat in the middle the family room. Ever since, it has been sitting in the corner of my office silently nagging me about not being used.
This week I replaced my office chair with the ball. That was one of the initial purposes when I bought it, why wasn't I doing it? At first I felt kind of silly, but I decided I really like it. It's fun to roll around and bounce while I type.
I've used it for just a couple of hours at a time. And just those couple of hours have made my abs sore. I can feel myself sitting straighter and holding by back and stomach muscles tighter. I think it will make a difference in my ab strength. Not sure I would want to do this for 8 hours a day, but for a couple of hours here and there, it's great!
Plus, I am finally using a piece of exercise equipment other than my walking shoes.
I have volunteered as Walking Director of the Columbus Marathon for 4 years. During that time we added an early start for walkers, made sure water stops would be open the entire time they were supposed to be open, added 7-hour and 8-hour pacers, guaranteed there would be goodies at the finish line for the slower athletes, gave out awards for walkers, and finally guaranteed walkers were treated with respect.
Unfortunately, a lot of that has come to an end. I was recently informed that, though there will be what is called a "Walking Division", the only benefit to walkers is they can start an hour early.
Now, I'm confident water stops will be open the full 8 hours and walkers will be treated with respect. But there will be no awards and whether you walk or run really doesn't matter. Sign up however you like and do whatever you want.
Even though I am a member of the Running Community Advisory Council for the marathon and one of the Walking Directors of the marathon, no one asked my opinion. You would think I would have input on issues affecting walkers. At least, I did in the past.
In the overall scheme of things, being treated with respect and having water stops open are the most important, and I'm glad I was part of making that happen.
Still, when the number of marathoners who walk is increasing across the country, this is a major step backward.
Today was one of those beautiful Fall evenings that make it easy to get in the training miles. The temps were mild, the sky was clear, the sun was low and turning orange. The water on the little lake was as smooth as glass and the trees, sky and sun were reflected perfectly. Every once in a while a lone duck would break up the reflection.
I had two problems. One, my iliotibial band was sore causing my left leg to feel sore and stiff. I was EXTREMELY slow! After two miles I felt better and was able to pick up my pace a little.
Second, after only two of four laps around the lake, the battery in my MP3 player died. ARGH!
So, I walked slowly in silence for two laps. It was still a perfect evening for walking and I feel great! Well, I ALMOST feel great. My left leg is still stiff and sore and my knees are swelling. But my mood is great! After a little ice and rolling my legs with The Stick, I should feel better in no time.
It never fails, if I talk about my plans for training, the plans fall through. I had hoped to get three days of walking in earlier this week and was unsuccessful. At the very least, I thought helping my daughter move into her dorm room on the 4th floor with no elevators would make up for some of the mileage. Luckily for us, the school had arranged lots of upper class students to help with move in. I ended up making only 4 trips up the 4 flights!
At least I was able to get my long slow distance miles in today. Because I had not walked enough this week, the miles were VERY slow, too. I felt like such a slug! I tried not to plod too much, but my legs felt very tight making it difficult to keep my left leg straight. Time to get out "The Stick" and roll out my iliotibial band.
I also gave the wool socks a second chance. I don't want to spill the beans too early because the sock article will appear next year sometime, but let's just say I'm not a fan.
Everyone has an occasional week where they just cannot get their miles in. Unfortunately, it happens way too often for me. I hope this is the last.
As a rule, I try to avoid walking in parks in the dark. But tonight, after running errands and having a visitor in the early evening, it was 7:50, and I still had not left. I planned to do 4 miles tonight.
Knowing it would get dark before I was done, and not wanting to try to do that many miles in my neighborhood, I decided to head up a fairly busy road to the park at the library, do one lap while it was still light, then head home.
It worked out perfectly! I got to the park just as dusk was starting to fall. I planned my lap to do the section with the most trees while it was still light out. I finished the lap just as it was starting to feel dark in the park. I was amazed at the number of people I saw. It felt very safe.
Then I walked back along a well lit, busy, road and was in my neighborhood. Though I really needed to do 4 miles, I feel good that I was able to squeeze in a little over 3 that late in the evening. Tomorrow I'll try to make it up by doing 5 miles.
Today was the Columbus Half Marathon. (Not to be confused with the half marathon option during the Columbus Marathon in October.) Though not trained for it, I went anyway. I told the race director I would help promote it, which I did, and he gave me the chance to speak at the beginning and lead the walkers. About 5 this morning it was raining so hard, it woke me. I thought, I'm not going and rolled over. Of course, I had called the RD the night before and said I would be there, so I had to go. Luckily it had stopped raining by the time I had to get out of bed.
Before the race, I said something inane about the weather (sounds like a CEO I know), wished everyone a good race and went to the back of the 30-50 walkers. Most of the walkers there had heard about WALK! Magazine, so it is probably just as good that I didn't see anywhere to set out magazines and flyers. If I had been thinking, I would have left them at the running store where people registered and got their goody bags.
This weekend was supposed to be a 7-mile day. So I walked out 3.5 miles with the walkers, then turned around and went back. I assumed (wrongly) that the course was a straight there and back. It wasn't. Once it entered the bike trail, it went out and back, then back out to a different park entrance. I ended up walking along a busy street by myself to get back to the high school.
Regardless, it was fun. I met two really nice women who I talked to for the first 3.5 miles and I hung around to see some of my walking buddies finish. A bunch of them were between 2.5 and 3 hours!
I feel pretty good. I think I might still do the Air Force half Sept. 16, and use it as a long training day. I'm not sure I can do the New Albany 10K on the 17th. I'll have a booth, and I don't think I can do both.
In the meantime I'll keep training for the other Columbus Half.
Foods I cannot live without: 1) Trader Joe's "A Fig Walked into a Bar" breakfast bars. 2) Chips and salsa - any salsa. 3) Cheese. 4) Peanut butter. (Especially on mornings before a long training walk.) 5) Good dark chocolate. 6) Coffee. 7) Hot dogs - but only during baseball season. 8) Any pasta. 9) Diet Coke with lots of ice. 10) Corona with lime.
Foods I would not miss if I never had them again (I don't hate them I'm just lukewarm): 1) Cottage cheese. 2) Applesauce. 3) Jello. 4) Apples. 5) Saltine crackers. 6) Ginger ale. 7) Sushi. 8) Any food establishment's combo platter of deep-fried appetizers. 9) White bread. 10) Breakfast cereals.
Foods I would eat non-stop if they were healthy: 1) Potato chips with dip. 2) French fries. 3) Good trail mix. 4) Cheeseburgers. 5) Good dark chocolate. 6) All cheese. 7) Schmidt's Bahama Mama's. 8) French fries. (I really like French fries!) 9) Corona with lime. (La cervesa mas fina!) 10) Fried fish sandwiches.
This is totally unrelated to walking, but I have to say something.
My daughter wanted an Apple Powerbook. Through her school she could get a great deal online, but I was not sure what she would need. We took a trip to the local Apple store to talk to a sales person. The person we found was so great, he even helped us order the computer through the web site instead of buying it through the store!
The laptop showed up a few days later. She tried to play a CD and immediately discovered the computer wasn't working correctly. A trip back to the Apple Store and the "Genius" (the name for their repair people) highly recommended that the computer be replaced. It could not be replaced through the store because we bought it online.
Anyway, she called Apple today to follow up on the service call and arrange to return it. They have already begun building her new computer. Arrangements have been made for this one to be returned and the new one to be shipped.
Sure, it is truly disappointing that her laptop doesn't work. I know from experience this is extremely rare for Apple computers.
The good news is, everyone we have talked to, from the sales person to the repair person, to the phone support have been fantastic! Every single person was intelligent and helpful. So, despite the fact the computer is not working correctly, everyone has agreed to the same solution. It's likely she will receive the new computer in just a few days.
Anyway, when one company has such great employees, it's important to tell people.
Trying to fit walking in can be tough. I'm training for the Columbus Marathon Half using the training program put together by the Buckeye Striders. (Actually, the members took a couple training programs and revised them to the club's needs.) I've been doing the best I can, but I just cannot fit in all of the miles I need. I have not asked any of my columnists what the best thing to do is, but here is how I'm handling it.
I am going to walk 4 days a week since I just cannot fit in 5. And I will never skimp on a distance day. I have not yet done my distance on a Saturday yet, but I still get in the long mileage.
Half marathons are more forgiving than full marathons. Because I have completed many of them, they don't scare me. Unfortunately, that also makes me less likely to follow a training program closely enough. Sometimes I get a little cocky and assume I have built up muscle I haven't. I'm hoping to be smarter this time. I want to be able to finish faster and feeling good.
Fall always causes minor depression for me. It starts when I first notice the mornings getting a little darker and school starting, then any minor frustration or stress adds to it. For many reasons, this year it started a little earlier than usual.
Knowing that exercise can help, this evening I went out to Antrim Lake to walk 3 laps - about 3.5 miles. It's beautiful, I can people watch and I love the water. At the end of the third lap, I was still feeling a little down, so did a fourth lap.
As I turned that last corner I looked up, and running straight toward me was a group of about 7 good-looking, shirtless, men in tiny shorts.
Since I first posted regarding Steve Vaught and the negative responses some people had to the article and photos, I have been receiving many unsolicited positive comments. Several people said it was the best article I had written. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much detail of his life they had remembered and the desire to discuss his personal journey and growth. (None of those people read this blog, so it really was unsolicited.)
The difference in response was directly related to the type of walker. The people who liked the article were fitness walkers and hikers. The people who did not care for the article were competitive or racewalkers.
What is so surprising is the strength of the feelings. People either really liked it or really disliked it.
It's been said you can't please everyone. (I'm a parent, I have firsthand experience with this.) I'm still going to try. I'm confident that over time, we will provide a balance of articles so that everyone will find something they like.
I had forgotten to include this bit of info with my posting about walking with relatives. Many of you have already heard this story.
Back before I was 40 (it seems so long ago!), on one of our family vacations, I was hiking with my sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and other members of the family. Though I am younger than all of the other adults, and I had always been thin, I could not keep up with the group. I became massively depressed and decided I had to do something to improve my health. That was the pivotal point in my life that got me started walking for health and fitness.
During this past week my sister-in-law and I were deciding between 3 laps around the lake or 4. I wanted 4 - Colleen chose 3. Gotcha!
I finally got my 6-mile walk in today - two days after it was scheduled. Unfortunately, I overslept this morning, so I got out much later than I had expected. I drove 30 min to get to the park with the 4-mile loop and about half shade. It also has a couple good-sized hills - I've been doing too many flat training routes lately.
It was a little tougher than I had expected. I had not walked 6 miles in a few months, it's hot out and there are hills. I have to remind myself that as you build distance, the long walks are always a little tougher the first time. I know after I've done 8 or 10 miles, 6 will be a piece of cake again.
Regardless, it feels good to be working on building distance again. I can feel my body getting stronger and healthier. This is why I do it and this is exactly why I miss it so much when I don't get to walk. This really was a good workout.
PS: I have been actively trying to maintain some sort of racewalking form for all of my workouts. As soon as I feel myself "plodding", I focus on placing my feet correctly and rolling them. I'm still waiting for it to always be natural.
Over the last few years, my sister-in-law and I have bonded over early morning walks during our annual family vacations. Colleen is an avid walker and talked me into joining her long before I enjoyed walking. Whether our families were camping in tents or cabins, hanging out at hotels, or just staying at each others' houses, we would leave while most of the clan was still in bed or barely moving. We don't always go alone and we don't always have a specific distance in mind - we might just walk for 30 min., head to a specific landmark on a trail and back, or loop the neighborhood a few times.
When the entire family gets together just once a year, most of the days are pretty chaotic. These walks are an opportunity to get away from the crowd, burn off some calories, and to talk. Most of the conversation is not particularly important. We update each other on the other sides of our families, talk about our jobs, discuss how fast the various kids are growing, recap the previous night's card game, or hit really important topics like what is for dinner. Even the kids that occasionally join us will talk a little more.
It's not like any other type of walking I do. Marathon training is focused and goal oriented. Joining the members of my walking club is fun, and we chat, but it is still goal oriented.
Walking with relatives is probably more important than any other type of walking I do - we aren't trying to prove anything - it is about getting away and bonding.
The Leeman side of our family spent the entire day at a local water park yesterday. A bunch of us climbed the steps to the top of the highest water slides over and over and over and over... Half the time, I climbed those stairs carrying a huge inner tube. As soon as we got to the bottom, we would jump out of the water and climb to the top again. What a great workout!
As the day wore on, my legs would start to burn as I got partway up the stairs. When the line was short, I'd push as hard as I could as long as I could. When the line was long I was able to climb at a slow pace, resting every few steps.
Since my sister-in-law and I had walked 3.5 miles earlier that morning, I expected to feel sore and tired today. I was pleasantly surprised to be pain free though my legs are feeling more tired as the day goes on.
A 6-mile training walk is scheduled for this weekend, and I had originally planned to do it today. After all of those stairs, today has become a much needed day of rest.
The morning will determine whether that 6-miles happens tomorrow or not.
My Buckeye Strider buddies are training for the half marathon portion of the Columbus Marathon. Because I didn't get a chance to walk with them yesterday, I got out today about 9 a.m. to get in my 5 miles.
I decided against driving to one of my favorite parks and just walked the 1 mile to the park next to the library, did 3 laps and walked home. Each loop of that park is about 1.2 miles. It was 87 degrees when I returned home and I swear there was 110% humidity! Luckily for me, this was supposed to be a long slow mileage day. With humidity at that level the emphasis was on slow!
My eyes burned from all of the sweat dripping in them. I drank almost all of my water and wished I had carried money to buy a cold bottle on the way home.
At the same time, I feel fantastic! It's the longest distance I've walked in a little while and it feels good to be training for another fall event. And after this kind of a workout, my body craves healthy foods, making it easy to make good choices. (An added bonus!) I am really looking forward to building up my endurance again!
I changed this posting on August 1 after receiving responses from readers.
Someone whose opinion I value told me that many readers indicated they did not like the cover of the Summer issue and did not feel excited to read this issue. Looking at the cover now, I can see exactly what she meant. Wow!
I was so excited about meeting Steve Vaught, it didn't occur to me how people who did not follow his story would react to that photo of him. (It was not a particularly flattering photo - afterall he calls himself "The Fat Man Walking.") It probably was not the most "inspiring" photo we've had on the cover!
More importantly, I can see how the other headlines did not draw people into the issue. There are some great articles in this issue, but the cover does not promote that effectively.
What I find interesting is, only one person told me that readers didn't like it. I've edited and published many other magazines. Never have I encountered readers who would say nothing rather than send a negative comment. Usually it's the opposite.
Since then I have heard from others whose only comments were the headlines needed to be more exciting. One person even said the story about Steve was great, and commented about each major event in his life.
I understand that I will sometimes miss the mark with various demographics. No one can make all of their readers happy with every issue, not even Oprah. But because of the constructive comments I received, I will look at covers, features and headlines a little bit differently and probably ask for more input. I do try to have balanced issues that will have at least one item of interest for every deomographic we reach.
So, today I thank everyone who is willing to give me constructive comments - positive and negative!
I received a pretty quick response from my salad rant earlier this week, but I'm pretty sure no one at the corporate office has read my e-mail yet. In this company's defense, I didn't expect to receive a personalized e-mail very quickly, if at all.
I don't want to get into a public battle with this company, so I have blocked out the name. The number of *s has nothing to do with the number of letters in the company name.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our Guest Feedback website to submit your comment. We appreciate your suggestion and will send it to the appropriate department for review. It is always nice to hear from our loyal customers.
I really enjoy salads. Most of the time they taste better when someone else makes them. The problem comes when someone else makes a salad, you have no control over the ingredients.
I stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch this week specifically because I thought the restaurant had good salads and it was near a great park. Searching the drive thru menu, I could not find a single salad and was irritated. The employee behind the microphone assured me they still carried salads, and I ordered one I thought I had eaten before.
I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that this salad had breaded deep fried chicken, tons of artificial looking cheese and the salad dressing had a whopping 290 calories! After searching the company web site, I discovered that this healthy choice had nearly 800 calories! On the good side, there were lots of greens that were not iceberg, it had a tasty bean and corn salsa on it, and it was good sized. Why would a restaurant ruin what could be a great salad by throwing all those high fat options on top?
If I could have seen a picture of the salad on the menu, or at least a list of ingredients, I could have switched to grilled chicken and low fat dressing.
Those of you who know me will not be surprised to find out I immediately sent a scathing e-mail to the company. I've done it before with other companies, and have had good responses. (At the same time, I will send positive comments to companies when they are doing something right.) It will be interesting to see what kind of response I will get - if any.
In the meantime, no more fast food, sight unseen, fat laden salads for me!
I didn't realize until tonight how much I miss walking in the dark.
My first full marathon was in the month of September. Because of the high temps of July and August, many of my mid-week miles were logged after 9 p.m. It's quite a bit different walking after dark. The air smells different, I encounter fewer people, there is less traffic... And because I can't see as far, I tend to focus on what I am doing and the quality of my walking rather than what is going on around me.
I also get deep in thought and on more than one occasion have become temporarily lost in my own neighborhood. (In my defense, I have to walk up and down several cul-de-sacs in order to get any mileage. At night they all look the same.) One evening, I used my forehead to locate a tree limb that was hanging too low. I've also been scared half to death by black cats, opossum and raccoons as they crossed the sidewalk or street in front of me.
Tonight's walk was weird. The only reason I even went was because I couldn't get out at all the rest of the weekend. Yet, as soon as I stepped outside and smelled the night air, I felt inspired. I felt the desire to walk and train hard that I had with that first marathon. It was different and familiar at the same time. Sort of like bumping into an old friend.
Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to do more walking in the dark.
We have decided to go ahead and take nominations for the Best City for Walkers and the most Walker-Friendly Events. We are setting up a Selection Panel to help us choose.
So, if you have a nomination for the Best City for Walkers or the Most Walker-Friendly Event, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the city, state and why you are nominating it. Please put "Nomination City" or "Nomination Event" in the subject line.
The selection process will take into account the number of nominations a city or event receives. But we ask that each person nominate each city or event only once. (You can nominate as many cities or events as you wish.)
We are busy determining what criteria will be used to choose the most walker-friendly city. First we will ask readers to rank the criteria choices. When we have finalized the criteria, we will ask for votes. We are also selecting a panel to help us make the final decision.
The first criteria options include: How many miles of walking/multi-use trails does the city have? Are there any walking clubs? Are there any volksmarching clubs? How many walker-friendly events are held in the city? (Marathons, half-marathons, 5Ks, charity walks, volksmarches, judges racewalks, etc. ...)
How important is weather when determining a walker-friendly city? How important is the safety/crime rate of the city? Does the availability of public transit make a city more walker-friendly?
What other criteria are important to you?
We will put a survey on the WALK! Magazine web site too, but feel free to respond here, too.
I was reviewing some half marathon training schedules today while deciding if I could still be in shape for the Parkersburg Half Marathon. It will be rough, but I think I can still do it. It is very important to get in all of the training miles and when I'm stressed and short of time, the mileage is what usually suffers.
Well, I'm going to try it. I walked 3 miles today to see how I would feel. I felt great and could have easily walked farther. Lucky for me, today should have been a 3-mile day.
I doubt if I will be ready for speed in West Virginia, but I should finish feeling good.
I thought about this just as I posted my last blog entry.
WALK! Magazine will be selecting the most walker-friendly event and the Best City for Walkers in 2007. It's a great way for us to promote walking at races and in cities as a whole.
We will promote the event throughout the year, have training schedules, etc., and maybe we can get a big group to walk it together.
I'm hoping we can also plan a trip to the walking friendly city, and maybe do something fun there. We might schedule a visit around a 5K race or a walking only event. Maybe present the mayor with a plaque. It will be fun!
We are working on the criteria and will let you know how to vote when we are ready!
I'm not going to enter the Dash for Donations half marathon set for Columbus this month. At the start of the year, when I originally planned to enter 6 half marathons, I thought this one would be great. Part of the reason I wanted to enter it is because my uncle had a successful heart transplant several years ago. Organ donation is something I feel strongly about. I also thought July would be good timing after entering both Cincinnati's and Cleveland's halves in May.
I'm not sure how many people knew I had planned to enter this local event, but at least one person in Georgia was planning to drive all the way up here to do it with me. I can't do it. I'm just not in shape for it. I know I could finish it, but I would feel terrible afterward.
To make up for this imaginery failure, I'm training full scale for Parkersburg in August. I still have plenty of time to be in proper shape for that event and I hope pick up some speed. I met Chris in Parkersburg last year, so I'm sure he won't come back for it. For some reason he hated that little race.
Because the Columbus Marathon added a half, I have one more option for fitting in 6 before the end of the year.
After walking for an hour this evening, I ate 1/4 cantaloupe slice and a mediochre pasta salad with lots of veggies, including onion and garlic. What is it about healthy eating that makes me crave chocolate? Specifically, I want to know what it is about ONIONS that make me crave chocolate.
I don't like bland food. Actually, I have bad sinuses so subtle tastes are pretty much lost on me. Consequently, I use a lot of onion and garlic.
It never fails, if I have raw onion in something healthy, an hour later I want Rocky Road Ice Cream, Dove Dark Chocolate, hot chocolate... it really doesn't matter much. A spinach salad with onion makes the cravings even stronger.
So, here I am, sitting at my computer trying to convince myself that I really do NOT want that last bit of Rocky Road sitting in the freezer. I'll try to be strong.
The Summer issue of WALK! Magazine was mailed last week!
Copies will be to the stores that carry us soon. I have not received the extra copies, yet. They were supposed to arrive Thursday, but they didn't. So, assuming a few days for shipping, and they should be in stores by next weekend. (I had hoped to hand-deliver a shipment to Bob Roncker's Running Spot over the weekend while in Cincinnati, but couldn't.)
So, please be patient, you'll have the summer issue soon!
I really have to try to eat better. I felt inspired before I went to the grocery store today and picked up ingredients for two different salads. One a Greek salad with a wide variety of veggies, feta and a homemade dressing. The cookbook I picked it out of said it could be a main course. The other is a simple fruit salad with fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes, etc., and no dressing. I had no idea how LARGE of a fruit salad it would end up being - and I used just half of the melon!
Unfortunately, I put both of them together today, so we have two huge bowls of salad in the fridge, and you can't really eat both of them at the same meal. Not quite sure how I will work this, but I see a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in my life over the next couple of days.
We are excited to announce that Rich Williams, Cincinnati, OH, has joined the WALK! Magazine advertising team! Rich has been around the racing community for a very long time and should be well known to many of you.
Though readers don't necessarily like advertisements in a publication, they are necessary to keep a magazine going. We would love to publish six times a year and increase to 48 or 64 pages per issue. We hope to do that, with Rich's help.
If you are interested in advertising in WALK! Magazine, contact Rich at 513/309-4434 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Just a quick note to let any readers know that the Columbus Marathon will offer a half this year! The relay division will be gone, which is sad, but many of us have been asking for a half for years. It will be interesting to see how it works.
I noticed on the web site today that walkers in both the full and half marathon must start at 7 a.m. If the half is open for 4 hours, I'd rather start at 8 a.m. Also, I just noticed that more awards will be given to men than to women this year. With an increase in the number of women who enter marathons nationally, I'm a little surprised.
Maybe I just needed to be away from walking for a short while.
Yesterday I walked to a bookstore and to the Post Office to get my mail. It felt great and I felt as if I could go quite a bit farther, but because I'm on deadline, I didn't.
Today, I really wanted to head to the park and walk a few miles, but I had appointments. I did get to walk the short distance to the Post Office, but I didn't have time to make it to the park.
I'm really excited! I was worried that I would totally lose my desire to walk. My plan was to force myself to start walking as soon as the Summer issue was sent to the printer. I figured after a little time went by, I would begin to want it again. That might have worked. In the meantime, I'm thrilled!
I'll be back to my old self in no time ... as soon as I get the Summer issue to press.
I have not really walked since the Cleveland Marathon. At first it was to rest, take my time recovering, etc. I would walk just to the post office at most.
Now, I have lost my desire to walk. I did walk around the block after dinner tonight, but that was mostly because I haven't really been out of the house all day. In my defense, I am working very hard to get the next issue of the magazine out and I am getting pretty close.
As soon as I get to press, I will start scheduling more walking.
I had not planned to write today, but I was thinking about something that didn't make sense to me and felt like putting it in words.
Earlier today I found some information from a web site that estimated the number of calories a person needs in a day. (I can't remember what the web site was.) The site had a calculator that used height, weight and probably some other information to get the results. The recommendation for me was somewhere around 1800 calories. I stopped and looked at it again. Yep, 1800 calories! Over the weekend I had a health screening that said I burned about 1300 calories at rest. The person giving the test even recommended I consume 100 fewer calories a day to lose weight.
A 500 calorie difference seems like a lot! While talking to my daughter about it, she pointed out that the recommendation for an average adult is 2,000 calories a day. I also remember reading that an adult should not consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day.
Since I do not remember what was used to measure the web results there are many reasons why the numbers could different. Maybe the web site took into account my daily activity levels and the other didn't, maybe they are not both "at rest," maybe they are both flawed... who knows.
OK, here's my point. Before I re-found the info from the web site, I just blindly accepted the 1,300 calorie number. Why did I let some guy I don't know, whose back ground I don't know, talk me into believing health information that clearly doesn't make sense?
The embarrassing part is, I know better. The good news is, my daughter had the common sense to see it. I'm glad I have smart kids!
I feel pretty good today! In fact, I feel better than I did after the Pig. No sore toes waiting for the nails to turn black, very little stiffness, no problems climbing stairs. I even wore heels today with no problem! I walked to the PO to pick up my mail and it felt great. (Not in heels.) I wish I could have been faster yesterday, but at least I feel good. I'll work on speed starting in a couple of weeks.
While talking about the weekend today, I told this story to a couple of people thinking it was funny, but apparently I'm the only one who saw the humor in it. I'm going to try it out one more time here.
At the Cleveland Expo, one of the exhibitors had a handheld device that measures percentage of body fat using an electrical current. I had the test done. The gentleman read the results and said I had too much body fat. (I knew that.) Then he looked at the card I had filled out with my age, height and weight, and he said, "Oh, for your age you are OK." At first I thought how cool it was that he thought I am younger than I am. Then I realized he was saying that because I'm old, it's OK to be fat. (Chris and Jeeyum, I am NOT fishing for compliments here. I'm just saying what ran through my head as I processed what he said.)Nothing good ever follows the phrase: For your age... Regardless, it's a good news bad news thing, and I think it is funny!
For the record, though I know I am not fat and I am within a normal range for weight, I would like to be more fit and replace some of my body fat with muscle. Also, I do not consider 45 to be old. In fact, within the last few years, I have felt healthier and younger than before I turned 39.
This weekend Cleveland was bustling! The Cavs played game 6 in the playoffs against Detroit, the Indians were at home, and we were there for the Marathon.
The start of the marathon today was rough. It was rainy, chilly and windy. We were thrilled we were doing just the half. Because it was so wet, there were very few bands and not much crowd support. There were plenty of water stops, though when we got to some of them they seemed surprised to see us.
I was a little surprised that we encountered traffic very early on - I think it was just 2 or so hours into the event. It wasn't until we got close to Jacobs Field that we realized there was another home baseball game during the marathon. The police did the best they could, but they were having a rough time keeping the cars back.
Within a mile or so of the finish, we turned a corner into a stiff headwind that was horrible! Luckily it had stopped raining earlier and had been sunny, so we had dried out.
As we approached the finish, we caught up with the full marathon finishers, which is nice. I was surprised how many people were there to cheer everyone on! Unfortunately, they had run out of half marathon medals. Apparently, a lot of people switched events over the weekend. That was disappointing, though we were given a flyer to tell us it will be mailed within 4 weeks.
Parts of the course were very pretty, though with rain and wind, being next to Lake Erie was tough. After the sun came out, the lake was really beautiful.
My finish time was close to 3:25 (forgot to stop my watch), about the same as Cinci two weeks ago. I didn't recover enough, though I saw plenty of other people from Cinci doing great. I walked with Chris from Georgia which was fun. I didn't even complain about the rain too much. My husband and his coworkers did great until the last couple miles when they were struggling. They finished just about 10 mins after me and Chris.
So, I'm not sure how to rate this event. I wouldn't mind getting comments from those of you who did this event.
We are trying to come up with new ideas to grow the magazine and offer added value for our readers. One idea we are throwing around is possibly adding an e-mail newsletter in between issues of the magazine. Four issues a year was great when we were first starting out, but three months between issues is a long time. And now that we are starting to attract more advertisers, there are items we would LOVE to include in the magazine, but we just don't have the room. As we try to figure out the most cost-effective way to do it, I'd like your opinions. If you would like to receive a newsletter in between magazines, please let us know.
We are working with the Chicago Walkers Club to create a membership benefit that includes receiving WALK! Magazine. The Club will collect the money and the addresses, and send them to us as their members renew their membership. It's a great idea that I hope will work for other clubs, too. If you are interested, let us know.
If you have any additional ideas for articles or to increase readership, we'd like to know that, too.
You can e-mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes I get a caught up in the minutiae of everyday things and become depressed. Granted my everyday minutiae is a little different now that I'm publishing my own magazine, and I'm sure that is why it can be overwhelming.
But every once in a while, because of the magazine, I have the opportunity to meet really interesting people and they help me look beyond the minutiae and realize this is what I really want to do, and I can deal with it.
Earlier today I was a little depressed thinking about everything I have yet to complete for the Summer issue. I'm sure the grey skies and perpetual rain for two days did not help.
Then I went out to WalMart to interview members of the Steps Across American team. It's a group of people who are walking across the United States as part of the Sportline team. Split up in groups of two, four people walk each day. Each team walks 20 miles, one group in the morning the other in the afternoon. Each 20-mile leg, one of the team members carries a pedometer that will track the steps taken across the entire country.
The people I interviewed, Kam and Richard, were very nice and interesting. I came away from meeting them feeling better. I'm more energized, I'm excited about the article I will write, and I'm feeling good about finishing up some of the things I have yet to write!
So, stepping away from the minutiae and talking to people I would have never met otherwise, helped me today. Thanks Kam and Richard! I really enjoyed meeting you.
I feel pretty good despite being in pain on my way home from Cinci. I've done very little walking - just casually to the post office once or twice. I'm thinking I'll probably even be able to keep my toe nails! Woo hoo!
We are really looking forward to being in Cleveland next weekend. It may slow down my production on the Summer issue of WALK!, but I think it will work out OK. And because the course is flat, it should be a little bit easier than Cinci.
We are looking for the most walker friendly marathon to go to in 2007. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
I had a great time in Cincinnati! The expo was fantastic but the race was even better! Well organized, plenty of on-course volunteers, lots of goodies at the end - it was great!
I met up with a couple of friends at the start. We tried to maintain a 15-min mile, but it was difficult! I had never entered this event because of the hills. Many said if I could do Parkersburg, I can do Cinci. Others said there is so much entertainment on the course, you will never notice the hills. Well, they all lied - or at the very least exaggerated! I was aware of every single hill. The one we went up in Eden Park seemed to be the toughest. Luckily, after the turn-around, the rest of the course was mostly down hill. Unfortunately, going down hill can sometimes be pretty tough, too.
It was a great weekend and a great event! I'll definitely do it again!
I'm getting ready for the Flying Pig this weekend. I LOVE expos! I love seeing all the new equipment and the creative booth displays. There's a buzz of excitement in the air. What is especially exciting about a fitness expo is seeing all of the healthy, active people walking around. Most of the people I see have just finished a strenuous training program and are ready for a major event - usually a marathon or half marathon. It takes a commitment to be in shape for these types of events, even if you are "just walking the half". (Sarcasm intended there.)
Most walkers like the idea of a WALK! Magazine, even if they don't subscribe. It's pretty cool when subscribers come up to the booth just to say how much they like the magazine.
I'm especially excited because I'm entering the half marathon this weekend. I've only done the 10K in Cinci before, and I'm really looking forward to this race.
So if you are in Cinci this weekend, stop by my booth on Saturday (Friday I need to leave early), or say Hi during the race. I'll be wearing a WALK! Magazine shirt.
I tried on some great shoes today! I loved the New Balance that replaces the former 833. I believe it is #825. Unfortunately, something has changed a little, and my right ankle wobbles in it even though I loved the 833.
Tried several other pairs, a couple like the NB that I wanted so bad, but my ankle was weak. They did not have the Asics I wanted to try, and won't until June. I ended up with a pair of Mizunos that are flexible and keep my ankle straight. I'm happy.
While walking around the parking lot in two different shoes - one bright red the other white with purple trim - I encountered a woman who gave me some advice on how to buy shoes. She was extremely nice, and the advice would be perfect for someone like her who has broken bones in her feet, but unfortunately, was not what I was looking for. I bought the pair she recommended, but for different reasons.
I hope my blister problem will be behind me. I loved the Saucony shoes I was wearing - they were light and flexible and comfy. I'm thinking they just were not right for the number of miles I've been putting on them. I would never recommend wearing brand new shoes in a race, especially as long as a half marathon, but with my blister problem I don't really have a choice. So, against everything I know I should be doing, I'll be wearing new shoes this weekend at the Flying Pig. I'll let you know how it goes.
I walked with my Buckeye Strider buddies today. Deb, a true early bird, had those of us going to the Flying Pig walking at 7 a.m. to get our 8 miles in. The rest of the clan joined us at 8 a.m. to get in 4 miles. The weather was beautiful, the company was great, it was a fun morning.
I'll taper this week, as if my mid-week training ever needs tapering. (So much to do, so little time.)
My walking buddies were great sports trying out different energy bars for me. We are planning a review of the products in the Summer issue and those who showed up today were very helpful. To find out what they think, you'll have to get the Summer issue!
Unfortunately, I have not yet purchased new shoes, and my blister is back. I better do something about it before next weekend.
I popped every blister, even the one I developed on Saturday,let them dry out and I think I'm cured. I finally have some callouses where I need them. My daughter and I took an easy 40-min walk in a local park and I feel pretty good.
In the meantime, I'll begin looking for new shoes, which I desperately need. I'll be sure to take the shoe reviews from the Spring issue with me.
Every week I check my web site statistics to see how people find me. I can see which sites people link from and if I'm unfamiliar with the site, I look it up.
Today I saw that I had 35 hits from a place called 705 Music Scene. Now why on Earth would anyone there link to WALK! Magazine?
One of the regulars asked, "What's the dumbest magazine you've ever seen?" Low and behold, the second one mentioned was WALK! It was nice of mcface, a Charlotte Hornets fan, to copy and paste the cover of the Spring 06 issue into his posting. We are situated between 24 Magazine (about the show 24) and American Idol the Magazine.
This is the first time I have been slammed like this and I find it hysterical. I can't believe this guy would have even heard about WALK! I must be doing something right.
As George M. Cohan said "I don't care what you say about me, as long as you say something about me, and as long as you spell my name right." And it did bring 35 hits to my web site. Now if I can just get George Carlin to revise the joke he tells referring to a defunct walking publication, I'll have it made.
If any of you are interested, here's the really short discussion: http://the705scene.7.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=613&highlight=stupid+magazines
I probably owe a few people apologies. Their technical shirts have been on hold for a VERY long time! I put a notice on the WALK! Magazine web site saying the shirts were delayed. I even indicated what day I would receive them, which was yesterday. Unfortunately, I did NOT post the delay situation in the WALK! Magazine store. (Now that would have solved the problem.)
Today I received an e-mail from an unhappy customer. She sent an e-mail last week upset that her shirt had not yet arrived. I replied explaining the delay, but she was still unhappy. I got a scathing review of my store.
She also indicated that the store is difficult to navigate. I had not realized that before, and am not sure what I can do about it. I use Yahoo and there are only so many things I can change and the program is NOT user friendly. Regardless, I will look into improving the checkout process. I plan to add Pay Pal and remove the credit card approval system I currently have to use. Pay Pal can accept credit cards, so that should make my life easier and more profitable since the transaction fees are lower.
So, I am sorry it has taken so long to receive the technical shirts. They are going in the mail this weekend - some today and some tomorrow. None of them will be postmarked until Monday.
Today was the Run Happy 10K in Central OH and hosted by Run Wild Racing. Those of you who do not have walker friendly races near you would love Doug Grout of Run Wild. He loves walkers and treats us very well.
It had rained last night, but luckily had stopped before I left for the 8 a.m. race. It was great seeing many of my Buckeye Strider buddies! I also ran into Reggy, who I first met at the Bingham race in Columbus a few weeks ago. The skies stayed lightly overcast, the temps were mild and I was excited to be able to race in shirts sleeves and shorts.
Some of us started at a 15-min mile pace, and had planned to walk the entire 10K at that pace. Alas, only Reggy and I were really that slow. In reality, we were the two slowest for a very long time. After we both got rid of our shin splints, our pace picked up to 14:45, then 14:30 and eventually a 14-min mile! I was thrilled! Up until the last half mile, we were dead last.
Not that I am conceited, or even worried about being last, but I was very surprised that walking at that pace I would be last. This was a very fast group of walkers!
Congratulations to Reggy who received an age-group award!
A special congratulations to Jacqueline! This was her first 10K and she finished right behind me. (OK, I had to work very hard to catch up to her so I could pass her, but that is beside the point.) She was so thrilled, finishing brought her to tears! I hope I'll see you at many more races!
My home medical treatment didn't work. Dag-nabit! (However you spell it.)
Not sure what I should try next, but maybe putting the blister block on kept it from draining and drying out. I took a nice easy walk to the library and back - 2 miles round trip. I wore regular running shoes - the pair I wear with jeans, not serious walking shoes. The blister is coming back.
I thought I was a blister expert after my serious bout with them a few years back. Obviously, I was wrong.
I think my best bet is to remove the blister block and let the area air dry. Maybe the skin will toughen up and start to callous. I hope so. I was planning to enter the Run Happy 10K this weekend!
I have not had blisters for a very long time - not since I found the wrinkles in my insole and switched to Wright socks.
During the Xenia Half Marathon I developed a blister on the heel of my right foot. I could feel the heat, I knew it was coming, but I kept plodding along. By the time I got back to my car and took off my shoe, it was huge.
I know you shouldn't pop blisters, and I try to avoid it. So I left this one alone all week and it slowly shrank. But Saturday my husband and I did a 6-mile (almost) training walk. Before leaving I put a "blister block" on the sore spot. It didn't help. Within a couple of miles I could feel the blister getting bigger and bigger. By the time we finished, I was almost limping. The blister was humongous!
Sunday, it was so huge I couldn't wear real shoes so I wore sandals all day. That night I couldn't take it any longer. I cleaned the area with alcohol, cleaned a needle and popped it. I cleaned the area with more alcohol and applied another blister block.
Though I'm a little worried, I would rather pop the thing myself while my foot is clean rather than have it happen in the middle of a long walk when my feet are hot and sweaty.
Monday, I feel OK but wore shoes with no back. I'm hoping to do some really light mileage this week, which I probably will not even feel. The test will be this upcoming weekend with I enter the Run Happy 10K outside Columbus, OH. (www.runwildracing.com)
When I first started this blog I didn't think anyone would actually read it. I like to write. But many of the things I think and write about do not work in WALK! Magazine, and I really needed an outlet for that. I even envisioned some of the ideas I discussed here to be fine-tuned and used as a letter from the editor some day. I was very surprised the first time someone posted a response.
What is great about the blog is people are more willing to send e-mails to me. Usually it's about a race I plan to go to. Just this week I received an e-mail from someone who is interested in meeting up at the Flying Pig in May. She's from Boston. (Hi!)
I enjoy meeting new people and walking with people I don't know. Though I LOVE walking with my buddies, if I'm alone at a race I always look for someone who is at my pace and might be friendly. I guess that's one of the reasons I hate headphones during events. Nothing says "don't talk to me" like a pair of headphones. Anyway, the point of this paragraph is that, when I walk with someone I don't know the time just flies. I can hear any old story a walker's entire family has heard a million times, and it's new to me. Just talking about what someone does for a living or how old the kids are can kill a few miles.
I've met some really nice people during races - some I keep in touch with, others I just remember as being fun. One I met in Parkersburg travels everywhere and one from the Air Force Marathon I've been in touch with for a few years now. (Jeeyum occasionally reads this blog.) I met people in Cleveland last year and Murray in Xenia a few weeks ago. There's a gentleman from Columbus I met during a half, and I see him every race locally. He just makes my day when I see him in a race and we chat like life-long friends.
What all of these people have in common is they enjoy walking and I love feeling that positive vibe when I'm out there. I like to say I've never met a walker I didn't like. So far that's true. And maybe, with the help of this blog, I'll have the opportunity to meet a few more walkers I'll like.
Today was so beautiful I went for a short walk. Actually, I just walked to the post office to check my mail, but it is about 1 mile round trip.
Part of the reason I decided to take the walk is I'm in pain. I'm pretty sore from yesterday's half marathon and needed to move a little bit. I knew I'd have some pain since I was not trained as well as I would have liked, but I had to laugh when it hurt to get out of my chair earlier today. Stairs are a little bit of a challenge, but not too bad. I've definitely felt worse.
But, being a sucker for beautiful days, it was very difficult to keep it to just 1 mile. Luckily my muscles would not have cooperated even if I wanted them to.
I'm a little bit concerned about training for Cinci in 26 days. I'm glad that members of the Marathon Walking group on Yahoo offered some great advice.
I'm sure there will be plenty more beautiful days to come.
Until today, anytime someone mentioned Xenia, I thought of tornadoes. After today, I'll think of a very walker-friendly half marathon and a great sunny day.
Xenia is a littler farther from Columbus than I thought. I drove out on Saturday to pick up my number and find out where I needed to go. I'm glad I did! It was more than an hour away and I had anticipated about 40 min.
I got up at 5:30, and left the house at 6 to be sure to get there in time for the 8 a.m. start and to pick up my chip before the race. I arrived at 7:15, did everything I needed, took a 5 min nap in the car (I needed more), and was ready for the 8 a.m. start. Unfortunately, the race started at 8:30! So I ended up standing in line for the port-a-johns a second time and realized I could have slept!
There are a lot of fast walkers in this area of Ohio. I'm not one of them. I started out way in the back and eventually ended up passing a few people. There were many, many more walkers with great racewalking form ahead of me and I had no shot at catching them. Within the first mile I caught up to Murray. I had planned to chat with him until one of us needed to speed up or slow down. About 13 miles later we finished faster than 3:20.
As many of you know, my training didn't not go as well as I had intended so my main goal was to just finish. I don't know what happened but I was able to hover around a 15-min mile. It felt great! We finished at least 10-15 min faster than I had anticipated. And Murray had a personal best!
With the sun, the mostly cool temps, and good company, it was easy to maintain a steady pace. I didn't really pay much attention to the blister developing my right foot. (I guess it wasn't the socks that caused a blister last time. It is the shoes.)
For anyone who wants a straight-forward, low-key and friendly half, I would highly recommend this one, put on by the ORRRC.
Thanks for keeping me company, Murray! I'll look for you at future half marathons!
A few people who entered the LaSalle Bank Columbus Distance Classic contacted me because there were no age group awards for walkers. I'm assuming that the decision was made because there were fewer than 300 walkers registered, though I was not involved in the decision.
Though we cannot give awards, we can try to recognize your hard work and accomplishments. If you should have received an age group award at last Saturday's race, or know someone who should have, please e-mail WALK! Magazine with the name, the age group, and finish time. We'll post the results on our web site. (email@example.com)
It's not the same as receiving a plaque, but it's the best we can do.
Sunday I had a great training walk. I headed to the library, did three laps around the park and headed home - a little over 5 miles. I was not quite sure how many miles to do. Normally, I would taper the weekend before a half marathon, but I have been tapering for WAY too long with the Fleet Feet team. In addition, I stood for 4 hours Saturday to monitor the Half Marathon. I wonder how many training miles that equaled?
I tried a new pair of Brooks shoes given to me by Fleet Feet and they were nearly perfect. They are so light, they feel like slippers and they bend in the perfect spot. At the same time, my feet felt cushioned enough. My only complaint is that my right ankle felt as if it was leaning inward. If my feet and ankles were a little more stable they would be perfect! So, since they are running shoes, I'll probably let my kids fight over them. They are really cool looking, and feel good, I wish they worked better for me.
BTW: Good news - I have again been inundated with new subscriptions! Bad news - my data entry person is no longer available to help me. She is really great, too. So, I am adding a few entries every night and will send out copies as quickly as I can.
I'll be walking the Cleveland Half Marathon with a small group. My husband and some of his co-workers will be walking their first half and I'm planning to join them. I'm not sure what their pace will be, but it should be fun. Because I'll be doing the Flying Pig two weeks earlier, I'll just take it easy. If any of you register for this race, be sure to say you heard about it in WALK! Magazine. In the drop down menu select "other" then type WALK! Magazine in the blank.
I also found out that several friends will be doing the Pig! I'm really excited!
Well, enough rambling for now. I'm thrilled to find out so many people had fun at the Bingham race over the weekend. Thanks for understanding that we did not catch all of the runners. I'm sure it will be even better next year!
PS: Larry, yes I was on High Street near Nationwide. I was on Front near the end of the race, too.
I'm not quite sure how to start this one. I'm trying to put everything into perspective.
Due to events over the last few days, I see some things with new eyes. Jaded eyes. I'm pretty disappointed in how things turned out, but I'm going to think about it before I put thoughts about those events into words. In fact, I might not ever share those bad feelings on the web for everyone to see. One person, whose opinion I value, said to spread the word, let everyone know. But I'm not sure.
At the same time, after today I'm very excited! I am so proud of the Fleet Feet walkers! They were fantastic! I watched the Columbus Distance Classic as a course monitor today and saw most of the women who trained with me and many of my Buckeye Strider buddies. They were great. And that Weight Watchers group was very inspiring!They all looked strong and seemed to have a good time. Congratulations to all of you!
In fact, all of the walkers seemed to have a good time. It was really fun watching people who had worked so hard successfully complete this event! A half marathon is not an easy undertaking. It takes training, perseverance and TIME! It was obvious these athletes had put in the time and the training.
For this reason alone, I am very proud to have been associated with this race. I smiled the whole time watching people go by. Seeing so many athletes enjoying this type of healthy endeavor is very inspiring. It was especially inspiring to meet and then watch people that were entering their first race of this distance.
And seeing these people have such a good time made me realize that sometimes it's just about the walking. Sometimes you don't need to know "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey says.
So, thank you everyone who walked this event. You have made my day! I had a wonderful time watching you and you inspired me to do my best next weekend in Xenia!
PS: I saw over 30 people with walker numbers blatantly running. It took 3 of 6 course monitors seeing a person run to have them moved to the runner results. I know there are a couple "runners" we missed. Maybe with a few more monitors... Regardless, there were about 6 people who should have signed up as runners. It will be interesting to see what the race does with those results. And those of you who walked the entire distance, I'm sorry we didn't catch all of the runners. We did our best!
I've had some fantastic walks over the last two weekends and just have not had a chance to write about them!
I have some great things going on with the magazine, I'm very excited, and again, have not had time to write about them.
I've lost the momentum about the walks, so maybe next time. But I can fill you in about the magazine.
1) We are hopeful to have someone selling advertising fulltime sometime soon! Woo hoo! 2) We had magazine samples at an EBSCO event over the past weekend. (Libraries buy magazines through EBSCO.) It seems very promising! 3) The Columbus Distance Classic is this weekend and it will be great to see all of the walkers at the expo. I am so proud of the walkers who trained with me through the Fleet Feet training program! 4) We are talking to a couple of other races/events about possible sponsorship! I will let you know as soon as details are finalized. (Look for us in Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon later this year!)
I've come to the realization that, even though I have trained for the Capital City Distance Classic, it is impractical for me to actually enter it. I'm coordinating a group of volunteers who will monitor the course. It seems silly to have all of them working hard, watching walkers, while I'm enjoying myself in the race.
This bothered me because I plan to complete 6 half marathons this year. Having one in April would make things much easier.
As it turns out, there is another half in Xenia, OH the weekend after! All I have to do is change my training slightly - do 8 miles this week, 10 miles next week, then taper - and I'll be fine! Xenia will be a much smaller race. I'm sure I will be alone most of the way. However, I did notice there were several people who finished last year's race in over 3 hours, so I might be able to find someone to walk with.
Right now it looks like my half marathon schedule will go like this:
Xenia, OH - April 9
Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati - May 7
Cleveland Marathon, Cleveland - May 21
I can't remember the name, Columbus, OH - July 22
News and Sentinel, Parkersburg, WV - August 19
Air Force Marathon, Dayton, OH - September 16
If anyone is planning to enter any of these, let me know!
It may seem that I am obsessed with weather. Maybe I am.
I had the opportunity to be in Orlando for three days. (Unrelated to WALK! Magazine.) What a difference from Ohio! I left grey skies and iffy weather, though for Ohio it isn't really cold. I arrived to 85 degrees and beautiful sunshine! Meetings prevented much walking, but I was able to be out for about 45 minutes March 15. It was wonderful walking around looking at palm trees, flowering plants with vibrant colors, and green grass. (Though the grass in Florida is different from the Kentucky Blue I'm used to up here.) The sun was shining and there was a refreshing breeze. Even the humidity cooperated. I know the heat and humidity of summer in Florida would be difficult for me to deal with, but this time of year it was exactly what I needed.
First: I'll just say that both kids are recovering beautifully! Thank you everyone who asked about them. Our daughter was back at school on Monday and is already caught up on her classes. Our son's nose is back to it's normal size and is not longer crooked!
Second: The magazine is at the printer, the proof has been approved and the mailing list will be sent Monday. It should be out in just a couple of days. Woo Hoo!
Third: I walked 10 miles on Saturday in training for the April 1 Half Marathon. Unfortunately, I got blisters for the first time in years! I'm not sure if it is shoes, because I have not walked that far in this brand before or because I didn't wear my favorite brand of socks. Regardless, it felt great and we averaged just a little faster than a 15-min mile. Not bad considering I'm recovering from injuries last year. The weather was beautiful for a change and didn't start raining until I was in my car on the way home.
Fourth: Today I interviewed Steve Vaught - The Fat Man Walking! What an interesting guy! I had planned the usual 1-2 hours for the interview and it lasted much longer. I could have stayed and talked to him for hours longer. I hope you all will enjoy reading about him in the Summer issue of WALK!
I think that's it. You all are now officially caught up!
It's funny how some weeks you experience more "life" than others.
Early this week, one of our kids became sick. A trip to the doctor confirmed an ear infection. Not so bad. A few antibiotics and he will be fine. The next day this same child was running and smashed into the back of another child's head. The school was pretty sure the collision resulted in a broken nose. A trip to the emergency room and several X-rays indicated that the nose was not broken, but the crookedness might just be from swelling and should go away in a few days. Again not so bad.
Finally, just a couple days later, our daughter seemed to come down with a severe case of the flu. Another visit to the doctor indicated it might be more. Another visit to the emergency room confirmed that her appendix would have to be removed. Of course, I had just arrived in Detroit for Heat the Streets when I heard this news. I returned to town about 30 min after the surgery had begun. I am relieved to say the surgery was uneventful and she will be fine. Regardless, I've spent so much time at the hospital, little else has been accomplished.
What a week! You can go a whole year with your entire family healthy and happy - enjoy watching your kids play sports or perform in plays, plan regular training walks, travel to races to promote your magazine and do everyday mundane things. And then suddenly, in just a matter of days, life happens!
It's nice to be able to walk regularly to be ready for an April 1 race. It's nice to have the flexibility to travel or spend late nights finishing up the layouts for the next issue of WALK! But sometimes, life just gets in the way of our plans and we need to make some alterations. Luckily, I will be able to wake early on Sunday and get a 6-mile walk in. Between visits to the hospital, I'll do more work on the Spring 06 issue of the magazine to get it to the printer ASAP. And with any luck, life will cooperate and the Spring issue won't be "too" late.
I've been really worried about how cold I've been the last couple times I walked with the Fleet Feet group. Shoot, I was so cold this past Saturday, I quit early.
Today it was 19 degrees when I went out for a walk, 2 degrees warmer than Saturday. I forgot to wear my fleece vest, but did have on two shirts, a jacket, my "gator" around my neck, a headband for my ears and the same gloves that caused my hands to freeze -- twice. My goal today was to walk the first two miles at a good pace, then the second two miles faster.
The first mile was at about 15:20, the second was a little over 15:00. The third mile I picked up the pace and was slightly under 15 min. The last mile I did intervals of walking as fast as I could and finished in 14:19! I was sweating up a storm, my hands were WAY too hot and I even took off my gloves.
The good news is my knees feel great and the iliotibial band in my left leg is fine! Woo hoo!
So, from this great training walk I learned that I am now recovered enough that I can work on speed! When I walk with the Fleet Feet people, and I'm not doing my own pace, I need to wear more clothes. And when I'm deciding how many layers to wear, I really need to think about the pace.
PS: I have a goal of finishing 6 half marathons this year. Maybe I can also get back to my almost 13-min mile pace!
I know everyone is tired of reading about my thoughts on Ohio weather. I've lived in this state most of my life and I'm used to its idiosyncrasies. The nice thing about Ohio is if you don't like the weather, wait a day and it will change.
But now I'm beginning to feel paranoid. Over the last few weeks, we have had an unusually mild winter. We've had sunny days in the 50s and 60s during the week. My mid-week walks have been fantastic! I've barely encountered any of the winter depression I can be prone to.
However, Saturday morning weather has been awful! A couple of weeks ago we had record lows. Two weeks ago we had rain while temps were in the low 30s. (I hate rain in February!) This week, the temps were in the high 50s on Friday. Saturday morning the news predicted mid-20s. I wore what I normally would wear when acclimated. In reality, the temps were in the mid-teens and the wind was brutal! I was walking toward the back of our group, so not working as hard as usual and never got warm. The wind was whipping, making it feel even colder. Luckily, we mostly walked through a more residential area, so that broke some of the wind, but that one stretch on Schrock Road was miserable!
After about 4.5 miles, Tim found us and brought us some drinks. I suggested we stop at 6 miles and head back, and he indicated many people were doing that. (We were supposed to walk 8 miles.) I was a little surprised to see we were the only walkers who cut it short. When I took off my gloves, my hands were red and I had no feeling in them. OK, maybe I really do need to break down and get new gloves. (In my defense, I've walked in the winter for 5 years with cheap $1 gloves from K-Mart, and never had the problems I am this winter. I really think it is from my lack of speed and not building up heat while walking.)
Anyway, this Sunday morning, it is again beautiful. The temps are milder and the sun is shining. I'll be making up the 2 miles I didn't do yesterday. I just can't figure out why we never have mornings like this on Saturdays.
I planned to take a nice casual walk to the library to return a missing MP3 disc. I have a habit of returning the cases without the CD, MP3 disc or tapes. The temps were mild so I was able to wear just a light jacket with a sweater and jeans for the 2-mile walk. It was even light out which is a nice change. I got to the library, returned the disc, and then decided to do 1/2 loop around the park to add 1/2 mile to my walk. I reached the turnaround point and was enjoying the walk so much, I just kept going for a full loop around the park.
So my casual 2-mile walk was extended to a 3-mile walk. How often does that happen? There are plenty of times when I've had to force myself to complete any distance in a training schedule, yet today, I just kept going. I wish I could bottle that feeling for when I seriously need it.
In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the fact that I can take a casual walk in February wearing a light jacket.
I am so bummed! I swear I posted an entry Feb. 4 talking about how much I hate walking in rain in February, but it isn't on my blog. I don't know if it was never posted correctly, or if it was accidentally deleted. I had spent that morning walking 7 miles in ice cold rain. It was supposed to be 40 degrees out there, but it felt more like -2. (Of course, I know that's impossible or the rain would have been snow.) The whole distance I kept thinking that the members of my regular walking club were nice and warm walking on an indoor track. My mistake was, I dressed for 40 degree weather. When you are wet, it feels much colder. I did bring dry shirts, a new jacket, shoes and socks, but I didn't think to bring pants. I joined the other walkers and runners for a clinic following the walk, and shivered during the entire thing. I used my heated car seats, bought coffee for the ride home and used every drop of hot water in the shower, and I was still cold the rest of the day.
It's too bad the posting is missing. I was a lot more creative and descriptive. This past Saturday the weather was beautiful and sunny and crisp... I almost forgot how miserable I was just 7 days earlier.
Regardless, no matter what we face April 1, we will be ready!
The concept for WALK! Magazine is well received. After one year, we are still hanging in there!
I'm amazed at the great letters I receive from readers, the renewal rate is well above what we expected, the response to our readership survey floored me and we are starting to get some interest from some new advertisers! We are this close (note: my index finger and thumb are 1/4 inch apart) to making this a huge success.
At this point, I really think public relations and self promotion are the key. I've worked with a couple of races to help them become more walker friendly. (That's what got me started with the idea for this magazine.) The links to the WALK! Web site help, being seen at race expos is very good for me, but I need more.
That 1/4 inch is so small and yet so large. What do I do to make that leap?
Our core of consultants and writers is phenomenal. I have great walking buddies - especially the Buckeye Striders - who are fantastic cheerleaders and whose ideas have fueled lots of articles. I have met some very helpful race directors. I have also met thousands of walkers, several who have gone above and beyond to help me get this thing going. (Yes, Chris and Jeeyum, you are in this group.)
So, what do I do to get to the next step?
We are going to try some new things in the next few months. We have some ideas for promoting to libraries. I've had some suggestions to promote to health and fitness professionals, which is a little out of our league cost-wise right now. There are a couple of races I'll continue attending, including Heat the Streets in Detroit. I'd like to get into some of those big companies that encourage their staff to walk. That could be huge!
If any of you have ideas for what we should try next, or any ties to get us on the Oprah show, please let me know.
In the meantime, I'll be contemplating that 1/4 inch...