Sunday, July 30, 2006

110% Humidity

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!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Comments about the Summer Issue

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!

Salad Response

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.

Dear Cindi;

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.


******* Customer Relations

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Salad Rant

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!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Walking in the Dark

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.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Forget the Criteria

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 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 look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 10, 2006


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.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Preparing for Parkersburg

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.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Most Walker-Friendly Race and Best City for Walkers

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!

Feeling Like a Failure

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.

Maybe 2007 will end up being the year of the 10K.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Onions and Chocolate

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.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Summer is Out!

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!