Monday, September 25, 2006

Gift Giving Guide

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

Taking it Slow

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.

1-Hour Racewalk

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!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Albany Walking Classic

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!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Having a Ball

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.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

No Walking Division in Columbus Marathon

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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beautiful Fall Evening

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.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Talking About Training

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.