Sunday, December 30, 2007

Walk, Don't Run - The Movie

I've heard a lot about this movie starring Cary Grant, but had never seen it before. I finally checked it out of the library this week.

It was typical of 60s style movies in so many ways. But what I found funny was that Jim Hutton's character never tells anyone what Olympic event he is entered in. His friend is a hurdler and he says he "used" to be a hurdler, almost as if he is embarrassed by his event. Near the end of the movie we see he is a race walker.

If you have never seen this movie, you have to watch the last 20 min or so just to see how the race walkers walk. They are so slow that Cary Grant can keep up with them with no training whatsoever!

OK, after you watch this movie, pull out your video of the last summer Olympics 50K race walk and compare. (Yea, I know you still have it.) The movie is even funnier now, isn't it.

Thoughts on Diets

As far as I'm concerned, "Diet" is a 4-letter word. In my mind diet means deprivation, suffering and a short-term eating plan that cannot be sustained.

The majority of people I know who diet do it continuously and tend to mess up their metabolisms by not eating enough quality calories. Or the first thing they do is "deprive" themselves of some food they love, making it a huge taboo. Eventually they end up binge eating or giving up totally, gaining back the weight they lost or even more. It's a vicious cycle.

There are several things in my personal history which have added to my jaded view of diets.
1) My Mom never sustained weight loss on a diet. Granted, my Mom had no self control, but she made a big deal about dieting and we all had to suffer when she was on one. She never tried what I thought were fad diets, but I was pretty young then. Regardless, diets were all about suffering.
2) I remember some relatives who went on a bunch of fad diets: the grapefruit diet (they were miserable) and the hot dog, boiled egg and banana diet. They lost a little weight, but were sick of grapefruit, hot dogs and bananas. Oh, they gained the weight back.
3) I tried a 5-lbs in 5 days diet I found in a magazine. It was right before a big party and I wanted to look great in a clingy dress. (This was about 20 years ago.) I had to buy lots of unusual foods that I would never use again, but I followed the diet to the letter. After a full day of eating just vegetables on the last day I was to drink a glass of prune juice. Needless to say, I ended up rushing to the bathroom and spent over an hour in there, unable to leave. I felt pretty stupid that it didn't occur to me what effect the food combinations would have had, and I was angry that this diet's method of weight loss was a self-induced case of intestinal distress!
4) My in-laws lost weight on a packaged meal plan right before my wedding. Not only did my father-in-law need his gallbladder removed (a common side effect of this diet we found out years later), but as soon as they went back to their own cooking they gained back the weight.
5) I have family members who tried the Adkins Diet. They lost weight pretty quickly, and sweated over the 5 goldfish crackers they ate one weekend. The weight came right back on as soon as they went returned to their normal eating.
6) I know another person who was on a diet that seemed as if she was being deprived, but complained she had not lost a single pound even though she had been eating a local restaurant's taco salad every day for lunch. (Ugh!)

Compare all of that to my Dad. He never said he was on a diet, but had such great self control he could lose weight whenever he wanted to simply by controlling portions, eating lots of fresh vegetables, and planning his daily calorie consumption around special events such as parties. (His salad tub in the fridge was pretty amazing.) He could keep the weight off as long as he wished. Unfortunately, he really enjoyed food and drink and became a yo-yo dieter. Regardless, he remains the only person I have ever known who could decide to lose weight and lost weight making it look effortless. (He quit smoking the same way, but that is another story.)

OK, not everyone can be like my Dad and have such great self-discipline. (How much peanut brittle did you eat last week, Cindi?) Many people are more successful if they have a support group environment, such as WW. Many people have difficulty knowing what is healthy to eat without help, and there are some great books on the subject. If that is what works, great!

There are a few things that people seem to forget.
First, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. If you consume too few calories you will not be healthy. Feeling deprived will probably lead to failure. And it is better to find a healthy way of eating that can be maintained for life than to alternate between starving and gaining. Afterall, isn't maintaining our health our ultimate goal?
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Note: This is what I remember from my Dad's weight loss plan. (He's been gone over 10 years, so it might not be totally accurate.)

For breakfast he ate one piece of dry toast with coffee.

At around 10 a.m., he would eat a small apple.

Lunch was a large salad, usually at a restaurant. I don't know about mid-afternoon snacks.
For dinner, he would fix a HUGE salad then have a small portion of whatever the rest of us were having for dinner. His salads had become legendary in our family, and the preparation was pretty elaborate. He had a plastic tub he kept in the fridge that contained everything he could possibly want on a salad. He had the standards of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, etc., and other choices such as canned beets, garbanzo beans, red beans, peas, corn, low fat ham or turkey and a wide variety of fat free dressings. You name it, and it had probably been on one of his salads. He would ocassionally just put lean chicken or a small scoup of chili on the salad and skip the rest of our meal. I think I even saw him put sauerkraut on one once. His theory was, as long as it was vegetable or bean, he could consume as much as he wanted. His other theory was, as long as his salads were not boring, he could eat them every day.

If he had a hamburger or other high-calorie meal for lunch, he would skip the higher calorie salad options at dinner and eat more lettuce.

In the evening, when he got the munchies, he would eat raw baby carrots. He loved crunchy snacks, so it was the perfect solution.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year Beginnings

Today I registered for my first ever New Year's Day race. I was a little bit leery about entering a 5K on New Year's Day, but decided it's a great way to start out the new year. Besides, it doesn't start until 11 a.m. No matter how late I stay up on New Year's Eve, I can be at a starting line by 11.

I'm not really big on making resolutions, but I do set goals for myself. And this year I do plan to walk more, improve my speed and enter more races. This race is a great beginning.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Zoo Lights

I usually get the "after holiday blues" a few days after Christmas. Before the holiday everything is crazy and stressful, but once the day is over it all hits me and I get that emotional "crash."

Exercise and sunshine are great for combating those feelings. Another thing that helps is visiting the Columbus Zoo Wildlights holiday display.

We went out to the zoo tonight and had a great time! The weather was perfect - temps in the 50s and no wind, the sky was clear. And because Christmas is over, it wasn't very crowded. (I'm not good with heavy crowds or being behind slow walking people.) We weren't walking fast, but we were faster than the crowds in a typical shopping mall.

The lights were great! It definitely put me in a festive mood. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a light dusting of snow on the ground.

The best part is, I got my family out walking with me, and we had a great time doing it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Walking this Evening

Today was absolutely beautiful! It didn't seem like December at all, more like late Fall or really early Spring. The sun was shining, the temps in the 50s and no wind. I was just aching to get out to my favorite park to walk around Antrim Lake. I got home around 4:30 and the house was empty. I was resigned to again walking around the neighborhood. Just as I was ready to leave, my husband came home and agreed to go to the park with me! Yea!

It took a couple of minutes for him to get ready and we left for the park before 5 p.m. It was so peaceful! There weren't many people and the parking lot was almost empty. The water was smooth as glass and reflected the colors of the already setting sun. It was exactly what I needed after a couple of stressful days getting through the holidays. It made such a difference in my mental attitude, my husband even agreed to do two laps around the lake!

I wish I could walk there as often as I want, but even in the cold weather and no leaves on the trees I don't feel quite safe alone. Because I can't get there as often, it did make this walk feel even more special.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter in Ohio

I woke up early this morning, made pancakes for the sleeping members of my family and head out for a short walk. Typical of Ohio weather, just wait a few minutes, and it will change.

When I woke up this morning, the temps were in the mid-50s and it was raining. By the time I got outside, the rain had stopped and the temps were in the low 50s.

Later, when I took my son out for one final holiday shopping trip, it had started snowing and was in the low 30s!

I'm pretty proud of myself for making it out today. However, yesterday was absolutely gorgeous! It was sunny and warm with not even a hint of precipitation. If I would have just woken up in time to walk with my walking club, I could have enjoyed that beautiful morning. Lately, my timing has been pretty bad when it comes to planning walks and weather. If I would just get out when I know I should, I'm sure I'd have a lot more beautiful days under my belt.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Great Race Today!

I entered Run Wild Racing's Holiday Run 4-mile race today and it was great!

Though it had snowed several inches earlier this week, rain was predicted for this morning. I woke up early, looked outside to see it was not raining, and went to the race. It was about 35 degrees, which was perfect weather. It was chilly enough to make you realize you were walking in a winter race, yet warm enough to prevent there being ice on the trail.

Doug Grout and Run Wild Racing do a great job, and today was no exception - hot chocolate, cookies, great breads and tons of other goodies awaited the finishers. The best thing is there is always plenty left for the walkers. And this year's shirt was a long-sleeved technical shirt! Gotta love that!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Morning Walk

Though I did not make it out to walk with the Buckeye Striders, I did walk this morning. It's funny how walking with snow on the ground is sometimes warmer than walking at this time of year when there isn't any snow.

No wind, a little sun and most of the sidewalks were clear. It was a great start to my day!

(If it is not raining in the morning, I'll be at the holiday walk at 9 a.m.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Columbus Marathon Info

I heard something about the Columbus Marathon tonight that was pretty shocking. (Part of the reason it was shocking is that everything I heard previously was that it was a great race. But then again, those walkers were 5-hour finishers.)

The rumor I heard today is that, though the course was supposed to be open 7 hours, support for walkers was pulled after just 5 hours! Walkers on schedule to finish in under 7 hours were forced to sidewalks, and there wasn't any water after mile 20.

Did anyone else experience anything like this?

If races don't want walkers that is fine. There are plenty of marathons that really want walkers! But, if you say you are going to have the course open 7 hours and that you have a walking division, then you need to have a walking division and leave the course open as long as advertised.

Fun Night - Reconnecting

Sometimes I get so caught up in the minutia of running WALK! Magazine, I don't think I have the time to hang out with my Buckeye Strider friends. Tonight was the annual Holiday Party and I'm really glad I went!

Not only did I get caught up on all of the great races these people have been entering, I talked to one person about doing Big Sur with the Walking Team, and others about going to Detroit! Saturday I'll be up bright and early to walk with them (unless it rains) and Sunday I've agreed to enter one of our favorite Holiday runs.

It's always nice to get together with friends and especially nice to get together with walking friends.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Gift Giving Guide Online

The Winter issue of WALK! Magazine will be going to the printer very soon. The problem is, it contains the annual the Gift Giving Guide and I'm not sure most people will receive the issue in time to actually be able to use this guide. (We have a couple of surprises on it this year.)

To help make your list making (and maybe even your gift buying) easier, we will post the Gift Guide on the WALK! Magazine website long before the Winter issue mails. Right now I'm expecting it to be up before the end of the week.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 23, 2007

New Family Tradition - NOT!

Yesterday, after the turkey was in the oven and the house was straightened waiting for guests, I said, "Let's start a new Thanksgiving tradition and go for a walk at a great park!" My husband looked at me as if I were nuts and not too subtly indicated he would not be going. My son laughed aloud and asked if I was serious. My daughter said OK, then realized she was the only one who agreed. "I only said yes because I thought everyone was going," she said, and quickly declined. I even called my sister, who was coming over later for dinner. She said if I had called 2 hours earlier it she might have said yes. (Right...)

I had my heart set on walking at that great park with the pond - the park I no longer feel safe walking at by myself. I was pretty disappointed, but later decided I should just go ahead and walk in the neighborhood by myself if I really wanted to walk. Dinner was schedule for 3 p.m., and it was just about 1:00, so I knew I had plenty of time to walk quickly and shower before guests arrived.

I pulled on shoes, grabbed my MP3 player and walked out the door just as my sister pulled into the driveway. At first I thought I might be able to con her into going with me, but then I saw the high heels she was wearing.

Oh, well - maybe next year. In the meantime, I'll work a little harder to get out walking today.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was sort of a weird Thanksgiving for our family this year. I'm used to lots of family and friends, lots of noise, too much food, not enough time, not enough chairs, a lot of stress, but tons of fun. Though this year has been quite a bit smaller and much quieter, it has also been a lot less stressful.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but a quiet, unstressed holiday was not it. Regardless, I'm thankful for the people I was able to share the day with, and I'm thankful for the remaining family we will share Saturday with instead of today.

This is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, superficial, a little bit serious list of what I'm thankful for this year:
1) The turkey turned out great and was even done a little bit early!
2) The stuffing and gravy tasted OK. (Both were usually my Mom's job, and I've never had to make them before.)
3) I didn't have to eat Waldorf Salad, which I have disliked my whole life. Regardless, it felt wrong having Thanksgiving without it.
4) My family is currently healthy, and several of them have had great success. It's been exciting being able to celebrate their successes.
5) New nieces and nephews - Who would have known that adding a couple adorable kids to this family could be so fun!
6) I'm able to walk as far as I think I'm able to walk. No IT band problems, no sore knees, no sore ankles - I'm feeling great.
7) WALK! Magazine is currently growing faster than I can keep up with. I've hired help for processing orders. Though it is stressful, it is a good stress.
8) We have really enthusiastic subscribers! I get great e-mails and notes all of the time. I wouldn't be able to continue doing this without your positive comments.
9) The WALK! Magazine Walking Team was so much fun. When I envisioned this group, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. You all are great! As a side note, the events I entered this year have been a blast! Thanks to everyone who walked with me this year.
10) I have a somewhat new outlook on life. I am really appreciating mornings more than I ever have. Even cold and rainy mornings look great from my office window. I'm not always out walking when I should be, but I have a new appreciation for what can be accomplished very early in the day.

This isn't turning out the way I had intended when I started it. Though this year started out pretty rough for us, many good things have happened to balance it out, and I'm extremely grateful. I'm especially grateful for the friendships that have helped us get to this point.

To all of you friends, subscribers, Walking Team members and everyone else who reads this silly blog, I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Morning Walk

One of the reasons I got out walking this morning was the great column Dave McGovern wrote for the Winter issue of WALK! Magazine. He has friends with health ailments that greatly curtail their abilities to walk ... yet they keep going. One even built a cart to carry his oxygen tank while he walks! After reading about that athlete, what excuse can I EVER come up with that would be even remotely plausible.

I'll be out walking again tomorrow.

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Side note: I'm starting to like these weekday morning walks. It's a shame I don't feel the same enthusiasm for them on the weekends. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact I feel as if I'm playing hooky on a weekday, and I feel as if I don't have time on the weekends. I wish my schedule allowed more morning walks. But then again, if the novelty wears off maybe I won't be as excited about them

It was chilly (50s?), and took a little while for me to build up any heat, but once I got going it was fine. I walked for just 38 minutes, but it still felt good. One thing that encouraged me to walk faster was a garbage truck! I walked as fast as I could to get away from that thing! Luckily it turned the corner.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are My Feet Sore!

I could just kick myself for not wearing my pedometer today! After all of our work was done, my friend David and I decided to walk all the way down the street from Circus Circus to the Bellagio. That really is not a big deal when you are wearing walking shoes. In fact, I just did it the other morning. Well, since we planned to actually go in the casinos, I wore cute boot-like shoes with a heel.

The walk there was pretty easy. Let me rephrase that - it was easy for walking in Las Vegas. I swear this entire city is designed to prevent people from getting from one place to another. Regardless, we went to Treasure Island to find out the Pirate/Sirens show is cancelled until late December. We went to the Bellagio,which is beautiful, gambled a little, saw the fountains, then decided to cross the street to see some of the hotels on that side. Trying to get inside the Venetian was NOT easy!(We've never been down that way before.) You keep following signs, and eventually you realize you've been walking forever, and you still are not anywhere near where you thought you were trying to go.

When we first walked to that end of the city we had anticipated taking a cab back to the hotel. We ended up walking all the way back. After being in meetings for a couple of days, I loved being outside moving. However, it would have been much more enjoyable if I had on better shoes. From the Map My Walk web site, it looks as if it was about 3 miles each way. Add in the extra walking trying to figure out where we were, and I'm pretty sure we walked over 7 miles - with me in heels.

So, my flight home is at 6:35 a.m., I need to get to the airport by 4:30 and it's 11 p.m. now. I think I better head off to bed. It's just that with all of that walking, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to sleep right now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Great Walk!

I just got back from a great walk! I tried to get up extra early to be able to walk for an entire hour, but I was too sleep deprived. I finally got up at 7, 10 a.m. Ohio time. By the time I was dressed and reached the street, it was about 7:20. I head up what looked like a main street. There is a lot of construction on this side of Las Vegas, but that did not stop the many joggers I saw! The sun is shining, temps are mild, the sky is a beautiful blue, and I was walking down the street with joggers and diesel trucks.

I approached a mall that had a really long staircase leading up to it. (This is Vegas, so of course there was an escalator next to the stairs.) There was a really fit jogger running up and down the stairs, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. I started running up the stairs, got to about 5 from the top and had to walk the rest, legs burning and lungs huffing. Meanwhile the jogger was on her third trip up and did not look tired! I humbly walked down the stairs, stopped at a coffee shop to buy water and head back to the hotel.

I feel so much better already after sleeping in and getting outside. I feel less tense and so much more healthy. I even turned down a fat laden chocolate chip muffin when I entered the hotel and opted for my healthy granola bars in my room. I'll locate some fruit later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is an interesting city, to put it mildly. It's not one of my favorite places to visit - mostly because it seems so adverse to a healthy lifestyle. Since my last visit, they have at least limited indoor smoking to just the casinos. This is a nice change and makes me feel a little less like the entire city is just a giant ashtray.

So it was great to be on the elevator to my room this afternoon when a gentleman in running clothes stepped on. How far did you go? I asked. His face lit up as he told me about his short run. The weather was perfect for it!

I'm jet-lagged and sleep-deprived today, so I won't be out walking. However, now I'm even more inspired to get up early and head outside for a walk. I hope the weather cooperates. (Later this week, I'm sure we'll get out and do some sightseeing, too. Just not tonight.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Traveling

I will be traveling in Las Vegas this week. Not for anything magazine related, but I do plan to squeeze in a walk or two while I'm there.

I had hoped to contact the local walking club there to see if I could find someone to walk with, but didn't get around to it in time.

Las Vegas seems to be more of a "nightlife" type of place, so I don't think it will be crowded on the streets in the morning.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Winter Issue Will be Exciting

I'm finishing up the Winter issue of WALK! Magazine, and I have to admit, I'm pretty excited. I can't go into a lot of detail because of few things are still up in the air, but things are shaping up nicely.

In this issue:
- an informative article from registered dietitian Sherri Stager about why low carb diets are bad for athletes,
- a feature about Debbie Sokolov, a cancer survivor who used walking to help recover from surgery,
- cold weather training,
- Tim Seaman helps us prepare to watch Olympic racewalking next summer,
- our annual gift giving guide,
- and several surprises!

Anyway, I need to get back to work. I just wanted to take a break to share my excitement.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Guest Editorial

Do you have thoughts about walking you would love to share with the readers of WALK! Magazine? Now you can submit your ideas as a Guest Editorial! It would run in place of the Letter from the Editor and we will even include your picture!

If you are interested in writing an editorial for WALK! Magazine, submit your idea and the issue you'd like it to run in to me at admin@walk-magazine.com.

Preliminary 2008 Submission Deadlines

I really love having readers of WALK! Magazine submit articles! I have had more comments on Marlene Welch's A View From the Rear than on just about anything else we have published. (It really was a great story.)

For those of you who are interested in submitting articles for a specific issue, following are the submission deadlines for our 2008 schedule. Hey, if you don't care what issue it appears in, we are happy to accept your stories at any time.

Preliminary 2008 Schedule:
Spring Deadline - January 4
Summer Deadline - April 4
Fall Deadline - July 2
Winter Deadline - September 26

The Spring issue will again be the Shoe Review issue.

OK everyone - get writing!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Walking with a Doc

This morning I joined Dr. David Sabgir and his crew for the weekly Walk with a Doc program in Highbanks Metro Park on the north side of Columbus. (Dr. Sabgir was featured in an early issue of WALK! and has contributed some great articles to the magazine since.)

The group meets at 8 a.m. in a shelter way in the back of the park. Sponsors provide coffee, fruit, bottled water and bagels. The participants are friendly and look forward to walking with each other each week.

It was a beautiful morning! Frost covered the grass, wild flowers and weeds. The sun was low and made everything covered with frost sparkle. As the frost melted, the fall leaves glistened and the colors were fantastic!

Though it was just 32 degrees when the group met, it wasn't really cold. I'm sure the fact there was no wind helped it feel less cold. (I was comfortable in just a couple light layers without gloves or a hat.) I walked with a very interesting gentleman whose name I'm not sure about. He was very easy to talk to, and together we took one of the slightly longer routes, so I'm sure we went more than a mile.

I'm not much of a morning person. OK, let me rephrase that - I'm NOT a morning person. But after yesterday's morning walk and today's even earlier, more beautiful morning walk, I just may be converted.
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Note on this morning's drive to Highbanks Park. I struggled to wake up this morning, took a shower, had my coffee and granola bar, and hopped in the car with an audio book in the CD player. As I drove up 23 North, I was not really half asleep, but it was about 7:30 in the morning, it was still dark and I was probably not totally alert. I was all the way to Delaware when it dawned on me that I had driven too far! I wondered if the sign had changed or maybe it was missing. I turned around, tried to pay more attention, and ended up at the park at about 8:02. The sign was there, bigger than life, right where it should have been. I must have just zoned out for a minute. Regardless, I hate being late, but I had really tried to get there early. Next time, I'll have to consume a little more caffeine before getting in the car.

Early Friday Walk

Yesterday I had the chance to take a morning walk before buckling down to work on the magazine for the day. It was a cool morning and still a little dark as I head out the door. I don't normally get the chance to walk in the morning during the week, and it felt great. It's quite a bit different from the afternoon and evening walks I normally take.

As I walked I saw plenty of people scraping their windshields. I'm surprised at the number of people in my neighborhood who do not leave their houses before 8. The traffic was different, the sounds of the neighborhood were different, and seeing the kids walking to school was different. I almost laughed aloud at one little boy who ran past me who was obviously going to be late.

Though I started work later than I had wanted, I felt great the rest of the day. I think I could get used to this.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Big Sur in Spring!

Here's the good news! WALK! Magazine will be at the Big Sur International Marathon in the Spring! Can you imagine a more beautiful place to be in April after a chilly, gray Ohio winter than on the coast of California? (I know you don't all live in Ohio, but winters are not pretty here.)

There are several race choices: Full Marathon, a 21-Miler (used to be called the PowerWalk), a 10.6 Mile event, a 9-Mile event, a Relay and a 5K. This series of events attracts a lot of walkers and should be a blast!

I'm really excited about doing the 21-mile race! So, let's all go to Big Sur!!!

Specifics
For the Full Marathon, participants must maintain a 15-min per mile pace to finish. For the 21-mile event, there is a 6.5 hour time limit, which I think works out to about 18 mins per mile. BTW: There is a Walking Division. (Though I couldn't find the info. today.)

Now for the bad news. The 21-mile race is already 68% full! The marathon is about 30% full. The shorter races will not fill up as quickly. I've asked the race staff to hold a few places in the 21-mile race for us, and they are willing to do that. I don't know yet how long they will hold the spaces for us, though. We had planned to have everything for the 2008 Walking Team ready for a January 1 kick off.

So, if you want to go to Big Sur with WALK! Magazine in April 2008, it is better if we know quickly.

For more information about the various races, go to www.bsim.org. For more information about the WALK! Magazine Walking Team, send me an e-mail.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Advertising Sales Rep

I am proud to announce that Holly Loberg has joined WALK! Magazine as Advertising Sales Representative. Because of Holly's wide ranging experience in all areas of the publishing industry, you will see her name in bylines and eventually layout and design.

To place an advertisement in WALK! Magazine, on our web site or in our e-mail newsletter, please contact Holly at 614/940-6623, or via e-mail at holly@walk-magazine.com.

Please join me in welcoming Holly!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Growing Fast

I don't know how many of you I have told this, but we are really starting to grow fast! Last year at this time, we were receiving around 30 subscriptions a month - that includes new subscriptions and renewals.

At the beginning of this year, we were receiving about 80 subscriptions a month. Now, at the height of fall marathon season, we are receiving about 100 subscriptions a month!

All I can say is WOW! No wonder the staff who share data entry (with other duties) seem a little bit overwhelmed.

I'd also like to say a special thanks to all of you subscribers who encourage your walking buddies to subscribe. If we keep growing like this, we'll be able to add pages and add issues soon! Thanks!

PS: Go Bucks!

Got Mine

I received my sample copy of WALK! Magazine in the mail today. That's a lot longer than it usually takes. But, as I tell everyone who asks, when magazines are mailed bulk rate, they can sit in any post office for up to three days. The more post offices between the mailing facility and the subscriber, the longer it can take to receive.

So, those of you in Ohio or Michigan who have not yet received your fall magazine should get it any day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Walking and Talking

I must confess, I have not been walking enough. Today was beautiful and I decided that I needed to get out no matter what.

As soon as I got home, I changed, grabbed my phone and other stuff and left. The phone rang the moment I walked out the door! Argh! My calls do not usually last long, so I decided to start walking while taking the call.

I did my short little route around the neighborhood, and we were still talking. I even added two cul-de-sacs, and we were still talking! I finally got home and started fixing dinner.

Though it was really nice to catch up with my friend, I didn't expect we would talk for so long. I'm glad I didn't wait until our conversation was over to walk, or I probably would not have gone.

Items for Gift Giving Guide

We are still taking suggestions for the Gift Giving Guide. If you have a product you would like to recommend, send an e-mail to me. Please include a web site where we can find additional information.

Funny

I recently found out that most of the Canadian subscribers have received their magazines, however, I have just heard from two U.S. subscribers that they haven't received theirs yet! Who would have thought that the Canadians would be receiving theirs first?

Because the magazines sent in the U.S. are mailed bulk rate, each one can sit in any post office for up to three days. So, depending upon the number of post offices between the mailing house and you will determine how long it will take you to receive your issue.

BTW: I have not received my "test" copy yet, either.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Issue


The Fall issue has been mailed and most of you should have received your copy by now. This issue was especially fun for me because WALK! Magazine's friend Joyce Prohaska is on the cover. Joyce is such an accomplished athlete, and a huge supporter of the magazine, it was really rewarding to be able to put her on the cover.

Other topics in this issue include: How to Recover from Your Next Long-Distance Event, How to Take NSAIDS Safely, and a feature about a Walking Tour Through Blankenberge, Belgium.

If you are not yet a subscriber, and would like to change that, go to our online store at store.walk-magazine.com/index.html.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Choosing Events for 2008

We are actively trying to decide which events WALK! Magazine will attend in 2008. Several current Walking Team members are very excited and want to start planning now.

I would like to have at least one Spring event and one Fall event. We also will support whichever event wins the Walker Friendly Event Award. Though we can go to more than just three events in a year (I usually go to more than that to have a booth at expos), but for the Walking Team, I don't want to spread us too thin.

We are looking at a wide variety of events from the Big Sur Marathon in the Spring (Or the Big Sur Half Marathon in November) to Detroit in the Fall and Little Rock in the Spring.... My buddy Chris provided a list of events that have both Walking Divisions and a half or shorter options.

What we probably need is a marketing study to determine whether we will have more members go to an event if it is a "destination" event. Or if it is a local, easy to get to event. Then again, "local" for me is quite a bit different than for those who live in Arkansas or Monterey, CA.

BTW: The Big Sur spring event attracts over 3,900 walkers. That could be a great group of walkers to reach.

Anyway, we are taking suggestions. If you know of an event you would like to see the Walking Team attend, let us know!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

International Mail News

I happened to mention to one of my local postal employees that most of our Canadian subscribers didn't seem to receive the Summer issue of the magazine. Her first reaction was that the printer probably does not include the country on the mailing labels. If Canada is not on the label, it will not be delivered! I have been talking to printers, mailing houses, and others for advice. The printer and the mailing house have been conducting their own unsuccessful investigations. Yet an off-the-cuff comment to a postal employee may have solved our problem!

Regardless, I will continue to have the international subscriptions mailed by hand until we have a guaranteed solution.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Perspective

Sometimes we need a little bit of perspective. There are times I get so caught up in the stresses of everyday life, meeting deadlines, getting household chores done, paying bills, driving car pool, fitting in exercise...it can be overwhelming.

I was out running errands this evening. (When I say evening, I don't mean 6 or 7 p.m., it was 9:00 tonight.) At first I was feeling sorry for myself, thinking about everything else I have yet to do tonight and wondering when I am going to get it all done. While I was out, I ran into an acquaintance who has had it rough - really rough. Between employment problems, family health issues, and more, it's going to be a while before this family sees the light of day.

I walked away feeling a variety of emotions, especially deep sympathy. But once I got to my car, it dawned on me how lucky I have it. Yes, I am pretty much perpetually stressed and I have not met a deadline in a very long time. But I have a great family and I am living the American dream (and MY dream!). I'm publishing my own magazine, it's growing (adding to the stress), I think I found an ad rep, I'm making some great contacts, I've entered some fantastic races and I've met some pretty amazing people! OK, so I never sleep - the rest of the stuff I can deal with.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Walking for the Environment

Today is "Blogger Action Day," and as a participant, I agreed to post an environmentally friendly message. Lucky for me, walking is environmentally friendly!

Instead of just using walking as a form of exercise, look for ways you can walk for transportation instead of driving. In many American cities this is tough because we are so spread out and need to drive.

I'm fortunate that the post office, a couple of grocery stores and the library are all within walking distance. My family is getting used to my reqesting we walk somewhere, but the neighbors still ask me if my car is broken.

Studies show that people who live in big cities with great mass transit are more fit than people who live in cities where they mostly drive. We can turn that around by walking a little more. The next time you feel like driving to get ice cream, check your mail or to pick up something light weight from the store, see if it is something you can do by walking first.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Canadian Update

The Fall issue of WALK! Magazine was mailed last week. OK, the magazines sent to the U.S. subscribers were mailed from the printer in Texas last week. In order to try get magazines to our Canadian subscribers more quickly, we are experimenting with mailing them first class from our Columbus, OH offices.

We received our bulk shipment of magazines Friday and the entire Canadian mailing list has been stuffed in envelopes and they are at the post office right now waiting for tomorrow's mail. Let me know when they arrive.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Electronic Magazine Available Soon

About 50% of the people who responded to the poll question on our web site said they would like to receive WALK! Magazine electronically! Of those, the majority said they would like to receive the magazine via e-mail.

We have a few logistical issues to work out. Look for more information on this new distribution method and how to sign up by the end of October.

(We'll have a new poll question posted soon!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

You Can Tell It's Fall

I walked to the park by the library tonight and did a lap before heading back home. The typical signs of fall were everywhere! Not only are the leaves starting to turn, but the parking lots were packed, tons of people were out walking and the sports fields were full of kids playing soccer.

When you walk in local parks year-round, you start to learn the seasons based on useage as much as by weather. Spring and Fall seem to bring out the most people. Spring attracts the people who are excited the weather is finally warm. Fall brings out the people who are excited it has finally cooled off or are hoping to get outside a few more times before the upcoming winter. On the bike trails (where I don't walk anymore) you see a lot of people training for the Columbus Marathon this time of year.

Whatever the reason, I really enjoy being out and seeing the change of season.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Does this Count?

Football season is in full swing. The team my son plays for does not have stands and it is difficult to watch a game when sitting in a chair. Most parents tend to walk the sidelines. Let's see, a 2-hour football game, 7 touchdowns scored, 100 yards here, 75 yards there... I give up. Next week I'll just wear a pedometer.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Congrats Renee!

Congratulations, Renee Soles!

Renee, a member of the WALK! Magazine Walking Team, took second place in her age group at the Appleton PowerWalk half marathon. She just received her plaque in the mail this week.

Though the running awards that weekend are presented as the runners cross the finish line, they mail the walking awards to be sure that walkers actually walked.

Laptops and Nuts

I recently bought a laptop computer so that I'm not chained to my desk constantly. I am one of those people who, if given the option of being outside or inside, will choose outside 90% of the time. (You probably do not want to know how I feel about air conditioning. It's a constant battle at my house.) Even now I am on my deck while writing this. It's amazing how freeing wifi can be, too!

Earlier this week, I ate lunch at a beautiful park under huge old oak trees! I had my trusty laptop with me so I could edit some things. The breeze was light, but ocassionally I would hear noises from the trees. I assumed the squirrels were running around having a great time. Suddenly something heavy fell from the tree and crashed beside the picnic table, scaring me half to death. Yes, I jumped. It was a small bunch of the biggest acorns I have ever seen and they were still attached to a good portion of branch! I started looking around a little more, and noticed that the whole area was being pelted with huge acorns!

First, I'm surprised I didn't notice earlier. Second, I'm pretty lucky I didn't get nailed.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Need a Half Marathon!

My legs are getting antsy! I'm feeling a need to walk and I really want another half marathon before it is too cold.

There is a solution - the Columbus Marathon has a half marathon option on October 21. I was thinking about entering, but there are a few things stopping me: 1) I used to be the Walking Director and quit because the race is less walker friendly than it used to be. 2) Prevention Magazine is bring their group of walkers. I've read Prevention, and it is a waste of money! 90% of the articles they publish I could write doing absolutely no research, with the knowledge I have. (I'm not that bright -the magazine is that weak.) 3) This late it is $70 to enter. I'm thinking that $70 for a half marathon just a couple of miles from my house that will require me to start at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. with the runners might be too much money. Besides, I hate getting up extra early for a race.

I can't decide what the most important issue is. It might be that my legs are antsy and I REALLY want a half marathon! Besides, if all of those walkers are willing to read Prevention, imagine how excited they will feel when they discover WALK Magazine!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Renewal Information

Those of you whose subscriptions expire with the Summer 2007 issue will have already received an e-mail, or will receive a renewal postcard, or both. If you responded to the e-mail, then just ignore the postcard.

If your subscription expires with the Fall 2007 issue, you will soon be receiving a postcard. I realized after I stuck them in the mail that they probably mailed about a week too early. Don't panic! You will still be receiving the Fall issue.

We are still trying to figure out how to put your subscription expiration date on the mailing labels. I'm hoping to have it figured out by the Winter issue.

I hope you all like the magazine and renew!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Subscribe to Free E-mail Newsletter

We have just opened up our e-mail newsletter to EVERYONE! This quarterly publication, previously available only to Magazine subscribers, is now available to anyone upon request.

To receive this newsletter, send an e-mail to me at admin@walk-magazine.com. Please put "newsletter" in the subject line.

Ready to Start Training Again

OK, I've rested for a week. I've had a pedicure. And I'm planning to take my shoes back to the running store this week to have them checked out. I even have a couple of new audio books.

I have had really antsy legs on and off all week. I think I'm ready to start walking and training for something again.

Last week I thought I would enter the Columbus Marathon Half at the end of October, but I found out the cost right now is $70! That seems like an awful lot of money for a half marathon that is right down the street, and that does not have the aura of fun and excitement that other events do. (Let's face it. All you have to do is think about a flying pig, and you want to smile. A running Chris Columbus does not exude fun.)

I'll look around and see if there are any events nearby that sound like fun. In the meantime, I think I'll be walking again tomorrow.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Appleton Report


I can't believe that I forgot to post a report about the Appleton PowerWalk Half Marathon! The race was great, the people were wonderful, the weather was perfect.

The 9 or so members of the WALK! Magazine walking team met at the starting line before the race. Most of us had on our green shirts. We even had a couple of "guests" who were wearing white magazine shirts join us!

The fast people went up ahead. A group of six of us started out together. Michelle was a little faster and eventually went ahead. The other five of us had the opportunity to chat and really get to know each other over 13.1 miles. The course is pretty flat and for the most part was pretty. The volunteers were very friendly and seemed to have a great time. My favorite water stop was the one commemorating the 100th birthday of the city of Appleton.

When we got close to the bay it was very scenic, and there was a great breeze coming in off the water.

A number of people were cheering us on. Instead of yelling for us by name, they were yelling things like "Go Girls in Green!" or "Go Walking Team!" We picked up a few other people along the way, like Heather from Menasha who walked several miles with us.

My absolute favorite part was when I heard people not with us talking about WALK! Magazine and discussing how much they liked the magazine. How cool is that!

The faster team members were waiting for us to finish and cheered us on. We took a few pictures after the race and went off looking for food. Unfortunately, they ran out of after-race sandwiches! (We finished in about 3:25. There were still plenty of full marathoners on the course!) I received an e-mail from a person associated with the race who said that people were grabbing food for their entire families! He also said there was more food delivered after we had left. We did get plenty of water, bagels, bananas and cookies, though. There were even cans of Coke products available.

This is a very nice small race. The walkers counted in the hundreds, but we were treated as if we numbered in the thousands. Our shirt said PowerWalk on it! The medals change every year, and this year's featured the lighthouse and felt pretty substantial. In addition to the shirt, we also got a great winter hat in our goody bags. Oh, there were shuttles from the local hotels to the starting line, and from the finish line back to the hotels! We caught one at 6:15 and had plenty of time to get to the start.

Conclusion: If you like smaller races, this is the race for you! It doesn't have all of the hoopla of a Country Music Marathon or the Flying Pig, but it is an extremely friendly event that treats the participants well!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recovering from two Weekends of Racing

New Albany 10K September 16 & Appleton PowerWalk Half Marathon September 23

I'm a little bit surprised that I'm feeling really "draggy" still. Monday I knew I shouldn't walk very far and ended up just going to the post office and the Mexican restaurant nearby. (I needed an after-race weekend Margarita with my husband, afterall.) I walked pretty slowly because I could only walk slowly, not out of choice. Yesterday I didn't do any walking and today my legs just feel heavy.

The good news is. I'm not sore. In fact, I wasn't sore at all this week, just draggy.

Well, Dave McGovern has written a great column for the Fall issue about post-race recovery. For a full marathon, he says not to walk for two weeks. So I guess not walking for one week after a half marathon makes sense. I'm also relieved I don't feel sore.

This may come under the "too much information" category, but here goes. From all of the walking and abuse of my feet this summer, they look horrendous! (I've had more than a few blisters this summer!) And now that I have successfully finished all of the Walking Team events, I think I'm going to treat myself to a pedicure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Turnabout is Fair Play


The Fox Cities Marathon also hosts a 5K, which is held the Saturday before the marathon. On our way to the Expo Saturday morning, we were stopped in traffic while the 5K runners and walkers went by. After several minutes it was obvious that there was not going to be a hole big enough for the hotel courtesy van to fit through - not that the police would have let us cross in the middle of a race.

Luckily, the van driver was able to go around the block and get us to the Expo in time. Regardless, Deb and I found it funny that we would finally see a race from another point of view.

Look Who is Wearing WALK! Shirts



At the New Albany 10K on September 16, I found a couple of loyal readers wearing our shirts! Joe had to buy a new one - he liked his shirt so much he wore it out!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Expo Update

So far so good at Appleton. The people are EXTREMELY friendly! It's odd how not many locals seem to know about the race. Actually, it is servers at restaurants, and people like that who don't know about the race. I find that funny, considering the starting line is not too far away.

Things seem to be spread out. If I had known I would have probably considered renting a car like Karen did.

The expo was nice. It is small, and for most of the day traffic was good. Toward the end of the day it was very slow and time dragged. Regardless, the people we met were great. I do think we will get some new subscribers from it. And maybe even some new advertisers. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

OK, I'm off to bed. Dinner ended up being later than we had planned and I'm tired. More tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

On my way to Appleton

I'm on my way to Appleton for the Fox Cities PowerWalk in the morning. I should be in bed since we are leaving at 5 a.m. to catch a flight at 7. I hope to see a bunch of you in Wisconsin over the weekend!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Goofy Training

This is an unusual request. A subscriber who is doing the Goofy Challenge at Disney in 2008 asked for training advice. Any suggestions? How have you trained?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Additional Comments on my Shoes

I wore my new bright blue New Balance 902s today. I'm having something weird happen when I wear them for longer than about 4 miles. The right shoe feels as if it is pinching when I walk. Well, that isn't quite right - my toes start to feel a little numb. It is almost as if they bend in the wrong place...I'm not quite sure what it is.

The first race I wore them in, I tied the shoes too tight and I assumed the padding was just too thick causing the numbness. Now I'm thinking shoes just are not right for me.

I have a half marathon coming up next weekend, and I'm just not sure what I'm going to do. The yellow Brooks shoes are too worn and too light for a half, but the 902s are starting to annoy me. With only a week away, I don't have time to get anything different. I'll probably just have to wear the blue ones and figure it out after the race.

New Albany 10K Walk


The event was fun! There were a few members of the Walking Team, but between injuries and other commitments, some were not able to make it to the race.

It was fun meeting the other Walking Team Members. We had a good time at dinner Saturday night. I appreciate everyone's help getting the tent set up, too.

The weather was beautiful! I don't know how Phil can control the weather, but he does it every year. There were plenty of water stops and the course is very nice. I didn't remember the speed bumps which I kept tripping over, and there were pylons in the center of the road, which several of us took turns tripping over (slow learning curve), but it is still a well run and fun event.

Everyone got technical shirts and windbreakers this year! I really like the jacket and even wore it today. They are greay, and I think I heard someone (Maryanne, maybe?) say something about feeling like she was in the middle of a group of Communists. (It was funnier in person than on screen, I'm sure.)

I'm starting to pick up speed again, and I think I did at least one mile around 14:00. We finished in 1:30, which wasn't bad.

A special thanks to Tammy, who doesn't know this blog exists! I really appreciate her coming to my rescue by helping out at the WALK! Magazine booth. I had the freedom to chat with walkers and do the race while she handled the business. Thanks!

The next event planned for me is Appleton Wisconsin next weekend! I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Antsy is Gone

The antsy feeling had been in my legs on and off since early yesterday. Walking the stairs and stretching yesterday helped a little, but it didn't really go away until I just got back from a short walk. My husband and I only had time for two miles, but we walked briskly and I could feel my pulse in my legs when we got home. I hope the "cure" lasts longer than my attempt yesterday.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Antsy Legs

I have antsy legs tonight. Actually, it is REALLY driving me nuts! (This happens sometimes the day after a longer walk.) It's difficult to sit here and work on the magazine. I'm going to take a break, run up and down the stairs a few times and stretch.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Did 10

OK, I just got back from doing 10 miles.

It was a strange day for a walk. I waited for it to stop raining, but waited too long. On my way to the park, it started raining again. It stopped when I arrived, but as soon as I started walking it started up a third time. It was a nice warm steady rain, and was almost as warm as bath water. Because it was warm out, the rain was not really a bother other than my shoes getting wet.

After the rain stopped, and the sun came out, it was VERY steamy out there! I could see the steam rising off the asphalt of the bike trail. Thank goodness for the shady areas.

It was a well needed walk. I have been so focused on trying to finish the Fall issue, I really needed the break. I don't even regret walking this afternoon instead of this morning. I needed to get a few things finished before I felt comfortable walking for 2.5 hours. I had tried to map out a route from home that would not be too boring so I could save the driving time, but it just wasn't possible.

I'm glad I went. I feel quite a bit more relaxed and able to see the big picture.

10 miles, it's Raining and I'm Swamped!

I'm working on finishing the Fall issue of WALK! Magazine. I am SO close, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! However, "close" means I probably have a good 12 hours left to finish it. Let's see, it is 8 a.m., (I had intended to start at 7) I should be finished before I go to bed tonight. However, I need to get in a 10-mile walk today, at least 2.5 hours, and it is raining...

Not quite sure what I'm going to do. I need to get in 10 miles for the Appleton Half Marathon and I need to get the magazine done. And of course, I will eventually need to sleep.

I think I'll sit here in the window of my office, work as fast as I can, and wait for the rain to stop.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Survey Results

The results are in!

We have a single survey question on the WALK! Magazine web site. "Would you like the option to receive WALK! Magazine electronically instead of in the mail, printed on paper?"

According to our results - about 50% of respondents would like the option!

Though publishing experts have been predicting for years that paper publications are going by the wayside, I wasn't sure what would happen to magazines. I personally like receiving mine as a printed piece, able to carry something light wherever I go. So to me the results are surprising. But then again, WALK! Magazine is not very large yet. If we averaged over 100 pages per issue, I think the results would be a little bit different.

One respondent said she liked to read the magazine in the bathtub. Well, that just is not going to work on a laptop! Another said he didn't want to have to print out each page on his own printer. But plenty of you said yes.

Thank you everyone who responded! I'll look into our electronic options.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Safety Concerns - Losing my Favorite Park

One of my favorite places to walk is called Antrim Park. It is a 1.2 mile loop around a small lake with lots of trees and the option to get on a bike trail that is about 8 miles long and follows a scenic river. It's close enough that I don't have to drive very far. Far enough away that it feels special.

I especially love walking here when there is no one else around. I like the solitude, the water, the ducks, the trees... I like seeing the seasons change. I just really enjoy this park.

Over the last few weeks, there have been attacks against a couple of women in that area. One women had been in the woods alone, so I thought I would be OK, I'm smart, I stay on the path near the lake. Well, it seems that recently women have been grabbed from the path around the lake. And earlier this week, a man was found just standing in the area with his pants down! Over the years women have also been randomly attacked on the bike trail where it gets isolated (and where it is most beautiful), so I haven't walked there alone in years.

I am so ticked! I am angry that these creeps have taken this park and bike path away from me. I'm angry that in order to enjoy one of my favorite places to walk, I am now going to have to take someone with me. (I like walking with other people - I don't want to HAVE to walk with other people.)

I'm also sad. I feel like I've lost a friend, which probably seems weird to some of you. Now, unless I want to drive 30 min to my other favorite park, I'm going to have to walk in my neighborhood, or on busy streets with lots of cars, or less pretty parks with lots of people, just to be safe.

Thankfully none of these women were killed. And I feel especially sad for them - they just wanted to enjoy a great park and be healthy. How will they ever feel safe again?

This is a reminder that we should all pay attention to our surroundings wherever we walk. Let's all be careful.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Olympic Preview

How many of you are aware that the Summer Olympics will be held in Beijing next year? Well, to help get us all excited, especially about Olympic race walking, we will start running stories about the games beginning with the Fall issue. Anatomy of a Race Walk DQ is a little bit of a stretch. This amusing story features Charles Boyle competing against Bob Mimm, a former Olympic race walker. Both in their 80s, the men compete regularly in Senior Olympic events. I think you'll enjoy it!

Boyle is the author of Tailey Whaley, an illustrated children’s book, in which a whale, born different, faces intolerance (www.taileywhaley.com). Check it out.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Third is the Charm!

I have my third new phone within a week. I hope this one works longer than 24 hours!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Cell Phones - Can't Live with Them...

I have had cell phones with the same company for a number of years. The service has been excellent, and until recently, the phones have worked great.

Earlier this year, I made the mistake of upgrading to a so called "better" phone. It was fine for several months, however earlier this week, suddenly no one could hear me though I could hear them. I took the phone back and they gave me a brand new phone. Yay!

On Friday, the buttons quit working on the new phone. I couldn't scroll through a single menu and the send button didn't send. I took it back and was given a new phone. Yay!

Today is Monday and my second new phone isn't working. I was out walking, tried calling home and couldn't hear a thing. My hsuband tried calling me back, and the phone never rang. The bad thing is, my husband didn't know I couldn't hear him and was worried that maybe something had happened to me. He walked up the street and looked for me.

So, if you have been trying to call WALK! Magazine, and it appears I'm not answering or I don't call you back, it just might be that my phone is sitll not working!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Fall Issue Highlights!

I just have to let you know that the Fall issue is going to be great! Here are some highlights:
* Dr. David Sabgir answers your questions about the safe use of NSAIDs.
* After helping us train all year for Walking Team events, Dave McGovern teaches us how to recover from a long-distance race.
* You won't want to miss an inspiring profile about Joyce Prohaska, an Ohio woman who has won several gold medals in Senior Olympics events.
* And we are starting our 2008 Olympics coverage a little early in an "unusal" way. Charles Boyle has an amusing story about being DQ'd when competing against former Olympic racewalker Bob Mimm.

I think you are going to enjoy it!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Shoe Update

Earlier this week my new shoes (NB 902) were bothering the toes on my right foot. I had a feeling that the shoes were just tied too tight. I wore the shoes a little less tight today and I was fine. After 5 miles, I felt a twinge in my right foot, but I scrunched my toes on and off to wiggle them, and it was gone. The NB 902s have a little more padding than my last pair of Brooks, and I'm sure the padding was just pushing on my foot too much. Yay!

For those of you who subscribe to Bonnie Stein's e-newsletter, these are the shoes she recommended in a recent issue.

Appleton Training - 10-mile Day with Buckeye Striders

What a great morning to get up early and join members of the Buckeye Striders walking club for a 10-mile walk! We met at my favorite Central Ohio park, Sharon Woods, at 7 a.m. (Those of you who know me are probably shocked that I would be at a training walk at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.) I have not met with these fun people in a VERY long time. I was surprised that several members needed to get 10 miles in today.

We had a lot of fun. And during our last 2 miles we met up with others who were doing just 4 miles today. That's what is nice about walking a 4-mile loop. No matter how far we needed to walk, we were going to see the others in our club eventually.

Well Deb and I started out a little too fast. We did our first mile in 14:30, and should have probably walked it in 15:30. I feel so slow all of the time, it's nice to know I can go a little bit faster without being warmed up. But we were tired when we finished our last 2 miles.

It was great to be up so early and get my walk in. Now I have the rest of the day to work on the Fall issue of WALK! Magazine ... and blog.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Toes and New Shoes

What is it about new shoes and toes that just don't go together? I have finally had the opportunity to wear my new bright blue shoes for more than just a casual walk. I decided to try to pseudo-racewalk 3 miles today.

After about 20 mins the toes on my right foot started to feel a little funny. They weren't numb, but they didn't feel right. I assumed my shoes were tied too tight and kept going. They were feeling more and more odd until they finally started to hurt. With about 10 min left to walk I slowed down and quit all attempts to racewalk. The pain did not subside and I started getting shooting pains up my leg. Not good.

Got home, took my shoes off and my feet feel OK. My toes are a little sensitive, but nothing serious. I was hoping to wear the shoes this weekend for a long walk, but I'm rethinking it. I might just walk a few miles in my old shoes and few in the new ones and see how it goes.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Crim is Great!

The Crim truly is a walker friendly event! We had a good time while we were in Flint this weekend! Here's my synapses:

The expo was in a new location this year. It was a little bit tight, but was well organized. They were nice enough to squeeze me in between two walking clubs. The new venue was more than 2 miles from the start of the race. Historically, the expo is open race day, and people wander in and out from 6:30 a.m. to noon while waiting for their race to begin or for their friends and family to finish. I'm not sure how it went this year because I didn't go to the expo on Saturday.

Race day, we got into Flint nice and early to avoid the road closings. We went to the late packet pick up area to get safety pins which we both had forgotten the day before. The University of Michigan pavilion is a nice facility and there were plenty of people sitting at tables and relaxing before the race.

There were lots of port-a-johns at the start. They were just a little too close to the starting line, however. When we lined up at the sign for the competitive walkers, we were up against the people waiting for restrooms. There ended up being lots of people behind us, too. It was nice seeing a "pace" sign for competitive walkers!

It was hard to hear ANY announcements, but most races are that way when you are at the back. We didn't even realize the national anthem was being sung until about halfway through the song. It rained a little as we waited for the start, but not hard.

It took just a couple of minutes to reach the starting line. The crowds thinned out fairly quickly though our first mile was almost 15:30. It is nearly impossible to get lost at the Crim - just follow the blue line painted on the street. The blue line has been there so long, they didn't get to repaint it this year because of weather, and you could still see it. The mile markers were not only on big signs, they were painted on the street. Very cool!

The streets were lined with spectators. It had been raining and people still came out to cheer participants on! What really surprised me was the number of residents who voluntarily set up their own water stops. I skipped several regular water stops and there was STILL plenty of water every where. Several people also handed out ice which was appreciated.

One fraternity early on the course was handing out Krispy Kreme doughnuts. My walking partner, Chris, did take one. I don't think sugar and grease would have sat well in my stomach that early.

The big party (I can't remember exactly where it was) handed out beer and hot dogs. If they had been closer to the race finish, I might have taken them up on it. The party was pretty roaring and they were having a great time.

There were several bands along the course, though I mostly remember grade school and high school band students. There were a couple church groups that sang for us, one Christian rock band and several church groups that prayed for us. (When one woman said I was "special" I took it as a good thing.) There was a large group of people in one yard all playing makeshift drums that was pretty cool. They were all ages, and I'll never forget seeing the women who was older than my mom beating a plastic bucket with a wooden spoon.

When you are close to the finish line, you reach the famous bricks of Saginaw Street. The street is pretty cool, but it was difficult to walk fast at that point because some spots were a little uneven. We tried anyway.

We crossed the finish in a little over 2 hrs and 30 min., averaging about a 15-min mile. We moved past the chip removers, received our medals and had easy access to water, bananas and apples. There were tons of tubs filled with wet cloths to wipe the sweat. It had started raining again as we finished, so I really didn't need it.

After we went through the gauntlet, there was a huge community party. A big tent had barbecue and other food items for sale. We had the option of getting free pizza and beer with our bib (the line was too long for us), and Earth, Wind and Fire was getting ready to play on stage. If it had been sunny and dry, we would have stayed. As it was, we were soaking wet and both had long drives home.

The winning walker was a woman who finished about an hour before I did. I was just at the Crim web site and forgot to look up what prizes they offered.

Regardless, it is a fun weekend in Flint. There are plenty of races for those of all abilities and the after party is a lot of fun! If you need a race in August, head to Flint.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Have a Booth!

The people at the Crim have been phenomenal! They were able to squeeze me into a booth today. I wasn't able to get set up until almost 7:30 p.m., but that's OK.

I have just MY table, so I can't spread out, but I have a booth. I'm near where participants pick up their numbers and between two walking clubs.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heading to Crim

OK, I found out I'm definitely heading to Flint, MI on Thursday. I will definitely have a booth Friday. Other than that, and the race starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, the rest is up in the air!

I hate having things be last minute like this, but I'm sure everything will work out fine!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm Soaked

OK, I went for my 3 miles. I wore my most water-resistant jacket, a baseball hat and shorts. At first it wasn't bad because the rain was light, but it rained harder the farther I went. About mile 2 I went to scratch my forehead and realized there was a puddle in my right sleeve that poured into my armpit! I have never had a puddle in a sleeve before.

Well, I kept going and now, after a nice hot shower, I am glad I went. (Well, it was only 3 miles after all and it is rain in August.)

Rain and Lack of Motivation

OK, I'm supposed to walk 3 miles today and it is raining like crazy! Yuck! I just do NOT feel like walking in rain tonight. I feel like I'm catching a cold. But, the 10-mile race is this weekend, and I really don't have the time to make up mileage this week. I think I'm going to have to just suck it up and go for a walk -- in the rain.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New Shoes


When I find shoes I like, I try to stay with the same brand and style for as long as possible. It makes new shoe buying so much easier. The last few times I've purchased new shoes, I've had to change brands and styles for a variety of reasons.

I've been wearing a bright yellow pair of Brooks racing flats. I think they are called Racer ST, but it's hard to tell what the name is from looking at the shoe. (If you were at the Nashville Marathon, I was the walker with the yellow shoes.)

Yesterday I went to FrontRunner to buy a new pair. I took my Brooks with me to ease the replacement process. Well, the store doesn't carry this particular shoe. (Darn!) But the great sales person had some ideas for other shoes I might try.

I ended up going back to New Balance for the 902. They have a little more control than the Brooks shoe. (Isn't it amazing how they can tell by your shoe that you need more control?) They are not as light, but I do half marathons so I will probably be happier wearing these for long distances. Oh, and they are NOT bright yellow. They are bright blue!

It's a good thing I don't coordinate my walking clothes with my shoes!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Crim is Coming Fast!

One week from today and I will have finished my first Crim Festival of Races 10-mile Race. I'm VERY excited! (I'm also tapering, which is great. Only 5 easy miles today!)

First, this race was voted WALK! Magazine's 2007 Walker Friendly Race. Second, the people of Flint are very friendly, and I'm looking forward to going back up there.

The only bad news is, I'm not going to get up there on Thursday as originally planned, and I'm pretty certain I won't be able to have a booth. I'm pretty bummed. I had ordered extra shirts just for this race.

Regardless, I'm sure I'll have fun. And maybe this time I can actually try both types of coneys so I can decide if the Flint version is better than the Detroit version.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

6 miles Tonight

I'm supposed to do 6 miles tomorrow, but I won't have the time. So I did it tonight. What a beautiful night it was! I know I'll be ready for the Crim next week!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Blister

I walked an easy 8 miles today. My recent vacation and the extreme heat truly messed with my Crim training!

I'm not sure how far I was supposed to go today, 8 or 10, but I decided to take it easy since I'm a little bit off. And the Crim race is only 10 miles, so even if I don't go farther than 8 miles in training, I know I'll be fine.

After 2 miles, I felt a poking at the edge of my left heel. I stopped, thinking I had a small stone in my shoe. Nope! I have a small blister on my foot! It looks as if I now have a wrinkle in my insole. I have to assume it is new, it's the first blister from these shoes. Luckily, it is pretty tiny and i had already planned to buy a new pair this weekend.

After the extreme heat of the week, it was really nice having the temps just in the 80s!

We Want Your Opinion

We are very interested in making WALK! Magazine more responsive to reader needs. To do that, we will periodically post short surveys on our web site at www.walk-magazine.com.

Some publishing experts predict that paper magazines will soon be a thing of the past. We are considering offering subscribers the option of receiving WALK! Magazine electronically instead of in the mail, printed on paper.

Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Fat March - Did You Watch?

Did anyone watch Fat March on TV last night?

If not, here is the premise: A bunch of morbidly obese people must walk over 500 miles to Washington, D.C. in a set amount of time in order to receive $100,000 a piece. For each person who quits, each remaining person's prize total is reduced by $10,000.

These are not just heavy people, one of these guys is over 500 lbs!

I watched because, well I had to. Not only because I also gawk at car wrecks, but because it is about walking. I wanted to see what they would do to these people.

Part of my opinion comes from remembering how hard it was for me to work up to 8 miles when training for my first marathon. And I'm only about 5 lbs too heavy!

OK, these people started at the actual Boston Marathon and walked 5 miles. The second day, they were walking 8 miles! These are hugely unfit people! Granted, it looked as if they had a long time to do it in, but 8 miles is 8 miles. Third day - 8 miles again.

Some former rap diva barely made it two days. I think she was there for drama. One guy was sent to the ER for labored breathing - he ended up being OK. Another guy had horrible blisters and thought he might have stress fractures. He was voted off the show.

At the end of the first show everyone was weighed, though it did not look like they were wearing the same clothes. Several of the women lost fewer than 10 lbs, and were disappointed. I didn't think it was unreasonable. They are building muscle while burning fat - plus not the same clothes.

So, did anyone else watch the show? What did you think?

Monday, August 06, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around

Part of what got me started walking back in the late 90s was not being able to keep up when hiking on a family vacation. I was depressed and felt old and out of shape. Walking for health and fitness changed everything.

Last week, while on another family vacation with many of the same family members, a couple of us went on a hike. My brother-in-law is one of the people I could not keep up with way back then.

Well, I still could not keep up, but not because I'm not fit, but because I'm short! For every one of BIL's steps, I had to take at least 2 to match him. If we were on a flat surface where I could use my pseudo-racewalking form, I could have easily beat him. But those rocky, uneven trails meant I had to watch every step. Well, I SHOULD have watched every step.

The biggest difference I noticed was, I couldn't go faster this year because of safety and short legs. (I could have gone quite a bit farther.) The last time I was gasping for breath, my legs were killing me and I rested a lot! I definitely could not have gone farther.

None of the others from that infamous hike over 7 years ago were with us. I wonder if I would have still been last if they were.

You Know it is Hot When...

* When the thermostat in the house says it is 80 degrees, yet it is still cooler inside than out! (Our air conditioner broke, and it is rigged to produce slightly cool air for about the next 48 hours, until the replacement can be installed.)
* Even your wicking fabrics cannot keep up with the amount you are sweating.
* The ice in your water bottle melts within the first 5 mins of being outside.
* I wore shorts and a tank top to walk in, even though it looks like I've been through a recent car wreck with all of my scrapes and bruises. (From the fall when hiking last week.)
* My Mom's dog doesn't want to sit in anyone's lap.
* A person like me, who rarely uses AC, is dying to drive somewhere just to cool off.
* The dog that normally charges me when I walk by his house, just strolled to the edge of the sidewalk and barked only three times.

NOTE: I know I should have waited until dark to walk today, but I knew if I waited I probably would not go. My schedule is off from vacation, and I need to get back on track. So I walked when the motivation hit me.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Few New Things I Don't Like about Walking in Summer

1) Ticks.
2) Bikes. (I haven't been hit yet, but they have come close!)
3) Humidity.
4) Days when the air does NOT move.
5) Did I say ticks? I really, really hate ticks.
6) Swarms of gnats that gather around your face.
7) Mosquitoes.
8) I still really hate ticks.
9) Having my favorite hat lost in the lake.
10) Sweat in my eyes because a couple of kids lost my hat in the lake. (The kids who played keep-away with it eventually found it again.)

More Things I Like About Walking in Summer

1) Wildflowers.
2) The ocassional rain that cools you off at just the right moment.
3) Ice cold watermelon when I get home.
4) Wildlife. We saw about 4 deer crash through the woods last week. They are prettier and more interesting in the woods than at the side of a highway. We also saw some amazingly beautiful birds.
5) The smell of freshly mowed grass.
6) The days are long enough I can walk pretty late in the day if I have to.
7) Not needing to wear several layers.
8) Breezes feel great.
9) Hearing kids cheer while playing baseball or softball nearby.
10) Wicking fabrics.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Jet Lag?

Can a person get jet lag if he/she was driving? I am so lethargic today it is ridiculous! It feels exactly like jet lag.

We were in a different time zone for a week, and we stayed up much later than usual, but I'm still surprised I can feel so "blah." The kids appear to be fine, but even my husband seems lethargic.

I need to get back into my regular walking schedule, tomorrow. The Crim is just a couple of weeks away!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Heading Home

On our way home from Land Between the Lakes we stopped at Mammoth Cave. We did one of the longer hikes - over 2 miles and about 2 hours. The more than 160-stair climb at the end was a nice workout.

It has been so hot and humid all week, it was really great being in the cool dark cave. It's a shame our group was so large! I think our guide was cutting a few things short because it took so long to get people gathered.

Regardless it was fun! I'm a little less stiff though my neck still hurts. My "mosquito" bites are obviously NOT from mosquitoes now. I think they are chiggers. (Yuck!) Anti-itch creams have saved my life, that and Ibuprofen, air conditioning and a little bit of Merlot. (For the antioxidants, of course.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hiking Mishap

I love hiking. Earlier this week I went with my daughter and brother-in-law on a trail here at Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. It was hot and humid, and VERY hilly! The trail was well marked and we had planned to turn around and head in the opposite direction after about 1.3 miles so we could see what was north of where we started. (There just happened to be a sign that said we had gone 1.3 miles, so we turned around.)

My BIL has VERY long legs. My daughter is very nimble and really more of a runner. As we were walking I realized that she just kind of skipped along barely touching the ground. My BIL was taking one step for every 2-3 of mine. Though on a flat surface I can racewalk faster than they can walk, keeping your feet low to the ground and not bending knees doesn't work on a trail. I decided to just walk a little behind them and not stress. On a hairpin curve down a hill, I cheated, cut through and caught up with them. I was a little cocky and laughing, not watching the trail. My right foot caught on a big immovable rock, and before I knew it, I was in mid-air, thinking "This is going to hurt." I hit the ground on my right arm, hip and shin. I laid there a minute wondering if I was hurt, and when my BIL looked all worried I got worried. I was scraped up pretty good, but nothing was broken. We cut the hike short when we got to the point we entered (About 2.6 miles total.) and went back to the cabin. The middle of my upper arm is a pretty purple, my hip has another pretty purple spot, and my leg is scraped with a little more purple underneath. I feel achy all over, and my neck and back are especially throbby.

I'm very lucky I wasn't hurt worse. Unfortunately, it really cut down on my desire to get in more walking. I probably will do a little later today when it cools off, but not necessarily on a trail.

I'm amazed how yucky I can feel after an impact with the ground. It does make me wonder how football players do it.

Anyway, we are still on vacation, and expect to be back over the weekend. If I can get to the library again to get Internet access before we return, I will.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Mistake - Appleton Update

In my letter from the editor in the Summer issue of WALK! Magazine, I implied that walkers who enter the "competitive" division of the Appleton 13.1 Miles PowerWalk must racewalk. (Actually, that is what I thought.)

This is wrong! I just found out today that competitive walkers are NOT required to racewalk either. Basically, the judges are there to make sure everyone walks, not to watch for proper racewalking form.

I hope this misunderstanding has not kept any of you from entering the race!

Don't forget, the race is September 23.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another 8 Miles

I got my 8 miles in today! Though it was supposed to be a "not so easy 8", I started out slow. The first mile was 17 minutes! I have not used the lap feature on my watch yet, so I'm not sure how fast the last few miles were, but I did 4 in 63 minutes and I tried to go progressively faster.

The weather was perfect. It was sunny, but not hot. There was a pretty consistent breeze, so I never got over-heated. Unlike last week, I was totally aware of the hills. I think it is because I was trying to walk harder.

I feel as if I could do the 10-mile race in Flint next week! My training is going great!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Disappearing Racewalking Division

It's not often that I hear about a race from more than one reader. Two told me they entered the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon, registered as racewalkers, then found out the day of the race there was no racewalking division.

I sent an e-mail to ask about it. Here's what the race director said:
The racewalk was only a registration category and was to let people know we welcomed racewalkers to our event (my mother is a nationally ranked racewalker). NOCRAP used to be involved and we are no longer allowed to present awards since it is a point to point course and we cannot afford to judge it. We've been told by participants and officials that awarding racewalkers when there is no mechanism to prevent run/walkers, is not fair and should stop. So, we stopped posting on the website that we'd be awarding any racewalk categories. However, we can provide a separate category for times and post that. I apologize for the confusion.


I appreciate his getting back to me so quickly.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

See Cindi in Appleton

Saturday, September 22 at 1:15 p.m. I'll be speaking at the Appleton Expo. It looks like the preliminary title will be something like "Why Walk?" I'll discuss the benefits of walking and goal setting, weightloss, overall fitness and maintaining motivation.

Come see me!

8 is Great!

I got 8 miles in today and it was great! I was a little nervous because once I get beyond 5 or 7 miles during training, I worry about how I will feel.

I went to one of my favorite parks that has an almost 4-mile loop. It has great trees, hills (hard to find in Columbus), varied scenery and deer. It also has drinking fountains, one 2-miles into the loop, and bathrooms.

Because it was hot I decided to take it easy for a couple of miles until I knew whether the heat would bother me. After about 2 miles I decided to just take it easy today. I enjoyed seeing how much everything had grown since my last trip there. There was plenty of shade and I even saw one deer. In fact, the walk was so enjoyable, I didn't even notice the second time I hit the hills.

I finished feeling fantastic!

Dave's Crim 10-mile training schedule has us do two 10-mile days. I know by the time I get to Flint for the Crim, I will be more than ready. I'm confident it will help my half marathon training, too!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

4 Miles today

My Crim race training program called for 4 miles "acceleration" today. That means, I had to start out at a reasonable pace and each successive mile to go faster and finally finsh very fast.

During my first mile I kept going too fast. I had to work at keeping myself at a reasonable pace. The last mile was pretty tough! I walked as hard as I could and still maintain it for a full mile. When I got close to home I sprinted. Well, what passes for a sprint for me.

What a great workout! I had forgotten how invigorating it can be to walk to change the pace. I finished feeling great - tired, but great!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Racewalking? Maybe

I've had racewalking lessons, but I never really felt like I "got" it. I seriously need more lessons, but haven't had time. I wish I could have been to the Bonnie Stein clinic when she was in Columbus last month. I always attempt to racewalk, but I'm really not very good at it.

Anyway, today during my 6-mile walk, I wasn't really thinking about walking. Suddenly, I felt as if my stride was so smooth I was floating. I've been told you will feel it when you are really racewalking, and I think today I might have been doing it somewhat correctly!

I'll have to keep trying.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Just Plain Tired

I just did NOT feel like walking today. It was hot, humid and I was still tired from our neighbors setting off fireworks until the wee hours this morning. I guess they didn't have to work today.

I decided to just go out and walk casually for 3 miles. I did that for about 40 min. and started feeling a little better as time went on. At that point I also stopped to watch an auto accident at the end of our street. It attracted several firetrucks and ambulances, and looked as if it involved 4 cars. I couldn't tell how many people were hurt.

That short break was just enough of a rest that I felt great! I picked up my speed and even added a couple of cul de sacs I Originally planned I would skip.

I feel bad about the accident, and wouldn't normally stop to gawk, but I needed to regroup. And I left feeling more energetic.

Discovery

I just discovered that the house with the invisible fence and the charging dog also has the invisible sprinklers that soaked me recently. If I see the dog, there is no water - if I see the sidewalks are wet, no dog!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Columbus Monthly Article


Earlier this year I was interviewed by Columbus Monthly magazine for an article about walking. Well, the article finally came out in the July issue! I'm pretty happy with how I came across. I'm quoted significantly, which was nice --especially since I sounded OK. The magazine did a good job of running photos of most of the people interviewed, and my photo was flattering. I'm a little hyper critical because I was on a medication that caused weight gain back then, and have lost more than 10 lbs since the photo was taken. Regardless, it's a nice photo. (My hairdresser will be happy my hair looks great!)

This is funny. I skimmed the article yesterday evening and was all excited. Then several hours later, when showing it to a friend, I noticed the subhead above the portion about me said "Unfit Thin Person." Now, I have always described my "before walking" life that way, but it hit me as humorous seeing it as the subhead about me!

I'm hoping that the publicity helps to generate some interest in WALK! Magazine by Columbus area walkers.

Thanks to Phil Heit for suggesting I be included in the story! Congratulations to everyone in the story, especially Larry Smith, who reads this blog!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Magazine Update

OK, I know this is an old excuse, but the printer did not mail the Summer issue of WALK! Magazine on Friday as I was told. In fact, it didn't mail today either.

With this printer it's SSDD.

3 Miles

Today was an easy 3 miles in my training schedule. It definitely helped with the stiffness I had left over from Saturday's walk.

What is funny is that it was chilly enough that I wore leggings and a long-sleeved shirt! In July! I never would have expected it. Granted, I had to walk after 9 p.m., but I still can't believe it was this chilly. I start my speed workouts tomorrow.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Stiff

I'm a little bit stiff and sore today. It usually happens when I'm training for an event, but this time it seems a little more uncomfortable than usual. In fact, yesterday it was bad enough that I took Ibuprofen to sit through the baseball game and had to take even more today. Slow casual walking in the grocery store helped.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Beautiful Day!

What a great day to go walking!

My husband and I went to a small wedding reception Friday night and stayed out later than I should have. So I slept in and went out to walk after 11 a.m. I thought it would be too hot, but it was beautiful! I was scheduled to do 6 easy miles and it was great!

I ended up going to the local park with a lake and a 1.2-mile loop around it. Though this is usually one of my favorite places to walk, I haven't been here in a while. It can get pretty crowded when the weather is nice, but the real reason is that a young woman was nearly attacked by a creep with a knife a couple of weeks ago. (She fought back and was unharmed.) Over the years there have been occasional incidents in isolated areas along the bike trail. I try to be careful, especially when I'm on the trail rather than looping the lake. If I feel the least bit uncomfortable, I head back home.

The bad thing is, I like walking when there are no people around. One of my favorite walks in that area was a few years back in a steady warm rain in July. There were fewer than 6 people out that day, and we bonded under the bridge waiting for the thunder and lightening to stop. Because the rain was warm, it was a great walk until the lightening started.

I also have a creepy memory from that area, which also involved rain oddly enough. One early Sunday morning, right after it had stopped raining, I went out to do my long slow distance. It started out just being a nice walk on a tree-lined trail. I went south on the trail for about 4 miles and never saw another person. There are several blind turns and the trees can be pretty thick in places. After awhile I started to feel uncomfortable. It was the first time I had ever been out there and didn't see a single person! I was debating whether to head home the way I came, when a few bikers rode by. As time went on there were a few joggers, too.

Anyway, I will go back to the lake and walk the loop, but I doubt I will walk on the trail unless they are crowded or I have someone to walk with.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

4 Miles Today

I was a little bit sore today and had iced my knees earlier, so decided to really take the "easy 4 miles" on the schedule seriously. I was able to head out about 6 p.m. The temps were toasty, but I wasn't worried - I was walking an "easy" 4. I walked to the library, did two laps at the park and came home - just about 4.4 miles according to Google. The last half mile I started to really feel tired. I slowed considerably and even walked with my arms straight down. Because my legs and knees had been sore and it was hot, I probably would have been better off sticking with 4 miles exactly. I'm sure I would have felt fine.

The worst part is, I took so long to walk, the CD was over! I'm in the middle of a great book, and had to walk several minutes wondering what would happen next.

(I iced my knees this evening and will again tomorrow. This happens every Spring and Summer because I don't do knee strengthening exercises year round. Once I build up some mileage and endurance I'll be fine.)

Walking at Night

Because of a busy day, I didn't get out until after 9 p.m. on Monday. It was hot and humid and not much of a breeze, but because it was dark it wasn't unbearable. I haven't been out with it this dark in a long time. I wore my reflective vest and headlamp to be sure I could be seen. The headlamp definitely helps with uneven sidewalks and other potential hazards - like skunks.

It was supposed to be an easy 3 miles. I walked harder than the schedule called for, and though my Google pedometer route said it was only 3 miles I was out for 56 min., and I walked faster than that. I have to figure that Google map doesn't take into consideration the loop at the end of each cul de sac. (The map picture doesn't show a loop.)

Fitting in Walking

Sunday my son had a game at 12:30 p.m., or so we thought. We arrived at the school around 12:15 to discover the game was actually at 1:30! The game was at a school with a large amount of property and the baseball field was as far from the parking lot as you could get. I took this opportunity to walk as much as I could in about 50+ min. I ended up having no other time to walk that day, so I was glad to have had it. I was wearing Croc sandals, so I probably did not get in 3 miles, but I'm sure I covered more than 2. (I was a slug. I was supposed to get in 5 on Saturday and just didn't fit it in.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Google Maps

Today I discovered Google pedometer! I love it! All you do is zoom to your walking location, click at your starting point, and then add your route. I discovered that in my neighborhood, if I hit every single cul de sac, the distance is 3.47 miles. When I drove the route I came up with just 3 miles.

I get a little obsessive about measuring things so it will be nice to be more accurate about the distances I walk. I'm very excited.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

4 Miles Tonight

I was able to squeeze in my 4 miles shortly after I got home this evening. It stopped raining just after I got in the house from my car (after I was soaked). So I changed and went out walking as quickly as possible just in case the rain came back. I didn't take sunglasses, thinking I wouldn't need them - it had been raining afterall. The sun was pretty bright for about 30 mins. which made it pretty humid. I walked to the library, did two laps at the park and walked back, it should be closer to 4.4 miles.

This was weird. The soles of my shoes were slick when wet. I tried to stay on the dry parts of the walking path, but when the soles were wet, the pavement was slick. There are a couple of tiny steep hills on the path, and I had to walk int he grass going down them to keep from slipping.

Oh, the best part! My family waited to eat dinner with me! They even fixed dinner.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Things I Hate When Walking in the Summer

1) Motorcycles without mufflers
2) Cars without mufflers
3) Dogs in parks that are not on leashes
4) The invisible fence (at least at the house down the street where the dog charges me every time I walk by)
5) Not seeing a sprinkler and getting unexpectedly soaked (it happened tonight)
6) Wet shoes or socks
7) Sweat in my eyes
8) Dead batteries
9) Shoelaces that won't stay tied
10) Water splashing out of my water bottle (in my fanny pack) and down my back

Training for Crim 10 Miler

I wasn't able to walk on a measured track today, so I walked for over 45 min. to be sure I walked an entire 3 miles. The temps were in the mid 90s here, and my son had a baseball game at 6:30 p.m., so I was worried about when I'd be able to fit in the distance. I got home about 8:30 and was out the door before 9. It was a great time to walk. It had cooled off a little, the wind was blowing like it wanted to rain, and traffic in the neighborhood was light. I have a headlamp I don't wear often, but I did tonight. It really is not bright enough to light up the sidewalk, other than pointing out major sidewalk shifts, but at least I knew the few cars I encountered could see me when I crossed the street.

At some baseball games I'll be able to walk around the field. I thought I would do that tonight, but this field was fenced. Actually, it worked out better this way.

The other cool thing is, when training for my first fall marathon, I ended up doing a lot of my summer miles in my neighborhood, late at night. As I was walking tonight, it felt just like when I was walking all those years ago. It felt great!