Sunday, September 30, 2007

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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 ( 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.