Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I had not planned to write every single time I walk out the door, but here I go anyway.

Today, additional errands made getting home before 7:30 p.m. impossible. I didn't get outside until after 8, so I had to cut it a little short. Actually, it's a good thing I cut it short. I felt a small pain on the back of my foot, but kept walking through it. I must have had something in my sock, because when I got home I found a small popped blister.

Regardless, the snow is melting, the sidewalks were pretty clear and there was almost no ice. It was great!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back on Track

Realizing I'm fewer than 10 weeks away from the Country Music Marathon caused me to take things a little more seriously this week.

Sunday was a long walk, yesterday was a day of rest and today I needed to get in either 3 miles or 45 min. I had errands to run in the early evening and did not get home until after 7 p.m. By the time I ate a quick salad and put on my favorite shoes, it was 8:15. ARGH! It's too dark to really go anywhere, so I opted for 45 min. in the neighborhood.

I have not tried anything close to racewalking form since before winter. Today, with my favorite light, flexible walking shoes, I walked with my heel hitting the ground and rolling my feet. It felt great! I tried to bring my arms back all the way, but I was a little too bundled to be effective.

Though it was in the 40s earlier today, it is below freezing now and a lot of the water puddles have started to freeze over. I had a flashlight so I could tell what was ice. A lot of the sidewalks still had huge patches of snow and ice, so I spent a lot of time in the streets, which were pretty clear. I'm proud to say I had no wipe outs!

After today I realized I will have to start strengthening my ankles and shins. They have not been worked like this in a long time. I also have to work on my upper body strength to get over the shoulder injury I had last year. (I'm still not recovered.)

Considering the obstacles, I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish today! And I'm glad to be out walking without needing boots.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What Freezing Rain?

Well, if we had any freezing rain last night, I didn't see it. When I got up the streets were wet, but not slick. The temps were higher than 32 for sure!

So, I worked on the magazine for a while and waited for the library to open at noon. The streets and sidewalks around my house still are not clear enough to do real training, but I desperately needed to get in some miles.

Around 2 p.m. the sun came out so I decided to head out. It was about 40 degrees and felt like a heat wave! As long as no cars were coming, I walked in my streets and was making pretty good time. I went to the grocery store first to pick up a couple of really light items. Those sidewalks were just as bad as the ones in the neighborhood, so I cut through some parking lots and did a good job of staying on pavement.

Getting to the library was a little more tricky. The street I walk is pretty busy, but has sidewalks on both sides. Unfortunately, they were covered with snow, black snow, ice and a couple of inches of water. Where possible I stayed on top of the snow. Otherwise, I tried walking in the grass until I hit spots that were too muddy. I turned the corner to the road the library is on, and there is a bike lane that was very clear! I again was making good time and starting to sweat.

I got my books and went back, but used the sidewalks on the other side of the road. There are a few more houses on this side, and some of the residents actually shoveled their sidewalks! I love these people. It was much easier going.

Regardless, I walked about 3 miles. Later this evening I'll take a quick walk through the neighborhood and see if I can tack on at least 2 more. With less traffic, I should be able to walk a little faster and stay in the roads. Though I'll be a little bit short, I was worried about doing 6 miles today. My training mileage is a little off, I don't want to increase too quickly and possibly get injured, like last year. The couple hour break today should help.

(NOTE: I was "testing" a pair of shoes for our annual shoe review issue. I won't give anything away, but I got home and my feet were perfectly dry! If I had worn my regular walking shoes with mesh everywhere, my feet would have been soaked very early on.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

My training for the Country Music Half Marathon is a little bit off. Though I enjoy walking outside in Ohio winters, I have to admit it is more of the casual walking I like this time of year. It is amazing that my 5K PR is from a February race where the temps were in the single digits because I have trouble doing actual training walks in walking shoes outside in snow. (My boots are so much warmer!) I don't belong to a gym, don't own a treadmill and hate walking in malls.

I had planned my weekend around working on the magazine today and walking tomorrow. Today is beautiful. The sun is shining, the streets are thawed and there is no wind. It would be a pretty good day for a long training walk.

The forecasters say we are in for an ice storm tonight and there are more winter advisories for tomorrow already. Argh!

We are expecting visitors this afternoon and I think it is too late to squeeze in a couple of miles.

I really need to get out, I need to finish this issue and I need to be here for our visitors. It's hard to decide what to do!

I'll let you know how walking on ice goes tomorrow.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Congratulations WALK! Magazine

Today the Ohio USATF presented an award to me to acknowledge WALK! Magazine's "Service to Race Walking." Before the start of today's 3000m racewalk at Ohio Northern University, Vince Peters, USA Track & Field National Race Walk Committee Chairman, presented the award to me.

Because the weather was a little iffy this morning, there were fewer participants at the race, but it was still very exciting. Thank you so much to Ohio USATF and Vince for this acknowledgment!

Also today, Matt Boyles was presented the "Ohio Race Walker of the Year." Congratulations Matt!

Thanks to my friend David who took pictures for me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sometimes I'm Crazy

Central Ohio was under a snow emergency for over 24 hours. I'm not sure how much snow fell, but the "snow shoveler" in the family says it was under a foot.

It was sunny earlier today, so I decided to walk to the post office, bank and greeting card store (it's Valentine's Day). The neighborhood street has two tire ruts down the middle and very few sidewalks were cleared. Well, our street NEVER gets plowed, so I was not phased. I walked in a tire rut until I came to the busy street I knew would be clear. It was.

What I had not thought through was how I would cross the big patch of grass at the side of the road I normally walk through or how I would get near the corner to cross the streets. The snow had drifted to several inches higher than a foot. At the intersection, the snow was even higher because of the plowing. I really wanted to get some mail out, and I really needed to deposit some money. I trudged on, trying to cut through parking lots where possible, but unable to jaywalk anywhere to avoid the intersections. A couple of times I got caught at a dead end and had to come up with a new route -- the snow was too high to walk through and there was no way around. In some places the top of the snow was thick and crusty enough it held my weight. Unfortunately, I fell through once or twice in the really deep stuff.

I got to my destinations exhausted. I'm not used to working so hard just to walk.

Though the drivers looked at me with pity, I had fun, even when I fell through the deep snow. My socks and pants were wet when I got home, but it was just nice to be outside walking.

Flint, MI and Crim Festival of Races Win!

The votes have been tallied, and the winner of the first ever WALK! Magazine Walker Friendly City is Flint, MI!

We received an overwhelming number of nominations for Flint. One of the judges was surprised we even asked for a committee to review the nominations. It was a landslide!

In addition, the Crim Festival of Races won the Walker Friendly Event award! We had quite a bit fewer races and events nominated, but by far the winner was the Flint, MI event. Other events which received nominations include: New Albany Walking Classic 10K, New Albany, OH; Portland Marathon, Portland, OR; and Community First Fox Cities Marathon/Appleton Papers Power Walk, Appleton, WI.

We are currently trying to select a date to present Flint and the Crim Festival of Races with their awards. In addition, we hope to be in Flint for the race in August.

Second place city goes to Holland, MI! I'm pretty sure it was a one-man campaign that caused so many people and government officials to write on behalf of Holland. And it was tough to keep from being swayed by the wonderful gifts we received.

It is very obvious from this competition that the ENTIRE state of Michigan is walker friendly! Thank you everyone who participated and made nominations! The individual prize winners will be announced later today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I have been a dog owner most of my life. Since being married we've had 4 dogs -- two golden retrievers (deceased) and now a yellow lab and a mutt from the pound. All of our dogs have weighed over 60 lbs. -- "fragile" and "frail" are not words I would use to describe any of them.

Right now Columbus is being buried in snow. Ozzie the mutt and Rylee the lab LOVE snow! It's fun watching them chase each other around the yard and tackle each other in the white stuff! If it was Ozzie's choice, he would be in the snow all day.

We recently acquired my mom's 10-year-old, 10 lb. toy poodle named Nay Nay. (I didn't name the dog, but that is not the embarrassing part.) Today, TWICE, I was seen shoveling snow from my grass so the little dog can walk out in the yard.

Now THAT is embarrassing!

Seriously, Nay Nay is a very sweet dog. It's quite a bit different having a "lap" dog who is actually small enough to fit in my lap. The other two are extremely jealous. I would do almost anything for her right now -- even shovel snow from my yard.

Restaurant Making Things Right

Last week I had lunch at a restaurant and the food was bad. I filled out their online complaint form and received a personal phone call from the manager! He was very professional, very understanding and disappointed I had a bad experience at his restaurant. He asked me to give them another chance and said he will send me a gift card to cover it.

I will definitely give this restaurant another chance for two reasons:
- I've eaten there before and enjoyed the food;
- the manager listened, offered a solution and did not make excuses.

Based on this manager's handling of the situation, I probably would go back even if he had not offered to buy my lunch.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Healthy Eating

I usually dine out for lunch. Today I went to a restaurant where I had tilapia, rice pilaf and steamed veggies. It sounded better than it tasted (mostly bland), but I felt pretty good about the healthy choices!

While at lunch, I again experienced something a little odd. I started noticing a couple of weeks ago that when I dine alone, I rarely get a check in a timely manner. Empty plates are pushed to the side and nothing happens. I even get my cash out and set it on the table, and STILL nothing. Last week, I stood up, put my coat on and stood next to my table. (The waitress said "Have a nice afternoon," and walked past me!) When I'm with someone, this is rarely a problem. In the defense of the wait staff, when I am alone I read, edit, work crosswords... so I am not making regular eye contact. Still, I can't figure out why I can't just get my check. I guess I'll have to start asking for it as soon as I order.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cutting it Short

The sun was shining and it was beautiful today! I couldn't wait to get out and walk. Because I couldn't get out until late afternoon I had planned to head to the library to return a couple of audio books. (I have to make a confession here. I frequently misplace CDs and tapes from audio books. I usually find them eventually, but it's a royal pain when I can't.) I couldn't find all of the tapes for the book that was due, so decided to go to the post office and check my mail instead - about half as far.

In the 30 minutes I looked for tapes, the sun started to go down and it got a little chillier. Halfway to the post office I was thrilled I was not going all the way to the library. My legs were frozen! I stopped into a grocery store just to thaw before I went back home. I also stopped at a gas station to get some coffee.

Winter sun is a little misleading. It gives you the false impression that it is warmer than it is. I was wearing blue jeans, which is one of the worst things to wear this time of year. Cold denim is COLD! I later discovered it was about 15 degrees again today.

Still it is great to be out walking - even if I was freezing.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weighty Issues

Why is it that scales at a doctor's office always weigh us heavier than anywhere else? When I go to calculate my BMI, do I use the weight on my doctor's scales or my home scale?

I have had two doctor appointments over the past three months. At one doctor, I was measured at 5 feet 4.5 inches tall. That shocked me because I have always thought I was 5 feet 5 inches. Yesterday, I was measured at 5 feet 5.25 inches! I've never been told I'm that tall.

There is probably no way to know which measurements are most accurate. So, do I just pick and choose the measurements that make me happy?

Walking in Snow

I was so excited Central Ohio got several inches of snow today, I couldn't wait to get out walking. Finally at about 7 p.m. I was ready to head out. The snow was dry and loose and big flakes were still falling. Anticipating that not many sidewalks would be clear, I bundled up in my old, ugly winter coat, my winter boots with thick wool socks, warm suede mittens, and I headed out the door. I also had my CD player with me. I am in the final chapters of a pretty good book.

As I approached my halfway point for a typical 30-minute walk, the snow had drifted in such a way I didn't see the curb. I fell forward and nearly landed on my face. Luckily, fluffy snow makes a sidewalk pretty soft and my landing was uneventful. I even laughed aloud. Unfortunately, my legs were covered with snow and I worried about it melting and becoming wet, so I turned around and went back. About this time my CD player suddenly stopped working. (It was safely in a pocket and never hit the ground.) It had never occurred to me that a CD player would get too cold, but apparently 13 degrees F is too cold. Even putting it inside my coat didn't warm it enough.

By the time I got back to my street, I had been out about 20 minutes, and my footprints were already starting to fill with snow.

I loved every step of my short snowy walk! If it has to be cold, we should at least have fluffy snow to walk in.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Renewing Resolutions

Today is the first day of my new New Year's resolutions. The bad eating is over and excuses for not exercising will no longer be acceptable.

When I originally picked today to get back to normal, it was just because it is the first Monday in February. How ironic that my physical exam ended up being rescheduled to today. The other thing I found humorous, I have just recently trained myself to want to eat breakfast and have only recently been hungry in the morning. Today I was not allowed to eat anything for 12 hours before my 10:45 appointment! I left the Doctor's office around noon and I was starving.

The preliminary results show that my health is good. Now that I am back on track, it should just get better.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Heading to Charleston

We are heading to Charleston, SC for the Cooper River Bridge Run! I've heard a lot of good things about this race over the past couple of years. We are very excited to be going there!

The race starts at 8 a.m. March 31 and is a 10K. Because they anticipate 50,000 entrants in the event, I imagine the elite runners finish before the people in the last corral will even start. What is especially exciting is that walkers will wear chips this year and will be allowed to complete the entire race! (It was different in previous years.)

I'm not sure I will enter the event. The Expo booth is open for 12 hours Thursday and 14 hours Friday. Then we have to pack. I would have to be at the starting line at 6:30 a.m. Boy, that may be tough. I guess I better decide soon, before they sell out.

If you are going to be in Charleston, stop by our booth! We love to meet readers in person!