Monday, December 29, 2008

Surprisingly Dark Tonight

I finally got out for a short walk about 7 p.m. tonight. (It's been a few days.) I don't mind walking in my neighborhood at night for two reasons: It normally feels safe and most people keep their porch lights on.

Though there are houses in our neighborhood with holiday lights, there are fewer than in previous years. And today, there were a lot fewer houses with their porch lights on. It seemed dark!

Unfortunately, my headlamp is going dim, so I didn't feel well lit. I did wear a reflective vest, but I didn't feel as comfortable out there today.

Though I needed to walk longer, I cut it a little short due to dark.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

9 Tips to Help you Keep your Fitness Resolutions

Traditionally, the New Year is a time of self-evaluation, goal-setting and change. And after more than a month of overeating (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day), most of us have gained a few pounds and are thinking about health and fitness. If you are like the average American, your last year’s resolutions were out the window by March! March!

To help all of us be successful beyond March, I’d like to offer a little advice for your 2009 Resolutions. These 9 tips are in no particular order, but needless to say, they have a "walking" focus.

1) Be realistic. Set goals you have a chance of meeting. If your goal is to enter and finish Last Chance for Boston in early February in record time, and you haven’t walked in a month -- not likely! But you could enter and train for the Cincinnati Flying Pig in May or the Columbus Marathon in October. Or you could enter some local 5Ks all year long.

2) Don’t overdo it. Don’t set so many goals that you become burned out quickly. If you add spin classes and weightlifting along with walking all on the same days and changing your entire diet, within two weeks you won’t be doing anything.

3) Don’t beat yourself up if you have a minor setback. Pick a day and start over. When “restarting” my resolutions, I usually pick a Monday or the first day of a month. There is something about a fresh week or month that is helpful.

4) Start a new resolution each month throughout the year. Maybe in January you resolve to walk 4 to 5 days a week. February you eat one extra serving of fruit each day. In March you add push ups to your workout routine. In April you eat a healthy breakfast each day, in May you give up caffeine (Just kidding. I love caffeine.) In June you stretch after each workout …. You’ll have something new to focus on each month that can spark your enthusiasm. Studies show it takes 21 to 30 days for a new behavior to become a habit, so if these new behaviors build on each other, you’ll have achieved a lot by the end of the year.

5) Write it down. Many of us use mileage logs to keep our walking in check. Make your mileage log a health and fitness log, keeping track of all your fitness goals. Seeing what you have accomplished can help keep you going.

6) Seek out a support group. Whether it is a walking club or Weight Watchers, it is helpful to have others who are working toward a similar goal. Online groups like the WALK! Magazine Walking Team or a Yahoo discussion group will also help. Plus, if you know a group is dependent on you, you are much more likely to show up. (Insert Deb’s hysterical laughter here.)

7) If your goal is to enter a race or walking event, pay your entry fee early. Once you put money toward the entry fee, hotel or airfare, you are less likely to back out. In addition, tell people you are going to do it. Tell your walking buddies, post on discussion groups and they will be your support group. Tell your other friends and family. The more people who know, the more embarrassing it will be if you back out and fear of embarrassment is a great motivator!

8) The opposite of number 1 -- Do something bold! Pick something you have always wanted to do, but accomplishing it will be a BIG deal -- something that will keep you excited and working hard for a long time. Maybe instead of doing a local race, you do the Disney Marathon, or an event in Hawaii or Barbados! Would you like to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail or the Grand Canyon? A walking vacation in Europe would be fun! You don't even have to accomplish it this year, but start planning for something that will be exciting or life-altering for you.

9) Reward yourself. When you have accomplished a goal, you deserve a reward. After you have walked 5 days a week for a month, buy a great pair of new socks. When you complete your first 20-mile walk, maybe you deserve a cute new technical shirt. When you finish a great race, buy a charm or race shirt to commemorate it! (What would I have to do to earn a Garmin?)

So, with these tips in mind, let’s all have the best and healthiest year possible in 2009! And I’ll see you at the starting line of the Cincinnati Flying Pig (Half) Marathon in May.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

My family had a very nice, low-key Christmas celebration yesterday. Tomorrow we will have a chaotic, crazy, young-kid filled holiday with nieces and nephews like I remember from being a kid. Both options are great and lots of fun!

I hope that all of you have had the opportunity to do what you wanted this holiday season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Views on Twitter

The main reason I got on Twitter was so I could communicate with readers of WALK! Magazine and they could reach me fairly easily. I thought it would be fun to have short 140-character chats with other walkers and fitness fanatics. I could post things that happen throughout the day. It would be fun.

I've been on Twitter for a little while and I have a couple of observations:

1) Most people using Twitter are PR people. I don't have anything against PR people -- I used to be one. It just seems to be a really high percentage.

2) There are not many walkers. @bethwatkins, @BigManWalking, @LarryWalksFast, @TimSeaman and a couple of others are about all I've found. @hiwendee runs and walks, but that's OK, I still talk to her.

3) You follow people and people follow you. But not everyone you follow has to follow you and vice versa.

4) Related to number 3 -- sometimes I feel like I did in high school. All of the cool kids are having a conversation and I'm not included. It could just be that I follow people who don't follow me, so they don't even "hear" me. Regardless it feels weird.

5) Some people tweet too often! Maybe when the novelty wears off it will slow down. I've quit following some people because there are way TOO many messages from them and it makes it hard to see what other people are saying. Sometimes enough is enough!

6) You can waste a LOT of time on Twitter. It is fun! I like getting breaking news stories. It's interesting hearing that Lance Armstrong rode for 6 hours yesterday. Wendee is either cooking or stuck in traffic and Larry posts about his training or going to see AC/DC. Some of the local news anchors tweet during newscasts! It's like a private joke people not on Twitter never know about.

7) I don't know how to use Twitter effectively. I started out just posting about the magazine, but that seemed a little uninteresting. I added posts about training and races I've entered. Sometimes the posts are more personal than professional. Not quite sure how to handle that. There have also been some general complaints about people who use corporate names as opposed to personal ones. I picked @WALK_Magazine so readers could find me easily, but people who don't know that I am WALK! Magazine might be turned off by that.

In conclusion, I really like Twitter. At the same time, I think it wastes time. I don't have a lot of free time as it is, do I really need to spend a couple hours watching people chat? Still, I know it has the potential to be a great marketing and PR tool (hence all of the PR people on there), I'm not sure how it will help me yet.

In the meantime, follow me @WALK_Magazine. You'll find out all kinds of things like when the next issue will be out, what I had for breakfast and how many miles I walked. :-)OK, I just posted a notice promoting the WALK! Magazine Walking Team. Maybe I will get the hang of using it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Only 2 More Days!

Only 2 more days until the shortest day of the year. That means that starting Tuesday, each day gets a little bit brighter!

Many of you know my moods are affected by the amount of sunshine and daylight I get to see. The longer the day, the more likely I am to actually see daylight!

I'm happier just thinking about it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Excuses

Most walkers I know have had at least one training day or race where they get so discouraged they just want to quit. I had a couple moments like that during an especially hilly long-distance race earlier this year.

Today I came across this photo from a posting on Twitter. (Click the link to see it larger.) These three athletes were near the finish line of the 2008 White Rock Marathon in Dallas earlier this month. (This photo is from

I think I'll be complaining less.

Follow me on Twitter @WALK_Magazine.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going Green in 2009!

I've been hinting about changes coming to WALK! Magazine, but I haven't gone into much detail. Here are some of the exciting things going on.

WALK! Magazine is going green! We will begin publishing only electronically beginning with the next issue. There are many benefits to publishing electronically. Not only will we be saving trees, but delivery will no longer be delayed due to printers and the postal service! We have a lot of exciting ideas to take advantage of this new format and we will share those with you as they develop.

Second, WALK! will start publishing six times a year in 2009! I have wanted to take this step since our first year of publishing. To better accommodate this new bi-monthly production schedule, we are postponing the Winter issue, traditionally published in December, to January 2009 to make it the January/February issue. This change will cause a delay of only a couple of weeks, but will make the transition to a bi-monthly magazine much easier in the long run.

In this current economy, paper and postage costs are taking their toll on many publishers -- even long-established magazines with large readerships are hurting! (Check out news on PC Magazine.) We had a lot of difficult decisions to make and finally decided it is better for our readers to keep publishing, even if it is strictly electronically.

I have to admit -- I'm pretty old school when it comes to publishing. I like paper -- I like the feel of paper and I like the portability of taking a magazine or a book with me wherever I go.

But by going electronic, we are able to do some things we can't do otherwise -- like include links to other walking websites, build an online walking community or embed video into the magazine. Wouldn't it be great if, when Dave McGovern explains a new technique, we can see a video of him demonstrating that technique? Not all of those extras will take place immediately, but we are working on it. It will be a very exciting time for us!

For some people, going electronic will be a difficult transition. To make that transition a little easier, we are offering some great subscription deals. All current subscribers will be receiving that information soon. I sincerely hope you will give it a chance.

To see what an electronic edition is like, check out the Summer issue. Just click on the pdf cover to open it. The password is "walkingmag". (Future issues will have more features.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Run - 4 Miler

The Holiday Run has historically been one of my favorite local races -- partly because it has a festive feel and partly because it is usually a pretty race, especially in snow. It is held at Sharon Woods, which is scenic and one of my favorite places to walk.

About 10 members of the Buckeye Striders and my son had entered.

When we first arrived, the temp on my car said 38 degrees. It felt relatively warm and I was positive I had over-dressed. As we picked up our race chips and walked around, the temps dropped. By race start it felt A LOT colder and I was glad I left the layers on.

At about mile 1 it started to sprinkle. (You've heard it from me a million times -- I HATE rain when it is cold!) I didn't have a hood or any type of hat to keep my hair dry, either. When it stopped I was relieved, but it sprinkled on and off the rest of the race. Luckily it was never heavy enough to soak through my water-resistant jacket, but I did feel bad that my son had to stand in the rain and wait for me. (He ran.) As it turned out, he had to wait nearly 20 min.

Despite the rain, it was a fun race! The Buckeye Striders are always fun! It was fun having my son at the finish line cheering me on. And it was nice having hot chocolate and holiday cookies at the finish line.

My finish time was 56:38, averaging a 14:08 mile. I placed 162 out of 199 women total and about 26th out of 47 women walkers. Not bad. The first 300 finishers received coffee mugs, but I was number 303 overall. Darn!

My son had a good race. He was 59th overall and third in his age group with a time of 29:48. (He got a mug!)

If you are looking for a winter race, this is a good one! It will be my last race of 2008. I'm still deciding if I will enter the First on the First 5K.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Arnold Likes WALK!

I just had a chance to see the Arnold 5K Racewalk flyer for the first time. There is a huge picture of Arnold's face and to the left are pictures of people walking. (Most of them are racewalking.) Three of those people are wearing WALK Magazine shirts!

So, how cool is that?

OK, it is a little like looking for Waldo, so I'll help you out.

In the largest group near the bottom, George is wearing a green WALK! Magazine Walking Team shirt. In the center the gentleman in the red shorts is wearing our white short-sleeved man's T-shirt. In the group at the top, the man farthest left is Joe from Cincinnati wearing our man's tank.

Thanks everyone for wearing our shirts at races!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Yes, it is Metatarsalgia

I finally had my doctor check out a small nagging pain in the ball of my right foot. I've had it for months and I even quit wearing high heels to try to heal it. The switch in shoes has helped somewhat, but racewalking still aggravates the condition. At least now the pain doesn't commence until racewalking for more than 50 minutes.

The good news is it is not a stress fracture. It's metatarsalgia! A few of the causes include wearing high heels, intense training, wearing shoes with little padding, and aging. Hmmm -- I wonder which of these apply to me?

Additional good news: treatment includes wearing metatarsal pads in my shoes to relieve pressure off those bones. I think I can do that.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Teaching Through Example

Subtitle: Parents - Get off the bleachers and move.
I had the opportunity to walk at an indoor track Saturday. While there, a couple soccer teams had practice in the area in the middle of the track. It was fun watching young girls (5 or 6?) and pre-teen boys being active and healthy while we walked!

Here comes the gripe. The ONLY people using the track were members of the Buckeye Striders walking club! There were 40 or so parents sitting in the bleachers watching their kids run around and be healthy.

I'm sure some of these parents are active in sports, too. Active parents tend to encourage their kids to be active. However, a LOT of the observers looked as if they could really use the exercise! What would have been the harm in walking or running around the track a few times while waiting?

I applaud these parents for taking their kids to sports practice early on a Saturday morning! But why not we go the extra step. Why not show your kids that it is just as important for adults to get exercise as it is kids.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Maybe I AM a Racewalker

My walking club met at the Capital University indoor track today. (It's cold outside!) I decided to take advantage of being on an indoor track and work strictly on racewalking form and not worry about speed. My focus was on planting my heels, rolling through to my toes, keeping my knees straight, etc.

For those who have never attempted to racewalk, it feels weird when you do it wrong. It feels stiff, unnatural, choppy and as if you are very slow. But suddenly you will get a smooth, "floaty" feeling and it is almost effortless. That's how you know you have it right!

After several laps of "thinking" about racewalking and waiting for my shins to warm up, I achieved that smooth, floaty feeling. It felt great! I kept the pace consistent and just worked on maintaining that smooth feeling. I'd get distracted when talking to other walkers and notice my steps felt choppy, but was easily able to get that smooth feeling back.

After 57 min I had no idea how many laps I did, but could feel the blood pumping through my legs (I love that feeling!) and was sweating. This suprised me because when I anticipated working on form, I expected to be slow.

Now here is the cool part. Other members of the Buckeye Striders said my form looked great! A couple mentioned that I was fast! Woo hoo!

Maybe I really AM a racewalker! I need to find some judged races to find out for sure. Later today I'll start looking for some local indoor races.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Advertising Rep Needed

WALK! Magazine is looking for an advertising representative. Anyone interested should contact me at

It's a great opportunity for the right person!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Late Night Walk

After getting a bunch of mail out (which took forever, by the way), I was finally able to head out for a walk after 9 this evening. Luckily it had warmed to 33 degrees. (Sarcasm intended.)

I really just needed to get out and walk. I didn't want to work on speed or form or anything -- I just needed to walk. Though I was cold, I did two laps around the big block of our neighborhood -- I could have quit after one, but I kept going.

The night was crisp, cold and beautiful. There were thin patches of snow on the sidewalks. There weren't many Christmas lights, but the houses that were decorated were pretty.

I'm glad I made the time to get out!

I discovered that carrying a flashlight has good points and bad points. It was carried more so cars could see me than any other reason. However, I found I kept staring at the beam, which affected my night vision, and actually caused me to trip a couple times. Regardless, I felt safer being seen!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Where Oh Where Did the Fall Issues Go?

The Fall issue of WALK! Magazine was mailed way back at the end of October. Despite the initial delays at the mailing house, every subscriber should have received that issue a long time ago. Unfortunately, I am still hearing from a few subscribers who have not yet received it.

I don't know why there are so many more people who did not receive this issue. It's a much larger number than for previous issues. As I've posted before, I'm assuming it has something to do with the massive quantity of political mailings from late October. Still, I can understand a delay, I cannot understand people simply not getting their issue.

So, if you have not received your Fall issue, please let us know. We will get one out to you as quickly as we can.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What About Larry?

Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from a reader who has the goal to walk a marathon in under 5 hours. He followed Larry Smith's training for the Columbus Marathon in the Fall issue and couldn't wait to find out how Larry did.

Of course I'm not going to give it away -- you need to read the next issue to find out!

Another Cold Rain

About 10 a.m. I head out the door for a walk. The original plan was to leave around 9, focus on form and walk for 45 min, but I kept finding a reason to delay.

As I left, it started to sprinkle. Argh! At least it was just a sprinkle, my jacket is water resistant and I wore a baseball hat. The farther I walked the rain got just a little harder. I was pretty close to the house but had walked barely 30 min., so I decided to do a loop around a cul de sac to add a little more distance. My luck, I got to the farthest end when it started to rain pretty hard. At that point I quit working on form and walked as fast as possible to the house. (I still didn't run.)

I made it home after only 36 min. Though my jacket is water "resistant," the seams are not. My arms and legs were pretty much soaked.

Though I hate cold temps and rain together, it was really my own fault. If I had walked with my club yesterday or earlier this morning before the rain, I would have been dry!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Rookie Mistakes

Am I a rookie or what? You would think that the way I approached yesterday's Flying Feather, I had never entered a race before!

Mistake #1: My race clothes were not ready in advance. I only air dry my technical fabric clothes. Tuesday evening I put my race clothes in the washer, but completely forgot to get them out to dry. So, Wednesday night (late) it dawned on me that everything I planned to wear was wet - really wet. I put the clothes on hangers and set up a fan. Because they are wicking fabrics, everything was dry. Whew!

Mistake #2: I arrived at the race without my number or my chip! OK, I know you pin your number to your clothes and put your chip on your shoes the night before the race. Because my clothes were still wet, I forgot. Luckily for me, the race staff gave me a new number.

Mistake #3: I left my gym bag at home. Usually, my gym bag is in the car for all local races. I keep Clif Shots, granola bars, an extra shirt, pins, hats and gloves, etc., in my bag at all times. Because my bag was at home, my Spibelt was at home. I LOVE my Spibelt, but especially for cold-weather races. Because it has hooks to hold the race number, you don't have to put pin holes in your cold-weather jackets. I now have pin holes in my water- and wind-resistant jacket.

Mistake #4: I didn't go far enough to the back of the starting line. Because of the way the start was set up, people were really spread out and it felt as if we were farther back than we were. We did move up at the last minute to get ahead of a couple families we thought would be slower than us. There ended up being tons of runners behind us! I felt bad. We tried to get over to the side and even walked single file, but it just didn't help much. We were in the way. (Sorry runners!)

Mistake #5: Tied to number 3, because my gym bag was at home, I had no food in my car for after the race. A granola bar would have been great and the trip to Tim Horton's on the way home would not have been necessary.

The good news is, I wasn't wearing a WALK! Magazine jacket (we don't have them), so no one could tell that rookie was me!

My First Thanksgiving Day Race

Yesterday's Flying Feather 4-mile race in Westerville, OH was a lot of fun! There were nearly 2,000 people entered in the event. With two other turkey day races in the Central Ohio area, I can't believe this one attracted that many entrants!

But then again, the shirts are great (though too big), the medals are very nice, and I got a bottle of white wine. I think that beats out a grey sweatshirt and pumpkin pie for the first 200 finishers. (Even fast walkers never end up with a pie.)

The race started in an exclusive neighborhood with beautiful homes, then wound through one of the prettiest metro parks in the area. It was designed well so that we were on wide streets when we were packed together, and didn't get into the park and the narrower bike path until everyone had spread out.

There was only one ding for this event -- no food at the end! I know, I know -- it is a problem for many race directors. But I saw people walking around with bunches of bananas (almost hoarding them), and the bagels and bananas were sitting out before the race. Anyone could have walked over and grabbed food before the race.

Still, this event had a very nice family atmosphere. Many of my walking friends were there with kids, spouses and siblings. Despite no food, it was fun.

So after this race, I drank some water, grabbed my wine and head off to the Tim Horton's drive thru with a ton of other entrants. (The 12-grain bagel with cream cheese and a steaming hot cup of coffee really hit the spot!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cold or Rain - But Not Both

I know! I know! I am ocassionally a hypocrite.

I am a big proponent of walking outside in all types of weather. If you walk outside regularly, you get acclimated and then it doesn't feel so cold or hot. Then you can be out walking year round.

I draw the line when it comes to rain.

Rain in July or August is great! It can be refreshing to walk in the rain when you are used to heat and humidity.

Rain when the temps are below 40 stops me from walking outside. So, while it is about 33 degrees out there, and has been raining all day, I'm nice and cozy in my warm living room looking out the window at the cold.

If you need to, feel free to call me a hypocrite -- a warm, dry hypocrite.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's COLD Out There!

At 8 this morning I was out in my neighborhood walking at a brisk pace. It was about 16 degrees, much colder than typical this time of year. I have not had a chance to get acclimated because the cold snap was sudden and I haven't been out as much as I'd like.

Wearing thick walking pants, a long-sleeved shirt, fleece vest, gator and windproof jacket, I went out in the bright sun. It was cold! I anticipated that I would warm up as I picked up speed. For the most part, I was fine, but my arms just would not get warm.

I walked up and down the cul de sacs and in and out of every little side street. Finally, I just walked on the sunniest side of the street, which helped a little.

I arrived home after 55 min. feeling fantastic! The brisk cold air, sunshine and the exercise did a great job of putting me in a great mood!

Despite the cold it was a good walk and it has already been a really good morning.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Afternoon Walk Cut Short

I knew time would be short today, and it was sunny and beautiful about noon. So I decided to take a walk at lunch to get in some movement and improve my mood.

Granted, I was not dressed for walking outside. The temps were in the low 30s and I wore dress clothes and low-heeled shoes. I didn't think it would be a problem though because the sun was so bright.

Once outside I realized the wind was blowing harder than anticipated. I walked for a couple of minutes and decided I just could not take it. By the time I got back inside I had been out for only about 15 min.

The good news is the brisk air was refreshing, I felt energized for the rest of the day and the sunshine did help my mood. I just wish I had thought to bring a hat and scarf so I could have been outside longer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Hate the Postal Service!

OK, that statement is probably a little bit extreme. The truth is, I have had more than my fair share of bad luck with the United States and Canadian postal services. With every issue of WALK! Magazine we mail, there are a certain number of subscribers who do not receive their issue. It averages to be about the same number each issue, but there are a few subscribers who have a problem receiving every single issue. I just cannot figure out why.

The Fall issue was the worst! Not only did we have problems getting the magazine in the mail to begin with, but there seem to be a higher number of subscribers than normal who didn't get the issue.

I don't know why this issue is worse, but my thought is that the extreme amount of political mail that caused the initial delay somehow contributed to everything else.

So, as we find out about people who have not received the Fall issue, we're mailing out individual copies.

Please be patient, we are doing the best we can to get caught up!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Dinner in Charleston

While in Charleston, I had dinner with Julien Smith, race director of the popular Cooper River Bridge Run. He does a million other things, but I met him through the Bridge Run, the biggest race he directs.

It was really nice to be able to talk to a race director when he actually has time to talk. Most of the time, we're in the middle of race week or the race expo, and we are all ridiculously busy.

After a great dinner at Fleet Landing, he acted as tour guide and showed me the highlights of Charleston. What a great city! I miss so much when I'm visiting a city for a race.

It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I decided to contact Julien. I think I'll try to meet other race directors when I have the chance. If they are half as friendly as Julien it could be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Uninspired Walk

I had intended to get up early and walk. It didn't work. I had a few minor things to get done, but the amount of time needed filled the amount of time I had. Funny how that works.

All of my meetings were finished by 3:30 this afternoon, and I immediately put on comfy clothes and went outside. Granted, I didn't do any serious walking like I had intended, but I did walk all the way to the Walmart! It was probably no more than 1.5 miles round trip, but it felt great to be outside and away from a hotel.

Also tonight I made plans to have dinner in Charleston. (The hotel I'm at is pretty far from town.) Dinner was at 6:30 and I had not seen any of the city yet, so I took the hotel shuttle at 5 and arrived right outside the restaurant by about 5:20. Before it got too dark, I walked along Market Street and some of the cross streets with really cute shops. So, I probably got another mile in then.

When I travel I really do need to make a better effort to get in some walking.

Heading home tomorrow. I need to get up early, so I really should have been in bed over an hour ago! (If I didn't have Internet access tonight, I would have been in bed by now!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday's Walk and Blisters

Yesterday, shortly after checking into the hotel, a friend and I went for a short walk. We were waiting for someone else to join us and were just killing time. There is a sidewalk in front of the hotel and I was wearing my comfortable flat dress shoes that are already broken in.

We walked down one side until the sidewalk ended then turned around and went past the hotel in the other direction.

Compared to the distances I normally walk, it was not far. However, I don't normally walk that far in dress shoes. Needless to say, I ended up with blisters on the back of both heels and one of them burst! Ouch! Luckily I had a pair of backless shoes with me, but they had a 2-inch heel. So, what is my choice? Aggravate my blisters or my throbbing toes? I opted for the higher heels and aggravated my toes.

I'm glad I was able to get outside and walk after being stuck on a plane for a couple of hours. Despite the blisters, it was great to be in Charleston with the milder temperatures and the palm trees! (Palm trees always make me smile.) Next time I'll be sure to change my shoes first.

I'm sure the rest of you have had encounters like this.

I asked the concierge if there were restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. She said that it depends and asked how far can I walk. I came "this close" to giving a smart-aleck response, but decided it would be rude. (She was very nice.) Oh, pretty far, I said, how far is the restaurant? She said about half a mile!

I almost laughed, but again, she was nice and I didn't want to be rude. "No problem," I said.

A couple of reactions: 1) Isn't it sad that for many people half a mile is a long way to walk? 2) Your perception of what is a long distance changes after you have walked a real "long distance" -- like 26.2 miles, for example.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Heading to Charleston

I have an opportunity to visit Charleston, SC this week! I'm pretty excited -- I haven't been there since the Cooper River Bridge Run over a year ago.

Unfortunately, I'll be in meetings most of the time. But I'm hoping I'll get the chance to get some walking in. It's supposed to be in the high 60s low 70s, so that should be good. Rain when I return on Thursday shouldn't be a problem.

Though it won't be much different from Ohio weather-wise, sometimes just being someplace different is all that is necessary to inspire walking.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fighting Temptation (OK, NOT Fighting Temptation)

I knew it was a mistake. I wasn't even hungry. But there is something about seeing chocolate cake looking all delicious under that clear plastic lid that made it irresistible. In my defense, it wasn't just plain old chocolate cake. It was a Buckeye cake with peanut butter frosting in between the chocolate layers and chocolate chips embedded into the frosting on the sides. The top had 8 chocolate-fudge Buckeyes as decoration.

The slice was HUGE -- way too big for one person, but I ate the entire thing anyway.

Immediately after the last bite, I regretted my decision to eat it. It was just so tasty, I couldn't stop.

For the rest of the afternoon I had what can best be described as a sugar hangover! I had the queasy stomach, headache and overall yucky feeling. I definitely need a healthy dinner to counteract the sugar.

OK, I learned my lesson (again). Don't keep tempting foods in plain sight. And just because cake is cut into huge slices doesn't mean you need to eat the entire thing.

I had planned to skip walking tonight, but I may have to take one because of the cake.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I have my new low-heeled dress shoes that I have been wearing for over a week. (OK, on Halloween I wore high heels all evening, but they went with my costume.) And I've been wearing low-heeled shoes over 50% of the time for several weeks.

Yet today, after walking about 2.5 miles and trying to use proper racewalking form, I'm getting throbbing pain in the big toe of my right foot again.

It hasn't been very long -- I probably just need to keep wearing low-heeled shoes for a few weeks more before deciding if I need to see my doctor.

NOTE: Just noticed that I sit at my desk with my feet bent at the toes and pushed hard against the floor. Hmmm... Might nullify wearing flat shoes!

Had a great walk today! My friend Deb and I went to Antrim Park and were able to do two laps around the small lake. It was beautiful and the weather perfect!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Great Walk Tonight

Though I didn't get home until 5 tonight, I was able to get in a 3-mile walk before dark. I just could not walk in the neighborhood today -- I desperately needed a change of venue.

So, I changed as quickly as possible and head out the door. I walked the mile to the library at a quick pace and luckily it was still light enough I felt comfortable doing a loop around the park. Partway around the loop I ran into an old friend, but told her I couldn't slow to chat so I could start home before dark. I picked up the pace. There were enough street lights that I felt safe during the mile home, but it was good to have a headlight so cars could see me better.

The weather was perfect for a walk today! It felt great!

Best Thing About Time Change

OK, The best thing about this time change is I have no trouble getting up in the morning. It's lighter out and I just function better if I can wake later. Even setting my alarm extra early to make it to the polls wasn't a problem.

For my friend Deb, the best part of this time change is that her sports watch finally has the correct time!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Christmas -- Already?

This morning while out walking, enjoying the crisp fall air, the beautiful leaves and the remnants of Friday night's Halloween festivities, I was suprised to come across one neighbor putting up Christmas lights!

I couldn't decide if he was taking advantage of the great weather, or if he was a freak. (I hope he is not a freak!)

I Walked!

The first thing I did this morning was put on walking clothes and get ready to head outside. It was an absolutely beautiful morning! Because I've been lacking motivation lately, I opted to take it easy in the neighborhood.

One of the things I let slide when I'm training for distance is form. I've taken a couple of racewalking clinics, yet I still do not feel as if I racewalk. Today I was not going to worry about speed or distance, just focus on planting my heel and rolling my foot all the way through.

It's been a while since I've worked on form, and my left shin insisted on reminding me for about 20 of the 30 min. I was out. After the shin finally loosened I felt great!

I have had a lot of energy all day and I know it was from the morning walk. I will do my best to keep it up!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Walking Inspires Walking

If you have read WALK! Magazine or this blog for any length of time, you know that I firmly believe that the more you walk, the more you will want to walk.

The past two weeks I have officially proven the opposite premise. The less you walk, the less you will want to walk.

I decided to take a couple of days off after the Detroit Half Marathon for recovery. I wasn't really sore -- in fact, I felt great! But it was so nice not "having" to walk to maintain a training schedule, I decided to take a few more days off. I loved having all of that extra time! And that following weekend, I decided to find out what it was like to sleep in for a change.

Once I passed that first full week after the race, I began losing my desire and drive to walk. I had planned to walk every night this week and today, but something always got in the way. (Last night we went to a great Halloween party. I was not getting up early today for anything!)

Well, the day was beautiful, and I spent the entire day indoors! What is wrong with me!

No more excuses. I have promised myself that tomorrow will be my first official day back walking. I'll get up early and head out the door. I even have an extra hour tomorrow -- no excuses. So, what will you be doing with your extra hour?

Tons of Mail!

I was working on mail for most of the day today! It is one of my least favorite things to do, by the way. That and bookkeeping. It can be so tedious addressing and stuffing envelopes. Then going to the P.O. and standing in front of one of those new postage computers. (I got there after the staff left.)

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact the computers allow me to mail things any time of day. I hate the fact that I can buy only 5 stamps for $1.70 at a time. When you are sending out over 100 envelopes, it seems to take forever. It never fails, I start getting a rhythm going -- buying stamps, sticking them on packages, buying more stamps -- when a person will walk in with one little envelope and wait in line behind me. How can I make that person wait forever behind me?

The good thing is, a lot of people have been buying sample copies! And most of the people who sample WALK tend to subscribe. I'm very fortunate that last two races we attended were VERY good for us!

So, though I don't like how time-consuming and tedious handling mail can be, I love the fact that this many new people want the magazine!

So, if you have been waiting for your copy of the Fall issue, I think they are all officially in the mail! And if you get in line behind me at the PO, let me just apologize in advance.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Shoes

It's taken a little while, but I finally found a pair of black flats that will look OK with dress slacks. I liked a different pair a little better, but the only color they had left was brown.

After I brought them home I thought they might be a little young for me, but what the heck! They are black, they are cute, they are comfortable and they are flat. What more could I ask for! (A 3-inch heel would be great, but that might defeat the purpose. Repeat after me: flat shoes = healthy feet, flat shoes = healthy feet... )

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Online Store Repaired

I discovered the other day that there were problems with our online store: Apparently, once customers got to checkout, the order didn't go through noting that a shipping method was not selected.

I have no idea how the store was affected, but it has been corrected.

Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Slept In

True confessions here: I am not a morning person. I am more of a morning person now than I was years ago, but that isn't saying much. The thing I hate most about training for a long-distance race and actually entering races is that they all happen so early in the morning!

The walking club I belong to meets at 8 a.m. every Saturday. When we are doing long-mileage days, we frequently meet at 7 or 7:30! (Ouch!)

At the Detroit Marathon last week, my two roomies were up by 4:30! (OK, the good thing is they were ready by the time I rolled out of bed so we didn't have to fight for the bathroom. Also, because they are alert and happy morning people, I never have to rely on my alarm clock when I travel with them. Did I mention they are pleasant in the morning? How great is that!)

For about 13 weeks now, I have been up bright and early every Saturday morning to walk. The Detroit Half Marathon is over -- today I slept in. (It felt great!)

I'll be back walking with my walking club at 8 a.m. next week.

Columbus Marathon Offers Women's Shirts

In case you don't read the posts by other blog readers, I want everyone to know that the Columbus Marathon does offer women's shirts!

I can be pretty harsh on race directors, so I want to be fair and let people know when they do something right, too.

Thank you Columbus!

Any others out there?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When Will Races Give us Clothes that fit Women?

I've been walking in races for over 8 years. In that time, I've seen the number of women in races grow tremendously! In fact, one race I entered last month had 75% female participants and the Detroit Marathon just had about 55% female participants.

When there are more women than men in these races, when will we get race clothes that fit!

It has been a couple years since I entered any of the Columbus Marathon races. But that year women received women's shirts. I still wear that shirt -- it is one of my favorites.

The funny thing is, when all races gave out cotton T-shirts, they fit! Now that races are giving great technical shirts and fleece jackets, things I really want to wear, they are huge!

For a marathoner, I'm an average-sized woman. I wear either a woman's medium or small. In cotton T-shirts, a man's small fits just fine. In technical fabrics, I'm not even sure a man's XS will fit.

I know from talking to other marathoners that at the other end of the spectrum people end up with shirts that don't fit either -- they are always too small.

OK, I don't know what the solution is. There will always be people whose race shirt does not fit. But is it too much to ask that when a race has more women than men that we have the option to order a woman's shirt?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Watch Detroit Race Finishers

How cool is this! I got to watch myself finish the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon at this website:

The clocks were a little off. I finished in 3:21:33, but I found myself on the section from 3:25-3:35.

Typical of me -- my first thought was that this was a very cool thing! When do we ever get to see ourselves in a race?

My second thought was that I don't look like I'm racewalking. My arms are wrong, my feet aren't rolling...

Regardless, it is pretty cool to see myself finishing the race with my friends!

"I am a walker!"

We are starting a new feature in WALK! Magazine called "I am a walker." It will be a one-page "highlights" style story that will feature one walker per issue.

I hope to feature all types of walkers from casual neighborhood walkers and hikers to marathoners and Olympic-style racewalkers.

If you would like to nominate someone to be featured, please send an e-mail to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Detroit was ...

fantastic! The weather was beautiful, the people were very friendly, the course was great! The friends I traveled with were so much fun. I am amazed at how beautiful Detroit has become. And the Expo was very good for us!

There were only two minor glitches: 1) I stood so much during the Expo, my feet were killing me and made it difficult to walk any faster during the event. 2) In order to meet as a group before the race, we didn't go to the start line in the most efficient manner, and ended up stuck behind some intense fencing. It was pretty tough to get to the walkers' start corral.

I don't think I could have planned a more perfect weekend. (OK, if there was a way I could work a booth at the Expo without exhausting my feet and legs and still be able to walk fast during the half, and if I had won a million dollars at the casino, then that would have been perfect.)

Thanks to the members of the WALK! Magazine Walking Team for making the weekend so much fun! NOTE: Tom's wife Peggy took several pictures of us before the start, but we were in two groups. I'll post the other photo as soon as I receive it. From left to right: Tom, Chris, Me and Deb.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Luck Larry!

Good luck to Larry Smith as he walks the Columbus Marathon this weekend! (And attempts to break the 5-hour barrier.) We've been enjoying following your training exploits this year. I can't believe it is here already.

We'll be thinking about you!

Detroit - Here we Come!

The members of the WALK! Magazine Walking Team will be heading to the Detroit FreePress Half Marathon this Sunday. A group of us are going to meet tomorrow night for dinner.

I'm having a little trouble getting internet access on my laptop right now, but if I can keep you up to date, I will! Maybe I'll even try to figure out how to Twitter from my phone... OK, I'm dreaming with that one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yes, I am frequently guilty of procrastination. That is why I was at the post office tonight at 10. I had a couple of things that absolutely had to be postmarked with today's date. Luckily, a friend of mine recently told me about a post office near the airport that is open until 11 p.m. during the week. It is also open on Sundays!

I couldn't figure out why this particular post office smelled like the airport. (How does an airport smell?)

I wasn't alone tonight -- there were A LOT of people in line with me! Hmm. Maybe that is why there is a local post office open until 11 p.m.?

In a situation like this, most people tend to take it in stride. We all know it is our own fault that we are there. I could tell many were on the same deadline I was.

The good news is, I made the deadline and I know I will sleep a little better tonight.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ike, Obama & McCain

Sometimes the printing/mailing gods are working against you. I feel that way right now.

It all started when Hurricane Ike hit the United States. For the first time ever, a hurricane that hit Texas also took out the power in Central Ohio -- in many places for over a week. The printer I use was fine, I was fine, the mailing house was without power for 4-5 days.

Unfortunately, at this same time, all of the local mailing houses have been inundated with political mailings! It seems that Obama and McCain got in line before me. The mailing house was going to be swamped even if there was power -- then add 5 days of the stuff piling up. Ouch!

My printer is nagging the mailing facility daily on my behalf. It is out of my hands!

So, over the next couple days when you are digging through all of the political postcards filling your mailbox, realize that if it weren't for them you would have your Fall issue! I think I'll write my congressman.

Any subscriber who would like to receive the electronic version of WALK! Magazine while we are waiting for the mail, please send me an e-mail and I'll give you the access code. (I'm in Detroit this weekend, so I don't know how quick it will be.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Speedo Man Update

I saw Speedo Man today! As I was leaving the park where I eat lunch, I spotted him climbing out of his car. It took all my self control to keep from waving like a maniac.

So today answered a couple questions:
1) He parks his car at the end of the park and runs from one end to the other.
2) He has started running a half hour later than he used to.
3) He now wears a purple Speedo.

It's really nice to know that he is OK.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

High Heels and Walking

For years I wore high heels and loved them! I had dress heels for business and high heeled boots for my jeans. I could wear heels anywhere for any length of time, and I was fine. I wore a pair of high-heeled boots while sight seeing and walking over 6 miles in Las Vegas with no pain!

Earlier this year I started having pain in my feet right where they bend when I racewalk. Then my big toes started aching and eventually the entire front of each foot (where the toes meet the ball of the foot) began aching, even when wearing flats!

To give my feet a chance to heal, I wore flats every day since June, even when it looked ridiculous. The pain went away and I even learned how to racewalk for real! I was under the impression my problem was over. Yea!

I'm only 5' 5", so wearing heels makes me feel tall. And I hate the look of dress pants and jeans with flat shoes! So I gave in and started wearing heels again.

First, the pain in my toes came back, but only while wearing heels. Next, I started having some new and different pains when I racewalk. And finally, I have lost my tolerance for wearing heels! I wore my favorite pair of high-heeled boots today, and my feet are killing me. (Aren't they cute? They are perfect with jeans.)

Sometimes it takes me a while, but I am finally taking the hint. I just am not meant to wear high heels.

I'll go out shopping this weekend to find a great pair of low-heeled boots to wear with my new jeans. Oh, and I'll start shortening my pants.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Detroit is Coming Soon!

The Detroit FreePress Marathon (Half) is less than 2 weeks away and I'm getting pretty excited! It actually makes me laugh. If you had told me 10 years ago that I'd be excited about a trip to Detroit, I would not have believed you.

But when I look at the course and think about crossing the bridge into Canada and entering back into the U.S. through the tunnel, I'm excited. Walking along the river on the Canadian side looks pretty cool.

I've been to Detroit only 2 times before this. Once over 12 years ago (unpleasant), and again about 3 years ago. I was VERY impressed with how much cleaner and attractive it was on my second trip. The public art reminded me of Indianapolis (a city I really enjoy). There's also a bus into Canada if we want to visit Windsor after the race! (Can you say casinos?) If we don't want to bother crossing the border again, Detroit has a couple casinos of its own.

Anyway, when the Walking Team members first suggested we go to Detroit, I was a little leery. But the closer we get to the race, the more excited I am! I'm glad we chose it!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Electronic Edition of WALK! is Out

The electronic edition of WALK! Magazine was delivered to subscribers yesterday. If you subscribed and have not received the links and password for the Fall 2008 issue, please let me know.

PS: Two e-mails bounced. They were re-sent about 5 min ago.

The Walk That Almost Didn't Happen

A miscommunication caused Deb and I to almost miss each other tonight. Though on Saturday we agreed to walk tonight, I didn't confirm yesterday. I did take my gym bag with me today, but I got caught up in preparing a report, and lost a little track of time.

About 5 p.m. Deb called to see where I was. Oh no! I rushed to my car, changed from my dress pants to my walking shorts while I drove. (Not safe and somewhat tricky.) I was able to throw an athletic shirt on over my work tank top, put on my shoes and I was ready to go.

Because I was late, we walked for only 30 min instead of doing our scheduled speed workout. It was probably the best decision -- my muscles were very tight and I had a hard time picking up any speed.

It felt great to get out today and I'm glad Deb waited!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

10K Race - No Limits

I entered a local race today that was different from anything I've ever entered -- it included climbing a huge staircase up the Alum Creek Dam! It was Run Wild Racing's No Limits 10K. I've avoided this race in the past because of the stairs, but because of positive comments from friends who have done it before, I decided to try it.

This was one of the prettiest local courses I've ever seen. You actually take a short hill up to the top of the dam, walk along the top, then you are back on roads. The view from the dam was beautiful! The lake on one side had a few fisherman and the water was as smooth as glass. As the athletes ahead of us crossed the dam, they were silhouetted against the early fog.

When we were on the main road we were surprised at how early traffic was allowed to resume. There were no sidewalks and the berm was pretty small. One car zoomed by us so fast, I was surprised we weren't hit!

Shortly after mile 4 we had to climb the stairs back to the top of the dam. Though imposing looking it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be! About 2/3 of the way up, I started to really feel the stairs. (There were two women on the stairs running up and down them for training! The one said she usually climbs the dam 20 times per training session. Wow!) What was funny was our legs felt worse at the top, and it was pretty hard to get moving with any speed.

Deb and I were the last to finish. It was OK though because we weren't that slow, and all of the Buckeye Striders who entered the race waited for us and cheered us on. I finished in 1:33 and averaged a 15-min mile -- not fast, but not slow. (Deb was 1 second behind me. She let me win.)

It was really fun, and it was great to see a beautiful local park I've never been to before.

Part of what makes local races so fun is the fact that the members of the Buckeye Striders support so many of them! In fact, all but two of the walkers were members of our club. For those of you who lose motivation to walk, joining an active walking club really helps!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday's Walk - Antsy Legs

I walked for an hour with the Buckeye Striders Saturday morning. We started out pretty easy, and picked up our pace naturally as we walked. It felt great! I probably could have walked farther, but because of time constraints I decided an hour and 4+ miles would be fine.

The rest of the day I felt fine -- how I usually feel after a typical Saturday morning walk. (Energized, healthy, enthusiastic...) That is, until my husband and I went to a movie last night. After about an hour of sitting there my legs got really antsy. I got all squirmy and could barely sit in my seat. It wasn't just an antsy feeling, my legs ached. I cannot remember ever feeling that uncomfortable. I kept crossing and uncrossing my legs, pulling to stretch them and just squirming. I was ready to get up and walk to the back of the theatre when I realized there were only about 5 min left in the movie. I could sit there for 5 min, couldn't I? It was agony! The moment the credits started I leaped from my seat and walked up the aisle. The good news is, as soon as I got up, I was OK. Whew!

I ocassionally get antsy legs from walking. Usually simply standing up and walking around for a minute makes it go away. (Sometimes I have to walk for a while, others I just can't sit down.) This is the first time it has ever happened in a situation like a movie! Not sure I can handle that again. I also have a much better understanding of how people with relestless leg syndrome must suffer.

Resuming Training
I'll resume my Detroit Half Marathon training this week. I'm not quite sure what we will do on our distance days. I don't think we need to go up to 12 miles again after finishing a half when the next half is only three weeks away. I'd like to be faster than we were at New Albany, but I don't want to overdo it either.

I guess we'll just have to play it by ear.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

This is kind of fun. I found this on a blog today. It's funny how many of these items I've eaten just because of friends I've made in the last few year. It's nice that many of my friends have broadened my horizons.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (Since I cannot cross it out, I'll just leave a note to the side.)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (If it is what I think it is, no.)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp (I might have, not sure.)
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari

12. Pho (Don’t know what this is.)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (Don’t know what this is.)
15. Hot dog from a street cart (I live dangerously!)
16. Epoisses (Don’t know what this is.)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (Don’t know what this is.)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese (Uh, no!)
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda (Don’t know what this is.)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi (Don’t know what this is.)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Not the cigar.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
(Does it count in soup?)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (I probably have accidentally.)
43. Phaal (Don’t know what this is.)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (Don’t know what this is.)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (I guess I’d try it, depending on how it is fixed.)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (Don’t know what this is.)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (Don’t know what this is.)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (No way!)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis (Definitely no!)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe (Don’t know.)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (NO!)
76. Baijiu (Don’t know.)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (Now THIS is risky!)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
(I hope these are a Thai treat.)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (We called it rabbit.)
87. Goulash (properly spelled gulyas)
88. Flowers
89. Horse (Not sure.)
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (Caught it myself.)
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Since Sunday's Race

Monday I walked for about 20 min. The first 10 min were great, but coming home my legs felt SO heavy!

Last night I had a massage. I thought about walking, but decided a massage would be more beneficial. I wish he had dug a little harder at the knots in my shoulders and at my IT band, but otherwise it felt great!

Today, my walking buddy Deb and I met at Antrim Park. I love the small lake and the ducks. Very relaxing!

Our plan was to just walk easy - no racewalking allowed. We did three laps at 1.2 miles per lap in about an hour. (Stop watches were not allowed either.) My legs were feeling very heavy and antsy earlier today, so I knew I needed to get out. The easy walk was exactly what I needed.

Right now I plan to do 4 miles with our walking club Saturday morning. It will be at our regular pace, but I think I'll be ready. I'm hoping to pick up our Detroit training next week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Albany Half Marathon Report

It was quite a bit hotter than I had expected today. Let me rephrase that -- I was more affected by the temperatures than I expected today. The temps were in the 80s, but I think because it is so late in the year it bothered me more. We never walked as fast as I had planned -- 14:30 per mile. Anyway, my finish time was 3:22 (by my watch), but I'm glad we listened to our bodies and slowed down.

The one problem with this event is, there are elite walkers who are way out front and fast, and there are casual "once a year" walkers who do not understand the "rules" of being in a race. Those of us whose walking speed is in between were stuck.

Here are some things that happened:
First off, there were pace markers for participants to line up at their pace. Great idea! Unfortunately, many walkers thought they did not apply to them. I was passing 6-year-old children! One woman had a toddler in a backpack. I could not even count the number of people carrying cups of Starbucks' coffee. These people were walking at about an 18-min mile pace and lined up in the 12-min mile section. Our first mile was horrible trying to get around everyone.

Second, when we got to the first water stop, everyone in front of us stopped! Not just a couple of people -- EVERYONE! I think most of those walkers went to the first guy who had a cup in his hand and waited in line. Then they stood there to drink it. We were yelling "Keep moving, keep moving," but it didn't do any good. Luckily, they either learned, or we passed all of the "stoppers" at that water stop. It was the only water stop where it happened.

The other problem is that there was no food at the end of the race. I was able to get plenty of bottled water, which was good, but all that was left food-wise was bags of pretzels and bagel chips. The bagels were gone and I don't know if there was ever anything other than bagels. The sad part is, there were plenty of people who finished after I did!

So, overall the race was disappointing. I didn't do as well as I had wanted, I got stuck behind inexperienced walkers, and there was no food. Luckily I had plenty of money with me and the entry fee was only $30.

If I do this event again next year I will definitely carry my own hydration (I hate Heed, which was on the course), and I will have some fruit and bagels in the car.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Albany Walking Classic Last Minute Information

I just got back from the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts to drop off magazines and stuff for the race Expo tomorrow. Here are the directions to get there.

The McCoy building is near the corner of Dublin Granville and W. Main St./Johnstown Rd. The address is 100 West Granville Street, which isn't much help since you can't see building numbers.

I drove up and down Dublin Granville and could not find it. The building is difficult to locate because there isn't a sign for it on Dublin Granville. Here is a hint, turn in at the driveway for the elementary school near that intersection, and the McCoy building is in the same parking lot.

Packet Pick-up Information: Packet pick up will be available only at the race Expo at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts. Dates and times are as follows:
-Friday, September 19 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM
-Saturday, September 20 from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM

BTW: We will need to pick up our race chips RACE morning between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Both races start at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

I don't see driving instructions and parking instructions for race day on the web site. Maybe they will give some info to us at the Expo.

Race Day:
OK, according to the race map, it looks like the starting line is right in front of the Starbucks on Market Street.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Walking with Weight

I needed to fit in just 30 min of walking yesterday, so decided to walk to the post office. There's a grocery store right next to the PO so I decided to pick up a small bag of dog food while out.

Once I got to the pet aisle I realized I made a mistake. This store has a limited selection of everything, and specializes in closeouts and discontinued items. The smallest bag of dog food was 20 lbs! Geez! My dogs were hungry and I was not going to walk home, get my car and drive back. I decided to carry that huge bag home.

Those of you who follow my blog know that I sometimes make not-so-intelligent decisions when it comes to walking. (Remember the several feet tall snow drift I sank into?) This was one of those decisions.

As I held the dog food while in line to buy it, a little voice said, "This is a bad idea." But I did not listen.

As I crossed the parking lot to get to the major intersection where I cross, I KNEW it was a bad idea. What was I thinking? That bag was heavy!

I started out with the bag on my left shoulder. Then I switched to the right shoulder. Left was better, so I switched back. Luckily I didn't have to stop for the light to change. I kept moving the bag and scrunching the dog food so the weight would fit around my shoulder better.

Well, I made it home and I didn't feel too bad afterward. It took about 5 minutes longer to walk home than ususal. But I'm pretty confident I won't be doing that again!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taper Means Taper

The week before a race, we are feeling pretty good. We're excited because we have more free time, our legs are feeling fantastic, we are energetic!

Despite all of this happy attitude and feeling fantastic, do NOT train harder than our training schedule tells us to. (Yes, that was inspired by the person who asked me to do speed workouts this week.)

Rest is important. That is why we walk no more than 30 min at a time this week. That is why most of our days are "easy" walking

So, if you are doing either of the New Albany Walking Classic events, taper!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a strange morning it was! By the time Deb pulled into my driveway about 6:30 to give me a ride to our group walk, it was pouring something fierce and the thunder and lightening was pretty intense. I got soaked just getting to her car!

Lucky for me Deb has this subconscious control over the weather. We waited a few minutes for the rain to let up a little and by the time we arrived at the park, the rain had stopped. We were able to start our 8 miles just 5 min late.

Others in our group joined us at 8 and we ended up with about 9 people! After our walk we had a great breakfast at Bob Evans. (If you put lipstick on a flying pig it is still a flying pig!)

It's days like this one that I am really glad I'm a member of such a fun walking club and that I have so many nice people to train with. I'm confident we are all going to be ready for the New Albany Walking Classic Half Marathon next weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Beat the Rain

I had good intentions all week. Unfortunately, I'd get too bogged down in stuff, postpone walking and then just never do it. (Again, this is why it is usually recommended that we walk earlier in the day, right Cindi?)

Again, good intentions today, but I wanted to get some big stuff done before I went out. About an hour ago I heard thunder. Just what I need, to end a beautiful day by having to walk in a miserable rain! (It was beautiful all day.)

I quickly changed clothes and walked for 45 min. With about 8 min left to walk, it started to sprinkle, but I got back home before it rained any harder. Perfect timing.

I've been feeling sluggish the last day or two and I am starting to feel better already. Once some things calm down, like in a week or so, I won't have much of an excuse not to walk.

I don't have a problem walking in my neighborhood whenever I feel like going out -- even 10 p.m. or later. In the dark, I tend to stay close to the single family residences right by my house and avoid the apartments and duplexes down the street. I am so bored with walking up and down the same cul de sacs, I decided to break it up by going by the apartments. Let's just say, the apartment dwellers are a little bit scary in the dark. Between the big dogs that don't behave on leashes to the super loud stereos blasting as they drive by with all of their windows down... I learned my lesson. If I'm going to wait until dark to walk, I need to be on the boring cul de sacs where my quiet retired neighbors live.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Speed Workouts Again -- Finally

Deb and I were able to start back with our speed workouts today! It felt great and we both missed it.

We did 6 X 1/2 mile. We weren't as fast as we were when we left off a couple of weeks ago, but it felt good.

We averaged 7:01-7:08 for the first 5 laps. The last 1/2 mile was just under 7 min. (Deb cheated for one lap. She stopped a little early to get a drink. I told you I would mention you!)

The temps were great, there was a breeze for most of it, it was a great day for walking fast!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Is This Weird?

Because WALK! Magazine comes out quarterly instead of more often, we sometimes have difficulty being as timely as I would like. (Many magazines have a similar problem because it takes a while to produce each issue.)

I'm explaining this because we have a weird timing situation happening for the Fall issue. We did not have an issue come out between the Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games. For that reason, we are including both a report on the Olympic Trials AND the Olympic Games.

I'm not quite sure if there is a different solution. I think both events are important. Until we can publish more than just 4 issues a year, I think we will face something like this again.

Thanks for understanding!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

10 Miles Today!

I'm not sure if we are really in the "taper" yet, getting ready for the New Albany Walking Classic half marathon, but we never have to walk as far as 10 miles again!Woo hoo!

We were lucky with weather today! It rained last night and early this morning, but it stopped before we started walking at 7:30. I think it is the luck of Deb. Anytime she chooses when we will walk, it is always the best weather of the day.

We were at a park with a lot of construction, which was annoying. Because of the rain, there were several large puddles. The loops are only 1.23 miles (according to Laura's Garmin), so it made today's mileage a little tougher mentally. Because Ameriaflora was hosted here years ago, the landscaping is great and the park is beautiful.

I have to admit, I didn't get all of my mileage in this week. I think for that reason I'm a little more stiff than I should be normally. I really should not be stiff when we step down our mileage on Saturday. Regardless, I feel great and I'm feeling confident about the upcoming half marathon!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Truth About Obesity

If you think you know the truth about obesity, check out the Showtime show Penn & Teller: BS Obesity. In their humorous and sarcastic way, they give a lot of information about obesity myths! Very interesting!

Because I watched the edited version, there was a LOT of bleeping. There is a lot of good information about BMI and the diet industry. I had no idea BMI was developed so long ago. (I personally do not like BMI, there are plenty of people I know who are rated as obese, and I wouldn't even consider them heavy.)

The show features a couple of authors who have written about obesity myths that I'll check out.

If I got Showtime, I'd probably watch Penn & Teller: BS more often. Alas, I'm doomed to just watch the episodes I can find for free online. Luckily for me, this one was a topic I'm interested in.

Walking Update

OK, I walked on Tuesday for 44:29 min (I rounded up to 45 min). I could have sworn I posted something about it. It was so hot and humid, I was LOVING AC that night!

I've been getting pretty bored walking in the neighborhood, even putting it off until as late as possible. So, today I decided to return a library book and took an easy paced walk. Because the library is just a little more than a mile from our house, you would think it would take just about 30-40 min to walk it. It never fails, it always takes me longer than I expect.

Anyway, I walked for over an hour today.

I feel good!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Working a Water Stop

The Buckeye Striders and friends had a great time working a water stop at the Spirit of the Marathon Half Marathon today. We had just 9 people, though 11 volunteers are recommended. At first we were doing great keeping up with the number of runners. In the middle, when the crowd was at its largest, we were struggling a little to keep up. I don't know how people who work water stops at large races do it.

We could tell when the elite athletes had all passed our stop because we heard our first thank you!

The runners were friendly and appreciative. The 12 or so walkers in the race were even more happy to see us.

It was really nice to see the race from the other side of the table. I have a much better idea why some water stop volunteers get tired of waiting for walkers. Since we were between miles 4 and 5, there was not a huge gap between the leaders and the last people. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

12 Miles Today!

A small group of Buckeye Striders met at Sharon Woods for our 12-mile day. The New Albany Walking Club was there, too. (Hmmm, trying to take over our turf?) There's a half marathon in Columbus tomorrow, and both of these walking clubs are working water stops.

It was foggy, muggy and humid (redundant?) this morning when we started about 7:35. I was worried it would get unbearable as time went on. Lucky for us, in our last loop the sun came out and there was a great breeze! It was nice!

We started out too fast for a long slow day -- our first mile was 14:30. I was worried we were pushing too hard and would have trouble finishing strong if we kept at that pace. We slowed down for a couple miles, and eventually sped back up.

I'm not sure we were mentally ready for today's mileage. Early in our third loop, someone who shall remain nameless suggested we turn around where we were and walk just 10 miles today. I was strong and we kept going, and the others kept going, too. They didn't realize that if they had pushed just a little bit harder, I would have folded.

The cool thing is, when we finished everyone was glad that we walked the complete distance. (OK, truth in advertising here. We walked three 3.8 mile loops. It was really only 11.4 miles. But because we felt 12 miles was too long of a training distance for just a half marathon, we decided three loops would be enough.)

Because I messed up the 1-mile splits the last time we were at this park, I did just complete laps this time. OK, our laps were: 56:27; 57:33; 57:55. We averaged a 14:51 mile the first loop, which was what I was aiming for. I had hoped to pick up the pace a little on the next two, but we just couldn't do it.

Regardless, it was a great morning, a great workout and I know we'll be ready for the New Albany Walking Classic!

45 Minutes on Friday

Even though I had a high school football game to get to Friday night, I was able to fit a 45-min walk in. (I was pretty proud of myself.) As soon as I got home I changed my clothes and head out the door.

I am getting a little bored walking in the neighborhood, but it is quick and easy. I was a motivated walker, so location wasn't as important.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

47-Min Walk tonight

I needed to get 45 min of walking in tonight. When I got home about 5:30 I quickly downloaded a new audio book on my MP3 player and went out the door. (OK, my daughter pushed me out the door! She was watching What Not to Wear, and I made the mistake of watching about 30 sec of it. It is SO addicting!)

It felt so good to be out walking, I decided to go 47:18! Yep! I'm unstoppable! (Sarcasm intended.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Be Careful -- Please

This is disturbing.

Today a friend and I went to the park by the river for lunch. I noticed a bunch of flyers posted all over and walked over to read one.

Apparently, on a nearby street, a woman was flagged down by a pedestrian. He abducted her in her car, taking her to the park. I believe it might have been at gun point. He attempted to rape her in the car.

I missed the remaining details, but I do believe she is alive and was not raped -- thank goodness! That poor woman!

The ironic thing is, right before I even saw the poster I told my friend that a couple women I know felt unsafe walking alone in this park. (I never had.) Their fears were based on the fact that pedestrians walk on roads, and cars drive slowly through the park. They thought it would be easy to be abducted in some of the more isolated spots. Though this woman was not abducted from this park, it's stil pretty scary that she was taken there.

Anyway, again I want to point out how important it is to be aware of our surroundings. Pay attention to where you walk and what the people around you are doing. It is best not to wear headphones when walking, but if you do, keep an ear uncovered so you can hear anyone sneaking up behind you.

Also, be careful in your car! This woman was in her car when she was grabbed! My Dad always told me to check the backseat before I got in (I still do) and to drive with the doors locked. (I'll start doing that again tomorrow!)

The sad thing is, when we are in some of these great parks, we are pretty vulnerable, especially because we feel safe.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hiking Anyone?

Part of my "job" as editor of WALK! Magazine is to try walking shoes. Normally, this goes two ways: 1) I go to a running store, try lots of shoes, buy the pair that is perfect for the type of walking I do, then write about them (and get my readers to do the same), 2) shoe manufacturers send me what they think are "walking" shoes, and I con my friends into trying pairs with me.

For the fall issue, I posted on HARO (Help a Reporter Out) that I was looking for shoes to review. A couple hiking shoe companies volunteered to send sample shoes. I wasn't sure if I should go that route, but what they heck. Hiking is walking, and we have lots of readers who hike. (Me included.) I am happy to say that my reviewers have liked every single pair of hiking shoes tried! How cool is that!

Tonight, I was out walking in the pair I'm reviewing, and I really like them! I hope you like that we've added hiking shoes to our fall shoes review section.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8 Miles Today

Did my 8 miles a little differently today. Normally I walk with my friend Deb or with my walking club. Today, for convenience sake, I didn't.

I left from my house, walked the 1 mile to the park by the library, did 5 loops at the park (1.2 miles each), then the 1 mile home.

After the second loop, I tried to come up with excuses to quit early. That is the danger in walking such short loops. When I walk longer loops, there is less of a temptation to cheat.

There are a couple of things that kept me walking today: 1) the fear of having to admit to Deb that I couldn't walk without her; 2) the fact that I post about my training here and in the Walking Team Discussion Group; 3) and wanting to be ready for the New Albany Walking Classic half marathon. Notice how being prepared for the race was the last item on the list? Peer presssure is actually much more important to me!

Still I was able to get my walk in early before it got hot. It was a beautiful morning, and I'm thrilled I finished my scheduled walk!

1st mile - 19:28 (Includes traffic lights)
1st loop - 18:05
2nd loop - 18:05
3rd loop - 18:10
4th loop - 18:03
5th loop - 17:56
last mile - 18:43 (Includes traffic lights)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Paul Newberry with AP Disses Racewalking!

Hey Paul Newberry with AP, you didn't really say this, did you?

On the other hand, synchronized swimming should look no more out of place at the Olympics than rhythmic gymnastics, where competitors prance around the mat using clubs, hoops, balls, ribbon and rope. Or race walking, which is sort of like letting those who can’t swim very well compete in the dog paddle.

Unfortunately, I am too tired right now to properly berate you for this asinine comment. I'm hoping that some racewalkers I know will do better.

Just let me ask you this: Have you ever tried racewalking? Do you know there are rules as to how you take each step, unlike running, which you can do any way you want? Are you aware that the 50K is the longest track and field event? Longer than the marathon?

OK people, let's locate this jerk's e-mail address and inundate him with complaints!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympic Racewalkers Finally get Some Respect

Here is a great story about Olympic racewalking in Beijing that appeared on NPR!

Apparently, the original course for the 50K and 20K racewalks was granite. The walkers complained, including American Philip Dunn. From the story:

Race walkers say they don't get much respect for their sport to begin with, but this affront was too much.

"They would never do this to marathoners," says American race walker Philip Dunn.

The cool thing is that officials listened, and a 4-millimeter thick, 4-meter wide gray synthetic surface in a 2 KM loop was put down on the granite.

I'm truly impressed that something was done to correct the problem! Good luck racewalkers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

30 Minutes Tonight

I waited until almost 10 to get my 30 min in tonight. Because I was supposed to do just 45 min easy, I worked on form only tonight. I almost tripped a couple of times because the sidewalks are a little uneven. The good thing is the temps dropped dramatically, so it was great!

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 x 1 mile Sprints a Little Early

Though we were scheduled to do 45 min today, Deb and I moved our 3 X 1 mile sprints to today from Thursday. August temps have been unusually mild this year, but today was a little toasty. Still we did great!

We warmed up by walking for about 10 min, then did some heel and toe walking drills. After each mile we took a 2-min break.

Our times were:
1) 14:37
2) 14:11
3) 14:08

During the first mile, my shins were very tight, but after the 2-min rest, I felt much better.

Regardless, it was another great workout!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Great Column

I've been working on Dave McGovern's Fall 08 column all day. Normally it takes about 10 min to edit Dave and another 10 to lay out his column. Today I've been at this for hours. But I know all of the extra time I'm putting into it will be worth it.

Any of you who have been to one of Dave's clinics have probably learned a variety of drills to assist with building great racewalking muscles. This issue's column focuses on some of his most popular drills. And lucky for us, he took some fantastic photographs to go with it! (Even if you have never been to one of his clinics, you will benefit from these drills.)

So, when you get your Fall issue, be sure to think about how much extra work Dave caused me by going above and beyond the call of duty!

And hey, if you haven't yet subscribed to WALK, you still have time to sign up and get the Fall issue. Click here now:

Bad News for Kastor

Apparently Deena Kastor broke a bone in her foot during yesterday's Olympic marathon! I don't know how I missed it last night, except I was dozing during some of the coverage. I did wake in time to watch Torres and Phelps swim. (Amazing!)

The parts of the women's marathon I saw did not even mention Kastor, but I was watching after the first hour. If she was injured in the first 5K, it was old news by then.

From what I know about Kastor, she is an amazing athlete. (If you read Runner's World, you would think that with as much coverage as they traditionally give her.) I cannot imagine how disappointing this is for her.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

10 Miles - Woo hoo!

It is really nice having a friend who is training for the same long-distance event. I needed to do 10 miles to train for the New Albany Walking Classic Half Marathon, and because of a local race this morning, I thought I'd have to walk alone. I've done long distance alone before, and I know I can do it, it just isn't as fun.

But last night Deb was able to change her schedule to walk with me starting at 7:30.

We met at Sharon Woods, one of our favorite parks. The trail is a 3.8 mile loop, which makes it very easy to keep track of distance. One cool thing is, they have installed new mile markers! It makes it easier for me to track splits.

We had a great time enjoying the beautiful morning and chatting. I was so glad she was with me. I've been feeling a little "draggy" this week from not getting enough miles in, and Deb helped me walk at a consistent pace.

I didn't realize that the mile markers were there right away, and we had that 0.2 mile to make up every lap, but here are our stats:
Total: 2:31 for 10 miles (That included using the last 0.2 as a cool down.)
First 2 miles in 30 min flat
Other miles in 14:52, 15:10, 14:46. The speed doesn't bother me because we were doing our long-slow day.

The other numbers just don't make sense. The 0.2 messed me up.

Regardless, we had great weather, the morning was beautiful, and the 10 miles was so much easier having Deb distract me.

Note: I'm still trying to figure out which shoes to wear for long distance. The NB 903s are nice, but almost too light. The new Brooks I bought feel too heavy. I like the support, but there is no foot rolling going on. My feet almost slap the ground. Today I wore the pair of Brooks I bought for Big Sur, and they were OK, I'm not sure they will be right. Anyway, it is a good idea to try out shoes on long distances to be sure they will work for you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Other Side of This Morning's Walk

The temps were in the 60s, the sun was shining and there was a slight breeze when I head out this morning. Birds were singing, cicadas were buzzing, the high school marching band was practicing and everything felt right with the world. (Well, except the tug in my thigh.)

These are the days I live for. On mornings like this one I wish I had nothing better to do all day than to be outside enjoying the beautiful morning and walking. Well, there are other things I would love to do on mornings like this, like white water rafting, hiking in the woods, sleeping in a tent in the forest.... but I digress. I'm even sitting outside right now with my laptop writing this entry. I LOVE it!

Anyway, despite the tug in the muscle that kept my workout from being as good as I would have liked it to be, it was a great start to a really beautiful day.

OK, Cindi, back to work.

PS: I can actually tell what song the band is playing today! (Usually the sound doesn't carry that well.) It's the school fight song I played when I went there: "Go, fight for Centennial, stars ever brave and true..."

Tight Muscle

OK, I know better. You can't take two days off in a row during long-distance training and expect to have no ill affects.

I decided to walk this morning since scheduling my training in the evenings has been so unsuccessful this week. I got up around 7, and was out the door around 7:45.

The plan was to walk casually until I got to the big block at the end of the street, then start my racewalking training. As soon as I started to walk, I felt a tug in the front of my thigh muscle. I thought it would go away before I tried to racewalk, but it didn't. Even after reaching my starting point, I continued walking casually until the pain went away -- 20 min later. Again I attempted to racewalk, and it came right back. 10 more minutes of casually walking, and I was finally able to attempt racewalking form, but VERY slowly.

So out of a 45-min walk, I was able to racewalk about 15 min. Needless to say, my projected distance of about 3 miles was nowhere close to reality.

NOTE TO SELF: Do not get lazy and skip two workouts in a row ever again. It just is not worth it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Open Letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah,

I would make a great guest for your show! I have all of the qualities you look for in a guest.

First: I am a formerly unfit person who has changed my life and my lifestyle. I walked a marathon for my 40th birthday and I haven't stopped. I could be an inspiration to other women who feel it is too late to get fit. I would be a great before and after!

Second: I have taken my passion and created a small business around it. In fact, I am now helping other people to set health and fitness goals and achieve them. It's a great magazine, and it is obvious from every issue that I believe in a fit lifestyle. This show's theme could be "Turning Your Dream into a Business."

Third: I'm a fellow magazine publisher. We magazine publishers need to stick together! The theme of this show could be "How to Successfully Publish Your Own Magazine."

Fourth: I'd really like to expand the magazine -- increase the number of issues, increase the size, do more PR, but that requires some investors. With your help, I'm confident I could find the perfect partner to assist with my expansion. I'm not asking for you to invest, but with your connections, I'm confident I could help change the world. Maybe the theme of this show could be "Helping out Small Businesses," or "Business Match Making."

Fifth: If you choose me to be on your show from a blog posting, it would make a great "How do We Select our Guests," show.

To help seal the deal, I would be happy to give all of your audience members a one-year subscription at no charge.

So, Oprah, thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. I'll be waiting for your phone call!

Cindi Leeman
WALK Magazine