Thursday, February 28, 2008

Inspirational Video

Every once in a while I open the "forwards" that are sent to me. I'm frequently short of time, so when I do open them it is usually because I have writer's block or I need a couple minute break.

Today I watched this 11-min video called the Last Lecture. It's presented by a college professor who is dying, and is very inspiring.

So, in the event that you too don't open your forwards, I hope you take the time to watch this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

3X1 mile

It was colder than 20 degrees but we did great! We tried to do each mile at our half marathon pace. First mile 14:15, second 14:50 and third about 14:20.

Our last half marathon we averaged 14:30 per mile, so not bad.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bad Mood

I've been in a bad mood all day. Well, "bad mood" might be too much, I was in more of a blue mood.

It started out when I dropped the car key under the car in the morning rain. I had to get a broom to retrieve it. Then I didn't get the information I needed to get some stuff done. (Maybe tomorrow, I was told.) Other people are irritated with me. (Never good.) The skies are grey, it's raining and snowing at the same time and I really could have used a little bit of sunshine and fresh air today.

I'm sitting here thinking about everything I have yet to do tonight and looking outside at the yucky weather. Argh! Too much for someone in a not so good mood.

Earlier this evening I had planned to skip my walk because of weather and mood. Obviously, that was a big mistake.

I'm putting on my boots and winter coat right now and heading outside. (I hope I don't get soaked.) It certainly cannot make anything worse.

I walked for 30 min and feel better. It's pretty cold out with a hard snow that pelted me, but that's OK. Sometimes just being outside and moving is all that is needed to improve my mood.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beautiful Winter Days

Though I get really tired of the cold, snow, wind and slush this time of year, it is days like today that make me truly appreciate winter. The temps were in the high 20s or low 30s, there was no wind and the bike trails were extremely clear!

This time of year you sometimes have to juggle your training days based on weather, distance and ice. Today was perfect!

We were about 2 miles down the trail beside the river, and it was beautiful. Though the trees were bare, the contrast between the gray trunks and the white snow caused some great patterns. It reminded me of some of my favorite Bev Doolittle paintings!=W&ID=12815 & <!=W&ID=12800>.

We didn't get too hot. The air was brisk and refreshing, but not too cold. I didn't need water until we were at about mile 7. There were not many people on the trail, so it wasn't crowded. The people we did see were extremely friendly. (Even the cute college-aged guys were friendly.)

We had such a great time, I almost felt sorry for people who never get snow.

Could We Have Been Any More Geeky?

My friend Deb and I met at 2 p.m. today to get in our weekly long mileage. Normally we do distance on Saturday, but we refused to walk 8 miles inside a mall, and decided to give the bike trails a chance to thaw after Friday's rain and ice.

As we were walking we noticed we were wearing the exact same bright blue NB shoes (902s), dark pants, blue jackets and red mittens!

So, the answer to the question is no - we could not have been bigger geeks if we had tried. (Next time I'm calling to see what she is wearing!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


We did our "tempo" walk tonight - we walked for 10 min to warm up, then 40 min at the pace we will for the 21-mile event at Big Sur. I was a little worried because it had snowed several inches earlier today. Luckily it melted pretty quickly and the park we went to was clear. It was 22 degrees and a little windy, but with the brisk pace we warmed up quickly and Deb and I were a little too hot by the end.

I didn't get out yesterday because of an early evening meeting. I need to do a better job of getting out every day I'm scheduled.

Regardless, today felt great! With all of this regular exercise I'm starting to lose a few pounds and I can feel my legs getting stronger.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feeling Better

I'm not quite right yet (am I ever?), but I felt well enough to get in some walking today. I decided to go ahead and do my scheduled speed workout in the cul de sac across the street from my house. The schedule called for 8 X 400, at my 10K pace, but I know I wasn't ready for that many reps after not walking for a few days. I opted for 4 X 800+ at a fast pace. My son was with me and did a good job of encouraging me to keep going. He was surprised that I can walk faster than he can. Luckily he didn't challenge me to a running race.

I feel OK, my shins were tight while walking and I slowed a little for each lap. The laps were 4:11, 4:21, 4:21 and 4:25. I know it was farther than 800 meters, I definitely walk faster than a 16-min mile. I'm going to have to measure out more specific distances.

NOTE: I've used MapMyWalk for general distances in my neighborhood with good success. The only problem I have is it seems to miss the round end of a cul de sac. On maps they show up as deadends - but I walk the full loop. I haven't figured out how to work around that yet.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Probably Not Flu

Because I don't feel worse than I did yesterday, I'm pretty sure this is not the flu. The weirdest symptom is slight dizziness. If I walk too fast or turn my head too quickly, I have a couple seconds of dizziness. Scrolling too fast through computer screens causes the same result. Sounds more like an ear problem (though my ears don't hurt) or maybe it's related to the pain in my sinuses.

I'm going to try hot compresses on my face and saline rinses. Regardless, I think I'll recover quickly since I don't feel worse today.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sidelined by Flu

OK, I don't know for sure it is the flu. I started feeling a little "draggy" as the week wore on. Last night I ended up with a tremendous headache I could not get rid of, and I've felt weak and rotten all day.

Needless to say, I did not make it out for my 7-mile walk today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Weight Loss Plan

I've decided that if I truly want to lose weight, I should eat every meal at Fazoli's and use their forks with the crazy tines. The other day at the fast-food Italian restaurant I discovered that the shape of the plastic forks makes it impossible to pick up a piece of penne pasta, especially if the pasta is covered with low-fat marinara. I stabbed each piece of pasta at least 5 times before I could finally pick it up and pop it in my mouth. Forget trying to get more than one piece on the fork at a time.

Here is why this is a great weight loss program: 1) It took longer for me to eat. I had several seconds between bites fighting with the pasta. 2) Because I ate slower, I filled up faster and ate just half of the small portion. 3) Even if I was still hungry, the frustration level would have encouraged me to quit eating much earlier than normal. 4) The iceberg lettuce in the side salad was much easier to pick up, so I ate more of the tasteless salad than the pasta.

On a subsequent visit, I inadvertently ordered a pasta with a meat sauce. Oops! Because the meat sauce is thicker than the marinara, I had no problem picking up the pasta and eating the entire thing.

So, skip the garlic butter coated breadsticks (which can be eaten with your fingers) and stick to penne or some other hard to pick up pasta with marinara.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Messy Night

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday, the temperatures were frigid and ice formed on my jacket.

Earlier today it snowed. Tonight it is so warm that the snow has turned to slush. Rather than risk soaking my feet in athletic shoes, I decided to wear winter boots and a winter coat. As I walked, I noticed that many people in my neighborhood did not shovel their sidewalks. (DARN!) As I walked, my boots got more and more wet, and after one unsuccessful leap across a gulley full of water, my right foot became extremely wet!

I ended up walking in the middle of the street because it was the least slushy spot and I didn't have to leap over backed up water to cross the street. Because I had my hood up, I didn't even realize it had started raining.

So, I arrived home with wet feet and a wet coat, but I got my 45 minutes in.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Speed Workouts

4 x 800 meters at half marathon pace - that is what my training schedule said for today. I have a confession to make. Usually when a distance event's training schedule includes speed workouts, I skip them. I'm now doing my speed workouts.

There is one block in our neighborhood that I thought I had measured as one-half mile around way back when. I had intended to use this block for 800 meters.

I left a water bottle at my starting point and walked around the block at what I thought was my half-marathon pace - about a 14 min mile. (OK, it is really my 5K pace, but this is supposed to be a speed workout.) My first lap was 10:53! OK, I am faster than a 20-min mile. Obviously, it is more than a half mile around the block. For my two-min rest, I decided to walk slowly for 2 min., then start the faster pace at wherever I was. My second lap was 9:42 - still not down to half a mile, but closer. The third lap was 9:24 and fourth was 9:20.

Because I didn't measure accurately, and I don't know if I walked the same distance each lap, I can't tell if I was actually progressively faster. However, I felt faster. And isn't that important, too?

Other Things
It was about 18 degrees when I finally got out to walk tonight at around 7:30. I wore two long-sleeved shirts, fleece vest, jacket, long pants, knit hat and gloves as well as my gator for my neck. I also wore a reflective vest (Crashwear) and a head lamp. I started out feeling chilly, which I thought was a good sign. I took about 10 min to warm up before starting the workout. I left my water bottle near a tree.

I stoppped after every lap to walk slowly and to get a drink. I got pretty warm while walking fast and flipped open my gloves and unzipped the jacket a little.

When I finished walking and took off the reflective vest, there was ice down the front of it where the bottle had dripped! I have walked in all kinds of weather, and this is the first time I have formed ice on myself.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Long-Sleeved Shirts

One of the hardest things for a small company to do is predict how much to buy and what will sell. It is especially difficult to order shirts because I have to worry about color, design and sizes, plus men's and women's sizes. I always end up with some sizes that won't sell, and others that sell out too quickly.

That being said, we are ordering a small number of long-sleeved ladies vee-neck shirts from the "heather" collection of Sport Science. The color we ordered is sand and the sizes are just mediums and larges. (Of course they will be printed with our favorite quote!)

Sport Science shirts are made with a great technical fabric that feels like cotton! I love these shirts because they don't feel like a technical shirt. They are soft and comfortable.

It will take a couple of weeks for the shirts to arrive and be printed. I'll keep you informed.

Fantastic New Park - 6 Miles Today

The Buckeye Striders walking club goes to a bunch of different local parks for our weekly group walks. Today we went to Three Creeks Park. Though it was my first time there, for many members it is their favorite spot to walk, even though it is a long way out.

This park has over 10 miles of trails along creeks, and a varied terrain of wooded areas, prairies and meadows. It is so different from any other parks in central Ohio, it felt as if we had gone somewhere truly special.

Sometimes I can be a stick-in-the-mud. I don't like to drive far too walk and I don't always like change. (I know David, quit laughing.) Today I was really glad that I went the extra 30-min each way to have the opportunity to enjoy this park!

For more info go to

Today's Walk
Deb and I got in 6 miles today while others in our group walked 9 miles. The temps were pretty mild. The Weather Channel said it was in the high 30s, but it sure felt warmer. Surprisingly, I didn't even over dress today! I skipped the fleece vest and kept to just 2 long-sleeved shirts.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Knees - Ice is my Friend

I had planned to avoid writing about my knees, but I have a few extra minutes right now and, frankly, my knees are bothering me!

This is not a new problem. I have had weak knees most of my life. As my doctor says, I have "girl knees." Basically that means that, because my hips are wider than my knees, the angle puts pressure on them. My knee caps don't stay in place when the muscles around my knees are not strong. All I have to do is keep those muscles strong and my knees won't swell.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? But when there is no swelling, I don't think about working to protect them.

Anyway, the point is, when I up my mileage while training for long-distance events, it takes a while for my muscles to build up. I usually have a couple week period where they are uncomfortable and swell - I'm in the middle of that.

I felt so uncomfortable earlier today, I went to Wal-Mart to get an ice pack. It helped. Until I get through this I just have to remember - ice is my friend.

Becoming Addicted

Today a couple of friends walked at Antrim Park again. The temps were in the low 30s and I again overdressed. (I don't know if I will ever get over my fear of getting cold.)

We started about 5 p.m., did three laps for 3.6 miles, and I was home for dinner by 6 p.m.! I was happy to see that my husband made spaghetti.

I had almost forgotten how addicting it can be to walk every day. When I get back into walking daily, especially when training for a long event, I feel better and I WANT to walk. It's a great feeling. I wish I could bottle it for days when I've lost motivation!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Late Walk

At 7:30 this evening I went out for a 60-min walk. Our Big Sur training schedule says 45-60 min (but I just remembered the 60 min part), so I walked 57 min thinking I was cheating. The joke is on me!

Anyway, it was about 38 degrees, which was actually chilly considering how warm it was earlier today. I wore a light long-sleeved shirt, fleece vest, jacket, etc., but the shirt was just a little too thin. My arms were freezing for a long time - probably 30 min.

Because our walking club walks on Saturdays instead of Sundays, I may have to adjust our walking schedule a little. For this week, I'm leaving everything the same, just switching the long day and rest day.

Monday, February 04, 2008

List is Fixed

Our subscription list is fixed! Sorry about the inconvenience for those of you who received unnecesary renewal notices.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Renewal E-mails

We sent out a bunch of renewal e-mails over the weekend. I made the decision to do this because I thought the mailing list was updated last week. Unfortunately, it looks as if we jumped the gun - the list was not completely updated.

So, if you received a renewal request by mistake, I'm sorry. The list will be completed early next week.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Portland in 2009?

I've had a couple of people ask me if I would be interested in doing the Portland Marathon. Many of you know I have not walked farther than a half marathon since 2002 when I completed my last full marathon.

Part of the reason I'm considering doing Portland next year is that I'm entering the Big Sur 21-mile event this year, and the training for a marathon and the 21-miler are not much different.

Also, I figure if I start planning now, I might actually be ready.

So, anyone interested in doing Portland in 2009?

On Ice

Today I met with the Buckeye Striders for our weekly group walk. It was a beautiful morning with temps in the high 20s or low 30s and almost no wind. Most of the members were training for an upcoming half, so were scheduled to do 8 miles. This was a step-down week for me, so I planned to do just 4.

Though it wasn't particularly cold, the trails were slick!!! I think we spent most of our time walking in the grass beside the trail. It took us over 45 min to walk just 2.25 miles.

We saw over a hundred runners with a different training group coming from the other end of the trail. How they kept from falling, I don't know.

Regardless it was really fun! The runners were especially friendly today. We bonded over the slick walkway and laughed as we took turns slipping and sliding. Only two of us wiped out! (We were lucky.) And no one got hurt. I also feel as if I worked some totally different muscles today between walking on the grass and sliding around.

I hope those of you who walked today had clearer trails!