Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Great Day

Three laps around Antrim Park with friends this evening made for a great Thursday!

Because I was cold while walking last night, I worried about being too cold today. As a result, I ended up being over dressed. When I got back to my car I found it was just 32 degrees. Yesterday was definitely colder!

We walked at a brisk pace and did 3.6 miles in about 52 minutes. I haven't been doing speed workouts lately, so it is the fastest I've walked in quite a while.

Thanks Deb and Catherine! It was really fun.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chilly 45-minute Walk

Today was an unusually sunny day for January in Central Ohio. I had planned to walk no matter what the weather was like and was glad it was nice. That being said, it was COLD!

I wore one long-sleeved technical shirt, fleece vest, wind-proof jacket, thick walking pants, gloves and ear muffs. I walked for 4 min, decided I was not wearing enough clothes and returned home. I added a long-sleeved shirt and replaced the ear muffs with a knit cap. At first I thought I might be over dressed, but as I walked my arms got colder. Not often do I get colder as I walk - usually once I get warmed up I stay warm.

Anyway, after 45 min I finished my walk and had barely broken a sweat even though I was walking pretty hard. At 8 p.m. it was down to 19 degrees, but I know it wasn't that cold when I was out. (I wish I had checked earlier.)

I'm meeting some friends to walk tomorrow. I hope I do a better job planning what to wear before I leave the house.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

21-Mile Training Schedule By Dave McGovern

Dave McGovern has generously volunteered to provide a 21-mile training program for the WALK! Magazine Walking Team heading to Big Sur! We should have the schedule at any day now.

I also now have the "code" for our online entries. Let me know when you are ready to register, and I'll send you the code.

Late Walk Tonight

The temperatures were very mild today so I had planned to walk as soon as I got home this evening. Unfortunately, it started raining and the wind picked up about the time I had planned to go. I waited and waited for the rain and wind to subside, but it was not going to happen.

So, at about 9:30 p.m. I put on a heavy coat with a hood, a reflective vest and gloves and head outside. The wind was blowing pretty hard and the light rain came and went, but it was not chilly at all. I didn't need the gloves or the heavy coat - though the hood was nice.

Because it was so late I walked for just 30 min., but it felt great! Now I wish I had started much earlier so I could have walked longer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Walking Team News - Propel

Propel has generously agreed to send samples of the Propel Powder Packets to be included in the Walk Magazine Walking Team packets! I should receive the shipment in a couple of days.

So, new members of the walking team will be receiving Wright Socks, Larabars and Propel in addition to the training log, water bottle, training schedule and great sport science technical shirt!

7 Miles Today

What a great day for a walk!

I met the Buckeye Striders at a park I had never been to that gave access to the great multi-purpose trails in Westerville (just outside Columbus). It was 22 degrees and the Weather Channel said the wind chill was 11 or 14 depending on what time we were watching.

There were about 9 of us who got on the trail at 7:30 and walked 3.5 miles out then turned around and went back.

Because of the wind chill, I ended up overdressed. I wore two wicking shirts, a fleece vest and my windproof jacket along with a pair of leggings and my thicker winter weight pants. I always wear my gator this time of year (I hate a cold neck!) and today I wore a knit cap and my fleece mittens that can open when my hands are too hot.

I did not feel cold when I got out of my car. Believe it or not, that is a bad sign. At that point I thought about taking off one layer, but it would have been tough to accomplish. The trail was VERY nice! It goes along a river and behind houses and apartments. In many places it has great trees all the way to the edge. Because of the houses and trees there was no wind. Because there was no wind, I got too hot pretty quickly.

Sections of the trail had light snow and patches of ice. We were not going particularly fast to be safe.

We all finished feeling great! It really was a great day for a walk with friends!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

A group from my walking club went to see Spirit of the Marathon tonight. As we entered the theater, it was interesting to see that most of the people there were in groups. I assumed they were walking or running clubs. There were 11 of us, and there were other groups that were quite a bit bigger.

The movie follows several marathoners as they train for and run the Chicago Marathon. Deena Kastor and a Kenyan named Daniel were the elite runners. (They said Daniel lives in Tokyo, but they showed him training in Kenya. I was confused.)

The non-elite runners include a young married woman who trains by herself. She is very cute! A young single mother, a gentleman in his 60s and his daughter who all train with a Chicago training group, and a young couple.

The highs and lows were very moving! And yes, at times my eyes teared up. The crowd clapped and laughed several times. Overall the movie was inspiring. I felt as if I've been a slug and should walk more. And I even thought for a moment about doing another marathon. It lasted just a moment.

Following the movie was a little more footage of deleted scenes and explanations. It was worth watching, too!

Whether you are a walker or a runner, I think you'll find the movie worth seeing!

Note: A couple people in the movie struggled. The single mother had the hardest time, followed by the father and daughter. I don't know if anyone else saw it this way, but it seemed as if the people who trained with the organized group were the least prepared. Other than the elites, the woman who trained alone seemed to be the best trained. I found it interesting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Nice Stranger

Tonight I went out to the post office around 8 p.m. As I was posting packages, I noticed a gentleman weighing a pinewood derby car on the other postal scale. We chatted as he tried to pry lead weights off the bottom of the car - he "super glued" the weights to the car.

After he left he came back about 1 min later with my cell phone in his hand. Apparently, it fell out of my coat pocket in the parking lot.

I feel so lucky that this nice man found my phone! Thanks, whoever you are!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

6 miles Today

Bright and early this morning I met some members of the Buckeye Striders for the weekly group walk. Usually we meet, walk for an hour, then stop. Today some of the members are training for an upcoming half marathon, so they were starting ealy to get in 6 miles. I was there early (7:30 this morning!) to get in 6 also.

The temperature was about 25 degrees and the wind chill was around 11 degrees. The park we went to has a 1.25 mile loop and we did 5 laps. For the most part, I felt I dressed perfectly! Then we would round the loop and head straight into the wind and we would freeze for a few minutes. We turned the next loop out of the wind, and we would get too hot and start sweating. After sweating the cold wind felt even colder.

It is amazing to me how easy it is to work up a sweat even when it is so cold. Layering with wicking fabrics and a windproof jacket, something around the neck and lower face and a good hat or ear cover, and we were all comfortable.

If it was just left to me, I probably would not have gone early. As many of you know, I might not have made it at all. Luckily, Deb volunteered to drive, so I had a reason to be there. Actually, I had no excuse not to be there.

Delivery Problems

A friend in Georgia just received his winter issue of the magazine yesterday! The magazine mailed over a month ago. One woman here in Central Ohio just received hers last week even though I received mine nearly three weeks ago.

I can't believe there are subscribers who have received their magazines so late!

The people in the industry have no answers for me. Printers and mailing houses say two weeks for bulk rate is about as long as it takes. One postal employee told me four weeks was pretty good. (He was joking with me about other things, so I don't know if he was serious.)

So, I don't know what to do. I tried to get the Winter issue out early enough that most people could take advantage of the Gift Giving Guide. Receiving a magazine four weeks after it mails is unacceptable.

I will continue to see what can be done to get it to you faster - short of mailing the magazines first class.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Thursday Walk - Minor Scare

My friend Deb and I met at one of my favorite parks today at 5 p.m. to walk. (OK, I was late, I showed up at 5:05.) We both love this park with the trail that goes around the lake, but neither of us feels comfortable walking there alone. The temps were in the high 30s and the skies were cloudy, with a few sprinkles earlier, so it was fairly isolated today.

While in the middle of our second loop we noticed two men behind us. They ran for a little bit, then walked. Then they would run a little, start to get close to us, then walk. We were a little bit unnerved by this, and weren't quite sure what they were doing. It looked like they were wearing camo, but we didn't get a good look. (I even took my keys from my pocket and held them between my fingers, just in case.) They finally caught up and ran right past us. They were wearing military camos with what looked like 40 lb packs on their backs! Obviously, they were training to run with a pack.

We both laughed, but each of us was glad we weren't walking alone! Once we got back to the starting point, we were recovered enough that I talked Deb into doing one more lap.

Three laps - more than 3 miles - on a Thursday! Despite the scare, it felt great!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Problems of Scale

Have you ever weighed yourself, stepped off the scale and stepped back on only to have it show a different weight? I doubt if I can lose 3 lbs by simply stepping off and on my scale. (Wouldn't it be great if you could?)

I have a history of weight issues - mostly with weight obsession. At my worst, I would weigh myself 20 to 30 times a day. I ended up throwing my scale away, (eventually we received our current scale as a gift). As Susan Powter would point out, the number on the scale is not important if you are healthy and your clothes fit the way you want.

So, now I have a faulty scale that varies 3-5 lbs. It doesn't seem to matter how many times a day I hop on it, I gained either 5 lbs to 10 lbs over the holidays.

I've decided today that I need to live what I know. The number doesn't matter. Tonight, I'm taking the battery out of that scale.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon Movie Selling Out

Spirit of the Marathon is a movie/documentary that follows 6 marathoners to the Chicago Marathon. A couple of the marathoners are first timers and a couple are pretty well known, like Deena Kastor. It is showing across the country on January 24.

Our walking club, the Buckeye Striders, is planning a group outing to see it together. I found out just today that the theatre we had planned to see it at here in Columbus, OH, is already sold out! Luckily, it is showing at more than one theatre and the others still have seats. I bought my ticket online today.

So, if you or your walking group are planning to see this movie, I'd recommend buying tickets ASAP.

Lame Excuse

Yesterday morning I planned to walk with my walking club. I remembered we were meeting at a new park and wasn't sure where it was. I didn't want to have to leave extra early just to find a new park, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. Is that one of the lamest excuses for not walking you have ever heard?

I had an early hair appointment and planned to walk when I got back instead. A lack of food and the chemicals at the hairdresser's (plus it took much too long), gave me a horrendous headache that took hours to get rid of. Needless to say, it sidelined my plans for a walk.

When I awoke this morning, I decided I could not keep making excuses for not walking. I looked out the window, saw we didn't get the snow predicted and went out for 30 min. It was just in our neighborhood, I didn't have any good books on my MP3 player, and I just let my mind wander. If I couldn't make it to walk with my friends, this was a nice second best.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sidelined by Rain

A group of the Buckeye Striders was getting together at 5 p.m. today to go for a training walk. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate - a heavy rain started about 4 p.m. and lasted for several hours.

I offered to meet the woman who planned the walk if she was going to brave the weather. Thank goodness Deb is not a total fanatic! (I hate walking in winter rain!) So I was off the hook. Whew!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Functional Walk

My car was in the carage for minor tweaking, so I walked the mile to pick it up. It's nice having a garage close enough that I can walk.

My legs have felt less ansty since I've been trying to fit in even short walks (like this one) into each day.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Deadline Extension for Award Nominations

I just found out that many people have still not received the Winter issue of WALK! Magazine. It is amazing that this issue has taken so long to be received!

For that reason, we are extending the deadline for nomination for Best City for Walkers and Walker Friendly Event to January 14.

Columbus Marathon Info - Potential Boycott?

I recently received an e-mail from a reader who is pretty upset with the Columbus Marathon. Though "supposedly walker friendly," the race dropped the walkers' results from their web site shortly after posting them.

One of her friends sent an e-mail to the race director with an unsatisfactory answer. Apparently, the director denied that there was a walking division and suggested that walkers should pay more because they're out on the course longer. She went on to say, "As you know, many of us pass a lot of runners when we participate in a race of any distance. I think most of us don't mind not having walkers' times posted separately if we go into a race knowing that there is not a walkers' division, but when it's deleted after the fact, it just doesn't seem right. Some of us are going to boycott the race."

Not all races have to welcome walkers. We're adults - we'll just choose races that want walkers. However, if a race promotes itself as walker friendly, and says it wants walkers to enter (Remember the Prevention Magazine team?), then it should make an effort to actually be friendly to walkers.

Now, I'm not personally calling for a boycott of the Columbus Marathon (though I would not discourage people from skipping this race). However, on October 19, 2008 I'll be in Detroit walking the half marathon.

Keeping a Gym Bag with Me

One of the things I find frustrating is that by the time I get home, it is too dark to go anywhere to walk. I like my neighborhood OK, but I get bored walking in it everyday. (How many times can I go up and down the same cul-de-sacs!)And who really feels safe in a park at night?

This morning I packed a gym bag with workout clothes and took it with me to the office. My plan was to change before I left this evening and stop at a park on the way home while it is still light. I received a few last minute phone calls and did not get to leave as early as I wanted. I was bummed thinking I would have to skip the walk.

I arrived at a park along a river a little bit before 5 p.m. I decided to walk in one direction from the car for 15 min., then turn around and head back. I parked in an open area where there were few trees. I also planned my route along the part of the road where there are not too many trees. As it turned out, I didn't need to worry. On the way back, it was still light enough that I took a minor detour up a little hill to add a few more minutes to the walk. I ended up at my car after 33 min. and felt perfectly safe!

There were not a lot of people in this park today, and I'm not sure why. The temps were in the high 60s with a light breeze. It looked as if it would rain, which might have scared off some people, but it was still a great day to be out.

I've decided to pack a gym bag with walking gear and just keep it in my car all of the time. Then whenever I feel the urge to stop and walk, I can do it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Morning Walk

I got in 45 minutes this morning. The temps were in the 50s and I was overdressed in winter-weight pants, long-sleeved (ugly brown) shirt and wind resistant jacket. I definitely did not need gloves. It's gray today, but then again it always is in Central Ohio.

Still, it was a nice way to start the day.

Restless Legs

I don't think I have Restless Leg Syndrome, but boy have I been uncomfortable lately. Last night was the absolute worst. I just could not get comfortable and get to sleep. My legs felt "antsy."

This has been a growing problem over the past month or so, and I'm not quite sure why. When I'm sitting at my desk I frequently need to get up and walk around inside the building.

It might be I'm not walking enough. It might be that when I do walk, I push too hard. Maybe more stretching is required. It might have nothing to do with walking at all.

Regardless, it is annoying. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get a lot more casual walking in and see if the situation gets better.

The Ugly Shirt

OK, the race I did on Jan. 1 gave out truly ugly brown shirts. Because it is a technical shirt and the neck is higher than most, and I like the feel of the fabric, I decided I'd keep it. Today I wore it. It's Ugly!!!

I have a small and when I held it up it looks huge! The arms are just the right length for me, the armpits hang really low and the body is huge. There is no brand name in the collar, so it is probably one of those off brand things. I can only imagine what kind of deformed person this shirt was designed to fit.

Needless to say, it is going into the giveaway bag as soon as it is washed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Big Sur is April 27

Argh! The Big Sur International Marathon is actually April 27 - NOT April 21 as it appears in WALK! Magazine on page 28. Sorry for the confusion!

Starting 2008 Right

I got up not so early today to enter my first race of the year - the 2008 New Year's Day 5K Resolution Run. The race directors were smart enough to schedule the start for 11 a.m.

I said that I would be there unless it was raining. I woke up this morning, looked out the window and thought, "Darn! It's not raining!" Despite the lack of precipitation, it was about 28 degrees and the wind was wicked! I dressed for the wind (I thought) and arrived about 40 min before the race started. I stayed in the car for a while and when I finally got out I was pleasantly surprised to see that about a dozen Buckeye Striders were also there.

The course was on bike trails around a park in Westerville, OH. It was very flat with trees just on the outside of one side of the park. Because of this, there was NO wind break until about 2.5 miles into the course. Did I say the wind was brutal? Walking into the wind was pretty bad, but because the course was big loops, the wind hit us from all directions for a little bit. Actually, having the wind change direction helped.

When we got to about mile 2.5, and we were close to the trees that blocked the wind, suddenly we were too hot and sweaty. After the race there was plenty of water, hot chocolate and Panera breads.

Overall the race was fine. It's a small race with just a couple hundred participants. It's inexpensive at only $25 last week and we did get a long-sleeved technical shirt. OK, the shirt is an ugly brown, but it is a technical shirt. The course was open long enough for even the slowest participants.

A couple of things I didn't like: it is not chip timed (though I'm sure they do for all of their other races), there was no water on the course (freeze hazard, maybe?), when I checked the race results online, the age group results included up to 30 people per age group, the results are not broken down for walkers, they allowed dogs.

Despite the weather and the dogs, I'm glad I went. What a great way to start the new year - in a fun race with lots of friends!

My official finish time is 45:10 for 14:34 per mile. The finish line clock said 45:24. Deb's finish time is listed as 45:34 even though we walked the entire race side-by-side. Her number was not showing, and it took several seconds to show it to the finish line staff. That's the reason I prefer chip timing. Since we placed 305 and 306 out of 317 entrants, it really is not a big deal. Besides, this race was just for fun. I was 45 out of 48 in my age group and 158 out of 169 women. Add one and you know where Deb ranked.

Happy New Year!

We at WALK! Magazine wish all of you a healthy and Happy New Year! May you avoid injury and be healthy enough to achieve all of your walking and fitness goals in 2008!