Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dispatch Article

I'll try to post it legibly on the WALK! Magazine web site.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm in the Dispatch Saturday, April 26

The Columbus Dispatch did a special Healthsource section on walking, and I was included in one of the articles! I'm one of the three people interviewed for the article. The good news/bad news is they did not use the photo I submitted. The photo was not very flattering, but I would have liked to have a photo included.

Regardless, I came off OK. It took me a while to find the article (and I knew it was there), so I hope others can find it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Things to Think about Before Doing Big Sur

- Get in as much hill training as you can. No, you cannot overdo it!

- Make hotel reservations EARLY!!!

- The shuttles to the starting line and back from the finish line were very good!

- Be prepared for any type of weather. Bring clothes you can pitch if necessary. Keep some layers to put back on! I never took off and put on so many layers in my life. Every five min the temps would change.

- There are plenty of port-a-johns. If the need is not urgent, there will be more in just a couple of miles and you do NOT have to wait in line.

- Bring a camera and expect to stop often, at least in the first half of the race.

- Don't bother entering any event shorter than the 21-miler. You miss the coolest stuff if you do one of the shorter events.

- Carry shot blocks, GU or whatever you use for energy and eat/take them liberally.

- Do ankle-strengthening exercises as part of your training. There are some steep sideways angles throughout the course.

- Hurricane Point is not the toughest hill - the small steep ones are worse.

- There were plenty of apples, bananas, oranges and one stop with strawberries on the course. Practice with these foods. I ate the strawberries even though I had not practiced with them because we were told they are natural anti-inflammatories. Delicious!

- It's not always funny to yell "Go Bucks" to people wearing Michigan hats right after one of their football players left UM to go to Ohio State in his Junior year.

- All long-distance athletes are friendly, walkers are slightly friendlier than runners.

We did Big Sur!

We had a great time completing the most grueling event I have ever entered! It is also the MOST beautiful course I have ever walked! Breathtaking at times - especially with gale force winds blowing in your face.

Deb and I finished in 5:38, Laura in 4:58 and Karen in 5:10. Karen stopped to take more pictures than Laura did. Oh, and according to Karen's GPS, the course is more like 21.2 to 21.5 miles. If you look up the results, I do not show up. I had my chip, wore it on my shoe and even had it activated, but I'm not listed. Karen and Laura were panicked when they saw I wasn't listed as a finisher and started searching the medical tents looking for me! Why didn't we just carry our cell phones! but I walked with Deb the whole way, so I am confident about my finish time.

At the start the wind was brutal! We were down in a little park off of Highway 1 waiting thinking it was so warm we had overdressed, but as soon as we started and went up the hill to the highway, constant gale force winds! I was the only one in shorts, but I figured the wind had to stop eventually. I thought it stopped before Hurricane Point (others had other opinions), but it was very discouraging to walk headlong into that strong of a wind.

This was funny. The temps fluctuated so much I kept talking layers off and putting them back on! I have never been so fickle about my race attired ever!

Hurricane Point is not as bad as everyone said, but the remaining 300,000 hills were pretty horrible. (Hurricane Point goes up for more than 2 miles.) On some hills we were on a 45-degree angle sideways, (just call me Eileen), others were extremely steep, others were just annoying because the course wasn't flat. The last hill just ticked me off because I thought we deserved a little flat ground for a while.

Deb and I passed about 40 runners, only one was puking. There were a lot of run/walkers which were annoying. They would run til they got just in front of you and then walk slowly. After you pass them, then they do it again. At one point an entire herd of Galloway followers came past us like a herd of buffalo! They were cutting in and around us, not staying to the right at all, and just being rude for about 3 minutes, then they walked for 3 and ran 3 more. Though we saw several walkers in the middle of the street or on the far right, I got stuck behind even more "runners" who came to a complete stop when getting water, Gu or fruit. OK, the rule is, walker or runner, if you need to stop to eat your piece of banana, move to the side. How many times did we have to say "Hey, don't stop! There are people behind you." The "you idiot" at the end of the sentence was implied. (I can be an adult at times.)

I am the most sore of our group. Deb finished feeling strong! Laura is not sore at all and Karen is a little sore. I feel all beat up and struggled a little the last couple of miles. My feet are sore (wrong shoes), my glutes are sore and my calves are sore. But we all agreed, there is no way to train for these types of hills in central Ohio. Regardless, I think my training could have been a little better.

At the end Deb, Karen and I just received water, bananas, oranges, raisins, etc., when Laura went through there were muffins, and she saw plenty of people with bagels!There were plenty of people who finished after us, and as far as I can tell, that was the only glitch the entire event.

After scaring Karen and Laura because they couldn't find us (and I wasn't listed as a finisher), and finally meeting up at the hotel, we had an early, quick and high-calorie dinner. Afterward we bought a bottle of wine and drank it on a patio with some cheeses from the hotel. (It offers cheese and tea at 4.)

Finally we went back to our rooms to crash.

I actually complained a little more in this blog than this course deserved. The hills were tough, and except for the couple rude runners, everyone was VERY nice. This event is extremely well run and we had a fantastic time! I was worried about the shuttles, but they ran great this morning, and we had to wait only a few minutes on the way back.

The area is beautiful and we feel we have accomplished something big. It's been a really fun couple of days! It truly was a once in a lifetime experience!

Legs of the race:
First leg - 20 min (We are pretty sure it was longer than 1 mile.)
Second mile - 15:53
Third - 15:58
Fourth - 16:42
Fifth - 15:06
Sixth - 16:29
Seventh - 16:46 (We think 5, 6 and 7 were heading up Hurricane point.)
Eighth - 14:27
My watch malfunctioned at this point! I went to retrieve my times and it said the memory was full! How aggravating. I'm not even sure how to delete stuff from the memory.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Big Sur Expo Day 2

Much busier today than yesterday! We still did not hand out 400 magazines to meet my goal of 600, but we had a good response. Lots of people confusing us with the defunct Walking Magazine. (No we aren't the same, this new magazine is better and treats walkers like athletes.) We all would have sold more shirts if I had had them in stock.

Though the expo attendees were very nice, I still think those in Appleton, WI were much friendlier. For on the course support Cincinnati Flying Pig, Nashville Country Music and Indy Mini are all pretty comparable. (Cinci might be better because of the super friendly church choirs you pass twice - both up hill and down.)

After an early breakfast at Loulou's on the pier, we watching the children's 5K runners for a little while and cheered on the girls. (Young girls need more encouragement to be athletic.)

Karen and Laura came to the Expo for a couple of hours and relieved Deb and I. It's a treat to be able to leave the premises and eat lunch somewhere nice and relaxing.

Later they drove the course, and seemed a little concerned. Hurricane point sounds pretty rough. (I'm not going to worry about it.)

Overall, a good expo. I certainly will not get rich from this one, but we made great contacts and had a lot of fun. It is a great expo for my first trip this far west.

Wish me luck for tomorrow's race!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Big Sur Expo Day 1

The Expo went from Noon to 6 p.m. today. I like the nice short hours - I don't have to get up too early, don't have to stay too late.

We decided to go for a walk this morning beforehand. After a beautiful continental breakfast at the hotel, we went to the Old Fisherman's Wharf and saw some great restaurants and stores. Then we walked up the beach for quite a while. I gingerly walked through the loose sand until we got to the hardpacked sand. No sand in my shoes! Yea! We walked forever and still never got to the end of the beach. We got back to the hotel, another quick trip through the breakfast and got ready for the expo.

It took about 45 min to set up with the help of Glen who pushed the cart full of our boxes down the street for us, then we all walked around and talked to vendors. It was fun. Karen and Laura went to lunch while Deb and I manned the booth. Then we went to lunch while they manned the booth. It was great!

We met so many people from Ohio I was amazed! At least three from Cinci, a couple from Cleveland, a couple others who have kids going to college in Steubenville, and at OU and OSU.

We also met some great people who are vendors. They were so friendly! And I was surprised at how many of those businesses were owned by entrepreneurs (like me)!

Bart Yasso, one of Runner's Worlds editors had a booth and I met him. He wrote an interesting looking book about his life as a runner. I told him that I hoped to make WALK! Magazine the "Runner's World for Walkers," and he said that was a great goal. I also asked if he had any suggestions for growing the publication and he said he would think about it.

I also finally met Les Smith, race director of the Portland Marathon. It was nice to put a face with the phone voice. I told him we are coming out next year and that the members of the Walking Team have talked me into doing another marathon.

I shipped out just 600 magazines and flyers based on responses from previous Expos and knowing there are about 3,500 walkers entered. I thought today would be light, and we already went through over 200 magazines. I hope we have enough for tomorrow! I can see sending someone out to make copies of flyers before the day is through.

Anyway, it was a VERY productive day with all of us meeting some very nice and interesting people. It makes traveling so much more fun when you are with people who are fun.

I'm lucky to be traveling with Deb, Karen and Laura!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In Monterey

Long flights - little food. My carry on luggage weighed a ton. (Too many plane transfers and I was afraid my luggage would not arrive.) After finally eating, I felt queasy the rest of the evening. Walked to the ocean to watch the sea lions play. Walked around the town to see what there is to see. What a beautiful place!

I'm exhausted! We are getting up early to get in one final walk before Sunday. More tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mailing Issues

I recently learned something new about how magazines mail. Before the pieces are labeled, the list is "approved" by the post office. If a mailing label does not match the address the Post Office has for a subscriber, the address will be marked as invalid and no magazine will be mailed. If you send a change of address to WALK! Magazine, but do not inform the Post Office, you won't receive your magazine.

If you have not received an issue of WALK! Magazine after a move, please be sure to notify the Post Office of your new address.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

8 Miles Alone

After all of these months of training with people, it felt really weird walking alone today. Because of schedules it just did not work out.

I went out at 8:30 this morning (I get to sleep in when I'm not walking with Deb!), walked from my house 1 mile to a park, 5 laps around the park (1.2 miles per lap), and walked home. I was a little worried that I didn't leave early enough to miss the rain, but I was OK.

This morning there were hundreds of children playing soccer throughout the park! It was so fun to watch. Some teams were just practicing, others had games, and I think almost all of the kids were under 3 feet tall. I love seeing so many kids playing sports and having fun.

There were also several people walking and running around the park. I was surprised at how many older couples there were walking together. Most of them looked like they did it pretty regularly.

There was even a group playing cricket on one of the ball fields.

So, overall it was a good morning. I was able to walk from my house without driving anywhere, I saw lots of healthy people to keep me entertained, and I didn't get rained on.

I almost didn't notice I was walking alone.

The times are misleading. Though the first and last "lap" were only one mile, I had to wait for traffic lights.
Lap 1 - 20:08
Lap 2 - 18:18 - 15:25 per mile
Lap 3 - 18:31 - 15:43 per mile
Lap 4 - 17:51 - 14:88 per mile
Lap 5 - 17:46 - 14:80 per mile
Lap 6 - 17:38 - 14:69 per mile
Lap 7 - 17:38

I tend to speed up as I go. I noticed it during pervious half marathons.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Feeling Better

Wearing flats and icing my foot has helped. We did 3 miles today, and I feel fine. My foot is slightly swollen, but feels OK. We effortlessly walked 15-min miles. Amazing how easy it is to walk fast at 5 p.m., compared to 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

I was also diagnosed with a sinus infection. Boy, am I glad I didn't let it go any longer. Flying with my sinuses this bad would have been horrible.

So, icing my swollen knees (don't know why), icing my foot and taking ibuprofen for my headache, and I'm feeling MUCH better.

Actual miles:
1) 15:01
2) 15:03
3) 14:56

Monday, April 14, 2008


I think I found my problem!

Excerpted from: www.mayoclinic.com/health/metatarsalgia/DS00496

The main symptom of metatarsalgia is pain in the ball of your foot... The pain may be sharp, aching or burning. Other symptoms may include:
- Sharp or shooting pain in your toes,
- Numbness or tingling in your toes,
- Pain that worsens when you flex your feet. [Pushing off with my toes?]

Often, several factors are involved, including:
- Intense training or activity. ... Training intensely or for long periods puts even more stress on the metatarsals, often leading to chronic irritation and inflammation. [Training for Big Sur, maybe?]
- High heels, which cause more weight to be transferred to the front of the foot, are one of the most common causes of metatarsalgia in women. [Every day...]

Treatment includes: rest, ice, ibuprofen, wearing proper shoes and inserts.

So, I'll wear flats for a while, avoid speed workouts, take ibuprofen and ice my foot. [Yuck!] At least it doesn't involve sitting in ice water - that's much worse!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ah-ha Moment about High Heels

My right foot has felt weird in every pair of walking shoes I've worn in the last 9 months or so. The first pair of shoes didn't seem to bend correctly - but only the right shoe. The next pair of shoes didn't bend correctly either - in the exact same spot of the right shoe. Even the pair I returned because they are too heavy seemed to bother my right foot. Hmmm, is there a pattern, Cindi?

Today I had my "ah-ha" moment. I wore high-heeled boots to the grocery store because my jeans are too long to wear tennis shoes. While walking around the store my right foot started hurting me in the exact spot where it bends for racewalking. The more I walked, the more it ached!

I wear heels nearly every day. And, because my jeans all run long (and I am short) I usually wear heels with jeans, too. Though my feet occasionally hurt at the end of the day, it hasn't been a big deal. I haven't even paid much attention to it until today.

With Big Sur coming up, I'm a little bit worried. Though I don't like the look, and my pants are all hemmed for heels, I will try wearing flats this week and see if it helps.

Anyone else face something similar?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gotta Love the Taper!

You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you increase the mileage on your long-slow days. The first time you walk 10, 12 or 16 miles is fantastic! But one of my favorite things is the taper before a long-distance event.

Today we walked just 12 miles and it felt great. The hills felt pretty big in that last lap, but that's par for the course. We were slowing down after those last hills, then suddenly picked up the pace in the final two miles.

But the best thing is, after spending all of this time walking week after week, it's nice to be finished so early! We were done before 11 a.m. and I feel as if I have a lot of free time. Maybe next week, since we are doing just 8 miles, Deb will let me sleep in until 7.

First lap - 57:07 - 15:01 per mile
Second lap - 57:35 - 15:09 per mile
Third lap - 58:03 - 15:16 per mile

Average for the entire distance is 15:09.

Location: Sharon Woods Park. Each loop is 3.8 miles. Temps in the mid 40s. Cloudy and breezy in spots.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Walking Clothes

There is something about seeing a photo of yourself in walking clothes that can inspire you to suddenly go shopping. I didn't realize how badly I needed new shorts until I saw some recent pictures. Unfortunately, those photographs were also sent to the local paper for an article about walking. Yuck!

OK, many women will relate to this. It is difficult to find flattering walking clothes when you are over the age of 40. Some shorts are too tiny for "adult" women. Other styles and colors look like they are intended for "old" women. (I don't care what my chronological age is, I will never be old - at least not mentally.) The worst part is, I've been looking for so long, I had given up and just kept wearing what I had.

So, for a few days now I have renewed my search for a pair of shorts that is flattering. Luckily, I came away with one pair of shorts and one skirt that look good with my WALK! Shirts! (Though the skirt is very cute, I have just a couple of tops that look good with it.) Now that I have something that isn't so bad, I think I'll take new pictures this weekend just in case it is not too late.

Update: As I delivered magazines to running stores yesterday, I saw lots of really cute clothes at each store. They even had shorts long enough that I would have considered wearing them. I have to assume that I was so disillusioned for so long I wasn't even looking when they were right in front of me. I didn't try any on due to lack of time, but it was encouraging.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Healthy Eating

I've been reading the book The Blue Zone. It's about the 4 areas of the world where there are the largest population of people who have lived to be over 100. I'm not quite done yet, but I'm inspired! I don't want to give away too much because I'm planning a book review, but here is how the book has affected me so far.

1) I had no problem saying no to French fries and I ordered a baked fish sandwich with a salad instead of a cheeseburger.
2) I've kept fresh fruit cut up and ready to eat in the fridge ... and I'm eating the fruit! (The cantaloupe is a little tasteless, but the rest of the fruit is fantastic!)
3) I've had several meals without meat but featuring beans and rice.
4) I'm having less of a problem getting my walking in.
5) I'm drinking more water.
6) I'm working hard to get to bed earlier. (Five hours of sleep is not enough!)
7) I'm trying to be a better friend.
8) I'm more consistent getting calcium.
9) I'm projecting a more positive attitude and I'm feeling more positive as a result.
And there are more things that I'll keep to myself.

OK, even if I don't live to be 100, however old I live to be I am confident I will feel healthier and enjoy those last years more.

George was Right!

Because of blisters, I wasn't able to do my 18-mile training walk this past Saturday. Deb and I had planned to make up the mileage on Sunday because Big Sur is coming up soon.

Saturday afternoon while exchanging my shoes, George (one of the smartest runners I know) suggested I not make up the mileage because it could mess up our rest schedule. His recommendation was to continue with our schedule as written.

Well, today we had three 1-mile splits at a fast pace scheduled. We were fast! (OK, fast for us.) We did 14:23, 14:24 and 14:13. I think these are the fastest miles we've done since we started training. Not only were we faster, I felt better after the first mile than I have after the first mile of our last couple long slow distance days. (I was dragging last Saturday.)

So, obviously, George was right! I needed the rest. The real test will be when I'm at mile 18 of the 21-mile race -- will I still think it was the right decision?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Exchanging Shoes

The NB 768s were just not right for me. During both of the longer walks in which I wore them, blisters formed within 6 miles. When I went back to the store to discuss why they don't work, the sales person thought the shoes had too much stability for the amount of pronation I have in my right foot. We tried a bunch of great, lightweight shoes, and I ended up with Nike Air Zoom. Because I'm still waiting for the blister to heal, I haven't tried walking in the shoes yet. (Even though today was beautiful!)

I'll try them out tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Over the past 24 hours, I've had short bouts with dizziness! I think it is a combination of a stuffy head/ears, riding elevators and flying. Right now it is just funny. While standing still, I'll suddenly feel like I'm in a moving elevator and need to hold onto something. Luckily the episodes pass in just a few short seconds. I'm sure once my head clears it will go away.

Airport Workout

I had a 90-min layover in Phoenix today. While walking around the airport killing time, I tried a new game - "see if you can pass the people who are on the moving sidewalk."

I didn't do bad! As soon as everyone in front of me got on the walkway, I picked up my pace. I was just starting to get a little closer to the guy in front of me when there was a break, and he had to walk on regular carpet for a few feet before he got on the second one. The entire distance of the second stretch, I was just one step behind him. Because he had to stop walking near the end as other were exiting, I passed him and won!

What makes it even more impressive is I was wearing boots with high heels and dragging may laptop in a briefcase on wheels.

I am the queen!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Outside in Anaheim

I had planned to get back on the treadmill sometime yesterday. I really want to try mastering that thing. It was grey and chilly most of the day, and I didn't have the right workout clothes for chilly weather, so it made sense.

About 4 p.m. I was free for the day and felt tired and draggy - but the sun was shining! I threw on my workout clothes and just started walking. It was the perfect walking temp and the sun energized me!

Because I'm in the city of Anaheim, I had to stop at nearly every traffic light. I'm not sure if my 20 min out in one direction was even 15 min of actual walking. Then I started crossing the street based on how the lights turned green to keep from stopping so much. Suddenly I looked up and there was a Mickey Mouse roller coaster! I could see a ferris wheel and other rides. I knew Disney is in Anaheim, but I didn't realize I was within walking distance. It also explains why there is nothing to do near this hotel. Everyone who stays here probably goes straight to Disney.

What I love about cities in warm climates and big attractions is that the landscaping is usually awesome! In Ohio, you don't see a lot of streets with medians down the middle covered with great flowers, trees and art. I also love seeing the palm trees lined up along the side of the road. It gave me plenty to look at and kept me entertained.

So, maybe later today I'll try the treadmill again. Yesterday I really needed to be outside. It was great!