Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hot tonight!

Did just 3 miles tonight at Griggs Reservoir with Elaine and Deb. According to my car thermometer, the temperature was around 92 degrees. The humidity was very high! It felt as if we were walking through soup.

I had forgotten my watch, which ended up being a good thing. If I'm not timing myself I'm less likely to push too hard in the heat.

Despite the lack of exertion, I drank almost an entire bottle of water and was soaked with sweat!

Despite being hot and humid we had a good workout!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are You Using Unsafe Plastics?

In a recent Jillian Michaels newsletter, she addresses safe and unsafe plastics. I decided to skim the article until I realized that a lot of the foods my family eats either come in or are stored in unsafe containers! Maybe it is common knowledge, but I was unaware that many canned foods are in unsafe, plastic-lined cans. (They are metal cans for goodness sake.)

I was also unaware that there are safe and unsafe plastic wraps. According to Jillian, Glad wrap, Saran premium wrap, or Saran Cling Plus wrap are all safe. I'll be switching brands immediately!

If you are concerned about the plastics you use, check out the article here:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just Exercise More -- Duh

Saturday morning I brought home a delicious-looking homemade pecan roll. I'm assuming it actually was delicious because everyone raved about them. (It really looked great.) I did not eat it, but gave it to my son.

He loved the roll and asked why I didn't eat it. When I replied that it had too many calories, he laughed at me. "If you exercise enough, you can eat whatever you want," he said with a superior tone.

He is absolutely right! And I am glad he learned this at a young age. The funny thing was, I had just finished walking 6 miles and I didn't want to use those extra burned calories on breakfast. My husband and I were going out that night, and I didn't want to worry about what I comsumed later.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

6 Miles Saturday Morning

Saturday morning a group of the Buckeye Striders arranged to do 6 miles at Sharon Woods Park instead of the regular weekly 4. Even starting as early as 7:30, it was humid! The first 2 miles we took at a fairly easy pace as we made sure to head back to the starting point to be there when the rest of the group started at 8.

The group walked together for another 2 miles then some of the faster walkers went ahead at their normal pace. Deb and I started to feel the heat after mile 5 and mile 6 was a little tough. I'm glad we were taking it easy!

What I like about Sharon Woods is that in the morning this time of year the vast majority of the trail is shady. So though it was hot, it was a couple of degrees cooler in the shade.

I drank almost an entire bottle of water during the 90-min walk. Several of our group (who shall remain nameless) did not drink any water, and I was worried about them. Still they did OK that morning.

Despite the heat, it was a good walk and the more we walk in the heat and the humidity, the more acclimated we get.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Stress Walk

It's been a rough week requiring long hours and a little too much stress.

After working late enough to be the last person in the office building, I stopped at Griggs Reservoir on my way home to get in a stress-reducing walk. My plan was to walk just 3 miles at a decent pace -- not pushing too hard because of the heat -- 86 degrees. When I hit the turn-around point, I just kept going til I reached the end of the road.

As it turns out, that adds just 0.4 miles, but it felt good to want to walk farther. I picked up the pace on the last leg, but because I didn't have a stopwatch with me, I have no idea how fast I went.

The important thing is, I walked even though I'm feeling extremely stressed and after, I even feel better! Now if only I can get this project finished...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday's Early Walk

We were back at Franklin Park for yesterday's Buckeye Strider weekly walk. A couple of us started at 7:30 with the rest joining us between 7:30 and 8.

Even though it was early, it was humid and hot and we took it easy. I'm not sure how many miles we walked, but if it was close to 6 (my guess) we averaged more than a 15-min mile. There have been some really nice renovations at this park and it is a great place to walk now. But I haven't mapped the new route to know for sure how far it is.

I was a little nervous doing 6 miles since I haven't walked that far in a while, but it wasn't hard. I felt great and had no soreness!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's Toasty Out There!

It was 92 degrees and I believe the humidity was about 110% when I went to Griggs Reservoir to walk after work today. (Don't you hate it when people say things like "110%"?)

My original plan was to walk 4 miles. Once I got that first half mile in I knew it was not going to be an intense walk. I slowed the pace and made the decision to do only 3 miles. I'm glad I did! Because of the added humidity, I ended up drinking nearly the entire bottle of water I carried with me. The pace I walked was pretty slow, too -- somewhere around a 15:30.

Yesterday I went to another of my favorite parks -- Antrim. I don't know what it is about water, but I always like walking near water. The lake here always brightens my mood.

I did three laps for about 3.6 miles. It wasn't nearly as humid or hot yesterday, so I had plenty of energy for the walk. A good portion of the trail around the lake is shady, and that was appreciated, too. I didn't push very hard and averaged about a 15-min. mile.

So two days in a row of walking in heat and humidity for a total of about 6 miles. Not bad!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meeting Doloris

“Hi! My name is Doloris,” said the 5-foot tall, 70-year-old woman. I met her Friday morning on the sidewalk on a busy Branson, MO street. We were both walking for exercise and I had just caught up with her.

After chatting a little about my walking, Doloris said she had been a marathon runner when she was younger, but because of knee injuries she is now a walker. “When I was 49, I ran the Marine Corp. Marathon in 4:15,” she said proudly. “Around mile 20, I passed a group of service men and they were shocked.” She waited for them at the finish line to cheer them on. “Let’s do it again,” she shouted as they crossed. Needless to say, they did not take her up on it.

Both Doloris and her husband were avid runners and would enter a race a weekend, traveling all over the United States. “I would win my age group all of the time,” she said. “My basement is full of the trophies I won.” Though her husband can still jog, Doloris can’t even do that.  After several knee injuries and surgeries, she has to be careful. Though she normally walks 3 miles a morning, she planned to head to Silver Dollar City later that day. Because of all of the walking she would do at the park, she was limiting herself to only 2 miles that morning. “There’s no point in wearing out my knee and needing to sit on a bench the rest of the day.”

Though she had thought about knee replacement surgery, friends who had gone through the same surgery had mixed results. The majority suggested she not do it. “I’m holding out as long I can without it,” she said. “I just don’t want to end up unable to walk at all.”

When our conversation added an additional 20 min. to my planned walk, we prepared to go our separate ways. As I walked away she said, “So how old are you? 30?”

I think I’m going to remember Doloris.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Walking with my Sis-in-law

We get together with my husband's brothers and their families at least once a year. We usually alternate a full family reunion one year with just the three families the following year. This year we went to Branson, Missouri to meet up with several other members of the family.

Regardless of where or when we get together, my sister-in-law and I usually get in at least one morning walk. Because this trip was just a long weekend, we were only able to fit in a walk Saturday morning.

We hit the same road I walked alone earlier that features some of the tackiest tourist spots. As we talked about everything, we passed various go kart tracks, water parks and several theaters including Mickey Gilley's, Jim Stafford's and the Baldknobbers'. It was funny walking by huge marquees featuring photos of singers we have never heard of. I'm assuming they are well known in Branson, why else would they have photos the size of my house on the front of the building? We made it past the Titanic Museum (the building is in the shape of the ocean liner), and the Hollywood Wax Museum, but did not make it to the Andy Williams Theater.

Though the main purpose of these walks is to burn off some of the extra calories we consume when we are all together, the best part is having the chance to get away from the larger group for a little while and talk about anything.

Now that our other sister-in-law is not pregnant and is on her way to recovery from painful foot surgery, I hope she will be able to join us next time!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Walking in Monday's Heat

After a weekend of overindulging (food and drink), I decided I needed more than just a 30-min walk. My plan was to walk for an hour in our neighborhood hitting every single cul-de-sac and at the same time try not to repeat any of my route. Though hot, it ended up being a really good walk!

I felt strong and maintained a good pace but didn't push too hard because of the heat and humidity. As I reached the next to the last cul-de-sac, I said hello to one of my neighbors. He took one look at me and said, "I hope you're going to get some water!" He was right -- I was heading for my house to grab the water bottle sitting in my driveway as soon as I finished the circle.

As I finished my planned route, I had not yet walked a full hour! Woo hoo! So I kept going farther down the block.

According to my saved map on Map My Walk, I had walked a little farther than 4 miles. Though I have been faster lately, I'm pretty happy. I was not walking for speed and the heat prevented walking harder. And I felt great the entire rest of the day while shopping for a refrigerator and a stove.

Though I have several routes saved on Map My Walk, it can be a little temperamental and twitchy. I've heard that other mapping web sites are better. I just have not tried any others yet.

Friday, July 02, 2010


The other day while at my son's baseball game, I noticed a young (slightly heavy) couple walking laps on the track next to the baseball diamond. After a couple of laps they started alternating jogging with walking.

It was pretty hot out and because of the heat, I noticed every time they came around.They were working pretty hard and seemed to be out there a long time!

It was obvious they were not experienced runners -- neither of them looked fit. But that is exactly why they were so inspiring!

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Which Diet is Best?

I go nuts when I read posts on diet web sites stating the entire reason people are fat is because of -- carbohydrates. Really? Just carbohydrates!

Because I can think for myself, I know simply reducing carbs is not the answer. However, many people are so brainwashed to believe they need a low-carb diet, they don't want to hear anything common sense.

Thank goodness every once in a while you find an article that backs up common sense. On Yahoo Health I found "Diet Type or Calories Lost: What's Best for Weight Loss?" (

The article summarizes a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that compared diet plans to determine what is the most important factor for losing weight. All plans encouraged 90-min of exercise, a calorie limit of 1200 a day, and counseling every 8 weeks.

The result? "Regardless of which diet the subjects were on, their weight loss and decreases in waist circumference were the same for all four groups."

And "As long as your diet is balanced and healthy overall, you can lose weight and keep a good amount of it off if you watch the calories."

I know it is not rocket science, but it needs repeating -- it's all about calories in and calories out.