Thursday, March 31, 2005


I just spent a bit over an hour on the treadmill, almost non-stop (one water break). I got in a bit over 2 and a half miles, which means that my total for today is over the 5 miles I needed.

I just looked at the sample training schedule on the 3-Day website, and I need two five mile walks this weekend to start catching up. If today is any indication, as long as the treadmill is working, I can do it.

Treadmill Nightmare

The training part is fine. I'm feeling a little more stress in my right leg than I should be feeling, but I've got almost three miles in today, and my goal is five.

The problem is the treadmill.

Exercise machines do not like me. I've managed to break two different exercise bikes in my life, and it appears I'm doing the same to the treadmill. It's not intentional. I'm just walking on it. But the belt was doing some funny stuff, and now it's decided to squeak loudly then stop dead in the middle of a long stretch of exercise.

Luckily, after digging into its innards (carefully) for a bit, I somehow fixed whatever was wrong. I hope. So it's back to the grind to see if I can finish today's miles.

Wish me luck. And if you know of any contests giving away new treadmills, let me know. I wanna enter. The things are expensive.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Weird wet Washington weather

Just a strange little weather phenomenon I wanted to pass along to you all today. This afternoon, I was subbing at one of the local high schools and looked out the window. It was horrible out there. The rain was coming down in sheets, and the wind was whipping up all over the place. Even for the Pacific Northwet (no, that's not a typo), it was pretty bad. Wouldn't you know, this is one of those few days where I walked to work, so I wasn't looking forward to going home...

About an hour later, when I headed for home, it was clear. And not just clear, but there were no clouds in the sky, which was a gorgeous shade of blue. If it weren't for all of the huge puddles of standing water, you'd never have known that that storm had come through less than an hour earlier...

Training Update

I just walked a mile and a half on the treadmill, and both my legs are all iced up as the PT requested I do every time I stop exercising for more than a few minutes. I intend to go back to the treadmill later and do at least another mile and a half, as that's the training schedule goal for today.

The PT thinks I should stick with the treadmill for a little while to try to train my feet to walk ever so slightly differently (which is what the taping is for) and because the treadmill has more give and thus is easier on my legs. If I get my miles in on the treadmill, at least I'm doing them, which I can't do if I'm on the trail and in pain. So I'm building up the strength and endurance without having to deal fully with the pain. Not ideal, but better than going off my training schedule every few days because I hurt too much.

The Chiropractic work seems to be doing me loads of good. I can sit still longer, and my back doesn't hurt after standing for a few minutes. Without back pain, the leg pain is easier to bear.

In addition, I got a "wobble chair" from the chiropractor (we're billing the insurance, and I hope they accept the charge). I don't know if the wobble chair actually fixes anything, but WOW I feel so much better after I've done a set of exercises on it. The recommendation is to do a set in the morning and one in the evening. I could play on the thing all day, personally. And my chiropractor claims that you can get a "runner's high" after doing ten minutes of workout on it. I plan on testing that claim.

I forgot to weigh myself on Friday, so I'm going to wait until this next Friday before posting another Friday fitness update. Hopefully by then I'll be back on the training schedule, too.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Training Update

I went to the PT yesterday, and she taped my ankles in such a way as to force my foot to walk in a different angle, hopefully. Today I've been charged to walk on the treadmill as long as possible, icing my leg after each session even if it doesn't hurt, and see if the taping has done anything. I just did my warm-up 20 minutes with no problems at all. I'm now icing my leg and plan on hitting the treadmill again in a few minutes, after I've read some blogs and maybe written a few reviews for Bloggity.

Tomorrow I go in and report either apparent success with the taping or apparent failure. Either way, I'll get retaped.

Please, please, please let this be progess.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Training Walk

I walked for 20 minutes on the treadmill this morning, and felt absolutely NO pain. I was massively encouraged by it, and decided that I would walk down to the library and back (a bit less than a mile). I had a few books to return, so I had an excuse. And it's a beautiful day. Sunny and bright, and the air is clean from the recent rain.

I didn't even make it to the library before the pain started up again. The usual, fairly intense pain in my right lower leg. The PT massaged a huge knot out of that muscle yesterday, and I imagined I could feel the knot tying itself back up again. I made it to the library in a decent amount of pain, regretting my flippant decision to try the walk.

After dropping off my books, I spent a bit of time on the bench in the library massaging the muscle in the hopes that I could get rid of the pain for a bit. Eventually I had to leave, or risk being late for work. The start of the walk was fine, no pain. But after maybe a quarter of a mile it came roaring back to make me want to limp and cry.

So I'm not nearly out of the woods yet.

Two pictures for you today. The first one is from my Friday walk, which was similar to today's walk in that I felt great, and expected to go a long distance, but felt pain fairly quickly and came back depressed. This is the same "rockman" from an earlier entry, only he's been decked out for the holiday. The sidewalk in front of him also had shamrocks chalked on it.

The next one is a picture I've been meaning to take for some time. Just down the street, there lives a plastic flamingo who has been wearing a scarf all winter long.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Training Update

So I went to the Physical Therapist again today after a worrisome weekend in which I didn't get a lot of walking done. We worked on the muscles that are in pain, and I got another lovely contrast bath. Then I came home and did some time on the treadmill.

The first 20 minute session was fine. No major pain, but I was going very slowly and doing more warming up than serious walking. I stopped after 20 minutes and took a rest, then did another 20 minutes, this time working up to a normal pace.

The pain returned.

I walked through it to see if it was my imagination, or if it would get worse. It got worse. I stopped at 20 minutes and now I'm sitting here with ice on my leg. I hope we can figure this pain out soon. I need to do some serious walking, and it currently hurts way too much.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Frida, er, Saturday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X-1
  • Change From Last Week: -1
  • Met Training Goals? No:
    • Fri = 30 min bike (goal: 30 min ct)
    • Sat = 30 min bike (goal: 6 miles/2 hr ct)
    • Sun = none (goal: 4 miles/80 min ct)
    • Mon = none
    • Tue = none (goal: 3 miles/1 hr ct)
    • Wed = 1 hr swim (goal: 15 min ct)
    • Thu = 1.5 (goal: 5 miles/100 min ct)
    Total Miles: 1.5 (goal: 18 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 30 min crosstrain
    • Sat = 6 miles (2 hour crosstrain)
    • Sun = 5 miles (100 min crosstrain)
    • Mon = rest
    • Tue = 3 miles (1 hour crosstrain)
    • Wed = 15 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 5 miles (100 min crosstrain)

This was a lousy week for training, partly because I spent every morning in either Physical Therapy or Chiropractic, or both. My time got eaten up so fast I didn't know where it went. I need to work on time management, I can tell. Still, at the end of the week I got the good news that I can start walking again, and I've done two walks since then. Both were ok, but the second walk worried me as the same pain that's kept me from walking much started up again. I'll have to see what I can do today. The PT said no more than three miles each day over the weekend.

As for the weight, it seems to have changed a little, but I forgot to measure on Friday morning, so this is the Saturday morning measurement. Statistically, no real change. I'll keep watching it.

And lastly, if you have a bit of spare change to donate, please do. I could really use some serious inspiration about now. Many thanks to my latest donor, Cate Gaidheal.

Please Donate

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Contrast Bath

So I went to both PT and Chiro today.

At physical therapy, I got stretched, solared, extremely painfully massaged, then I got a contrast bath. I think I mentioned before that a contrast bath involved a bucket of hot water and a bucket of ice water? Yeah, they have a hottub at the PT, and I put my feet in that for three minutes, then one minute of ice water. I had thought the massage hurt...

After PT, I went to the chiropractor. He taught me how to use the wobble chair, which is WAY cool, and apparently a great way to stretch as well. Then I got adjusted again. Again, I lost my tinnitus for a very short time after he adjusted my neck. He also adjusted both my feet, and to my immense surprise, after leaving his office I felt like I was sort of floating on my feet, not walking on them.

The PT cleared me for walking today, but I'm to ease into it, and if the pain starts again I need to turn around and go home to rest. So I tested it with a short walk, maybe a half mile, while on an errand. No problems on that walk, so I went on a bit longer walk along the trail. I didn't feel any real pain on the way out (just a bit of the normal heelspur pain), and on the way back I felt a little pain in my kneecap, completely different from the pain that derailed me for so long. I did a mile, which isn't much, but I feel like I was walking on springs the entire time, so I think it was a good walk. The kneecap pain was extrememly minor, but I've been hypersensitive to pain for awhile now.

I took a nice picture of the Bothell sign for you. This sign is across from the bridge into Bothell Landing Park, and as you can see it is very welcoming.

I thought I'd give you a close-up of the bottom portion of the sign, as I find it amusing. It's not nearly as bad as the one into town on the main road, which says "Welcome to Bothell - For A Day or A Lifetime". I used to joke that it was an either/or proposition. Until I moved here. Anyway, here's the bottom half of the sign.

What does Bothell have to offer you? UNIQUE BIKE RACKS!!! I also like the command on the sign - "Relax..." Um, why does this sign want me to relax? What is it going to do with me if I do relax?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I Have Been Adjusted

I had heard tales. But I didn't really understand. Chiropractors "adjust" a person by popping bones back into proper alignment. If you've ever had a broken bone set, you know exactly what I'm referring to... that intense POP when the bone snaps into place. It usually doesn't hurt as much as it shocks you (though pain is often involved). And that's what chiropractors do.

Onc they've adjusted your bones into the correct spots, then they have you come back and get them adjusted again, as by the time you go to visit one of these guys, your bones are in the habit of being in the wrong place and will move back. After a few weeks of having your bones manhandled into shape, the bones get into the habit of being in the right place to begin with. Either that or they are just scared of the chiropractor so they behave.

I got adjusted in five spots, two in my neck and three in my back. The reactions of my body started about 20 minutes after he adjusted me. First reaction was a slight soreness in my shoulders. Then, after that faded, a bit of a pain in my lower back. After a few more minutes, my tinnitus vanished completely for about ten minutes, but returned. That was unexpected. Now, over an hour later, I feel like my arms are loose. When I tried to touch my toes, I reached considerably farther than when I exercised yesterday.

The verdict? Mostly good. I'm getting adjusted again tomorrow and Friday, then probably twice a week after that. I need to keep track of my insurance, as well... So far: 1 Chiro, 2 PT/Rehab out of 12 Chiro, 45 PT/Rehab allowed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Health Update

I went to the Physical Therapist yesterday, and the Chiropractor today.

The PT massaged my foot, zapped my foot with electrodes, stretched my foot, and iced my foot. And today my foot feels better than usual. She also gave me instructions on how to do a "contrast bath" for my feet, which involves a bucket of hot water and a bucket of ice water. I'll let your imagination supply the rest. I'm also continuing with the stretches she showed me on my first visit. I'm still not cleared to walk long distances.

The Chiropractor checked out my health history, examined my neck, and took some x-rays. The long and short of it is that I probably could use his help, and he encouraged me to keep up the PT as well. I have another appointment with him tomorrow morning to determine if he really can help me, after he's examined the x-rays. He also ran my insurance, and told me I have 12 chiro visits covered, and 45 pt. That's good information to know.

I feel like I'm on my way. Now if I only knew for certain just where I was going...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

3-Day Expo Report

So I went to the 3-Day Expo yesterday. Part of the day was slightly traumatic for me... I'll get to that in a second. For the most part it was a useful experience. I chatted with a physical therapist who specializes in foot and leg problems and she confirmed that my PT has the right idea. She also gave me her card in case I need a second opinion or backup. I also chatted with a chiropractor who thinks my shoulders and neck need some serious realignment. I have an appointment to visit them and get a better check and run my insurance to see if I'm covered. We'll find out Tuesday.

In addition, I got to check out the tents that we'll be using on the Walk, and try some of the food. There were vendors selling nice stuff, but I haven't got the money to buy anything so I just looked. I also had a FOCUS meeting on how to raise more money, since the Walk is primarily a fundraising event.

The trauma was due to the location of the event. It was held at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton, where I spent the two most miserable and painful years of my life.

Driving up was hard. I'd never actually driven myself to the school before, but I found that I knew the way as though it were yesterday. You don't forget a route that you spent two or three hours on every single day in a slow lumbering school bus.

Lucky for me, in the 20 years since I went there, the front of the building has been renovated... heck, the school was closed for a few years, even... and some new outbuildings were constructed on the grounds. The bad memories stayed mostly quiet in front of the school.

As I walked to the place where the Expo was being held, I spotted the area where my locker used to be, in a bank of lockers, and suddenly remembered being pushed into the locker doors, having my locker slammed on my hand, and much worse. I had to stop and close my eyes to clear the memories. I looked again at the space: it had been converted into a couple of classrooms.

The Expo was held in the gym, where quite a few horrible memories dredged themselves up and clawed their way into the front of my brain as I walked around. Just there, I was pushed into the wall and spit on. Over there is where I gave another girl a bloody nose that one time, only to learn she wasn't the one who had hit me earlier. Pain and regret warred inside, and I had to force myself back into the present.

The gym hadn't changed. Maybe there was a new floor, but the walls and ceiling were just the same as in my nightmares. I instantly recognized the wall mural with the Viking ship, the other one came back to me much more slowly.

I looked out the back at the field, and saw the track which I "ran" a mile every Friday on. There was a bet I made with a teacher on that field. I considered going down there, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I wished we could go somewhere other than the gym. The bandroom had held some happy memories for me, as did the library. The gym was mostly bad memories.

I was glad when I finally finished my meeting and was able to leave. Driving away I felt the weight of the years peel off as I rolled down all the windows and cruised in the bright sunny day. Things I'd forgotten, repressed, still haunted me, but they were 20 years away now, and I had better things to do.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X
  • Change From Last Week: 0
  • Met Training Goals? Sort of:
    • Fri = 30 min bike (goal: 30 min ct)
    • Sat = 5 miles (goal: 5 miles)
    • Sun = 4 miles (goal: 4 miles)
    • Mon = rest
    • Tue = 3 miles (goal: 3 miles)
    • Wed = 20 min bike (goal: 15 min ct)
    • Thu = 90 min bike (goal was 4 miles)
    Total Miles: 12 (goal: 16 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 30 min crosstrain
    • Sat = 6 miles (2 hour crosstrain)
    • Sun = 4 miles (80 min crosstrain)
    • Mon = rest
    • Tue = 3 miles (1 hour crosstrain)
    • Wed = 15 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 5 miles (100 min crosstrain)

Once again the weight disappoints, but I keep reminding myself that there's a long way yet to go. And no change is better than gains. My last day of walking turned into exercise bike on doctor's orders, otherwise I may well have attempted it and made it. It probably wouldn't have been good exercise though, so it's just as well. At least with the stationary bike I know I was getting a hard workout.

I got another donation, from Cynthia Healy. This puts me up to $220, which is nice. More importantly, it gives me more motivation for working out. If you have $5 to spare, and haven't donated already, please consider it. Thanks.

Please Donate

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Training Update

Well, I got 90 minutes in on the exercise bike today. As usual, I wanted to go for a walk, but I'm listening to the doctor on this one. No major walking until I see her again.

I got 20 minutes in on the exercise bike yesterday. I'm scheduled to do 30 minutes tomorrow, and a lot more over the weekend.

No pictures, as I was indoors reading comics while I peddled away.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Health Update

Saw the Physical Therapist this morning, and she's confident that I can beat this problem and do the 3-Day without pain. That's the good news.

Bad news is that I'm not to walk again until I see her on Monday, so there goes my sticking with the training plan for this week and next week. She wants me to exercise, just not walking, so I think I'm going to get some serious time in on the exercise bike. I'm thinking I should do 20 minutes on the bike for each mile I intended to go. The pool is closed tonight, so I won't be swimming this week, either. She said I could go on shorter walks, but if it starts hurting to stop walking.

She wasn't able to identify what the pain in my legs is, just that it isn't shin splints (which I'm glad to rule out). She determined that my right ankle is extremely stiff, which might be a big part of the problem, or just a result of me adjusting to the pain. My left ankle is more supple, which may be why it doesn't hurt quite as much.

I've got a passle of exercises to work on, some of which are familiar, some are new. The PT decided that part of my problem is weak hips, so we're starting with some exercises which should strengthen those muscles. In any case, I've got a lot of work ahead of me. I'll keep everyone up-to-date here on the boring blog, and you'll know when I return to walking regularly because I'll start posting pictures again.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Training Walk

So I tried to go on the three mile walk this morning, but a quarter mile in my legs started hurting. By the time I reached the half mile point, I was stumbling in pain. I gave up and stumble-staggered back to my car, ready to pass out from the agony by the time I got there. One mile, but not very good exercise to say the least.

I went home and my sister visited. We decided to try my remaining two miles, and went back to the trail. With her to distract me a little from the pain, I made the two miles, but I regretted it deeply as my legs felt like someone had driven a hot spike into them just below the shins and to the outside a little. Three miles total, but again, not very good exercise.

I'm seeing the physical therapist tomorrow and hopefully I can get some advice on just what it is I'm doing wrong. As I told Lisa, I feel great except for the legs. I have energy. I felt like I could easily walk to Marymoor park, but for the pain. This is completely different than all my problems of years before. Usually it's the exhaustion I'm fighting. Now it's just pain. Intense pain that makes me ill and drains me of energy, but just pain nonetheless.

I only took a couple of pictures, early in my first walk. First up is another bird. I cropped closely so you can actually see it:

I also saw some sleeping ducks and I'm kicking myself (not literally) that I didn't snap a picture of them. They look sinister even when they sleep.

The second image is for everyone snowed in on the East Coast. It's full-blown Spring here, everything is sprouting. Trees that were bare just a week ago now have buds all over. This tree was one that was frozen on one of my earlier walks, but NOW look at it:

Every day we get more worried about the lack of a snowpack in the mountains, but it's hard to worry too much when it's so warm and sunny outside. I left the doors and windows open for a time today, and the bird calls were almost defeaning. It also heated up the inside nicely, which usually doesn't happen until summer proper.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Training Walk

Pretty standard walk today. I needed to get four miles in, and I'm pretty sure I managed it, although I'm not completely certain. Eric and I walked from the Sammamish River Park to Kenmore, but we didn't go as far as the 12th post. We both figured we went out about two miles, so four miles total once we walked back.

The weather was interesting, changing from almost rain clouds to hot to clouds to hot sun again. There were a lot of folks on the trail and it seemed like we were constantly having to go single file to let cyclists by.

Here's a picture of the tunnel by the Wayne Golf Course. I took a picture from the other side, but it was too bright so the image didn't really come out. I also got another picture of the mystery flower/weed that lines the path, in case anyone actually cares to attempt to identify it. I really need to get myself a "plants of the Northwest" book. It's one of my unscratched interests.

The little petals coming out from the sides range from light pinkish to a nice purple. It's a boring looking plant except with the petals are blooming.

Watch this space for more reports on my health and training, and if you want to give me a little inspiration, even $5 worth, please donate.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Training Walk

Still on track for this week, with a 30 minute bicycle session yesterday and a 5 mile walk today. I'm not at 100% healthy at the moment, but Eric walked with me and I made the full distance, and in less time than on Tuesday.

We walked down to Wilmot Gateway Park, rested, went to the seventh milepost, then came back. Again, I had a much easier time walking back than I did going out. As Eric put it, I take a REALLY long time to warm up.

When I got home from work, a small package had arrived from the 3-Day folks. It's a black lanyard with a plastic badge holder and a 3-Day "training badge" with my name, walker ID # (63361410) and team name (Bouncing Betties). On the back is a list of "3-Day milestones" in the shape of a ribbon. Also enclosed were some stickers to put on the training badge. The big sticker goes on the front and indicates how many times I've walked the 3-Day. I went ahead and put the big "1" on it. The milestones stickers were a little more frustrating for me. I have only hit four of them, out of a possible sixteen. The ones I've got are setting up my 3-Day HQ Website, getting a 1st donation, going on my first training walk, and going on a 5-mile training walk.

There are a couple of milestones I don't anticipate hitting, like the "Spirit of 3", which means I recruited two people to walk with me. I'm also unsure if I'll get a matching gift from a corporation. All the rest seem doable, as they are simple things like meeting my coach, attending the FOCUS meeting, and going to the EXPO, all of which should happen next week.

The badge holder and lanyard will be used on the walk itself, so I think they sent them out so walkers can get used to wearing them while walking. There are also special lanyards for special people... the only one I could possibly get is the pink lanyard for raising $500 by April 15th. But I'm $300 short of that goal, so I don't know how likely that is. There are other colors for training walk leaders, mentors and team captains.

Getting back to today's walk, I went ahead and applied the appropriate stickers to my training badge and wore it during the walk. It drove me absolutely nuts. The wind kept blowing it around and it refused to sit with the 3-Day side out. I kept it on, but I think I may have to find a way to attach it to my walking bag for future walks.

I'm sure everyone is thinking, yeah yeah, get to the pictures already. So here's the pics from today's walk. First up is a picture taken from the bridge right next to the Cascadia "offramp". The image shows the new Cascadia/UW Bothell trail going under 522.

Moving to the other side of the bridge, I took a picture of the half-drowned boat that's tied up next to the trailer park across the river.

I've seen it there a few times while walking now, and was hoping to get a shot of how forlorn it looks. I don't think this one quite did it.

My last image is of a flower/weed that lines the trail. It suddenly occurred to me that I really have no idea what this thing is. If anyone can identify it, please do.

These guys are all over down by the trail, but I can't recall seeing them anywhere else.

And I'll end with a plea. If you haven't yet given, and are thinking about it, and have the money, please donate. I still need to get $1900 more before the walk starts. Even $5 would help a lot. Thanks.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X
  • Change From Last Week: 0
  • Met Training Goals? Oh So Close:
    • Fri = none (goal: 30 min crosstrain)
    • Sat = half mile (goal: 5 miles)
    • Sun = 5 miles (goal: 3 miles)
    • Mon = 30 min crosstrain (bicycle)
    • Tue = 5 miles (goal: 3 miles)
    • Wed = 1 hour swimming
    • Thu = 3 miles (goal was 4 miles)
    Total Miles: 13.5 (goal: 15 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 30 min crosstrain
    • Sat = 5 miles
    • Sun = 4 miles
    • Mon = rest
    • Tue = 3 miles
    • Wed = 15 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 4 miles

I really expected to lose some weight after walking as far as I did this week. I guess it just goes to show how finicky weight patterns can be.

As for my goals, well, I nearly made it. I hope to have a bit better luck with it this week as I now know I can do five miles, and that's the longest walk on the list. All the crosstraining isn't going to be a problem. I seem to be looking forward to the swimming and biking much more than the walking.

Please Donate

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Training Walk

Only 3 miles tonight, but I had company in the form of a couple of my fellow Bouncing Betties, two of their children, and a dog. Exactly where do kids get all that energy from, and can I have a transfusion?

My feet hurt a bit more than I'd hoped, but about as much as I expect. Tomorrow is a crosstraining day, then Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be back-to-back walks. I hope I can handle them. My walking partners set a higher pace than I've been using, which is probably good for me. I need to work on pacing along with distance, or I'll be left in the dust in July.

I didn't take any pictures along the walk as it was dark by the time we started, but I did get a couple of dusky shots of Bothell Landing Park before it got too dark to see.

This is the bell "tower" of Bothell. The bell is historical, and rarely rung. The last time I remember hearing it rung personally was during the memorial service for 9/11 in September 2001. I believe it's also rung every fourth of July. The last time I was at the park was in 2001 during the aforementioned memorial service.

This is the Beckstrom Cabin. This is the actual cabin that one of the original families of Bothell lived in. During the memorial service, which was, incidently the last time I'd actually visited the park, I met a woman who was related to the Beckstroms and seemed to consider the cabin practically personal property.

As you can see, it's a historic landmark.

I think I may have to go back in the daylight sometime and get a better picture of these for you.

As I waited for my walking partners, I sat in the parking lot at Bothell Landing and watched people. There was a group of teens made up of five girls and two boys who played on the playground and made rude comments at one another. When they left, the girls told the boys to wait up as they needed "big strong men to protect us!" I also saw a woman pull up next to the dumpster and sit for a minute looking around. Apparently she either didn't see me or didn't consider me a threat, for after checking she got out of her car, pulled out two bags of garbage and put them in the dumpster, then glared around the lot as she hurried back into her car and drove away. I briefly considered taking a picture of her in the act, but decided that I don't care quite that much about that minor crime to risk whatever reaction I would have gotten out of her.

When I got out of the car to stretch, there were still a couple of small children with parents on the playground, even though it was almost too dark to see. The frogs were particularly loud tonight, especially near Bothell Landing. When we walked further down the trail we didn't hear them as well. It was a decent walk, even if it was in the dark. In a couple of weeks it won't be nearly as dark and the evening walks will be more comfortable.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Training Update

Took in a swim tonight. Oh, the water was wonderful! I think swimming is my favorite type of exercise. I'm always the last person out of the pool when they tell us time's up.

I reckon I got at least 20 minutes of solid exercise in, and the other forty minutes I was moderately active. Again, I'm just all over the pool since I started taking that stuff. I also started diving to the bottom again, which I haven't done since my first couple of swims. It was making me too dizzy. I managed one good dive tonight, and it was fine. Maybe I'll do two next week.

Tomorrow's walking goal is four miles. I'd like to make it, but I'm not certain I'll be able. I'm still feeling a good deal of stress in my right leg. Then again, I've been having a wonderful time, so maybe I can do it. We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Training Walk

Oooh, I'm tired now. Actually, it's my legs that are tired, the rest of me is pleasantly worn.

The goal today was five miles, but I didn't think I'd make it. My feet started hurting well before I even got to the ninth milepost. However, things never seem to work out how I plan them...

Today's walk would be the opposite direction down the Sammamish River Trail that I usually go. I'd start at the nine and a half and walk to the seven milepost and back. That was the goal. If my legs hurt too much, I figured I would turn around at the eight and come back. Very quickly into the walk I realized I was probably not going to make the full distance. By the time I got to the ninth milepost, I was looking for a dry place to sit down and rest a bit.

Unfortunately, although the sun was peeking through the clouds, nothing was dry enough to sit on. I figured I would find a bench a bit further on, or a fence, or something, and have a rest. So I kept walking.

Just after the ninth milepost, the trail takes an odd jog down a residential street, then it meets the new Cascadia/UW Bothell trail. I figured there would be a bench or someplace to sit there, but there wasn't even a good place to stop and catch your breath. I walked on, slowly. I spotted an unfamiliar bird across the river, and snapped a shot of it:

As I attempted to get another shot, it vanished. I had the camera near my face, so I missed whether it went into the water or into the bushes behind it. If it went into the water, it didn't come back up in the short time I stuck around to wait for it. During the time I watched it, it kept bobbing up and down, and turning to look behind it.

After getting the image of the bird, I walked on and was surprised to see an unexpected milepost right before going under the freeway.

That's milepost eight and a half. Well, good, at least I was going to be sure to get two miles in today. But I decided to keep going. Maybe there was a bench or a good place to sit under the freeway.

Well, there were dry spots under the freeway, but no place to really sit and massage the pain out of my legs. I considered turning around, but I knew the eighth milepost couldn't be too much further on, so I kept walking. Surely there would be a bench or boulder near the eighth milepost?

Nada. No benches. No rocks. No logs. No place to sit down at all. I'd come a mile and a half, and it occurred to me that I might not be able to make it back without sitting for a bit. I started to get worried.

But then a happy thought popped into my head. I've been through this section of the trail MANY times on bicycle. I know there's a park in Woodinville, not much further down the trail. In fact, I was sure it couldn't be more than a half mile. I might not be able to make it the mile and a half back to the car without sitting, but I could surely reach the park. And so I continued to walk. I nearly stepped on a snail.

My knees started up a metaphysical discussion with me on where this mythical park actually was. It's not mythical I told them. Then where is it? They shot back. See that trestle up there? I asked. You mean the brown dot?!?? They said. Um, yeah, that trestle. The park is just on the other side. I said. Grumble grumble grumble They responded.

However, my knees did not give out. Nor did my feet. And I made it to Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville. Benches! Bathrooms! Water fountains! It was heaven! I sat down and five minutes later my legs felt fine. All they needed was that short rest. I sat down again to look at the park, as the sun had come out and I was remembering my time bicycling to work through here. I suddenly was stricken with the strangest thought. I was sure the seventh milepost was just on the other side of the park, down a little ways and over a bridge. While part of me thought I was nuts to still try for five miles after the pain of the first two miles, most of me wanted to go see if I was right.

So I walked on. And yes, the trail was familiar. I remembered the apartments next to the trail, and the picnic tables. And there was another little park, Woodin Creek Park, I remember passing that back in the day. And here's a bridge.

But I don't see the milepost. I was sure the milepost was here. My phone rings, I answer it, and while I'm talking to my sister, I cross the bridge and LO!

The milepost was hiding. I set my hand on the milepost, say good-bye to Lisa and put my phone away. I stretch a little, then reluctantly turn around. I think I could make it to the sixth milepost, but I really don't want to push it. The sun is out, the trail is getting more and more people, but I think I'd better just get home. I'm tired and hot, and my legs both hurt a little more than they should. I'm also taking at least twice as long as I should to walk each mile. I need to improve my pace.

And so I set back towards home. Knowing that there are no good places to sit between Wilmot and Bothell Landing, I take a short rest break in Wilmot before going the distance. Thanks to Lisa's call, I can tell you how long each leg of my journey took. I started out from Bothell Landing/Sammamish River Park just before 10 am. I made it to the seventh milepost at 11:30. I got back to my car at 12:30. I was much quicker, and much more comfortable walking, on the way back. But 2 and a half hours for only five miles is not good. I really need to improve. Still, at least I made it!

Energy Bar review: "Chocolate" PowerBar. Easy to open. Looks almost as bad as the Clif bar, but not quite. Tastes like a tired Tootsie Roll. Gave good energy boost, but still... yuck. I think I'll go with the Clif Bar.