Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Training Walk

Whew. First training walk since I was told to stay off my feet last week. Only a mile, down to the post office, loop around downtown a bit, then home, but wow I can feel it. The ankle twinged when I speeded up a bit across a crosswalk, but otherwise felt fine. The other muscle pains never showed.

I learned two things.

1) I don't need or want to wear long pants while walking anymore. Even on days that look cool, it's pretty warm outside. I need to wear shorts, or I'll end up sweating buckets. With that in mind, I need to score a couple more pairs of shorts soon. Don't know where I'll get them, but I'll think of something.

2) Even on really short walks, I need to take some water or gatorade along. Again, it looked cool outside, but it's really quite warm for walking. Before I even got as far as the Post Office I needed a drink.

Still, it wasn't a hard walk, just a bit "creaky" from my lack of walking in the last week. I could have gone farther if I wasn't so hot from my pants and lack of liquids. So I'll consider it a success. I don't have time to walk anymore today, but I'll try a longer walk tomorrow.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X-4
  • Change From Last Week: 0
  • Met Training Goals? Not at all:
    • Fri = 1 mile (goal: 45 min ct)
    • Sat = rest
    • Sun = 12 miles (goal: 12 miles)
    • Mon = hurt ankle (goal: 8 miles)
    • Tue = hurt ankle (goal: 4 miles)
    • Wed = 1 hour swim (goal: 30 min ct)
    • Thu = hurt ankle (goal: 5 miles)
    Total Miles: 13 (goal: 29 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 45 min crosstrain
    • Sat = rest
    • Sun = 14 miles
    • Mon = 9 miles
    • Tue = 4 miles
    • Wed = 30 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 5 miles

Well, the ankle problem has thrown me off the schedule again, but I'm confident I'll get back on it. Maybe not this next week, but hopefully the week after. It's just as well, the weather has been truly awful for walking, with thuderstorms and even a rare NW tornado. In any case, I'll be sticking to the treadmill the next couple of weeks, I'm sure, once my ankle lets me walk consistently again.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Bad News

First some good news... I finished my twelve miles yesterday, ending up in North Seattle. I may post a longer blog about that later.

I went to see the Chiropractor today, and we went over the x-rays of my right ankle. Nothing wrong in the bones (my heelspur pain doesn't even have a visible bone spur, thank goodness). We then checked the ankle itself again, and discovered that a certain muscle near a bunch of connecting muscles and bones is a bit swollen. Enough to worry about, but not enough to panic over. After a few more tests and movement, the chiropractor thinks I may have strained the muscle. His advice is to stay off my feet as much as possible for the next three days... no more 12 miles walks this week, or even one mile if I can help it... then get the physical therapist to look at it more closely when I see her on Thursday. He also suggested ice massages during my down time. That's when you fill a paper cup about half-full of water, then freeze it, then tear off the top and massage your muscles with the ice.

After I finished the appointment and started home, I thought, "Well, I can't walk for a few days... I haven't donated blood in ages. Maybe I should go do that." And I did. As usual after donating blood, I feel really good. It's strange how good it feels to get rid of a little blood every once in awhile.

In any case, I'm not going to stay on schedule this week. I may try the exercise bike if it doesn't aggravate the muscle, and I'll go swimming on Wednesday as usual. But no walkies until I've chatted with the PT. If it's just a little muscle strain, I'll be back to the full schedule in no time.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X-4
  • Change From Last Week: -2
  • Met Training Goals? Not quite:
    • Fri = 1 mile (goal: 45 min ct)
    • Sat = Sick
    • Sun = 10 miles (goal: 11 miles)
    • Mon = 7 miles (goal: 7 miles)
    • Tue = 4 miles (goal: 4 miles)
    • Wed = 2 miles, 1 hour swim (goal: 30 min ct)
    • Thu = 5 miles (goal: 5 miles)
    Total Miles: 29 miles (goal: 27 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 45 min crosstrain
    • Sat = rest
    • Sun = 12 miles
    • Mon = 8 miles
    • Tue = 4 miles
    • Wed = 30 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 5 miles

My weight is yo-yo-ing again. Up two pounds, down two pounds... I should just ignore the weight and focus on how I feel, but I really want to lose some of the extra "food storage" I'm packing around with me all the time.

I didn't quite make my exercise goal this week, as I missed a day of crosstraining due to not feeling well. I'm a little concerned about this week as well, as I've got a new problem with my right ankle that's been getting steadily worse. It's not impossible to live with yet, but I'm worried. It feels like something is out of place down there, and it hurts quite a bit, usually right after I've finished a walk. During the walk it's bearable, but sometimes reminds me that it hurts. If it continues through this next week, I'm going to have to see the podiatrist again.

Ten weeks to go. Just 70 days until The Walk. It's creeping ever closer. I hope I can make it.

Nothing new to report on the fundraising front. I haven't gotten any rich person to finish donating the minimum, and my drawing has met with little interest. I'm still brainstorming new funraising efforts, but I'm really bad at asking people for money, even when it is for a good cause.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Training Update

Five miles and a PT appointment today. I got most of my walking in before I even went to the PT. All treadmill today, although I'm itching to get back out on the trail. I needed tape again today, but on a different muscle. I'm to the point where all the new pains are tiny and irrelevant for the most part. I'm making progress!

If all goes well, I plan on Sunday's walk (12 miles scheduled) being a walk down the Burke-Gilman trail as far as I can manage to walk, with Eric picking me up whenever I reach the end of the line. I'd like to see if the mileposts continue all the way down the trail.

Thanks to a discussion about lengths of measurement on the Girl Genius mailing list, I'm suddenly wondering how far I've walked in other units. How much is 5 miles in Smoot marks? In versts? In porokusema? In parasangs? In stenkast? Heh. Too much fun.

Still only halfway done with the fundraising. I keep getting minor panic attacks, thinking there's no way I'm going to make the minimum. Both Eric and my PT told me to stop worrying about the money and keep exercising, so I'm going to try to be good... but raising $1000 in just two months is daunting.

Please Donate

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Race For The Cure

Thanks to my mom-in-law, Nancy, I'm going to be participating in the Seattle Race For The Cure on June 4th (which is also Nancy's Birthday!). Since the route is only 3K, a group of 3-Day walkers will then go on a training walk of at least 11 more miles.

While I don't need any pledges to participate in the Race for the Cure, and I'd much rather have donations go to The 3-Day so I can qualify to walk in it, I thought I'd mention it in case anyone feels the need to donate more money to Breast Cancer research this year.

Hey, check out my latest review!

The nice thing about showing a movie when you are substituting is that you can do somethng else while the kids are watching. So last week, during a showing of Apollo 13 in a physics class, I wrote a review for my website. Now, the wonderful thing about this is that this is an item that I would have gladly paid for, if given the opportunity (it's part of a set that you subscribe to). I e-mailed the right people asking about purchasing just this item -- and they offered to send me one for free if I'd publicize it on my site! Well, I've never turned down a free Oz item yet...

So if you want to find out what this mystery item is and what I thought of it, take a look here (it's the review at the top -- which makes sense, as it is the most recent item I reviewed).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Training Walk

I started my Sunday Walk at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Eric dropped me off in a parking lot, and I walked around until I found what appeared to be the start of the Sammamish River Trail. There used to be a milepost zero, but I didn't find it. Instead, I found this sign:

If you can't read it, it gives the mileage to Redmond City Hall, The Tolt Pipeline Trail, Woodenville, and Bothell. The mileage to Bothell is 9.3 miles, or 15 kilometers. As I'd already walked a half mile or so to get to the sign, and I expected to walk another half mile once I reached Bothell, this suited me just fine.

When Eric and I lived in Redmond, we actually lived in some apartments right next to the trail, and very close to the first milepost. I used to ride my bike to work along the trail, from the first milepost to the fourth, then another mile along streets. The bit between the apartments and the fourth milepost was a stretch of trail I was VERY familiar with, but the section from Marymoor to our apartments wasn't one that I traveled much. And even if I had, that whole section of trail was completely torn up and redone right after we moved away. So I wasn't entirely surprised to see a new half-milepost... I was just surprised at how close to our old apartments it was. We used to live on the other side of the bridge from this milepost.

The first milepost, which used to be my first indication of where I was along the trail, was right where I remembered it being, in Luke McRedmond Landing. I snapped several pictures as the old ladies I had passed earlier while walking passed me.

The next stretch of walking was full of suspense for me, as lots had changed since I last had bicycled the route. New buildings had sprung up, at least one new bridge over the river had been built, and all the old bridges had been reinforced and spruced up. I didn't know if there would be a half milepost, so I kept walking thinking I would run into one. At one point I spotted a rabbit crossing the path in front of me, and was able to get a picture of the guy (see here). A bicycle bell finally scared it off. But the next milepost I ran into was the second milepost... I didn't find 1 1/2 if it exists.

At this point, not much about the trail was familiar. I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined all the bicycle trips so long ago, but as I continued on, more and more was familiar simply because they hadn't upgraded the trail yet. All the half-mileposts were new, but for the most part I recognized the trail as I went along.

Once I got up to where the trail is across the Sammamish from the Willows Golf Course, I was feeling more like I had been here before.

Somewhere around here, there's a huge field set aside for remote controlled aircraft. Sure enough, there were a bunch of people flying little planes out there when I walked by.

There were picnic tables and a bathroom near this milepost, and the tables at least were a blessing because I needed to stop and readjust my socks. The moleskin didn't prevent a resurgence of the blister from last week, unfortunately, but it was a very mild blister that I didn't even notice until late in the evening last night.

I used to leave the trail at this milepost (there's an underpass right behind where I stood to take the picture) and ride up a long stretch of very busy road to get to work. The bridge, underpass, and whole road in general have been upgraded significantly. Instead of a gravel path up to the road, there's a nice pavement trail. That would've been really nice on the rainy muddy days when I used to take that path...

Moving on, the half mileposts always came up so quickly that I would be on them before I expected to. At the half mileposts I would stop, take my pictures, then gulp down some water. At the regular mileposts I would stop, take pictures, and gulp down some gatorade. I never got thirsty, and I also never had an urgent need for a restroom, so I think it worked out really well.

I knew exactly where the fifth milepost ought to be, and it was right where I expected. My first visit to this milepost was on a trip back home from work one day when I decided to go a mile down the trail the wrong way on my bike, just to get more exercise. There are a number of farms near the fifth milepost, and even a parallel trail for horses. I saw a few horses and riders taking that trail.

Milepost five and a half is right near the Redhook brewery and a bunch of ballfields. There were games going on, and lots of people in that area. There was also a restroom, and there is a concession stand that is sometimes open when people are playing games. Sadly, no such luck today.

Not much to say about the next few mileposts. This is the more boring part of the trail, during which I started to sing to myself to keep going. I knew I was close to my planned rest stop, so I just kept walking.

After I passed the sixth milepost, the very light drizzle that had been happening for the last few miles turned into a light rain. By the time I reached the 6 and a half post, it was beginning to come down harder.

As I reached the seventh milepost it was beginning to pour. I still paused and took a picture, but I didn't stop for long.

After the seventh milepost, it's maybe a quarter mile to Wilmot Gateway Park, which is where I stopped to do my audioblog. There was a bit of cover there, so I rested and took my shoes and socks off for a little while and called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day. There were a few other people taking refuge from the rain there. After it became clear to me that the rain wasn't going to let up any time soon, I put my shoes back on and walked on.

There is no seven and a half milepost. I've walked the distance several times now, and have never seen one. So it was a relief to reach the 8th milepost.

As I walked under the freeway, I remembered that all the mileposts from Marymoor to milepost eleven are on the right side of the trail if you are walking "up" from lowest to highest. Milepost twelve is on the left side of the trail, as are thirteen and fourteen. I wonder if there are mileposts after that, and if they are also on the left?

The eight and a half milepost is almost covered by the green. Same with the nine and a half. Back when I took my first pictures of those posts it wasn't too bad.

As I got to milepost nine, all I could think was "only a mile to go, only a mile to home." I tried not to think about having to climb up Maywood Hill to get home.

This is where I left the trail. All told, with the break in Woodinville, it took me about four hours and ten minutes to walk ten miles. Not bad, considering that earlier this spring it took me three hours to walk five miles. I think I could almost keep up with a regular training walk group now.

And I'll admit it. One of my first thoughts upon arriving home, tired, hot and wet, was that I would like to do the Marymoor walk again. It was a really fun walk.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

10 Miles Again Today!

Boo-Yah! Another ten on the trail today. I'll write more about it in a bit, including some more images. But it was way easier than last week, and despite the rain that started about 6 miles in, much more pleasant. More later. After I dry out and rest a bit.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Friday Fitness Blogging

  • Weight = X-2
  • Change From Last Week: +2
  • Met Training Goals? Yes:
    • Fri = Rest (goal: 45 min ct)
    • Sat = 45 min bike, 1/2 mile (goal: 10 miles)
    • Sun = 12 miles (goal: 6 miles)
    • Mon = 6 miles
    • Tue = 4 miles (goal: 4 miles)
    • Wed = 30 min bike, 1 mile (goal: 30 min ct)
    • Thu = 5 miles (goal: 5 miles)
    Total Miles: 28 1/2 miles (goal: 25 miles)
  • Current Training Goal:
    • Fri = 45 min crosstrain
    • Sat = rest
    • Sun = 11 miles
    • Mon = 7 miles
    • Tue = 4 miles
    • Wed = 30 min crosstrain
    • Thu = 5 miles

Easy come, easy go? Or maybe the other "weigh" around? Eh, I know I'm losing inches around my waist, so the fact that the pounds came back doesn't bother me as much. I won't pretend it doesn't bother me, but it doesn't bother me as much...

I outdid myself this week, and most of it was on the Sunday walk in which I went one milepost farther than I intended to. I still plan on short walks on days the schedule doesn't call for walks, as that seems to help the leg pain, which should mean that my mileage will be consistently above my goals. I hope. Only time will tell.

And so today I move into week eleven until The Walk. Still only halfway there with my fundraising. My brainstorming has produced nothing so far. I hate asking people for money. If I never do this walk again, that will be the reason, not the walking itself. I'm getting to enjoy the walking. But raising money isn't something I do well. So, hey, if you know any rich people, ask them to donate for me. $1000 ought to do it...

Please Donate

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Countdown - Eleven Weeks of Training Left

The blister bandages that Band-Aid makes are GREAT. I highly recommend them. It didn't completely remove the pain, but it's made it tolerable and it's also made it so I don't feel like I have to check my foot every mile or so to make sure it's still intact. I'm definitely going to have a couple of them in my pack during The Walk itself.

I did all my walks this week, and outdid myself on a couple of them. I also have been trying to get a little walk in each day regardless, and I've almost managed that.

When I put on my walking pack the other day, I had to tighten the belt quite a bit. I think I'm losing inches around my waist, even if the pounds aren't dropping. It was a good feeling. And a little shocking too. I've never had it tightened that far. Weigh in tomorrow morning is going to be interesting.

The 3-Day has formed a team for the Seattle Race for the Cure 5K on June 4th. I'm thinking about doing it, but the $25 entry fee is making me hesitate. I'm not sure we can quite cover it. The race itself though... 5K is nothing. My shortest training walks are now longer than that.

Not much else to say. I'm making geniune forward progress on a daily basis. I just need more donations to actually make it into The Walk. I'm still brainstorming for ideas on how to raise a bit more money. My drawing has been met with deafening silence. I'm going to have to come up with another plan here soon.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

80 Days To Go

Just 80 days until The Walk. And I'm halfway there with the fundraising! If I include the one donation I know is on the way, I'm just over $1050.

I walked six miles yesterday despite the huge blister on my left heel. There was pain, yes... there is always pain when you have a blister. I did the walking on the treadmill so I could control the speed better (and to go easy on the muscles in my right leg that were suffering on Sunday). When I finished, I took off my shoes and as I took off my left sock I saw blood. A lot of blood. I started to panic, then I realized the blood was at the toe, not the heel, so it wasn't related to the blister. It wasn't hard to find the culprit. I've mentioned before that my finger- and toenails are growing out much faster, apparently thanks to (*CENSORED*)... well, one of my toenails had grown out long enough and strong enough to jab itself into the toe next to it, making it bleed. There was blood in between the toes and on the toes, but the jab was so superficial that I didn't even notice it while I was walking. It's already healed up. Annoying, but harmless. I trimmed my toenails after showering, and I'll have to keep an eye on them so this doesn't happen again.

I went in for my annual physical this morning, and when I showed the blister to my doctor she suggested I try a blister bandage that Band-Aid makes. When I went to refill my prescriptions I got a box of the bandages, which are long, oval, and waterproof. I put one on and already I feel more confident about walking four miles today. I've got mixed feelings about adding moleskin, but I might put some around the bandage just to see if it makes walking less painful.

Energy-wise I'm well below normal levels at the moment... but then I walked 18 miles over the last two days. Eric pointed out to me that, although I came home exhausted after the 12-mile walk on Sunday, just a few weeks ago I would come home just as exhausted from a five mile walk. I'm improving, and steadily. And I've got 12 more weeks to go. Plus I've got a burning curiousity to see for myself just how far the mileposts go on the Burke-Gilman trail. Do they go to the end? I know there used to be a "Mile 0" marker in Marymoor Park. Maybe next Sunday Eric can drop me off at Marymoor and I can walk the ten miles home.

If you can, please donate... I only need 70 more people to donate $15... or 42 people to donate $25... or 21 to donate $50... I'm so close now, I can almost taste it. Please help me go on this walk.

Please Donate

Monday, May 02, 2005

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Training Update

Oh my... I finished my first 10-miler today!

I also got my first blister!

Ahem. Today's walk was meant to be just ten miles. I decided to warm up with a couple of miles on the treadmill. That went really well, so I decided to walk down to the trail and get the rest of the miles outside by walking from our house to the thirteenth milepost and back.

Two interesting moments happened on the way to the thirteenth milepost. The first was just after the tenth milepost, while I was crossing the bridge. A cyclist zoomed up behind me, then tried to take the really sharp turn at the end of the bridge too fast. He didn't make it. He went down and slid off the trail into the bushes, scraping his bike's gears and his hand and knee as he went. I asked him if he was ok, but he shrugged off help and moved along.

The other moment was as I was passing the Wayne Golf Course. A golf ball came flying out to the trail, and bounced right in front of me. I was startled, and looked around, but nobody else noticed it. I picked it up, walked over to the fence and called, but nobody responded. I eventually put the thing in my bag, I'm not sure why, and walked on. I still have it. I wasn't sure how to return it when nobody came up to claim it.

The thirteenth milepost, as it turns out, is just on the far side of Log Boom Park. There was a bathroom and fresh water, which were needed about then. There was also a line. Lots and lots of cyclists waiting and resting.

Once I got to the thirteenth milepost, I realized I was feeling pretty good and so I decided to continue on to the fourteenth milepost. I made it without too much difficulty, then audioblogged about it.

It took me longer to get home than it did to go out, but I made it. A total of twelve miles, counting the treadmill miles. I felt pretty good most of the way, until my right leg began to cramp a bit. I didn't notice the blister until I got home, though.

So, twelve miles today, and hopefully I can manage another six tomorrow.

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