Walkingspree Bloggers

Hippos and Hula Dancers

Jennifer Carruth, IEEE Participant

Hi Walkers! I can’t believe that this blog started six weeks ago! Where does the time go? I guess keeping busy instead of watching TV makes the time fly. This past weekend was so busy I had to come back to work just to sit down for a few minutes!

Things are really ramping up for the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk for the cure in San Diego the 18th through 20th November. I am trying to get my head around how this is going to happen, so I went to one of the preparation events. That involved driving all the way from north Orange County to San Diego County and the start of a long day. I picked up my tent buddy and off we went. We learned how to pack our suitcase, our fanny or back pack and how to try not to get blisters. With all of the walking that I have been doing, that was of great interest! I had a very large blood blister on the back of my foot after my first 5K and I don’t want to ever see that again! It was fun to talk to some experienced Komen walkers and hear their stories. I can’t wait until November – this is going to be quite an adventure for this recovering couch potato!

After the prep event we headed off to the San Diego Zoo. We wanted to do a long walk for the day and that had sounded like a fun place to do it. First we stopped in Encinitas and had the best lunch. It was my first experience with a vegetarian restaurant and I really loved the food. I am trying to get more fruits and veggies into my diet so was willing to give it a shot. My favourite part of the meal was the sunflower sprouts in the salad. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Since eating these I have done some research on line and found out that sunflower sprouts have lots of lecithin and vitamin D and they help to break down fatty acids and lead to easy digestion. Did I mention they are delicious? I will definitely be looking for these in my market. The butternut squash enchiladas were tasty too – a successful no meat meal!

We finally made it to the zoo and started our walk. The animals were great, the weather cooperated, and we had a great time. If you have ever been to the SD zoo, you know that there are a LOT of hills, so we got a real work out. The zoo closed at six and we just weren’t ready to go home and stop walking so we headed off to Belmont Park in Mission Beach. There’s a great boardwalk and we got moving again.

Later we stopped in at Luigi’s for a great pizza and ended the day with 20,442 steps: a personal best!

Sunday morning I was up bright and early (well….it was early) and headed off to walk the American Heart Association’s Orange County 5K. It was another beautiful day, I was with three friends, and I was walking for a cause close to my heart. My dad had his first heart attack and bi-pass surgery when he was 42, his second surgery 10 years later. He is still kickin’ it at 78 because of the technology that the heart association helps fund. It was an uplifting morning and I got to add to my weekend steps. Sunday evening I spent at a Ladies Oriental Shrine event with more friends and great Hawaiian food. They even had some hula dancers!

I came in to work on Monday tired, but feeling like I had really accomplished a lot over the weekend. Our latest Walkingspree Challenge ends tomorrow. I reached the finish line for the challenge last week and that always feels great! Every week I feel like I’m getting stronger, healthier, and happier. Some weeks I move more than others, but I move more than I used to every single week. I will be starting to join a Komen 3 day team on Sunday mornings to do some long walks – they go up to 16 miles right now. I can’t wait to see where my Walkingspree pedometer takes me next!

Thanks for reading and KEEP MOVING : )

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Resting for injury healing…

Lacie Lyons (Consumer Participant)

The Honolulu Marathon is in 11 weeks 5 days. Not counting though…

Imagine my frustration when last week my  trainer told me to take a week off training to give my foot a rest!! I had been experiencing a LOT of pain in the joint of my arch and my trainer was concerned it might be a stress fracture so I was told no long walk/runs, nothing over 2km, and those should be kept at a very moderate to slow pace to keep the pressure down.  I protested. LOUDLY. She reminded me what we all already know: taking a rest at the early stage of an injury to allow it to heal can prevent severe injury and needing to take months to heal. Sigh.

As I headed home Tuesday night after hill training, I fully intended to ignore her advice. I knew the pain in my foot had been getting worse for months, but I just accept pain as part of the process. So my body decided to make sure I listened.

Wednesday morning I work up with a cold. I tried, but wasn’t up to much in the way of long walks. Wednesday & Thursday I walked my son to school, took 15 min walks a couple times through the day, picked up my sons from school, danced to some tunes in the living room and took a 15 min walk in the evening.

Friday morning I woke up feeling much better, excited to be able to get out for a walk while my kids were at school, I sliced open the bottom of my foot a inch long gash on the metal flashing in the bathroom floor. Literally, before my first cup of coffee. As I sat nursing my foot which was bleeding all over the floor, I realized my body was trying to make sure I got the rest I was prescribed. That was a long day.  I took really short walks, to my kid’s schools and around my neighborhood, tried to bop to some tunes in my living room (somewhat unsuccessfully) with a short bike ride in the evening.

Through the weekend my sons were sick, one at a time, with the flu. I got to play a bit of soccer and frisbee, went on short walks with the kids, danced around the living room with the kids for a while, and then finally, Sunday night, could not take it any longer!  These 15 minute walks were so very boring and mundane! I told the kids’ dad I would be just a few minutes as I went for my last short walk of the evening. It was a gorgeous clear evening, cool and stars shining. Feet stepping, I began my walk in my neighborhood…and kept going! Not really thinking about it, just enjoying the evening. Before I knew it I had put in 3 kilometers. Not a lot, but more than I had done in days and it felt great! My foot was doing well too.

Just to be sure, I took Monday off as well, keeping my walks to my neighborhood, moving to the tunes and a bit longer walk in the evening.

I stepped into my sneakers today for a return to training, off to the hills with my trainer.  My foot is tender tonight, but not the extreme pain that brought me to tears of last week and the weeks before. I will take it a day at a time and see where it goes. It is quite possible that my shoes aren’t fitting properly, even with my orthotic.

It was a VERY long week for me, trying to not put my foot under stress, trying to not work on my training, missing my long walk/run. Healing and resting injuries are very important, and worth the effort.

Amazingly, even with taking a break from training, I was able to log over 10,000 steps on 5 of the last 7 days! I learned a valuable lesson in this week!  I proved to myself how very easy it is to get 10,000 steps a day with small bits here and there.

Hopefully my foot will cooperate for the next 12 weeks!

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Insomnia and Cats

Jennifer Carruth, IEEE Participant

Hi Walkers! Insomnia sucks – just sayin! As I was trying to fall asleep last night things kept running through my head. Good things, bad things, things that had no business hanging around at 2:00 in the A.M. Where is my sombrero for the end of the summer fiesta at work tomorrow? Did I take my night time vitamins? Get up and check the pill box to see if I took my vitamins. Step on one of the cats on the way back to bed. Calm cat and convince her I still love her. Stop cat from purring in my ear. Stop other cat (there are only two – don’t start cracking wise about the crazy cat lady!) from being jealous.

Through all of this thinking, calming and purring, it finally came to me what was keeping me awake tonight was success: the success of becoming healthy, losing weight, being able to make different choices in the direction my life is going. Why would success keep me up? It’s a good thing: right? Yes it is a good thing. I can’t remember where I read it, but at some time I read that stress can come from both good things and bad things that happen to you. Stress is stress. What was keeping me awake (besides the cats) was the fact I am half way to goal, seeing the end of the tunnel, and anxious about what that means as far as changes in my life.

Without boring you with personal details, I will say being overweight has been like wearing a coat of armour or a deflector shield for me.

Getting healthy means I will have to go out there without my protective gear. After being awake for another hour (and getting the cats to finally fall asleep) I was able to relax. I realized I have been slowly changing my mind set as my body changed. I know that I am the strongest I have ever been in mind and spirit. My body is starting to get back to where it was the last time I was really in control. Sadly, that was way back in high school when I was on the drill team and was doing kicks and splits. Even then I did not appreciate the body I had. I was not petite like most of the other girls on the team and I did not have Gumby like flexibility. Now, I realize what I had then: I was strong and had a healthy body that did what I asked it to do most of the time. So last night I decided I would appreciate me for me. I will get in shape and give myself a break by saying “good job” more often. I will talk to myself like I would to a friend. I will continue to celebrate the small stuff: every single pound lost and every day that I hit 10,000 steps will get a big “woohoo”. I find that this is the most valuable lesson from the past 5 ½ months. Bigger than learning what to eat, more important than putting my shoes on and pushing myself out the door. I really do care about me enough to do these things for myself and no one else. I have this covered!

Thanks for reading and KEEP MOVING : )

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Back on track

Lacie Lyons (Consumer Participant)

Last week I knew I had derailed completely.  I faced the scale and took a deep breath.  Up 8lbs in 2 weeks. Another deep breath. And another. Alright, I knew it was there, and I knew I had tried to cope with something I couldn’t control by eating.

Time to get back on track.

And that’s exactly what I did this week.

I forgave myself. Reminded myself I am an athlete in training and deserved to be loved and treated as such. I hopped back into my training. I drank a lot of water in between meals. I chewed gum. I sucked on sugar free mints. I worked on tasks that kept me out of the kitchen. I needed to stay distracted from food when it wasn’t meal time, so I did what I had to do.

We had a great weekend, going to Sussex for the Balloon Fiesta. We packed snacks for the kids (vegan & gluten free isn’t easy to come by at concession stands) but not for us. USUALLY this isn’t a big deal. I can often find a Lebanese vendor or some such with falafel or veggie pitas or something. (I am a vegetarian)  This year…. the only vegetarian options were fries, popcorn or pretzels.  I opted for fries.  I didn’t stress about it. I just remembered that I wasn’t going to binge all week and I was back on track.

I got out for my 20K walk/run on Sunday. I couldn’t find a path that I wanted to do that was long, so I opted for a short 5K to a school with a keyhole driveway that is a 500m loop with a nice small uphill grade. I did the loop 20 times before heading back. Since 20 times in a circle is VERY boring, I added some variety by alternately running the loop once then walking it once, and changing directions after every set of 2 loops. Setting myself up for success also meant making sure I did my walks in the morning during weekdays so I couldn’t procrastinate in the evenings.  I sent out my appointment emails letting everyone know I wasn’t available until noon through the week (yay for working for yourself). Off I went!  Even took my kids with me to my hills training (they love doing hills with us for some reason). I followed my training schedule and got myself back on track.

I didn’t beat myself up and tell myself “I hate myself”. I didn’t say “well just this once”. I didn’t say “who cares, no one will notice”.  I said “I love feeling good”,  “I need to take care of myself”, “I CARE! I NOTICE”.

I kept forgetting to download my steps onto walkingspree until tonight. (I honestly put it on and forget its there, don’t even check how I am doing…which is why I don’t notice when the battery dies!).

Wow, what a treat!

Out of the last 7 days I had over 10,000 steps on 5 days! It averaged out to 13,377 steps a day!  I had 499 minutes of aerobic steps and had walked 44.40 miles!! That’s 71kilometers!

WOOHOO!  I did it!  I got myself back on track!

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Get it in where you can fit it in!


Rene’ Brown (CNO Participant)

Last week I blogged about Walkingspree not being a competition and some comments about the blog – written or oral – was that healthy competition is a good thing, setting goals are great, and setting destinations are fantastic to get more steps. Sure you’re right!

 Although I was fixated (not happily) on how I compared to other pedometer walkers and pretty much beat myself up for not clocking more steps, I realized at the end of the day that I didn’t do so badly. I only missed one day when I did not reach my 10,000 step goal. As a matter of fact the two lowest step count days were 7K and 10,201. And the four highest days ranked between 12,120 and 20,336. When I looked back I was pleased, but I still long to compete with the higher ranking walkers.

 My competitive edge caused me to increase my personal Walkingspree daily step count goal by an additional 2,000 steps – going from 10 to 12K, my aerobic steps goal from 5K to 6K and I added one more mile to my miles goal. Hey, I’m competitive, but realistic so setting a goal higher than this at this particular time would be setting myself up for disappointment and on those days when I do reach 20K – I’ll still be happily above my low level target.

 To reach the new goal, my motivational level will also need to increase not to mention a level of commitment, time management and prioritizing my day. But how do I do that?

 I try to start my day about an hour earlier and clock the newly added 2K steps before I even take my morning shower….Hush up…it takes me about 15 minutes just to get out of bed. Hopefully I’ll get up sooner than later despite the fact that day light savings time (fall back) is just around the corner and will mean walking in the dark of the morning. I’m thinking that I can’t miss a day because it will be hard as ever to get back on that early morning horse especially since winter is fast approaching.

 My afternoons are already consumed by long walks and I set destination points to fill up my lunch hour and I usually clock between 7K and 9K at that time. In addition, I take walk breaks to stretch my legs and get the blood circulating later in the afternoon and I participate at the gym at least four times a week. Lunch time Zumba is great! It usually yields between 6 and 7K- depending on how hard I “bum bum bum bum” it out!

 I have also incorporated ways to get those extra 2,000 steps in the evening…

 With my second gig, my days are pretty long – but instead of sitting in the car, or in the homes of my clients for their visits – I have been getting the kids to take walks with me. If at least one kid walks with me about five blocks up and five blocks back (there’s my extra mile). If daylight allows and there are no unforeseen circumstances I can get in up to four miles per work night.

 Since I don’t get home until late and well after dark even during the summer months, I get a lot of flack about walking alone at night, so on nights when I don’t take my clients out for walks, I could participate with the “On Demand” programs that have some really good workouts that will aid me in gaining more pedometer steps including but not limited to Latin, Hip Hop and Belly dance routines and range anywhere from 10 to 30 minute programs. Then again…there is that Michael Jackson Wii dance game.

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