Friday, April 30, 2010

Cool stuff you can find online

So I've been surfing the 'net, just kind of exploring various walk-related stuff. You know, just filling time. Avoiding housework, that kind of thing. ;-)

Here are some cool things that I've found:

East Coast Greenway
The East Coast Greenway (ECG) is a project underway (apparently for more than 10 years!) to link the entire East Coast of the US with safe, paved, off-road trails for non-motorists. So far about 20% of the trail
is complete, and a big chunk more is under development. The idea is to link up hundreds of local trails into an inter-connected trail, providing recreational and commuter options for hundreds of thousands of people.

Here in Maryland, the B&A Trail is part of the ECG, as is the BWI Airport trail. There are other trail sections that are included too. Somehow I've not heard of the ECG before tonight, but I'm excited about exploring the Maryland, DC , PA and DE sections of the trail as possible training walks over the coming months.

a pretty cool site. You can create maps of walking routes anywhere in the US or Canada (maybe even beyond - I haven't tried). You can save the routes, mark them with various landmarks such as restrooms, restaurants, or pay phones. You can have it keep track of elevation changes if you like. Of course it tracks mileage. You can also save notes with the route, indicating directional turn-by-turn instructions for following the route.

So far, most or all of these things are also offered by Google Maps Pedometer, another really cool app upon which MapMyWalk seems to be based. The benefit of using MapMyWalk, though, is that you can also keep track of training sessions, you can share your route info with a friends list. You can connect to Facebook or Twitter. You can get the HTML code to publish your routes on your blog. I'm sure there are other great features too, I just haven't explored them fully.

All in all, pretty cool stuff!

What have you found recently that will help with your walking goals?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeling Inspired and Motivated Today

So today is my first official day of the 24-week training program for the Washington DC 3-Day walk in October. And while I've been slowly getting ready in the past few weeks by fitting in two or three walks per week, this is the first real week where I'm expecting to really stick to a training routine.

I didn't start the day off feeling inspired. Rather, I slept too late to get in a walk in the morning, and had no time to walk at work. When I got home, I had a free evening (the first in a few months, it seems), and so I hoped to do a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. But things happened, and it got late and dark, and the walk didn't happen.

But, I didn't want to give up on my first real training day.

So, I asked my wonderful husband to pull the old treadmill out of the back storage room and set it up for me in front of the TV. Then I turned on the Biggest Loser (my favorite show!) and walked 3 miles on the treadmill while I watched. This particular episode was especially motivating, showing the contestants encouraging overweight Texans to complete their first 5K run/walk, and encouraging them to begin a weight loss and fitness journey.

I walked and considered the fact that I'm so much more healthy than some of those people on the show, but that I still have a long way to go to be really healthy. I walked and considered the fact that I'm fortunate to have a treadmill at home, so that I can still get my walks in even if the weather is bad or the day gets away from me and it's too late to walk outside safely. I walked and considered the fact that I'm blessed to have a team of friends with whom to walk on this 3-day journey. I walked and reflected on that fact that part of me wanted to just get off the treadmill and sit down -- what was that all about? Where was that coming from? I pushed through those feelings, and kept going until I'd reached the 3-mile mark. I took my motivation from the thought that if the contestants on the Biggest Loser could do it, then I knew could too.
I came upstairs after my walk, feeling very satisfied and motivated.

Then I sat down to my computer to find that I'd received another donation for my 3-day fundraising goals. Thanks very much, Kate! So that put a really nice finish on the happy motivational evening!

What inspired or motivated you today?

Monday, April 26, 2010

A World Full of Sisters

My Sisters

I am so lucky in life to have three sisters, Suzie, Kathy and Vicky. Growing up, we played together and fought together, as all sisters do. We stuck together when we moved to a new town. We borrowed clothes (sometimes without asking first, which doesn't truly count as borrowing so much as sneaking). We shared bedrooms. We shared a single bathroom (which was fine until those teenaged years when it became quite a challenge!) We annoyed each other. We helped each other. We loved each other. With the exception of living together, we still do all these things. It's what sisters do!

Now, we've all grown into women. We've created our own new families, our own new lives. We live far apart from each other, spread across the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic and the heartland in between. We don't see each other very often at all, and very rarely all at once. But we are still sisters. We are bound together by a family thread that won't be broken no matter what life throws our way.

My Lustre Sisters

I am also blessed to have three "sisters" of a different sort. I am lucky enough to sing in a barbershop quartet called Lustre. For the past five years, we have met weekly to rehearse and perfect our songs, and have had the opportunity to give performances together all throughout each year. We have gone through highs and lows together, and have celebrated so many wonderful moments together, and supported each other through life's challenges. Lori, Lori and Laura are like adopted sisters to me.

My Sweet Adelines Sisters

I am so fortunate to not only have the sisters mentioned above, but also to have 60 other "sisters" in my Sweet Adelines chorus, the Harbor City Music Company (HCMC). There is nothing quite like belonging to an organization of women - the sharing, the caring is like no other experience. We gather weekly for chorus rehearsal where we learn to sing and perform. But during those rehearsals, over the course of the weeks, months, years, we form bonds. We work together toward a goal. We share the workload of running a large volunteer organization. We share creativity and inspiration. We get to know each other, and we include each other in our circle of care, becoming "sisters" and forging lifelong friendships.

It is through HCMC that I met some of the women who are inspiring me to do the 3-day walk: Nancy D., Eve S., and Alta P. Through HCMC, I met the sisters and teammates for the Harbor City Titty Committee. HCMC has become my extended family, with as many substitute mothers, aunts, and sisters as as girl could imagine.

Beyond HCMC, there are all the other women in the Region 19 Sweet Adelines organization with whom I share these bonds. I just returned from the annual Region 19 convention, where the overwhelming feeling was one of sharing and sisterhood. I am so lucky that I have a hobby that brings me close to thousands of women, in spirit and in song.

With all of these amazing sisters in my life, the urge to contribute to the fight against breast cancer is too strong to ignore. All of these women matter to me. Every one. Each and every one of these women deserve to have a full lifetime. And so I'm walking to help find a cure for this disease. So that we can change the statistics, to go from 1 in 8 women, to 1 in 800, then 1 in 8,000,000, then finally, eradicate the disease forever. So that we can find better treatments, provide better support systems for our cancer warrior sisters, and find a cure.

Won't you please join the fight against breast cancer? Please donate today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm walking for Alta P.

Alta P. is a singer in the Harbor City Music Company. She is a somewhat quiet person, someone who does not seek the limelight. She contributes to the chorus, and the Sweet Adelines Region 19, with steady, dedicated and very effective service in a variety of ways. In addition, she sings in Joint Venture Quartet (JVQ), and shares her gift of harmony with audiences throughout Maryland. She is friendly, smart, funny, and talented.

And she is a breast cancer patient.

Alta tends to shy away from attention, so when she was diagnosed with cancer, she kept it to herself for a while, only letting the chorus know when she was due to have her treatment procedures. She has been quiet, answering inquiries about her progress, but not seeking attention. She says that she has been participating in some experimental treatments. She is having radiation therapy, but no chemo. She says that her case was caught early, thanks to a regular mammogram.

I hope that Alta is going to be ok. I hope her treatments are working, eradicating the ugly cancer from her body forever. I hope she is healed, in body, heart and soul, and has a long, happy life.

I hope that no more of our HCMC sisters are ever diagnosed with breast cancer. We've had enough, thank you very much. But the statistics say that 1 of every 8 women will have breast cancer. We have 64 women in our chorus. So, figure the odds. I'm guessing Alta won't be the last of our chorus sisters who have to face this horrible diagnosis.

This is why I'm walking.

So that we can find a cure.

So that we can save lives.

So that everyone can have a lifetime.

Won't you please donate to the cause?

Monday Update

Here it is again, another Monday. Another Monday update. :-)

My goals for last week were to walk on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, for one hour and 3 miles each time.

Actuals for last week:
Tuesday: no walking, but I did go buy shoes
Thursday: One hour, 3 miles, after work and dinner. Yay! I fit it in on a weekday!
Saturday: one hour, 3 miles - yay! a beautiful walk in the morning, was home before 8:15am!
Saturday night: one hour ten minutes, 3 miles at the U-MD Relay For Life with Mike
Sunday night: 45 minutes of fun on the Wii Fit

So I didn't make all the walking goals, but I did fit in some extra exercise on Sunday. I'm still learning how to fit training walks in on weekdays. One of these days I'll get the hang of it.

Training goals for this week:
Tuesday: one hour, 3 miles - this is gonna have to be before work if it's gonna happen.
Thursday: one hour, 3 miles - this is gonna have to be BRIGHT AND EARLY since I go out of town for the weekend on Thursday starting at 8am.
Friday and Saturday: I'm out of town, and won't have any time to walk
Sunday: one hour, 3 miles after I get back in town

I sent out email letters to a lot of people this week. I have so far sent to family, work friends, Girl Scout friends, high school and college friends. I have so far received $150 in donations from those emails - thank you very much, Wynette and Suzie!

I continue to post Google Ads on my blog as a small fundraiser. It has so far earned about $43 for the cause. I hope that readers will continue to click through to those ads that interest them, to investigate new products, services or other interesting websites, etc. You never know what good stuff you might find on those advertisers' websites!

I've brainstormed some ideas for fundraising events with my team mates, but haven't really followed through on any of them yet. I need to get through this weekend of barbershop singing competition before I really have any brainpower to put toward something else.

Goals for this week:
It's going to be tough to do much the rest of this week because of the other stuff going on in life. I will focus on getting out of bed on Tuesday and Thursday morning to get in a training walk. If I accomplish that, I will consider myself ahead of the game!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Relay for Life at University of Maryland

On a whim last night, we decided to head down to the University of Maryland to take part in the Relay for Life with our son, Mike. Mike is a Freshman there, and was participating in the walk sponsored by and benefiting the American Cancer Society. He was planning to be there all night, walking off and on with his friends and fellow trumpet players from the Mighty Sound of Maryland. I had already done my 3 mile training walk yesterday morning, but we thought, "What the heck? Let's go walk some more!"

So we made the short drive down, paid our small entrance fee, and joined Mike on the track. It was a great sight. There must have been a thousand or more UMD students participating. Many were walking the track - it was crowded and slow-going! A lot of others were playing soccer, throwing frisbees, or tossing footballs around on the infield. Lots of tents were set up for the kids to take turns sleeping, chilling, or otherwise hanging out.

We got a chance to meet many of Mike's friends last night - kids whose names and faces we knew from Facebook and the many stories Mike tells us. They're a great bunch of kids, and it was fun to walk a few laps with them.

Dave and I walked 3 miles around the track in total. Some of the laps were pretty slow going due to the crowds. But some other times we were able to hit a pretty good clip. It only took us about an hour and 10 minutes to walk the 3 miles, which overall was pretty good considering the hordes of people there.

What struck me in the most touching way were the luminaries lining the track showing messages of love and support to current cancer patients, or honoring those who have already passed. "In Honor of Pop-Pop." "In Memory of Aunt Teresa." "For My Mom". "For Grandma, I Love You." One cancer survivor knelt beside her own luminary and had her photo taken as we passed by. The atmosphere was strange mix of college campus fun and games combined with touching scenes of love and compassion.

After our 3 miles, we said goodbye to Mike and his friends. He was in for a long night. I'm not sure how much Chemistry studying he ended up getting done - but that was his 3am plan, he said. Before leaving town we stopped by McDonalds to pick up a big bag of cheeseburgers for Mike and his friends. Then we headed home to bed.

I'm glad we stopped by. I've been focusing mostly on the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk, but I don't want to forget that other cancers are out there that are just as insidious and awful. Together we can make it possible for research to continue, for a cure to be found. Please consider donating today to a cancer research effort.

You can donate here to support breast cancer research.

You can donate here to the American Cancer Society. If you want to thank Mike for walking in the UMD Relay, click here to donate in support of Mike and his team, the RYB Trumpets.

Go here to find a Relay for Life near you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

Wow, less than one week after adding Google AdSense to my blog, I've already earned $43 for the cure! Thanks to all of you out there who are visiting the advertised websites, thereby earning easy money for Breast Cancer research. Please keep it up! It's a win-win!

In other news, I had a great walk tonight. I went on the new 3-mile loop that I discovered last Saturday and chronicled in this post, wearing the new shoes that I wrote about in this post. The shoes felt pretty good. Yay! I was strolling through the nearby private school grounds, and came upon a herd of deer. There were about 15 of them, including some new fawns and lots of yearlings and older does. They were beautiful, and I'm so glad I saw them. Also tonight as I walked, I enjoyed dusk falling over the neighborhood, and the sliver of a crescent moon in the evening sky. And the smell of flowering shrubs throughout the neighborhood. And the cool evening air. And the calming effect of a nice walk after a stressful day. :-)

Finally, to wrap up Random Thought Thursday, please check out this article from the 60 Mile Thoughts blog. This is a very thoughtful and inspirational essay, reminding me why the 3-day is important, and why I'm walking.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

These shoes are made for walkin'...

...and that's just what I'll do!

Sorry. Had to do it. :-)

Tonight after work I stopped by our local Road Runner store to look into proper shoes for training for the 3-day. They were having a 3-day Walk Clinic 6:30-7:30pm. Great! I called Lori C and Lori D (walking team mates) and we met over there to see what's up. I'd heard they have this cool machine that they use to analyze your feet - your arches, your pressure points, etc. And they analyze your gait as you walk on a treadmill. All this goes into recommending the perfect shoe type for you. Sounded like a plan!

I walked into the store and discovered that they also were having a local High School Cross-Country Team night. There were 25 or so teenagers and their parents there, also interested in being fitted for new shoes. I was a bit frustrated, thinking that I was going to have to wait in line forEVER! But no, the nice manager guy set me and Lori C and Lori D up right away with Mike the Friendly Salesman.

Mike the Friendly Salesman was a jokester - which suited us just fine, as it is a bit odd to stand foot-naked on a pressure mat, then walk foot-naked on a treadmill while a video on a giant screen shows your ankle wobble for all to see! We appreciated the comic relief in this strange environment. We had a lot of fun with Mike the Friendly Salesman. He assured me I was not duck-footed, he assured Lori C that she could still join the army, and he assured Lori D that she had the most expensive feet of all of us!

Lori D had the honor of being fitted for custom insoles. This involved putting a flat insole into a toaster/CD-drive/Blu-ray player type thing, where it got heated up until it was pliable. Then the pliable, toasted insole was placed on a cushioned mat, and Lori D stood on top of it, while Mike the Friendly Salesman massaged the insole onto Lori D's foot. It sounds quite absurd. It kind of looked absurd too - I'll post the photos when Lori C sends them to me. :-)

Lori C and I left Lori D standing on the cushion getting her foot massaged, because for us it was on to actually choosing the shoes. This was less of a fun adventure, since after helping Lori D, Mike the Friendly Salesman had to take care of other customers on the magic foot pressure mat, video humiliation treadmill and insole toaster/DVD player, and we had to find another salesman to help us. After patiently waiting for a few minutes by the moisture-wicking sock display (who knew there could be so many kinds of running socks?), Mike the Friendly Salesman proudly announced that he'd found us a New Man. (I told Lori C she could have the New Man, since I already have my own man).

Lori C's New Man (whose name escapes me) squatted at our feet, as Lori and I sat on a bench together. He meditated for quite some time, with his hand on his chin and a perplexed look on his face. Apparently it was quite a puzzle to determine just exactly which shoe would best fit my low arch, right foot dominant, uneven peak pressure, outward foot position, wiht semi-flex ankles. Very perplexing indeed. Finally Lori C's New Man stood and walked away without a word. Lori C and I looked at each other and shrugged. Was this a good sign? Meanwhile, Lori D had already been passed off to her New Man and was already trying on shoes.

After a few moments, Lori C's New Man returned carrying six pairs of shoes - three for each of us to try on. We tried and tried and tried again. We walked, we stood, we traded, we tried again, we went back and forth. Which one looks better? Which one feels better? Which one is better for our unique arch support problems? Which one has less silver metallic trim? Is there one that comes with a cup holder? Decisions, decisions.

After much debate, all three of us found our new shoe.

For me, the winner was the New Balance Women's R1225 Stability.

Isn't it purty?

I asked if it came in Breast Cancer Awareness Pink, but alas, it was not to be.

I also ended up with Blue Super Feet insoles. Yep, Super Feet. Yay! There's something empowering in the idea of having Super Feet insoles in your shoes. Sorta makes you feel like a 3-day Super Hero, doesn't it?

I should mention that there was an extensive sock decision process, but that's not nearly as exciting as the tale I've already told. No, this is quite enough for one day's adventure.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Update

Am going to try to do a regular Monday Update - kinda keep myself on track, review successes and challenges from the last week, and look forward to the week ahead. Hopefully will be able to keep my eye on the prize, so to speak, rather than get mired in the little things that can get in the way of progress.

I had planned to walk on Thursday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning. But you know, things happen. Thursday night turned out to be a no-walk evening. For one, I have this thing about walking in the dark. I think my neighborhood is actually very safe, so I'm not sure what the problem is. But by the time I got home from work and dinner and had a moment to walk, it was dark. And I didn't budge. For another thing, I had been getting up really early all week long and working really long days. And I was tired. And the couch was really comfy by about 8:00 Thursday night. Hmm. This is not forward progress. :-(

But on the bright side, I did drag my sorry self out of bed bright and early again on Friday morning. Instead of going in to work early like the days before, and instead of sleeping in to catch up on missed sleep, I went for a morning walk. So, yay me. :-)

Saturday I had a gorgeous morning and a wonderful new walk which I posted about here. Loved it! I was all motivated and stuff. It was great. Then I spend all day and night on Saturday at a singing engagement. I got home around 1:00am on Saturday night. The plan was to repeat that walk on Sunday. But then Sunday came, and the walk didn't happen. I did get up early-ish at 8:30am - which after the day I'd had before, I thought was pretty darned impressive for this non morning person. But instead of walking, I helped my husband spread 10 cubic yards of mulch around the yard before heading off to a singing engagement for the rest of the day. So, while I didn't walk at all, I did get some over-all exercise in that I am choosing to count as cross-training. After all, I'm sore today, so I must've been getting some training in somewhere along the way, right?

Lessons learned:
  • don't plan for a walk on a night when I have to work early the next day
  • don't plan for a walk on a morning when there's a huge pile of mulch in the driveway
  • wait a minute - just get over it and get up a little bit earlier and make it happen!
I guess my point is that I'm still not quite able to fit this thing into the daily routine. But that's why I started before the official training program. This way I will have at least a small chance of knowing how to balance it all.

Goals for this week:
  • Tuesday - one hour, 3 miles
  • Thursday - one hour, 3 miles
  • Saturday morning - one hour, 3 miles
  • Sunday morning - one hour, 3 miles

I haven't really gotten into the fundraising thing yet as of last night, but I did add Google AdSense to my blog. Maybe that will help in some (very) small way?

Update: Actually, after only two days, the Google AdSense has already earned $22 for the cause. Wow! I had no idea! Thanks everyone for clicking!

Goals for this week:
I will be sending out targeted solicitation emails to my family, work, and community friends. I'm avoiding the HCMC crowd so far, so as to avoid saturating them with too many requests from the same small group of people. Are there any experienced walkers out there who have thoughts on how to manage the fact that your team mates are soliciting from the same group of people as you? However, of course, for all those barbershoppers out there, I'd be very happy to accept donations from you if you want to contribute! :-)

There you have it. Let's see how this week goes!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monetizing the blog

Nope, "Monetizing" doesn't mean using Monet's "Water Lilies" paintings as background art. :-)

I decided to put Google Ads on my blog. It's free, it's easy, and it's a way for me to earn funds (pennies at a time) for the 3-day walk.

How does it work?

Well, I put the ad space on the blog. Google sends me ads that are somehow related to my blog content. Then, I wait for someone to click on the ads. That's where you come in.

Every time someone clicks on the ads, I get a little bit of money. There's no purchase required, no commitment of any kind. Just a simple click.

So, yeah. How about clicking the ad?

It should be right over here somewhere. ------------->

Thanks. :-)

Walking in the Neighborhood: A 3-mile Loop

This weekend I broke out of the confines of my immediate neighborhood and ventured to a nearby one for a 3-mile walk. I had never walked this particular route before. I guess I considered it "too far". But if I stay in my own 'hood, then I typically do a 1.5 mile out-and-back. That particular route gets pretty boring pretty soon, so I'm happy I found a new route to change things up a bit and give some new scenery.

The weather on this particular morning was gorgeous. It was a crystal clear blue sky, bright sun, and cool breeze. The trees and spring flowers were in full bloom, making the neighbors' yards beautiful to pass by.

The walk started out with about .6 miles in my neighborhood - ho hum, been there, done that a million times.

Then I took a new turn and headed up into a local private school grounds. I walked around the campus, which included a number of different buildings and some pretty, peaceful statue gardens.

Then, down a long wooded access road - this was my favorite part of the walk.

Next, along a busy rural road. OK, so it doesn't look incredibly busy here...

Then into the next neigborhood over from mine.

I saw the most adorable sight on this bright Saturday morning.

The walk took me out onto another rural road,

which passes by a state park trail head. Beautiful woodland scenes.

Finally, the route turns back into my own neighborhood and home.

All told, the route was 3 miles exactly, according to Google Pedometer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Harbor City Titty Committee has another member!

I'm happy to note that the Harbor City Titty Committee has another member - Sharon Ehrisman will be joining us on our 3-day walking team.

Sharon is a member of Harbor City Music Company chorus, a long-time quartet singer, currently singing with Party Line quartet, and she also directs a small chorus in Ocean City, MD. She also sings in the Pride of Baltimore chorus. And she does all of this on her spare time, since she is a school orchestra director for her day job!

We're really happy to have Sharon joining us in this adventure. Yay!

A small victory

Woohoo! I actually got myself up out of bed (even though I didn't feel like it) and walked first thing this morning (even though I didn't feel like it). I did this because last night I didn't walk because I didn't feel like it.

So I had to. and I did.

That's all.

Just had to share. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm walking for Eve S.

Eve S. and I both sing in HCMC, and have known each other casually for about 6 or 7 years. While we haven't really socialized outside of the chorus, we have had regular interaction as acquaintances who share the same hobby and the same goals for success on a large team of women. I can't say we know each other very closely, but Eve has been an inspiration to me in ways she probably doesn't know. Until this post. ;-)

Eve was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. I remember that she announced her diagnosis at the end of a chorus rehearsal, and I remember being so surprised at her upbeat, positive-minded attitude. I mean, she had just been given the big, bad news of Cancer with a capital C, and she was smiling and laughing.

In fact, smiling is the only expression I can ever recall seeing on Eve's face. She's just that way. She is so fun and light hearted and happy all the time. Really. All the time! So to hear her talking about this cancer in this way was true to her personality, but it seemed so unreal to me!

As time went on, Eve had various treatments and would miss rehearsals for a while, then come back tired but still smiling. I don't know the details of her treatment, don't know what she went through, don't know if she had rough times or not. I do know that she had chemotherapy as part of her treatment, and she lost her hair.

But when this happened, she had the most amazing reaction. She sent out a status email to the HCMC members, and in that note she said that she was outside enjoying the beautiful day on her patio. She was combing her fingers through her hair, and it would gently float out of her hand on the breeze. She said that she was happy thinking that her hair would serve as the material for birds to build their nests and begin a new cycle of life in nature. It brought her joy to give the gift of her hair to her world around her.

Reading that note just captured my heart. It struck me that I spend too much time focusing on the negative, feeling sorry for myself. I don't take enough time to look for the positive, to find the silver lining in every storm cloud. I was in awe of Eve. (I still am!)

Eve is now going strong. She is a survivor! Her hair has grown back, and her optimism and cheerfulness never left. She continues to give a thousand percent effort to our chorus. I am very thankful that I have Eve in my life. I hope her cancer is gone forever.

And so I'm walking to honor her.

Thank you, Eve!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Walking on Cape Cod: Punkhorn Parklands

Last weekend, we were out of town up in Cape Cod visiting my husband's brother and sister-in-law. It was a wonderful weekend, with unseasonably gorgeous weather and a very relaxing schedule that pretty much called for doing nothing. Nothing except fitting in my training walks, that is, and otherwise just relaxing and enjoying time with family.

In this photo is Ann, Rob, me, and my husband, Dave.

On Saturday, my goal was to spend 45 minutes or more walking 2 or more miles.

We decided to walk in the Punkhorn Parklands in Brewster, MA. This is a nature conservancy that backs right up to our family's back yard.

The parklands were completely deforested during the early colonial days, and in the intervening years had been used for grazing sheep and cattle, and for farming cranberries. In the last 75 years or so, the forest has been coming back, and in the 1980's the town of Brewster MA purchased the land, creating the largest publically owned parcel of land on all of Cape Cod.

The walk itself was part easy hiking on narrow trails, and part brisk walking on dirt roads or wide trails. It was mostly wooded, but near the end, we had a great view of Upper Mill Pond, a large body of fresh water that is great for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, etc.

Total walking time: 1hr 15 min
Total miles: approx. 3.5 miles

Training: Planned vs. Actuals this week

So, in a previous post this week, I outlined what I was hoping to accomplish in my first week of pre-training. My goal is to get into the routine of walking as outlined in the official 24-week training plan, so that I can jump right in already accustomed to the schedule.

I noted in this earlier post that I would be walking this past week on Thursday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday evening. I'm happy to report that I did accomplish my goals for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, but that I did not walk on Tuesday. I found it too difficult to fit in to the day's routine. I have some head-game work to do in order to get into the right swing of things, and I have to be more rigorous about scheduling things to fit it all in.

So, for the most part, I'm pleased, but have some work to do to get really on track.

Here's the new plan for the next few days:

Thu Apr 8 - squeeze 30 min (1.5 mi) in between coming home from work and evening commitments
Fri Apr 9 - cross-train 20 min after work
Sat Apr 10 - 1 hour (3 mi) in the morning
Sun Apr 11 - 1 hour (3 mi) in the morning

After this, I hope to get onto a Monday-Sunday weekly routine, and will post weekly goals on that schedule.

Here goes!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm walking for Nancy D.

Nancy D. is the inspiration behind our 3-Day team, and the reason that I signed up to walk. She is a current breast cancer warrior. She was diagnosed the day before her 42nd birthday, which was a few days before Christmas. Just in time for her wedding anniversary and right before Valentine's Day, she had a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. And now for Easter she is sporting a new "chrome dome" as she says due to her chemotherapy. The last few months of her life have brought challenges that I would never, ever want to go through in my life - yet Nancy says she is lucky.

Lucky is not exactly the word that comes to mind. But that is her reaction to this mess of a disease. (Read her story in her own words here.)

Nancy is such an amazing woman. She is an incredibly talented singer in Capri and HCMC. She is one of the funniest people I know, with a razor-sharp wit that keeps everyone rolling with laughter. She lights up a room with her sparkling presence. She has friends all over the world, and she's just one of those people that everyone wants to know because she's so approachable, so honestly down-to-earth and just so alive.

Many of us in HCMC (and I'm sure other parts of her life) have watched her in amazement as she has tackled these last few months. She is handling her diagnosis, treatment and recovery one day at a time. She is not freaking out. She is laughing, and loving, and looking ahead. She's exhibiting a strength that I think we all hope we have, but secretly fear that we don't. She is showing us that it's possible to face this diagnosis with grace and with strength. She gives us all hope that we might be that strong too.

And so I walk to honor Nancy. And to thank her for showing us all how it's done.

Thanks, Nancy.