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Category Archives: blog

Radio silence?

There’s a reason for the radio silence on the blog here, basically that the blog itself is messed up and I don’t have the time or energy to fix it.  So I don’t want to add a bunch of entries that might end up not being able to port over when I fix it.

But I’ll try to get better about that, especially considering that yesterday I beat my personal best on my 5K time, which means that since the first time I timed a training walk about a year ago to today, I’ve actually gotten 20 minutes faster.  Now, the first was a walk and this was a mix of jogging and walking, but still.

I’m not expecting to get much faster than this. I’d like to make a steady 12 minute mile my regular pace overall.  But that’s going to take some medical help, hopefully an upcoming visit to a pulmonologist will do it.  Wish me luck!

Posted in 5ks, blog.

A new route

A few months ago, my best friend moved into a temporary apartment while she was looking for a new place.  My husband has been bugging me since then to take a walk to visit her instead of driving because he really likes the path that goes in that direction.

We finally went last week, and it really was worth it.  It reminded me of why I like living in this particular small neighborhood that I live in, because there were several spots where you could only just see the houses or barely hear the cars from the path, so it really felt like you were in the woods.  And there was this lovely little bridge over a small creek in the middle of nowhere, the kind of place where it would be wonderful to just set up a camp chair and hang out for a while.

The last part of the trail was kind of difficult though, because there was a very steep hill that was followed by a very long but slight slope.  So I ran out of breath and couldn’t catch back up for a while.

I’m not entirely sure if this particular hike was the reason that my knee is acting up again.  It’s doing some stranger things than before, so I’m trying to do light duty for a few days to make it feel better.  The problems with my knees are making me more upset every time, because if anything derails this entire plan (other than my own problems with concentration/motivation) it’s going to be my knees.  And that’s super discouraging.

But the walk itself did remind me of exactly why I want to do this, so that was a plus.

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Buying a coat

I’ve decided that this winter, I am definitely buying a new coat.  I’ve been putting this off because while some items that I might buy in the meantime are ones where I can get discount or off-brand stuff that I’d replace before the hike, a good coat is something that is going to last me long enough to be what I actually take on the trail.

There’s no point really in buying a cheap coat that will fall apart or not do what I want and just have to spend more in a few years on a nice coat.

So I’m trying to decide what I’m going to get.  I’ve had my eye on this LL Bean coat for a while:

Weather Challenger 3 in 1 Jacket from L.L. Bean

Weather Challenger 3 in 1 Jacket from L.L. Bean

I probably should have bought it last spring when I happened to be in the store the weak they were phasing to spring stuff, and it was half off.  But alas, I waffled too much and I might catch a sale or a coupon but unless I want to wait for spring again then I’ll have to pay the $189 price tag for it.

In the end, the thing I have to remember about coats is that I wear my coats out.  Right now I have a few jackets, one heavier coat that I wear most of the winter (which I don’t completely love, the cut is lovely and it looks wonderful but I’d rather have higher quality material) and then when I need serious layering I have this thicker purple coat that was a gift for a trip to London in 2004.  Almost ten years I’ve been wearing this same coat (though in the last five years it’s only been a few times a year I pull it out).  My black coat I’ve had five years.

So no matter how you slice it, I’ve managed to really get my money’s worth out of every coat I’ve owned and I doubt this would be very different.  Especially considering this would be an even higher quality coat designed for even more punishment.

For the trail, and life in general, I’m going to need something that is designed to layer, which is why this is the one I’m leaning towards.  It’s also waterproof, and thankfully is insulated with polyester instead of down (which I’m allergic to).  There’s also a hood, which I need, none of my coats have hoods so I either have to wear a hoodie underneath or a hat.

Overall, I’ve really liked this coat for a while so I think it’s what I’m going to go with unless I find some reviews that suggest something better.  But then the question becomes, blue, red, or black?

Edited to add: I also just found this jacket which is a bit cheaper and seems to also be quite nice.  It doesn’t

Storm Chaser 3-in-1 Jacket

Storm Chaser 3-in-1 Jacket

come in red, but the black/blue combo is particularly nice and would look professional as well as great on the trail.  I guess I’m just going to have to go to the store and try them all on and see what I think.  That’s the great thing about living where I do, I can go try them on and buy in store instead of having to order and hope.

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Get Moving Challenge

So, I’m trying to get myself to get up and finally get this whole plan going. I took three walks last week, but twice I begged off when I had a chance to walk and that’s certainly not getting my anywhere.

Get Moving Challenge Logo

Get Moving Challenge from My Well Being


I got an email from one of my insurance providers that one of their programs is doing a “Get Moving Challenge” in September. It’s tailored to getting you to start getting up and exercising and doing other healthy things each day over the course of the month.

It looks interesting, and might be worth signing up for if you are having trouble motivating like I am. They say it’s 10 minute workout videos, so there’s not a huge amount of time spent each day, and it’s customizable (though only time will tell how much that’s really worth it).

I’m looking forward to it, I think a few other people should sign up so we can work on it together. Who’s in?

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Early morning walk

So, in the last week or so I’ve actually managed three walks around the lake (about 1 mile the whole way) and so I think I’m doing pretty good.  I managed to actually get up and take a walk this morning before I did anything else, which I think is a vast improvement over how I have been.

My right knee (the one I didn’t have surgery on) was giving me some trouble a day or two ago, but it seems to have settled out now.  I even managed to drink plenty of water today.  I’m hoping to walk again tomorrow and maybe start to get the beginnings of an actual daily habit going.  We’ll see.  But at least I’m feeling a bit better about it this week than I have in the past.  Maybe a little more motivated somehow, that’s good.

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Switching to WordPress

So I’m slowly making some changes you’ve probably noticed if you visited us at all before.  I decided to give WordPress a try for this blog, since I wanted something I could customize a little easier and make a little more professional looking than before.

Right now everything is very, very basic because I have’t really gotten started but over the next few days I’ll be fixing things up!  Should be fun!

Posted in blog.

Oh the humidity

Yesterday, for various reasons, I ended up needing to walk a half mile in the middle of the afternoon. Then today I needed to walk in the middle of the afternoon sun again.

Right now in my region the temperature is above 90 regularly and climbing higher, tomorrow it’s supposed to top 100. While the heat itself is bad, the problem is that the air is so thick with humidity that you walk outside and you instantly feel drenched and sticky.

What I told myself yesterday was that this was part of my training, I needed to get used to this and be walking in any weather. But what I started to wonder was if it really is so humid on the trail. It’s definitely something I need to find out, because you have to stay hydrated just for normal walking but in this kind of weather you’re going to lose half your body weight in sweat in just a few minutes (this is an exaggeration, but only just).

In general, I’ve done some walking this week but not much. My knee has been doing okay, but my heart rate problems are not really cooperating in the heat, which worries me about the end process of hiking the trail. My doctor doesn’t see any problem with it though, so I think I need to just keep going.

Posted in blog. Tagged with , , .

Fourth of July trip

For the Fourth of July, my husband decided that he wanted to go see the fireworks at a lake near us. To get there involved going through some of the biking and walking trails that are really nice around here, so I said that sounded like fun. He told me it was a mile and a half, which was definitely more than I’m used to, but around what I was doing last time I started exercising from nowhere so I thought no big deal.

But what I didn’t think about was that the last time I had done that, I was walking around a track at a stadium. This wasn’t a lot of nice paved walking trails like I expected, but about halfway through we walked off the paved trails and onto gravel. Then the gravel gave way to mud, and the mud eventually became a very twisty, rocky path up a hill and through a heavily wooded area.

Now, this means that this walk was actually perfect because it had a LOT of what I’ll encounter on the trail. But it also meant I was not prepared. Even now, almost a week later, I’ve got aches and pains. My calves were especially sore, so I know that’s an area that will need special attention.

To get home, we ended up walking to a friend’s car but the event was so popular she parked about a mile away, so it wasn’t that much better. But it was more well lit and more well traveled than the way we came in, which I wouldn’t want to do after dark with the flashlights we had.

The fireworks were quite nice though.

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Writing letters on the road

I love to write letters to people, though I don’t always find time to do it as much as I like. I’m writing to a few pen pals and family members now, and it makes me wonder about writing on the trail.

Several books I’ve looked at have said that you should pack your stationary already stamped (and possibly addressed) so that you can write as you walk and then mail things at your re-supply stops in town. This seems like a good idea to me, but I wonder how often people actually feel like writing while they’re on the trail itself. If you’re sitting down to lunch, you probably want to concentrate on eating. If you’re trying to make good time, then you probably don’t want to waste too many daylight hours with writing when you could be walking or setting up camp or eating.

Has anybody else had any experience with this? Did you stick to postcards? Or try to write in a journal that you could insights with people later?

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Food stuffs

One of the things that’s probably holding me back is that I don’t eat a very nutritious diet. So I’m trying to fit more fruits and veggies into my diet. I figure that’ll help with the joint aches and pains and my energy levels. So I ended up getting a little blender that uses it’s own bottle so you just swap out the lid and you’ve already got your stuff ready.

It’s making me think about food on the trail. It’s such a specialized thing, you want to have low weight things, stuff you can cook on a small stove, and that isn’t going to rot. I know I”ll need to do a lot of research to figure this out. It makes me wonder how people ever figure this stuff out.

Of course I need to get to the point where I can walk for an hour or two, let alone all day, before it matters. But I need to get back on track with everything. So my plan is at some point in June to make a list of gear I’ll need just for day hikes and put it in the list in priority order.

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