Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whats with this donation stuff?

While walking itself is a challenge, asking friends and family for money is downright uncomfortable. It's hard to escape the fact that we are in a down economy and people are being thoughtful about where their money goes.

Unfortunately, breast cancer doesn't know this. The reason why I chose the Avon organization is because money goes to treatment for low-income men and women with breast cancer. The people most vulnerable to economic hardships should not be excluded from receiving treatment.

So I did a little digging. I wanted to know the direct impact of the money I raise for this organization. Here's what I learned:

$10 can help a breast cancer patient in need get transportation to treatment to keep her/his recovery on track.
$25 can purchase test tubes and similar supplies for a breast cancer research laboratory.
$35 can help make sure a homebound breast cancer patient will receive seven nutritious and healthy meals while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
$100 can help an uninsured patient get access life-saving tests, such as a mammogram to help determine if a woman has breast cancer or a bone scan to see if breast cancer has spread.
$250 can help an uninsured breast cancer patient access a chemotherapy treatment, or help a new patient access a pre-treatment work-up, including x-rays and lab work as they prepare for their cancer treatments.
$1,000 can help a patient access a MRI to help determine if a mass is malignant or benign, or a biopsy of breast tissue to see if cancer cells are present.

You see, each dollar we raise through the Avon Walks is so important in making sure that everyone can get the care they need. Every dollar we raise is so important because every dollar has the potential to help someone!

If you haven't had a chance to donate, or just haven't gotten around to it yet, please take a few minutes and cross that off your list now.
Click on "Donate Now"
Enter my first and last name.

Thank you!

Monday, May 24, 2010

6 mile Sunday

After that LOOOONG walk on Saturday, what did I do Sunday? Took another walk, of course!

Things to be glad of: No rain during the walk. Good company. Bitingly cold wind kept us from overheating.

Things to keep an eye out for: Dog poo on the grass in Golden Gate Park (seriously people, do we have to remind you that the park is not a giant doggie poo depository?).

Things to work on: Stretching out them hamstrings. At my massage yesterday, the feedback I got was "for goodness sake, keep stretching!".

Next Goal: Get in the 30 minute walk on Monday (hard to do-work just exploded again). Get in at least a little walk on Tuesday. I managed to sell all of my Giant's tickets-thanks to those who purchased them. The game on Wednesday is grossing me almost $70 toward my fundraising goal.

There are 47 days remaining to meet my fundraising goal. It's incredible that so many people have helped me to get this far into fundraising-only $700 left to meet the minimum! I need to make the minimum to participate in the walk itself. Thanks to all of the generous donors who have contributed time, advice, happy thoughts, or finances. I am touched by the love and support from my friends and family.

If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, it's not too late!
Click on "donate now" and put in my first and last name.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

17 Mile Saturday

After a week (yes folks, a whole week) of not walking, I'm out for a new record-setting walk. 17 miles ain't just a drive in Carmel.

Today was part of a training walk set up by the Avon Walk group. They call it a "Route Preview Day", meaning part of the route is, well, you get it. I signed up with the understanding the walk was only 13 miles, and knowing on my training schedule was 17 miles. So I started from my house, walked up to Sports Basement in the Presidio, then headed out with the second group.

Mer-thanks for the Nuun idea. I bought a tube before setting off, and it helped. The fingers were thick by the end of the day, but not so bad as it's been.

The link to the route is on the title. I made friends with a lady on the trail, and we walked the route together. My stamina was better, which helped her keep going for the last few miles. My hips are doing better and were still tight by the end.

Oh, and that was the first time in my memory I've ever walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The best part- the massage at National Holistic Institute ( at the end of the walk. The guy who did my massage had helped out at the Escape from Alcatraz a few weeks prior. My thighs were worked so well, I almost fell asleep. Heaven!

Tomorrow: 8 miles, then a trip south for a bridal shower.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Double Dipsea: Take 1

Hey all. Sorry for the delay in posting. Here's the latest:

Work and sketch acting class are picking up, so I've had to adjust my walking schedule. Distances have increased-brisk and moderate walks are now 4 miles, with 30 minute recovery walks on Monday. My plan for tomorrow is to take a walk after the kids are out.

Saturday was the attempt at the double Dipsea. If you've never heard of the trail, click on the title. Basics-start with 670+ steps broken over three flights.

To be clear-the first mile of the hike took over 35 minutes. My average first mile is now 16 or so minutes on my training walks. New curses were invented. Most common was "those darn (insert another word here) stairs".

The hike got better after that. We went down the hill, and found a nice area where the trail was washed out. Here is Charlotte walking across the creek in the path:

The actual washed out area necessitated sliding down part of the hill on my rear. Then I climbed over a drainage pipe. Upon emerging at the end of that section, we noticed the "Trail Closed" sign. In our defense, there was no partner sign where that section of the trail started. We checked on the way back.

After reaching Muir Woods (and finding another bridge washed out), we took a pit stop and regrouped. It took longer to finish the first two miles then we anticipated, and I had to get back into the City by 3 for rehearsal. Luckily, there was a map with a suggested loop up the fire road and down the Ben Johnson trail back into Muir Woods. FYI-great way to avoid paying the $5 entrance fee to Muir Woods. Just know you are going up a hill for about 2 miles.

The advantages of hiking up a hill labeled "Cardiac Hill" is that you get to see beautiful animals like these (yes there are two).

The bad news is that it's hard work. Big surprise. We took a break around 11:15. Mmm. Snacks. Lots of laughter. Due to the statute established at the time, none of those pictures will be shown.

After that we found the cutoff to Ben Johnson trail, and headed down the hill. Only a few switchbacks and stairs. Lots more people, including the VERY pregnant lady hiking up the hill. We dropped down into Muir Woods, took another pit stop, and headed up the hill. Going down the stairs at the end was a little easier then going up. Both of us experienced jelly knees at the end of the hike.

While we didn't make the double Dipsea (or even a single), we did manage about 8 miles in 4 hours 48 minutes walking time (over 5 hours total). The deli sandwiches at the market in Mill Valley were tasty.

Oh, and I made it home in time for rehearsal. No shower-sorry to my partner for that.

Sunday-got in 8 miles around the Bay to Breakers craziness. Next weekend-17 and 8 miles. Anyone want to join next Sunday?

Milestone: I've gotten half-way to my fundraising goal! I'm working on planning a happy hour for June 12, so keep your calendars open and be on the lookout for an invite.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

20 mile weekend

I did it! 20 miles (plus) this weekend.

Thanks to Char for the accompaniment. The last four miles today were tough-my knees and hip joints are sore. I've gotten some great suggestions (mostly ice it).

Up next are a few walks this week, donating blood tomorrow (if they take it), and 15 plus 8 miles for next weekend. Mapping out the next walk-anyone want to join me for part of the walk? Going to avoid Bay to Breakers on Sunday-thinking about the Dipsea trail (out and back) for Saturday.

Click on the title to see today's route.

Best sight today: walked through the AIDS Memorial Grove for the first time. Beautiful.

Anyone want to get together for a bonfire on the beach soon? There can't be too many more "rainyish" days left this spring. I'll post some dates and let me know if you want to join!

Halfway there on the fundraising! Thanks, friends!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday the 8th

It is a windy day in the City. Windy as in gusts are currently 20+ miles per hour. Low clouds are hurried across the sky. Sun comes and goes.

My plan was to walk down to the ocean, north along the coast to the Golden Gate Bridge, and then come back the same route. Given the wind, I decided to look for a route that kept me inland rather then along the coast. To see the route click on the title of the post or go to

Lessons applied: Ate breakfast. Stretched before I went. Stretched along the route. Brought snacks-cliff bar and nuts. Drank water slower then last time. Put the uphill at the end of the walk to break up the monotony. Chewing mint gum gave me a second wind at about the 9 mile mark. Drinking water through the gum increased the freshness.

Lessons learned: New shoes needed a little more breaking-in time. Thicker socks are nice in theory, but seem to pinch the toes in reality. I've got a few different pairs to try. About a third of the way along the walk, I added Gatorade to my Camelpack. It helped a bit with the finger swelling. Also, my iShuffle died. Not battery-the buttons stopped working. On the plus side, I priced out new Shuffles last week, and can get a new one with more memory for less then a hundred bucks. On the minus side, I already spent my fun money on a second pair of shoes, good walking pants, socks, a hydration system, etc. So, I'll practice walking without music or podcasts. I suspect the podcasts have been slowing me down (not a fast enough tempo).

Total walking time: 4 hours 10 minutes (approx.)
Total time with breaks: 4 hours 35 minutes (I did go into the pet store and make a few short pit-stops).
Total distance: 13.2 miles
MPH avg: 3.17

I'm starting to suspect my 18 minute MPH goal may be an unattainable goal. I'm pretty sure I can make it if I only measure actual walking time.

It's interesting how the first 4 miles are really easy, and about mile 9/10 is where I start to get tired. Maybe I need to stop and take a break around mile 8. Good to know that I can pull off a half-marathon distance. It's getting easier!

Time to finish my post-walk beer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

13 miles

It's 11:24 pm, Friday evening.

I am sleepy and watching The Whitest Kids You Know sketch show.

Chloe the cat is on my chest, curled up and purring.

I'm excited for the long walk tomorrow. This time, I'm going to eat breakfast before I go. Any suggestions for handling finger bloating? I'm still trying to figure out the right ratio of food to miles-13 miles is about 4-4.5 hours, so how many calories do I need to consume?

Any ideas, I'll take 'em.

Catch you on the flipside.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

12 miles!

12 miles (Actually per gmap-pedometer, 13.5. Oops).

Route: Left the house, walked along MLK to the beach. Ocean Beach north. Passed Cliff House and took the Land's End trial. Through Sea Cliff, then up the Presidio along Lincoln Blvd. to the Golden Gate Bridge. Took a right, walked down to Chrissy Field. Along to Marina Green and past Fort Mason. Down Van Ness, wove over to Hyde. Took Hyde until it became 7th St., and ended at Harrison.

The walk: Weather worked out. Thank you, Mother Nature, for raining only during the week. Sunscreen was needed, and applied twice. Broke in my Camelpack. Emptied it twice. Took the iShuffle, which is starting to break down. Or maybe it's iTunes that is breaking down. Half the time when I plug in the shuffle, iTunes doesn't recognize it, and I end up having to restart the computer. I'm listening to podcasts. Specifically, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, The Now Show from the BBC, and Sound of Young America. An interview with Louis CK was great, and I'm part way through an interview with Nick Hornby. Since no headsets are allowed on the walk, I didn't listen the whole time. Music or podcast is better during the cityish part of the walk-it drowns out the cars and busses. Nature has it's own soundtrack-it doesn't need help.

Along the way, I found myself wanting to know the distance completed and distance remaining. Having identified "chunks" in my head (such as Chrissy Field) it was easy to think about the walk in terms of sections. It would have been helpful to know when I hit the half-way point. It was hard to keep walking, knowing I had a deadline (haircut at 1:30), when I was tired and needed a break. For the next walk, I'm going to have food for the trail (skipped breakfast-bad idea) and make sure restrooms are available.

Success: Made it up the Land's End stairs (I counted 111, but could be off) WITHOUT STOPPING!!