Tag Archives: walking

A Rainy Halloween


It’s Halloween 2012

Here is my Halloween treat for you. It is a recording called Halloween Pickles and it is about two brothers who dress up as the scariest  things they can think of for trick-or-treat. What do they pick? One dresses as a nun and the other as a Choctaw warrior. Scott and I heard this on NPR years ago and it has become a Halloween tradition for us. Check it out here: Halloween Pickles.

I discovered another benefit of the Fitbit. Kevin & John were working upstairs all day so I spent the whole day sitting in my studio with Rob & Gracie and only logged 1400 steps.  I decided to get a good long walk in so I messed around for about 15 minutes trying to get an audio file onto my phone and then trotted out into the rain. About halfway through the lecture I was listening to, I stopped to check my fitbit. My belt clip was empty, lanyard still attached to it.

I panicked momentarily and then remembered I had stuck it in its charging cradle while I was messing with the phone… AAAARGH. Discovering that I wasn’t logging any steps really sapped my motivation. Yes, I am externally rather than internally motivated, and it wasn’t until I remembered I could enter an activity by hand that I got my second wind! When I got home I clicked “log an activity” on the Fitbit menu and copied the stats from the last walk onto today’s log. Whew.

Click here to read my earlier post about it: Fitbit Review.

Stay tuned for some kitchen pix once the guys are gone.

Avoid wearing a white T-shirt in the rain…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yep, that is my coaching tip for the day. You can file it under, “advice I thought of after I had already gone too far to go back home.” I waited all morning for a pause in the rain and when that sun-break happened, I rushed out the door. Now go ahead and predict how long it lasted… three blocks! Continue reading Avoid wearing a white T-shirt in the rain…

What did I see on my Morning Walk?

Yes, Berries!

They weren’t perfectly ripe yet but they were a nice treat anyway. I also saw one rabbit, one squirrel, five people out walking their dogs, and a large number of crows. I love checking out the ‘hood and monitoring all the home and garden projects people are working on this time of year.

Now about that walk… one thing you learn in Astrology is that everything cycles! I wrote about Nordic walking way back in 2009 in this  blog post: Try Nordic Walking, then I went back to running, then running on the rebounder during the winter, and now in the next revolution, I am back to Nordic walking. This is a good excuse not to get rid of athletic gear, unless you actually hated whatever form of exercise it represents, you’ll probably go back to it eventually.

Do you walk or run in your neighborhood?

Morning or evening?

Do you change-up your exercise routine?


Keep Fit The Nordic Way – Nordic Walking USA.

Find me on Plus3network

Salmon Creek Ravine Park

Scott found a great park just North of Burien! The Salmon Creek Ravine Park is right off Ambaum and is well worth checking out. It is a hike, not a walk — the trails are unimproved gravel and wet leaves but you can meander through 88 acres of mature forest with a wild stream at the bottom of the ravine. It is so quiet that you’ll forget you are still in the Shorewood neighborhood. We didn’t meet up with a single other person but the cedars and sword ferns are huge and healthy looking and there are lots of good subjects for nature photography. Rob did an awful lot of running and sniffing and had a generally wonderful time.

Click this link to see the route and elevation data from my Garmin 405: Garmin Connect – Activity Details for Walk with Scott & Rob.

This link is to an article about the park on the B-Town Blog.

A link to the Burien Parks Website.

A link to an article in the Seattle Times.

The Green River, or a walk denied!

Anytime I have to venture into the Southcenter valley, I take Robby and combine errands with a walk on the Green River Trail.  However, in case you haven’t noticed yet, the trail is closed in Tukwila. Tukwila is expecting flooding that will rival the flood of 1946 and they are using the trail for the wall of giant sandbags that will dam the river. I wish they had put them off to one side of the trail but no one on the planning committee asked me for my suggestions. It is disconcerting to stand in the Costco parking lot and to realize that you are below the level the river is expected to rise. Rob and I found that you can get onto the trail north of the Kinko’s parking lot and head north through Fort Dent all the way to the terminus without sandbags.

This has also encouraged us to reacquaint ourselves with other walks/hikes in our area, more on those later.

Click here to read about one man’s response and to buy a Tshirt.

Click here for a map of the Green River and Interurban Trail System.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas to you all! I’ve put together a few ideas to help you get into the spirit, the fit Christmas spirit, that is…

Use the Christmas Calorie Counter to estimate what you will eat for Christmas appetizers, dinner and dessert. You can use it to figure out trade offs for some high calorie items or to calculate how much exercise you’ll need to do to work off a splurge.

Make a holiday tradition of walking. Traditionally, Christmas-time was when the most socializing happened. Progressive dinners, parties, caroling, wassailing, and ice skating are all more a part of this holiday than are the more modern so called celebration of sitting around eating and watching movies. Take a family walk before or after dinner. Here are some good tips for walkers.

To brush up on your visualization skills, try the portion-size pop quiz from Prevention magazine.

Try to look at the holiday as a social time, it is about visiting and bonding, not just food. Enjoy your relative and friends and be joyful!

Challenge Yourself!

It is tough to keep up with goals once Winter starts.  It is raining, school has started, it is dark in the morning and evening…  you already know all the excuses so I won’t enumerate them. However, I have found that one way to stay motivated is to make a challenge or dare for yourself. I usually think of challenges in terms of 12 week periods because that is a school quarter or season and I figure if I can complete a statistics class then I can do pretty much anything for 12 weeks.

There is a real art to making goals that are challenging enough, but not so impossible that they leave you feeling depressed. The old thinking was that goals should be easily attainable and coaches would urge someone trying to lose 20 pounds into having a 5 pound loss as their goal, but new research has shown that most people make more progress with a more difficult goal. We all know the feeling of setting a small goal of losing 5 pounds and then blowing the diet when that is attained even though we “want” to keep going. What the study showed was that setting their sights higher kept dieters on track better.

So, using this principle, think of a goal that is somewhere between ambitious and ridiculous. Really, stop, and think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. If you want to be a size six, don’t shoot for a size eight. If you want to write a novel, don’t make writing one page per day your goal. It will just not feel satisfying enough to fight for. Instead, set your goal for size six, or a novel or a published article while giving yourself permission to celebrate every positive step you make along the way.

Another part of setting goals is to realize the difference between process and outcome. Write every day or get more exercise are examples of  process goals, while “lose 20 pounds by January 1” is an example of an outcome goal. Process goals are about changing your habits while outcome goals provide you with a deadline and a challenge.

The goal-setting acronym is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable. For example, I will exercise one half hour, six days a week, or, I will finish my outline and first draft by Friday.


Another part of setting goals is to realize the difference between process and outcome. “watch my diet and exercise more” is an example of a process goal, while “Lose 20 pounds by January 1” is an example of an outcome goal. Process goals are about changing your habits while outcome goals provide you with a deadline and a challenge
The goal-setting acronym is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable. For example, I will exercise one half hour, six days a week.

Here are some challenge ideas with a fitness-focus:

my pedometer snaps open so you can read it without taking it off your pantsYou could challenge yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day.  Wear a simple $10 pedometer all day and see how many steps you can walk. 10,000 steps is easily done by parking a bit farther away from work or from a store than you normally would, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around while you are on a phone call, etc. We did this for a long time and I thought it was funny how the length of our evening walk was determined by how many steps we each had left. Another thing I like about this challenge is that you don’t need to be accurate with mileage, only steps.

You could join the walk around the world challenge, where your mileage is added into a pool of other members to add up to  the circumference of the Earth. That is 24,901 miles.

You could chart your walks from coast -to-coast with Webwalking USA.

You could challenge yourself to raise a certain amount of money for “your cause” with the Plus 3 Network.

If you’re feeling more competitive, you could sign up for a marathon, half-marathon or even a 5k. Marathons aren’t just for runners. The Portland Marathon is known for being walk-friendly and has separate categories for racewalking and Nordic walking. Walk About Magazine and RunnersWorld both have race finders that lists walks or runs for your area that you could sign up for. Or, sign upfor a walk or run in another state and plan a vacation around it. Runner’s World also has gorgeous motivational wallpapers that you can download.

A completely different idea would be to challenge yourself to fit into a smaller size of jeans by a certain date.  Personally, I have a lot of resistance to this one but many of my clients have had success with it when trying to lose scale-weight hasn’t worked. Get out an old, too small pair of jeans that you actually like and would like to wear again. If you don’t have any, buy a pair, but be sure to buy a size that you have been before. Then squeeze into them and take your picture. Now carry that picture around with you and look at it before you eat anything.   Then every week, squeeze into them again, take a new picture and repeat.

You could are yourself to track my calories daily using an online calorie counter called the Daily Plate. It is part of the LiveStrong website. There are other calorie databases available but I really like this one. You input the calories you consume and then enter your  exercise and it calculates both your total and “net” calories for the day. Most of the foods you could eat are already in the database, everything from a Fuji apple and baby carrots to meals like Outback: fillet and stuffed shrimp. One weekend we figured out the approximate calories in fish and chips from Spud at Alki and then “walked them off” before we ate them. “Friend me” if you join LiveStrong.

What challenges or dares have you come up with for yourself? What challenges have worked for you in the past? Why or why not? Post your comments so we can all learn together.

I double-dog dare you!


Try Nordic Walking

In 2000, Mom and I hiked Mt Crested Butte for The Breast Cancer Fund’s Peak Climb. There were lots of sponsors there: Athena Water, Wolfskin packs, Cliff actually introduced their Luna bars at the event, and Leki who provided pairs of walking poles to whoever wanted to demo them. The climb started at the base – 9,375 feet ( 2,856 meters) and ended at the summit- 12,162 feet (3,707 meters) and we really appreciated the support and assistance that the poles provided. They almost made up for the fact that there was no air, but not quite, LOL.

The Leki rep said the use of poles for walking developed in Finland from dry-land exercises done by skiers during the off season. It is easy to walk faster because you are pushing off with each step which means you also achieve some upper body exercise in the process. Mom and I demoed them, loved them and bought some when we got back into town.

I used mine a lot until we got the dogs and walks became more complicated. Now, Freya is gone and Rob is older and more leash-savvy so I am back to walking with poles. I like the full-body workout concept and I especially like the idea that I am burning as many calories as I can burn running.

I googled Leki and found that an entire sport has developed around them called Nordic Walking. Some marathons, and even the legendary American Birkebeiner, a Nordic Skiing event, have events for Nordicwalkers. I’m not much of a joiner but I think preparing for an event would be a good way to challenge myself. Who wants to walk a marathon? Join me!


  • Click here for Leki USA’s website. They make poles for skiing, trekking and Nordic walking. They also have articles and videos on Nordic walking technique.
  • Click here for Nordic Walking USA’s website. They have articles on events and technique.
  • Click here for the Crested Butte website. This is a great destination resort for hiking or skiing.
  • Leki poles and extra tips are sold at REI stores and on my Amazon-affiliate webstore. The link to my webstore is on the right of the blog. I am currently using the fitness walking tips on my old trekking poles. Next, I’ll buy the poles pictured in my store to the right because they are lighter and have a newer hand-strap system.
  • Fitness Magazine has a Nordic Walking Guide. They are calling it a new fitness craze. LOL
  • This article discusses the Cooper Institute’s findings about NW’s increased calorie burn over simply walking.


The view from the dog-park
The view from the dog-park
I always forget what a cool city Edmonds is. It has the requisite quaint downtown, beautiful waterfront and marina and more cafés than I can count. We don’t get up that way very often but Scott had an errand near town and we decided to walk the waterfront with Robert. Well, that didn’t work out because there were “no dogs” signs posted absolutely everywhere. Then a woman approached us and said that way down at the end of the street, past the marina was a dog-beach. That sounded intriguing so we headed down there. We eventually ended up at the OLAE, The Off-Leash Area Edmonds. It was a beautiful section of beach, fenced and full of dogs.  One black lab was digging an enormous hole in the sand, another was fetching huge logs out of the Sound, several little terriers played together and Rob found a young German Shepherd who was just about his size to focus on. They ran and jousted and generally had great fun together.  I will have to find an excuse to make that drive again soon.