Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas all

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I only ran once over the long weekend and walked a couple of times but at least I didn't move down appreciably in the Nike+ Beginners Challenge. Still in 13th place and still have a goal of getting into the top 10.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Can't wait for Spring

For the first time since I moved to Fairbanks 25 years ago, I'm looking forward to Spring. Not because the winter weather or darkness is getting to me, but I picked up a motorcycle. The original driver was high fuel prices but after taking the MSF class last summer, I'm really looking forward to riding. It is a 1983 BMW R100RT which seems to be in very good condition for being 24 years old. I remember looking at these when they were new and now they are considered "classics". Sigh, must be getting old. I really like the simplicity of the design i.e. air cooled, carbureted, push rods, 2 valves per cylinder and shaft drive. No fancy electronics or gadgets but still suitable for touring. It came with side mounted bags and a top case. Now I need to get protective gear and wait for Spring then start practicing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Slacking off, Again!

After pushing myself fairly hard (at least for this time of the year) to win that last challenge, I was pretty well run out and haven't ran since. I did manage to get into the top 10 of the other beginner challenge and have just passed 300 miles since I got this gadget.

12/20/2007 - I thought about walking to the lower campus this morning to mail a package but the -38F temperature just wasn't very welcoming, so I took the shuttle bus. I haven't walked on the treadmill for several days due to kids needing to be run around here and there but that is just a handy excuse for the lack of motivation. I've slipped to 13th place in the other challenge after working my way up to 9th place (out of 900) so I'm still in the running so to speak. I guess everyone is slowing down this time of year even those in warmer climates. Maybe it's the holidays.

I finally did walk on the treadmill this evening for a couple of miles but I'm coming down with a cold and that's making it difficult to breath properly. So no jogging for a while I guess. I hope it passes quickly as I'm loosing sleep.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Obsessive Behaviour

Finally finished the one Nike+ beginner challenge. I walked/jogged for over 5 miles per day for the last four days just to catch up on the leaders. After uploading my runs to the Nike+ site this morning, I was still three miles short of winning so I went for a walk to lower campus via Ballaine Lake and College Road. Not the most direct route but it did get me the miles needed to finish and get the little trophy image...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Still chugging along

I'm still working on some of the Nike+ challenges. Right now, there is a beginner challenge to run 50 miles before Christmas. It is difficult to actually run but I am managing to run about 3-4 miles at a time about every other day followed by walking until I hit 5 miles. This is ensuring that I get at least 11k steps per day even without the pedometer to remind me. I think I am barely in 1st place in the challenge as there are others within a mile of me. I've entered another beginner challenge that was to run 100k before Jan 31. Many of the participants are well beyond 100k and I think that I am in 14th place out of 800 with over 180 miles. First place has almost 400 miles in (I think it started at the beginning of November). I am striving to get into the top 10 but I am really going to push myself a bit to get there. This still isn't the same as "competing" against others around the university but at least it is keeping me going. I wonder if the new StartWalking program is still on track to start next month?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

When it rains, it pours

It seems as if I have been continually recuperating from something over the last couple of weeks. Must be me getting old or something (at least that is what I'm told). This has made it much more difficult to exercise on anything approaching a regular basis. I had entered a beginners challenge on the Nike+ site which should have been easy... 100 miles in 30 days. In the StartWalking days, that would've been an easy week but now it took almost 3 weeks to reach that goal. Walking has become a source of aches and pains that weren't there a few months ago. A month ago, I reported being able to run for an hour. Now, I'm out of breath in under 15 minutes. Getting sick really sucks... I was invited to participate in a challenge to run 50 miles before Christmas. Now that I'm feeling better, time to try and win this one (I'm over 12 miles behind the leader.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Quite a gap since the last post...

I haven't posted for quite a while since I've been somewhat under the weather. Overall steps have dropped significantly since the end of September. I've been trying to stay active in the Nike+ site but it isn't quite the same counting miles as counting steps. There is no conversion and only actual "runs" are counted not all of the other running around many of us do in the course of the day. I'm looking forward to the rebirth of the walking program.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Slacking off

I haven't successfully made a blog entry in quite a while. I had composed some on my phone while sitting in airports but usually some glitch causes it not to get posted. I usually don't feel like rewriting the whole thing again so I usually look for something else to do such as walking (big surprise here). On Friday, I was waiting in the Seattle airport for quite a while and walked four laps of the A, B, C & D terminals for around 8 1/2 miles. There really wasn't much else to do. I've taken to running on the treadmill for about an hour every other day so I'm still getting plenty of steps in. I've been logging the runs using the Nike+ gadget and it seems to satisfy my competitive nature. On the treadmill, I finally broke the 10 minute mile (for only one mile) and can now jog/run for about an hour at a time without feeling like I'm dying. While I was in Atlanta, I tried running outside and, while pleasant, the treadmill was still a more consistent workout, at least it is for me at this point in my life.

Friday, November 2, 2007

New challenges

A little while ago, I picked up a Nike+ gadget that fits onto your shoe and iPod. This is after meeting someone with the gadget on one of the WIN walks this summer. It doesn't really replace a pedometer but can be used for running or walking "sessions" as in "going for a walk". After calibrating it with a gps, it seems fairly accurate. Even when using it on a treadmill, it is within 5% of the indicated distance. With this gadget, you can participate in challenges on the Nike+ site. Currently, I entered a couple of beginner ones, some walking ones and a 1000 miles in 2008. I was even booted off one challenge since I was racking up too many miles compared to the rest of the field. These challenges are providing me with an incentive to keep walking/running now that the University program has ended. Now, I am running about 18 miles per week in 3-4 mile chunks. This is all on the treadmill since I have a difficult enough time just walking on the icy roads. The real challenge will be to keep it up through the winter and while traveling. Last week, while in Barrow, I didn't get any running in since the treadmill was broken and the 20 mph wind discouraged walking around. Next week, I'll be in Atlanta teaching a workshop at Georgia Tech. It should be nice enough that I should try running outside. That'll be a change.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

45 minutes without stopping!

On Monday, I ran for 45 minutes on the treadmill. Just increased the speed by a 1/10th of a mph from a week ago. Right now I am in Barrow and debating whether or not to go for a walk (since I really don't feel well). Yesterday, the clinic gave me three shots and it has really made me drag last night. I tried walking on the treadmill but after only a 1/2 mile, I was done. We have a two day meeting starting at 8:00 am tomorrow so I don't know how much exercise I'll get later on.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No motivation

Did a bit of walking today as well as ran a couple of miles on the treadmill. I'm still managing well more than 10k steps per day but I've noticed that I haven't been maintaining the same pace as when the StartWalking program was in place without the website to log steps. I have started logging miles on the Nike+ site but only actual exercise sessions not the day-to-day walking. I guess it has got me to try running since it shows information such as fastest mile, 5k, etc. That pushes me to try upping the treadmill speed a little each time. I'm running about over 100 miles/month so maybe I'll be able to run some 10k's next summer. Now that would really be an accomplishment!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Back in Fairbanks

After a lot of time sitting in airports and on planes yesterday, we are back home. My son, Kyle, did well in Ottawa at the Open North American coming home with a 1st in patterns and a 2nd in sparring. It seems like a long way to go for a tournament but I guess international experience is part of the advancement process and I think he both enjoyed it and learned a lot. I did get some jogging in using the treadmill at the hotel as well as walking during the layover at the Chicago airport. I didn't walk all of the terminals but did manage about 5 miles. I'm still amazed at the size of O'Hare.

I didn't get much walking in today. I ran on the treadmill for a couple of miles this evening but really felt run down. Too much sitting around today plus I didn't get home last night until almost 2:00am.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waiting in Chicago

I arrived at the Chicago airport at 12:15 this afternoon. My son, Kyle, is arriving at 6:30 pm from Fairbanks and we are continuing on to Ottawa, ON at 9:00 or so this evening. Suffice to say that I have a lot of time in the Chicago airport to get some walking in. So far, I've walked 14 miles and I'm taking a break. At least I'm catching up a bit for the last couple of days at the I2 member meeting. Didn't get enough walking in. Yesterday evening was spent at the Shedd Aquarium after spending the afternoon getting blown away with technology at UCSD and SDSC. Must be nice to well funded.

After posting this, I'll wander down to terminal 2 and check the Air Canada status board to at least to see what gate we'll be flying out of. Or maybe, I'll just sit here and wait until my feet don't feel tired anymore.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

San Diego

It has been a year since I started really doing a lot of walking. About a year ago, I was attending a conference on Enterprise Architecture in San Diego and made a point of walking everywhere. In fact, I stayed miles away from the conference hotel just to force me to walk. Now, I am at the Internet2 member meeting, again, in San Diego. I'm not getting much walking in since the room and the conference center are only about 1/2 mile apart. There is a large outdoor mall across the San Diego River next to the hotel, so I walked around the mall yesterday before dinner. Interesting mall design. Just like an enclosed mall without the roof. I guess the weather must be nice all the time. Apple iPhones are everywhere here at the meeting. At the summit meeting yesterday, about 1/2 of the attendees had iPhones. Maybe the multimedia focus of the group created anomalous numbers.

Yesterday, I attended an IPTV summit where the discussion was centered around whether I2 should get into the "business" of an aggregator of entertainment (channels) for colleges, universities, and K12. Interesting discussions. I will probably be teaching an I2 IPv4 Multicast Workshop next month at Georgia Tech. I haven't been to Atlanta for years...

9:30 pm - Didn't get much walking in at all today. They charge a membership fee to use the exercise room and by the time I got back from dinner, it was too dark to wander around. Tomorrow is demos in the afternoon at the UCSD campus including a tour of the CALIT2 facility. It has a theater that can project 4k lines of resolution and a cave (immersive environment) powered by 15 HD projectors. I thought about walking to the campus but there just isn't enough time...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Actually jogged today

Until now, I occasionally did intervals i.e. jogged for a while then walked after my heart rate went too high then jogged again after recovery. Today, I tried something differant. I gradually sped up until my heart rate was aerobic but not too high. I found a comfortable speed to jog at. It's slower than when I did intervals but I was able to jog for half an hour. For anyone that runs, this may seem a bit lame but for me, this is great. I haven't been able to jog or run for 25 years. I'm a little sore now since I didn't stretch when done but no sore joints, shins, feet or whatever else that prevented me from running in the past. By the way, this was on a treadmill so I could easily control my environment. It was a good day...

Friday 10/05/07 - Went for a walk on the West Ridge ski trails today and all of the puddles are now frozen solid (no more wet feet!) and very few people were out. I walked most of the loops and trails to see where they went and which ones had lights. A nice brisk walk in the woods.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Now that it's over...

Walking has become part of my routine as I'm still doing about 10 miles per day with no extraordinary effort. It seems that I'll jump at just about any opportunity to walk somewhere, especially on campus. Going to lower campus is usually good for at least a couple of miles. In addition, I still seem to need a walk after lunch and dinner (it really feels like a need not a want).

Friday, September 28, 2007

All done...

As you probably know, this is the last day for this iteration of the StartWalking program. I still seem to be walking even though there is no more incentive from the program itself. Entering steps into the web site has really become a part of my daily routine but I guess I'll park the pedometer for a while. At least I won't lose it. I'll probably change this blog in a couple of weeks as well.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Squiggly is no longer on the hillside

Since I'm heading to Anchorage, I went ahead and retrieved the Squiggly cache. Interest continues to be low as there were no visitors in September. I thought that I would be able to slow down and coast for a while (until StartWalking IV) but it seems to be hard for me to do.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Last week!

This is the last week for the Orient Express walking program. Just four more days to finish and four more days to find Squiggly. I'll check it tomorrow to make sure the Squiggly cache is still there since it is located on a fairly busy trail. I've been pushing myself pretty hard to try and finish again. Actually, after walking through the Seattle airport yesterday, my feet were pretty sore while on the flight. I guess that's the problem with walking on a hard surface. I think TSA was wondering what I was doing since I did like 15 laps of the airport. Okay, I'm a little obsessed with walking these last few weeks since it seemed like I may actually be able to finish lap 4. I'm looking forward to StartWalking v4.

I'm tempted to go for a walk since I am only 332 steps from finishing!

Monday 9/24/07 - Finished! Got in the last 332 steps this morning walking to get some coffee. Total, since the start of the Orient Express program April 2nd, is 5,541,030 steps or about 2,485 miles (using my 28" steps). This averages out to about 13 miles per day. Equivalent activity for this round has been limited to bike riding once and a while and working in the garage or the yard. The majority has been actually walking. No wonder my shoes have been wearing out. Another interesting tidbit is I probably spend over 3 hours per day walking. I've also noticed that I can no longer get any kind of aerobic workout from just walking. Or at least I need to find more hills. I have slowly (actually, verrrrry slowly) been incorporating jogging into my routine and these really do give me an aerobic workout but I'm still rather protective of my joints. I'll see how that goes the next couple of months now that cooler weather is here and I start using the treadmill more. Yesterday evening, I used the treadmill again set to do intervals alternating between 5 mph and 3.5 mph for 45 minutes. It was a pretty good workout. Much more than my 5 mile walk in the hills yesterday morning. Too bad the next program won't start until January.

Also, I just checked the Squiggly cache and it has had NO VISITORS.

Tuesday 9/25/07 - Still NO VISITORS. Just because it's raining?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not in Las Vegas anymore

Wednesday 9/19/07 - Back in Oregon again. Things are much slower and quieter here. No slot machine noise, no continuous electronic beeping from the other gaming machines, and no where near as many people. There seemed to be an incredible number of people smoking in the casinos. Way more than the stats seem to indicate. I remember that the food in Vegas was better in the past. Maybe, since I can't eat as much as I used to, I am a little more selective. I'm told that there is a padded outdoor track nearby. Maybe I'll look for that tomorrow...

Saturday 9/22/07 - Well waiting in an airport again. I'll have about 6 hours of walking today doing laps of the terminal. It could be worse... at least it isn't the middle of the night. I should be able to get at least 10 miles in today just wandering around the airport. Walking around the terminal makes these long layovers tolerable. I think I will be able to finish again due to all these walking "opportunities". Just need to keep it up for six more days. Over 46k steps in the Seattle airport walking for almost 7 hours.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Las Vegas

Sunday 9/16/07 - Did a fair amount of walking today. Went to an RV show at the Portland Expo then off to Las Vegas. After a light dinner, I used the exercise room (I was the only one in there!) and did intervals for a bit over an hour. Tomorrow, we move to another hotel in the downtown area for the reunion.

Monday 9/17/07 - Ran again this morning. Went to the Bellagio to look around and see the shops and the aboretum. They had a 987# pumpkin on display. I haven't found the gym yet (assuming there is one) so I haven't done any running this evening. I still got a fair amount of walking in anyway.

Tuesday 9/18/07 - This hotel doesn't have an exercise room. I guess they just want you to exercise your right arm on the slot machines. The California Hotel is must be owned by a group from Hawaii since they have 'moco loco' and Spam on the menu and everything seems to be served with rice and macaroni salad. Also there is an incredibly high percentage of aisians and Hawaiians here. I did get quite a bit of walking around the area though and temps maxed out at around 90. Tonight, there is some sort of dinner as part of my mom's reunion. Maybe, I'll drag them to the Fremont Street light show later tonight.

The dinner was good. Saw a couple good videos including an electronic field trip done by the park service with a bunch of middle school classes around the country. The kids were interviewing the internees and trying to put themselves in their shoes. I have a copy of one of the videos and a promise by the park service to try and send the other one. I also met a couple of people that I haven't seen since high school. They were there to accompany their mom to the reunion. I did go to the Fremont Street Experience after the dinner and they even had a live outdoor concert going on.

Wednesday 9/19/07 - Sitting on a plane leaving Las Vegas. Windy day, not much walking so far today except walking through the casino, parking lots and the airport.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sitting at the airport

Right now I am sitting in the Seattle airport having arrived at about 1:30 am from Fairbanks. My next flight isn't until 7:15 am. At least they let people stay in the terminal now. I remember not to long ago, security chased everyone out to the entrance until 5 am since they didn't want to patrol the whole terminal. I'm suprised that several of the shops are staying open all night. Many people find some corner to try and sleep but I ended up walking through all the terminals several times. Well over 30k for today (I'm counting tonights steps with yesterdays and will reset the pedometer at 6:00 am.) For me, the terminal is too cool to sleep comfortably. I think that it is their way to discourage sleeping. A lot of people are watching movies on their laptops or just wandering around like I am. Maybe I can get another 10k steps in before my flight.

I easily got more than 10k since they changed gates twice before the flight left. Fell asleep on the plane seconds after the engines started. Got a bit more walking in before the end of the day.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tired but not (real) sore

Yesterday, I almost walked a marathon worth of steps and today almost half as much again. I guess when I saw that there was a slight chance that I may actually finish this round before the deadline, I really started to push and take every opportunity to walk. Now, I kind of wish that I was going to be around for the Equinox. A few weeks ago, I had commented to someone that I was glad that I was going to be out of town since I would have been tempted to try it.

Tomorrow evening, I will be leaving for Oregon and then on to Las Vegas. I will be accompanying my parents to my mom's high school reunion. She graduated from Manzanar high school. If you aren't familiar with Manzanar, it was the most well known of the internment camps that people of Japanese descent were put in during WWII. The reunion organizers decided that may be the last high school reunion so my mom was especially anxious to go. Las Vegas is 102°F today and I'm not looking forward to those temperatures at all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week 24

Today is the beginning of the 24th week of the Orient Express. So far on this program, I've walked 4,876,531 steps (or some equivalent activity) and I'm on my 3rd pair of shoes. For my stride length, this adds up to 2187 miles. I could've walked to Seattle. This weekend, someone asked how I can get so many steps in and the simple answer is it helps me feel better. Not from the joy of getting exercise or some lofty reason like that. But I'm on this medication that makes me nauseous a lot and walking is, so far, about the only way I've found that helps. On some evenings, I'll end up walking 6-8 miles before feeling better. Biking doesn't help and running usually makes it worse but walking is good, even if it's just on a treadmill. Sleeping also helps but I thought that walking would be a better choice.

This afternoon, I felt bad even after a minimal lunch (230 Cal), so I went for a short walk (8,277 steps) and now I fell 10x better. During my walk, I also rediscovered a trail between upper and lower campus that I used to use all the time 25 years ago. It starts at what used to be the parking lot for the "Mods" and ends up at the new greenhouse on West Ridge. I checked the Squiggly cache on the way. No visitors...

Tuesday 9/11/07 - Went for a longish (15k steps) walk today. West Ridge to Tee Field to Ballaine Lake to Wood Center and back to West Ridge. Feel much better, especially after sitting all morning in a workshop. I haven't been around the Skarland trail in a long time. This winter I shouldn't get as lost when I go skiing as I've been doing a lot of walking on the same trails. I realize that I did do the Skarland trail backwards but traffic was minimal. This evening, I went on another longish walk during a scout meeting. Almost makes me think about trying to finish one more time.

Wednesday 9/12/07 - Went for a modest walk this afternoon. Walked down to lunch on College Road from West Ridge. Starting to feel "antsy" again and will probably go for a walk this evening.

Thursday 9/13/07 - Another beautiful day for a walk. Went down to University Ave. for lunch and walked back on the nice trail through the woods. Still, no Squiggly visitors. Still felt a little nausea so I walked a bit more...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The September Squiggly Hunt is On

The Squiggly cache for September has been set and it is on-campus as some have requested. On the trail from the SRC, up and across the Ski Hill, head towards West Ridge. Just before the curve to the north which heads towards the museum, pause, go 10 paces south (downhill), then look west (towards your right), You should find the water bottle containing a number of red on white Squiggly chips at the base of a couple of trees. Unfortunately, there are no handy signs or other distinguishing markers nearby except the curve in the trail. This trail is occasionally used by cyclists barreling down the hill so keep your eyes open. Clicking on the coordinates under the picture will open a Google Earth image showing the location of the cache. It clearly shows the trail and the relative location of the Squiggly cache. The foliage doesn't match completely but the cache is located just a short distance from the large clearing. You shouldn't have any problem finding this cache if you look at the Google Earth image.

Congratulations to Anne Christie, the winner of the random drawing of successful Squiggly hunters for August.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Squiggly retrieved

I picked up the Squiggly cache around noon. I hope to find a good hiding place maybe sometime tomorrow or Tuesday. No new visitors since the last time I checked.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Barrow

Cool and foggy day here in Barrow. My flight was weather delayed leaving Fairbanks and in Prudhoe making for a long morning without much walking around. Hard to pace once you're inside the plane. I walked a bit this evening but just barely managed 10k steps today. It is the end of the day and it has been a really long day...

Friday 8/31/07 - Well, I'm still in Barrow. Made a drastic change in the BASC network configuration and it took much longer than I expected. Each day has been long usually something like 16 hours! The weather continues to be cool and foggy but I still managed to go jogging each morning. We did a test video conference this afternoon between Barrow and Scott Base in Antarctica to see how bad the latency was going to be. It was very noticeable with a double satellite hop but the 10 minute test went well. They are just beginning their spring season and they had a great view out of their window with a view of the ocean and Scott Cross.

Since I am still in Barrow, I won't get the Squiggly moved to its new location probably until Sunday or maybe even as late as Tuesday.

Saturday 9/1/07 - Patiently waiting for my flight back home. I went for a short jog this morning after breakfast as well as a walk after lunch. All appears to be stable with the exception of a few glitches with wireless but we didn't get done testing until almost 2 this morning. Still cool and foggy (mid 30s) and today there was a pretty good breeze blowing off of the Beaufort Sea through the NARL campus. There isn't anything to stop the wind except for a few buildings.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

CHSR Campout

This weekend, I was a parent at a scouting camping trip, and since I had minimal responsibilities, I managed to fit in a couple of walks along Chena Hot Springs Road. It was very nice out with a few sprinkles in the afternoon. We feasted on homemade pizzas, gingerbread and pumpkin pie all prepared by the boys in cast iron dutch ovens. They did a great job. It was relaxing to watch the river but it did get rather chilly (and dark!) at night. It made me want to escape to the hot springs but, alas, there wasn't enough time. Now I just feel exhausted and just want to lay around. Got to get myself moving...

Next weekend, I'll move the Squiggly cache for the last time and I was trying to come up with a good location that is convenient but still a little hidden so it wouldn't get messed with. I've noticed that a lot of people seem to walk the main road loop around campus, maybe I can find a good location near that route that wouldn't be to obvious.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I just checked on the Squiggly cache for August and there were no new visitors since in the last week and a half. At least it's still there. I wasn't sure since the Beaver Slide winter trail was recently mowed to get it ready for winter x-country skiing. I guess the geocaching idea didn't pan out, at least in Fairbanks. For myself, I now have a new hobby while walking or biking around or even while traveling. I've looked for and found about 12 geocaches in the Fairbanks area. I did check the site and there were no geocaches listed for Barrow. Maybe I need to set some...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cooler weather & shoes

It was a nice, cool evening today so instead of dinner, I went for a longish walk. About seven miles with about two miles of jogging along some unpaved roads. The nice thing is that I'm not sore from the jogging like I was last week. I lost a couple more lbs over the last week which has gotten me a little more motivated. I had gotten stuck at the same weight for a couple of months.

What is the lifetime of shoes? I think I have quite a few miles on mine and the foam midsole isn't as supportive as it was when they were new. I think I have well over a thousand miles on mine (I don't remember exactly when I got them) but the uppers are worn but not worn out (my criterium in the past). Is there a good rule of thumb?

Friday, August 17, 2007

MSF course

This doesn't have anything to do with walking or exercise but last week, I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginning rider course and I really had a blast. There was one evening of videos followed by a written test, then riding instruction on Saturday and Sunday mornings (5:30 am!). I really appreciate the patience of the instructors as it was more challenging than I expected. Several things were counter intuitive and I learned a lot. I was a bit sore after the first morning since I must've needed to use muscles that don't normally get much use. I did an Internet search and found that riding is worth about 3800 steps per hour which didn't surprise me at all. Overall, I would recommend the course to anyone even considering riding and it was one of the highlights of my summer. I now have an "M1" on my license and one of these years, I would like to get a bike. This is one of those things I've always wanted to do but it never made sense. Now with gas at $3.00 per gallon and rising, it's a little bit easier to justify...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Number of steps

Today was a record low number of steps for me. I managed the 2k steps I needed to finish the Orient Express by lunchtime but since I was in a class for most of the day and I started the day out exhausted, there weren't many steps beyond that. No motivation...

Tuesday 8/14/07 - Next Thursday is the last noontime WIN walk for the summer (I originally thought today was the last day). Four people showed up for the WIN walk.

Wednesday 8/15/07 - Feeling much better now. I walked/jogged 11 miles on the treadmill this evening averaging over 4 mph and it really felt pretty good. It improved my thoughts about walking and exercise in general. I'm thinking that since I haven't been too active lately due to travel, activities and weather, it was somewhat depressing. I guess maybe I really am getting addicted to exercise or at least accepting its role in my life. Last week while I was in Barrow, I tried jogging in the morning and it felt great. It is completely flat so you almost have to increase your speed to get any cardio benefit. The non-paved roads meant no sore joints and it was nice and cool (felt like Fall). A year ago I couldn't jog 100 yards let alone several miles. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to keep this pace up for the next 6 weeks so I don't plan on trying to finish again but I do feel some motivation again.

Thursday 8/16/07 - Small turnout at the noon WIN walk. We went down to the botanical gardens after a short walk on the ski trails. This evening, I went on one of my 'normal' loops and tried to jog on most of the uphill sections. Didn't do as much as yesterday but still enjoyed the outing. It wasn't too hot and minimal bugs. Averaged about 4 mph again for the 5 mile loop.

Friday 8/17/07 - It was such a nice morning, I went to check on the Squiggly cache. It is still there and I pulled out the 5 names from the bottle. I was concerned that the bottle may disappear since it is visible if you are walking south on the winter trail. Hopefully, traffic should be minimal since,after all, it is a winter trail. It was a nice walk while the morning fog was lifting. I also walked to lower campus during lunch to get one of the 89 Cal smoothies from the bookstore. A real treat and still fairly low carb. Tomorrow, I intend to fix my new-old bicycle and get some riding in before it snows.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Almost finished

Just about done with the Orient Express again. I took a lot longer this time around than the previous trips, about 7 weeks or so. I think that maybe I'm getting burned out on walking even though I know that I'll need to be exercising the rest of my life. I think the key to keep going may be getting exercise integrated into everyday life as opposed to some extraordinary activity. Since the beginning of the Orient Express back in April, I've logged over 1800 miles and the majority of that has been actual walking as opposed to using the conversion charts. Just thinking about walking that distance is making me feel very tired. Or maybe it's from getting up before 5am the last couple of days. There is just enough time left in the program to try for one more trip but I don't think I'm up to the challenge. Either way, I feel exhausted...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Squiggly has a new home for August

At the south end of the Beaver Slide Winter Trail, you'll find a stash of red Squiggly chips. I was debating just posting the coordinates but broke down and added some pictures as well. Just copy and paste the coordinates (N64° 52.164' W147° 51.675') into Google Maps (then switch to satellite view) or paste directly into Google Earth and you will get a fairly good picture of its location and the winter trail shows up pretty well. It is at the base of a clump of trees between the field and the sign. The Beaver Slide trail is located on the West Ridge ski trail system about 1 mile NW of the warmup hut. It is a nice walk...

BTW, I modified this link few hundredths of a degree west and a few thousandths of a degree north as the registration was close but the location indicated was slightly off from where I believe it to be. I tried relocating the cache using the coordinates listed using another gps and it led me right to the spot so I have some confidence in the coordinates listed.

Thursday 8/02/07 - On the noontime WIN walk, I had someone else locate the cache using the gps and they found it pretty quickly. Where's the challenge? At least there are four names in it already! And on just day two...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Squiggly has left the building...

I just retrieved Squiggly from its July resting place and will try and find a new home for it tomorrow. Thanks to a WIN walk, there were eight visitors. I am considering just posting one picture and the coordinates next time since Google Earth does such a great job pinpointing the location. I don't think the multiple pictures and textual description add much to the hunt. What do you think?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

StartWalking v4

Susan mentioned it in her blog entry earlier in the week. The first program was simply counting steps. Version 2 had us climbing Denali. Version 3 is biking across Europe. What could v4 be? We could be exploring Tibet or biking to Cabo. How about sailing around the world or walking around each of the Hawaiian islands. Maybe we could climb Kilimonjaro or walk across China. I wouldn't mind doing any of these things (actually, I've done one).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Squiggly update

Today, I went down to lower campus for the WIN walk and no one showed up. I guess the walks are only meeting at west ridge for now. Anyway, I'm still managing to get in quite a bit of walking these days in spite of what I had said about walking being boring. I checked the July Squiggly cache on the way back from lower campus and so far, only one visitor! Only 5 more days to get in for the July drawing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Walking is boring

I was catching up on some of the other blog entries and there was one that struck a chord. Walking is boring. I would extend that to say that exercise, in general, is boring especially if you are doing the same thing every time. I've been able to travel some for my job and that has at least changed the scenery. This afternoon, I walked on one of my walking loops that I have done many, many times. The view once I get to Eton Blvd. was as good as ever but all in all, the trip wasn't very exciting.

For now, walking is therapeutic. It is the one type of exercise that I can do. I'm on some medication that makes me nauseas and walking really helps the feeling pass, and I really do need to loose more weight anyway. I know it is kind of odd, but for me, walking on a treadmill while watching TV is more enjoyable than walking outside. The treadmill enables me to control my workout to stay right at my target heart rate. I just don't get the same level of exercise walking outside unless I'm walking uphill and eventually, I run out of hill. Oh well, we do what we gotta do. I should be used to "boring" by now....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chicago, IL

Sunday 7/15 - Today, we went into downtown Chicago to look around. We took a train into Union Station then walked around ending up at Navy Pier and the "Miracle Mile" shopping district. We weren't impressed with the shopping opportunities nor the amusement park on the pier (especially after Six Flags) so we headed back to the hotel. We did get in plenty of steps though, over 20000 just on our walking tour of downtown.

Monday 7/16 - Used the treadmill in the hotel to do some intervals and noticed that I wasn't able to go as far on it as I had been able to during the winter. I guess, walking outside isn't the same level of exercise. I had thought it was about the same. Went on a tour of portions of the Fermi Lab facility during the lunch break. It is an interesting place. All in all, still managed to get in a bunch of steps in spite of sitting for most of the day.

Tuesday 7/17 - Meetings ran until 9:30 this evening so I didn't get to the fitness room to walk but managed to walk some during the lunch break along one of the many bike trails at the lab.

Wednesday 7/18 - Continuous lightning, thunder and rain for almost an hour this evening along with a flood warning. I have never seen lightning like this before. It just lights up the whole sky. Had a long walk on the treadmill today as well as walking down the road to dinner so lots of steps.

Thursday 7/19 - Waiting around in the hotel lobby for our ride to the airport. Today may be a real low step day unless I get to walk a lot at the airport.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Providence, RI

I'm here teaching an IPv6 unicast workshop for I2. No pictures yet since we (my son came with me) haven't had much opportunity to explore. This evening, a couple of us went to Newport for dinner and afterwards, we drove through the area with all of the mansions. Didn't come across any good photo oportunities as it was getting dark. And it was only 8:30! The workshop ends on Wednesday so we'll have more opportunity to look around. Whenever I teach, I seem to pile up a bundle of steps and this time isn't any different. My hotel doesn't have a gym and it is way too humid to run outside so not as many steps as there could be.

Thursday 7/12 - Today I got qa ton of steps in since we went to a Six Flags over New England. My pedometer died mid-afternoon at over 26000 steps after getting soaked on a ride.

Friday 7/13 - Today, we explored Old Sturbridge Village and the year is 1832. Lots of actors and demonstrations and lots of walking. Just in the village, we walked almost 10 miles (on the gps). I remember seeing this place on the New Yankee Workshop and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

Saturday 7/14 - Went to Mystic Seaport. Plenty to see, lots of walking, a bit too sunny and hot. I think between yesterday and today, my son has OD'd on educational material. Too many old buildings, museum like displays and people pretending that the year is something other than 2007.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Squiggly has a new home for July

This evening, my son and I moved the Squiggly cache to its new home for July. Go to one of the many entrances to the Skarland 6 mile trail. If you start from upper campus, turn E-NE on the trail (towards Farmers Loop) until you reach the 1 mile sign for the Equinox Marathon. Go a bit further and you will see a small path on the right. Go down the path about 24 paces in (my son paced it off) turn left and about 10' off of the path at the base of a tree rests a stash of blue Squiggly chips. The jpeg here is an image from Google Earth showing its July location. The MBS complex is in the bottom center of the image.

My son thought I should add - Warning, lots of mosquitoes!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another WIN walk

Met at noontime at the circle of flags on lower campus for the Thursday WIN for Alaska sponsored walk. Another very small turnout though I heard that there were some very well attended ones last week. We went down and up the stairs to College Road a couple of times since there aren't enough hills in Fairbanks. We stopped at Heather's Squiggly cache and there were a few more cards in the bottle since I stopped last month. During the walk, I looked for a good hiding spot for Squiggly in July. I think I found several good locations and will pick up Squiggly on Saturday evening and put it in its new home on Sunday afternoon. I'm still trying to decide whether to put it near the road or require a fair stroll to get there. Also, near the University or in some other part of town? Any preferences?

Monday, June 25, 2007

On the road again....

Started back towards Istanbul again and if the current trend continues, I may just barely finish before the September deadline. The first time took about 5 1/2 weeks, the second time took about 7 weeks and this time will take about 12 weeks at my current pace. I don't feel any motivation at all to walk. Initially, there was a lot of encouraging activity on the blogs but they sort of died off. I checked the Squiggly cache today and there has only been a couple of visitors. And I'm really looking forward to cooler weather with no bugs.....

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Yesterday, I finished the Orient Express. It took longer the second time around than the first. I guess I need the opportunity the treadmill gives me to walk instead of just going outside. Walking outside is getting less and less fun due to the bugs and the warm weather.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Point Barrow

Not much to report on. I'm slowly moving toward the finish of the Orient Express for the second time (much more slowly than the first time!) I'm in Barrow again and last night on the longest day of the year, several of us went out to the point on four wheelers to look at antennas. Yes, I know I could've walked but it was discouraged due to polar bear sightings earlier in the day. I didn't see any but did see a large marine mammal of some kind surfacing in one of the openings in the ice. We were guessing it was a walrus.

Thursday - There is discussion about heading out towards "Hollywood" after dinner to look for tower sites. I was told that this is where Disney filmed the pseudo-documentary Nanook of the North. It is about 15 miles west of here somewhere.

Thursday evening - Didn't make it out all the way due to a lot of water running between lakes and the ocean but still managed to get a real workout on with all the loose sand and gravel along the beach. It was cold and foggy so no pictures. On the way, we stopped and looked in on the "Naluqatak," which is a celebration sponsored by the whaling captain and crew that caught the whale. It is a time of thanksgiving when the successful crew shares a portion of the catch with the community.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I was looking on the StartWalking pages and there are some astounding reports. Someone has logged 13,756,428 steps on the Orient Express and another has lost 102 lbs since the StartWalking programs began! Pretty amazing accomplishments. Since the program started May 2006, I've logged 8,628,908 steps or about 3800 miles. That's about LA to NY and part of the way back again. Hmmm, a year long trip walking across the US would have been a much more enjoyable trip than walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, x-country skiing and wandering around Fairbanks...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Squiggly (finally) has a new home for June

Overlooking the busy intersection of the Big Whizzy Loop and the Midnight Express Loop, this Squiggly cache is sure to see tons of visitors. I don't have Mona's poetic talent, just a couple of cell phone pictures to guide you and this image from Google Earth. The satellite dish is in the lower left, the Potato Field is at the top. Or just enter in the coordinates and walk right up to it. I tried this and the gps beeped that I "had arrived" when I was two feet away. What will they think of next....

Map of the trails

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Finally picked up Squiggly

My Squiggly geocache only had seven visitors this time based on the number of chips taken. The number of names was less than that. Maybe it was too hard to find or Fairbanks walkers aren't into geocaching or possibly the StartWalking coordinator needs some really great prizes (like cruises to the Bahamas, trips to Fiji or iPods.) Actually, I think it needs to be located somewhere more convenient to campus to allow searching during the lunch hour. Maybe during a WIN walk.

Speaking of the noontime WIN walk, I went on one today and there was a pretty poor turnout. Counting myself and the WIN consultant, two people showed up for the walk. It was drizzling a bit at noon but it stopped by a quarter after and was more hot and muggy than anything else. We went 2.56 miles in the allotted time (55 minutes) going around the "T" field along the West Ridge trails. Spotted some good Squiggly hiding spots. Hopefully, I can get it placed before the weekend.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Low step day

Fewest steps logged today in months. Didn't get Squiggly moved today like I had planned.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

In Barrow

Well, the grand opening of the BARC (Barrow Arctic Science Center formally known as the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Facility), went off without a hitch. I ended up getting a ton of steps in the last couple of days just running around setting up but couldn't enter any steps into the system until today since I was having a lot of trouble getting connected to the Internet. Maybe, too many people trying to get connected. Over 22k steps for each of the last couple of days with no visits to the treadmill. I'd have to cross a small lake to get to the gym anyway. Breakup is (finally) starting and all the roads are a mess. Mud everywhere and still occasional flakes coming down every night. I'm still trying to figure out a good place to hide Squiggly for the month of June. I'll be nice and not hide it up here in Barrow. Finished the three days in Barrow with 72k steps.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wierd week

Yesterday and today were spent at a board retreat (non-university) and tomorrow through Saturday will be spent in Barrow. Friday is the grand opening of the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Facility (BGCCRF). I won't be able to retrieve and relocate Squiggly until Sunday. Getting steps in this week is going to be a challenge.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Long weekend

This afternoon, someone asked me what kind of big plans I had for the weekend. Unfortunately, I had none. I'm sorry to have to admit it but I apparently don't have a life. I read the other blogs and people have these activities that they are passionate about. Everything from cycling to tennis and music. Folks around the office are planning fishing trips, gardening, camping trips, you name it. Me... I hadn't even thought about it let alone planned anything.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lack of motivation

With the arrival or the bugs (mosquitos and wasps), walking outside is rapidly losing its appeal. And on top of that, it's getting too hot inside to use the treadmill so my average daily step count is coming down. I went on todays WIN walk which meets at the circle of flags on lower campus on Thursdays. I walked down and back so total was just about 10k steps (4.53 miles). The Omron pedometers they are handing out for participation seemed to be very accurate. At the end of the walk, we compared one to the gps and they differed by 0.01 mile. Not too bad...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another great day to be outside

Unfortunately, I'm not outside. I did walk down to College & University for lunch and went for a short walk this morning to help clear out the cobwebs. Finished the evening with a walk to check on the Squiggly (no additional visitors!) Too many bugs outside and too hot inside. Isn't summer wonderful....

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

WIN walk

I went on the noon walk sponsored by WIN for Alaska (or something like that) and it was a nice 2.12 mile walk on the West Ridge ski trails with some additional guidance in stretching. Water and pedometers provided to all. I'm not sure of the goals of the program but it was a nice diversion from the normal noon activities. Meeting again on Thursday at the circle of flags on lower campus.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Forced to walk

Several people have been asking me how I have been able to find the time to log so many steps. Since mid-November, I have been on a medication where nausea is one side effect and walking is one of the few ways I've found to get any kind of relief. So I end up walking a lot whether I feel like it or not. Right now, I am at work trying to get some stuff done and feel bad. So whether I want to or not, whether I have time or not, I'm going to go for a walk. I have also discovered that fairly small, healthy meals help a lot so this is getting me to my weight loss goals. 35 lbs so far!

Chris Lott mentioned in his blog that I must be pacing the halls just to get in steps. In reality, I do often walk up and down the halls or a quick loop around west ridge or down to lower campus but it isn't to get in steps, it's to feel well enough to get through the rest of the day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Yesterday evening, I went for a fairly long walk and this morning I went on a bike ride as well as a walk. Right now, I feel extremely drained. Maybe I've been pushing myself for so long with little down time. Or maybe just too much walking. Today's bike ride made it painfully obvious (literally) the different muscles walking and bicycling use.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Walking the dog

I tried walking the dog again and just went to the end of the road and back before he was exhausted. Since it was so nice outside i.e. cool enough but not cold, I decided to try running/walking outside. I essentially duplicated the intervals that I've been doing on the treadmill (sort of) and only ran on the flat or uphill portions. The cool temperatures were great and not that many bugs out. I ran 200 steps, walked 200 steps, ran 500 steps, walked 500 steps, repeat for 45 minutes. I figured counting steps was easier than looking at the time. No aches or pains this time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back to the beginning

Last Tuesday, I started the Orient Express over again since it is permissible to sponsor yourself. Plus, I figured that I needed to at least do a round trip to get back to the starting point again. 21k on the pedometer yesterday plus I did what has become my normal treadmill routine last night but increased the incline to get it aerobic again. Maybe it's time to try jogging again...

I would encourage you to look for the Dashiell Duo Squiggly-cache. It is a great walk in the woods. The GPS coordinates are N 64° 51.817' W147° 50.632'. Hmm, is it "coordiantes are" or "coordinate is"?

I did intervals on the treadmill after a late dinner. Almost in Germany!

Monday, May 14, 2007

More of the same

Yesterday, I took the dog for a walk and ended up not going very far. After about 1/2 a mile or so, he just wanted to turn around and go back home and had to stop several times to rest. At least the trip back was all down hill. I ended the day with 22k on the pedometer and followed up with intervals (50 minutes) and walking (30 minutes) on the treadmill to cool down.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Find Squiggly - May

This is a nice 1.5 mile walk (each way) with 383' of total elevation gain with great views of Fairbanks. Even though it is near a road, try the walk. I moved the pictures and the directions to the right.

5-03-07 1 visitor
5-13-07 2 additional visitors
5-16-07 1 additional visitor
5-23-07 0 additional visitors