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.