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Counting down... three weeks to the half-marathon

Monday, April 11, 2011

This morning in my e-mail was my packet number and instructions for picking it up the day before the race. It's getting more and more real.

Yesterday I answered the call of the trail again, the more urban or rather suburban variety this time. I went out in search of forsythia, and I found it. Apparently I'm not the only local who loves them.

Part of my route on Sunday also had a 3 mile marker, and I had to take it's picture... just because! I think I shall start collecting 3 mile markers! This particular one is along the Helen Boosalis trail. Our local trails are in fact a network of differently named trails, and each trail name has its own markers, which is part of why it is so confusing... but Saturday's were BOTH Bison trail markers. And the other significant bit is that the one from Sunday is along a part of the half Marathon route on May 1st. I've been walking bits and pieces of the route when they fit in with my other walking plans.

I was out and about for a trifle over three hours on Sunday. Not on the Half route, but on the full Marathon is Holmes Lake, and I was on the top of the dam for part of my walk. This shot shows the lake as seen from peeking over the lip of the dam, as I had hiked myself up the dam face, rather than walk up the long slope to its side... it was closer to home to do it as I did.

This morning is a work "biometric screening" and for once I'm looking forward to seeing my progress. Last year I was confident stepping onto the scale, knowing I would be in the healthy BMI range. This year, the same, and more hopeful for a better cholesterol screening, too. And maybe my white coat hypertension won't show up this morning! I hate it when that happens, because then they focus on that and it is NOT an ongoing problem... I know, I bought a meter for home and I know what my normal readings are. Sigh.

Anyway, fellow Sparklers... these little measures are what we take those small daily steps for... the measures that say we're doing what we can to support our health. We're taking care of the one body each of us is issued in life. And for all the wonderful things our bodies do for us... it's worth the effort.

Let's be good to ourselves today! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 4/11/2011 1:19PM

    Great photos - they represent how well you're doing!
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_LINDA 4/11/2011 10:53AM

    Beautiful flowering bush! We don't get that here. The only thing greening up so far is the weeds lol.
Here is where meditation and relaxation would come in handy for your appointment. Think calming thoughts while you close your eyes and ignore what is going on around you. Focus on just one thing, like your beautiful yellow bush. Take deep breaths. I hope it goes well for you!
You have interesting places to walk. Its great you can go on the trails where your marathon will be. That will be a pile of walking! I am so impressed you can do that!

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SUNNY332 4/11/2011 9:35AM

    I did not know you were doing another half-marathon. How exciting.!!! Woohoo and good for you.

Keep up the great work.

Love the Forsythia. It is beautiful.


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BUGGYS 4/11/2011 9:00AM

    Love forsythia!!! Have three beautiful bushes across the street from my house but they aren't in bloom yet. I am sure you will do awesome for your half marathon and am hoping to do one in about 6 months. Having foloowed you here on SP I am amazed at how far you've come, Barb, and your determination to maintain. You rock!

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WATERMELLEN 4/11/2011 8:08AM

    Love your forsythia! Sunshine in bloom!! Hope you're thinking "forsythia" when it's time for the blood pressure cuff!!

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MSLZZY 4/11/2011 8:02AM

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REJ7777 4/11/2011 7:25AM

    When we look for beauty, we can usually find it! I'm glad your search for forsythia was successful.

Wow! A half-marathon. What a challenge!

Have you thought of taking note of your blood pressure readings at home? I take my readings at home regularly. My doctor told me to test my b/p at the different times of the day. Then, when I have an appointment, I show her the numbers (date, time, b/p). It gives her a better idea of what my blood pressure really is. She told me that it really helps her when I bring those results in. (I also test my blood sugar, because I'm diabetic, but I'm not taking medication for it anymore.)

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Yesterday's camera stroll

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I had been missing Pioneers Park... hadn't been out there since last Fall. So yesterday I set out to walk a few trails there. I did not find blooming flowers. Here's what I found:

1. Trail markers are just as confusing as elsewhere in town. I found two marked exactly the same, in two different places:

2. The nature center is attracting folks, but there is enough space for individual privacy.

3. The prairie grass shows the wide expanse of the place, and if you look in the right places, you can find the water buffalo.

4. I'm not a good photographer... the blob in the middle is actually a Western meadowlark, our state bird. It has a distinctive song. Missing the sound track here really doesn't do the walk justice. I heard the cooing of doves, the meadowlarks, the breeze in the tall grass. You also can't feel the heat of the sunshine.

Edited to add a link to the Western Meadowlark's song... Watermellen added a link, but it's to the Eastern Meadowlark's song. They are similar, but not the same.

5. Of course, some prefer the more civilized activity of a round of golf. There is a course in the park.

6. And an important factoid: fifty years since Brownie Day Camp, the lay of the park looks much the same... the path leads to memories!

Wishing you all pretty places to enjoy moving your body.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 4/10/2011 10:30PM

    That looked like a wonderful walk!! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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ETAGGEL 4/10/2011 7:48PM

    Thanks for sharing. I dont think that there is anything so peaceful as a walk among nature's beauty!

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GROEDER 4/10/2011 4:14PM

    Thanks for sharing the pictures of your wqalk. It makes me anxious to get out and do the same.

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WATERMELLEN 4/10/2011 3:55PM

    It's amazing the intensity of our affection for those landscapes we knew first as little people!!

Here's a link to your meadowlark song!!

I love this site: MAHA introduced me to it!!

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_LINDA 4/10/2011 3:27PM

    Awesome! Green grass! Blue skies! We have the blue, but not the green yet. We have meadowlarks here too, so I know the sound :) We are just getting birds back now, waxwings 1st geese 2nd, now robins, next maybe pelicans. Would love to get back on my woodsy trails, but they are very muddy and wet and take a long time to dry out as they are well shaded and at the bottom of the river bank's slopes.
This is JHADZHIA. I am slow getting back to it as I realize I have to reload everything, including my food list:( I don't have my clock photo, so I think I will try go back to my old page and see if I can save it then reload it to my new page.

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STEPHIEKNITS 4/10/2011 3:19PM

    Thank you for sharing your walk!

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SAMI199 4/10/2011 1:02PM

    Thanks for sharing your walk with me! What a beutiful park! WaterBuffalo-how cool.
I think your pics are great!

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MSLZZY 4/10/2011 12:37PM

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REJ7777 4/10/2011 12:37PM

    You're right that seeing photos is not the same thing as actually being there, hearing the birds sing and feeling the sun on our skin! That looks like a lovely, peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature. Aren't we blessed to have places like that! emoticon emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 4/10/2011 10:54AM

    What a nice place to amble about! We are blessed with lots of parks here in MN too, but I haven't been out to enjoy them since last fall. Your photos inspire me to get out and about!

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CONCHA77 4/10/2011 10:25AM

    Wow, very nice! You are lucky and blessed to live near such a lovely place. Makes me wish that I was there walking with you.

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/10/2011 10:16AM

    Looks beautiful. Nice to walk in natural settings, minus all the homes. Though I do enjoy seeing the landscaping some folks do!

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Maximum step day, so far

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Friday I followed through on my planned walking as transportation day. A grandma kind of day. I tsk'd myself for a wimp when I whined a bit to myself about the misty morning, and then set out at a brisk pace to walk 3 miles to a timing point to catch the bus the rest of the way to work. I was quite damp by the time I got to the shelter at that stop, but it felt good. I stretched before boarding, having a few minutes before the bus caught up.

After work, I meandered the six plus miles home, faster than Monday, as I chose to listen to music instead of reading. As I am fond of doing, I varied the route and in one spot ended up with a little back tracking as I forgot how the streets dead-ended just there. But it gave me a change to pay attention to how much the flowers have progressed in those few short days since Monday's walk! My goodness! Spring really is springing, it's not just the nose dripping... it's the flowers and trees and everything that causes the pollen that leads to the nose dripping. Is it any wonder I have this love-hate relationship with the season? It is beautiful, and I dearly love the lit-from-within look of forsythia on a cloudy day.

This morning, I am thinking about taking a camera walk in one of the public parks. Since I put in long mileage yesterday, it will be a more gentle walk today, but I want to see what the plants are doing. Armed with my trusty Zyrtek and my pockets full of tissues... today I shall see what is being offered up!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/10/2011 7:00AM

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WATERMELLEN 4/9/2011 11:02PM

    "I dearly love the lit-from-within look of forsythia on a cloudy day": me too. And this lovely description!!

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SUNNY332 4/9/2011 1:51PM

    Good Job, Barb.

Anxious to see the Park walk photos.


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LJCANNON 4/9/2011 1:18PM

    Sounds like a GREAT Walk!! I am looking forward to the pictures from your Park Walk.
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FITFABJENN 4/9/2011 10:06AM

    Sounds terrific! Please do share pics from your camera walk...

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GOOSIEMOON 4/9/2011 9:44AM

    That sounds great!

Have a happy, healthy day!

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REJ7777 4/9/2011 9:21AM

    Sounds great! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CONCHA77 4/9/2011 9:19AM

    Take some pictures to share with us. I do believe Spring is springing here in MI this weekend. FINALLY!!! Close to 80 tomorrow, but rain!!!! Time for me to start planning my walks too, can't wait! Happy Saturday! emoticon

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SAMI199 4/9/2011 9:13AM

    Have fun! I love taking nature pictures-so much beauty right before our eyes...I hope your nose behaves.

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HOT4FITNESS 4/9/2011 9:13AM

    Sounds like a wonderful time. Only 3 more weeks ans we will be finishing that half. Enjoy your day!

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 4/9/2011 9:11AM

    I envy you. I miss walking soooo much. You walk sounds magnificient. Enjoy your camera walk.

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Skipping blog days

Friday, April 08, 2011

I see I haven't blogged since Tuesday. There's a reason for that and it is in this case seasonal. I've been slogging through the work week like walking at the bottom of a swimming pool. I take antihistamines to battle the symptoms of seasonal allergies / sensitivity to weather fronts coming through, etc. But who wants to read that? So... not being able to say somethin' nice, I took Thumper's father's advice and said nothin' at all. But, here I've gone and said it, after the fact, when I'm not feeling quite so full of self-pity!

My adjustments to allow for this kind of week were to make sure I was getting enough sleep and cut myself a break on exercise... be particularly gentle about it. Not that I gave it up entirely, but I didn't press it, either.

This morning I'll make this short, as it is my intention to go play the bus catching game so I'll have the option to walk home. It's supposed to be a nice day. It rained yesterday so that should help the "seasonal" situation for me!

Spark on, my friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 4/10/2011 7:32AM

    Don't let the pollen get you down! Feel better!

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MNTWINSGAL 4/8/2011 9:59PM

    I hope you're feeling better today, Barb. Allergies are miserable....I don't suffer in the spring, but in the fall I am in total misery from the time the leaves start dropping until the first snow, so you have my sympathies!

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PENNYAN45 4/8/2011 8:00PM

    Sorry you are dealing with allergies - and glad the weekend has arrived!
I think your approach to take it easy on yourself with exercise is a wise one while you are feeling this way.

Enjoy the weekend!


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SUNNY332 4/8/2011 2:48PM

    I am right there with you, my friend. My allergies are giving me fits. We did have a rain the other night which temporarily cleared the air but now it is back and I am petty miserable and if I take the medication, I am pretty much out of it.

This too shall pass.

Hugs, Sunny

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THIAGRAM 4/8/2011 2:27PM

  Bless you! sure hope you get feeling better soon! Hugs!
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BOBF15 4/8/2011 2:06PM

    Interruptions are part of life, wish life was just one smooth expressway, but it is more full of bumps, detours, delays, jams, and under construction.

Happy motoring... on foot or on bus.


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ARTSY_CANDICE 4/8/2011 11:48AM

    i feel you! Just do you best and feel better soon!

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CONCHA77 4/8/2011 9:31AM

    Happy Friday! Enjoy your walk home.

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SAMI199 4/8/2011 8:53AM

    I hear you...good advice about switching things up with your Doc's ok.-I found most allergy meds didn't help enough to put up with the side-effects...then I tried a different one & wala-it really helps! Good Luck & feel better soon.


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777GRACE 4/8/2011 8:26AM

    Try another allergy medication if one is not working. Always call you dr first and check with your pharmacist for drug to drug interactions.
Hoping you don't let those nasty allergies get you down.
You can somplain on here, we will listen, no matter what Thumper's dad says!!! lol

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WATERMELLEN 4/8/2011 8:03AM

    Glad the air has been rain-washed just for you!

Love your blogs, never a sliver of self-pity -- but it's OK not to be upbeat all the time. AND it's OK not to blog when you don't want to because your blogs are worth waiting for!!

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REJ7777 4/8/2011 7:36AM

    Have a great day! emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/8/2011 7:22AM

    Take care-hugs!

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Sending Toddler Barbie out to play

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

That's how I think of yesterday's walk home. Sending Toddler Barbie outside into the Spring sunshine. Remember when your mom tossed you out of the house if you were a little mopey? "Go outside and play!"

I walked slow and read David Baldacci's "The Collectors". Reading while walking is an acquired skill, one I have practiced off & on since second grade when I got my first library card.

It involves peripheral vision, multi-tasking, and it does slow one's pace, in my case considerably, because my normal walk is what they sometimes call "fierce"... purposeful, my son calls it "late to class". But when I read while walking, I have to tread softly, so if I mis-step I don't tumble to the ground. My knees still bear a scar or two from learning this lesson in childhood.

In any case, it was a pleasant experience. I picked my route to use at least part of the upcoming half marathon route... and as I wandered along a broad avenue of mansions, my reading was also of rich folk and how they lived, and it gave wings to the imagination that drew pictures of the story unfolding.

I truly do love reading, and I love walking... granted, walking at this pace is not nearly the intense cardio workout of "I only have X minutes". No, it is more of a journey through town and through memories. And being outdoors amid homes is peaceful. Seeing the birds, the squirrels, the crocus and violets in bloom, the daffodil leaves poking up calms whatever troubles one is carrying. In one yard I observed some early plantings of tulips and hyacinth that were definitely NOT naturally blooming. They had to have been forced indoors and transplanted outside just this weekend... they weren't there the last time I walked this way.

Now... to walk to catch a bus back to work this morning... as I left my vehicle at work overnight to have this lovely walk to report! Have a great Tuesday, all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRITA01 4/8/2011 8:40AM

    Reading and walking...I'm lucky if I can walk and chew gum. I admire your coordination! If I didn't fall and injure myself, I would most likely get distracted and keep reading the same paragraph like Rej. I'm glad you got to enjoy two of your favorite things at the same that's what I call multi-tasking.

Comment edited on: 4/8/2011 8:41:22 AM

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TURTLETALK 4/5/2011 10:09PM

    Sounds lovely as I love to read but there is no way I am coordinated enough for that. I have started downloading audiobooks that I can listen to while I walk. I have been known to walk an extra mile or three so that I can finish a section.

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SUNNY1432 4/5/2011 9:14PM

    Sounds like a lovely way to do cardio!! emoticon
Hope tomorrow is another wonderful walking day for you! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 4/5/2011 8:04PM

    Enjoying the springtime with a walk is a great idea.

I can only walk and read when I'm on a treadmill.
Even then it's difficult because I keep losing my place.

How about listening to audio books?


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KANSASROSE67 4/5/2011 12:39PM

    I love to read and love to walk but I don't think I could successfully combine the two! I know what you mean about getting outside when you're mopey, though. It always helps me.

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ANDI571 4/5/2011 12:27PM

    I love to read also, but never thought about doing it while walking. I am afraid I would be one of those that either tumble or run into something. Maybe I could do it on the elliptical. Now that's an idea.

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ARTSY_CANDICE 4/5/2011 10:21AM

    Sounds like a lovely walk!

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SUNNY332 4/5/2011 9:51AM

    Reading while walking takes coordination that I don't have so once again, my friend, I am in total AWE of you.

Enjoy Today and the sunshine coming our way.


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KALIGIRL 4/5/2011 8:31AM

    Fabulous journey.
emoticonfor sharing.

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WATERMELLEN 4/5/2011 7:57AM

    Reading while walking --- how is it that I (loving both) have never tried the combo???

Thanks for the idea!! and the images that you enjoyed "peripherally" while strolling. Hmmm, a transplanted spring flower bulb garden, somehow don't think that would do it for me. It's all about frosty fall planting and watching for the first little shoots and . . . I've got a few crocuses in bloom!

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REJ7777 4/5/2011 7:50AM

    Sounds GREAT! emoticon

I never did master the art of reading and walking (I love both activities too). I tried, but I can't concentrate and keep reading the same paragraph over and over again. emoticon

I sure am glad that toddler Barbie enjoyed her walk! A slow walk is better than sitting on one's butt anyday! Good for you! emoticon

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BUGGYS 4/5/2011 7:45AM

    Reading AND walking?!?! You really have developed a DH reads while on the elliptical ( when he doesn't use the arms ) but I'm lucky if I can get my walks in without tripping on something!! :) I love thatyou get your exercise in where ever you are and whatever you're doing...way to go, Barb! emoticon

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SAMI199 4/5/2011 7:36AM

    I almost felt as if I was walking next to you....Thanks for your always encouraging blogs-they make my day! ( I finally subscribed so I won't miss any-lol)

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MSLZZY 4/5/2011 7:26AM

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