2013 in shoe leather.

Here’s what MapMyWalk aggregated about my walking this year that just passed:

276 workouts
6 routes
1,027.2 miles
954.9 hours

And here’s the long view of my walking since April 2012:


Medians -- long view



So yeah, it’s not always linear progress. There are ups and downs, there is backsliding and recovery. But it’s always better than the point you started from. This year my walking will likely taper off as I bike more. But it’s still going to be a part of my fitness life.


Announcement: Disabled List.

I have come to an uneasy realization. My entire fitness regime is going to have to be reconsidered, because of my continuing problems with my plantar fascitis in my left foot.

Yesterday and now today I have been having intense pain there, centering on and radiating from the left side of my heel. According to my Fitbit, I walked a total of almost 9 miles yesterday through all the things I did.

The idea of walking twice that at a constant pace is looking like something I can’t do under the current circumstances. Yes, I have put all the stuff I have needed to do in action: massage, myofascial self-release, stretching, taping etc.

So unfortunately, unless there is a breakthrough, I will not be able to do the Friends of Richie Walk or any other long-distance walk anytime soon. This means missing walking the LA Marathon too. It is sufficiently close to these events to make this determination. Not thrilled with this, but this is my reality.

Map My Walk sent me a report card…

WORKOUT SUMMARY for 01/01/2013 – 06/30/2013
83 workouts
4 routes
288.4 total dist. (miles)
235.1 hours
77,142 kCal burned

Pretty cool, no? I basically feed information from Fitbit.Com to Map My Walk, and this is the kind of report I get back. Nice site, good service.

Big damn Ciclavia, sir!

7th and Hope

15.8 miles. 5 hours. A route from La Placita Square in Downtown LA all the way to the ocean at Venice Beach. What could possibly go wrong?

I wanted to go the whole distance, but it became clear that there was just too much to take in to where I had to slow down to a bit below my training pace, and occasionally pause to take pictures. And then, there was the small matter of temperature and lack of shade. And the Big Yellow Light in that Big Blue Room.

More below the fold…
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Catching up here…

On Sunday, I did my longest walk yet. 11.85 miles. This is according to my GPS watch. If I was to go by the results on my Fitbit, this was a day when I walked the equivalent of a half-Marathon. This is a rough picture of my route…however, it’s longer than what is depicted. Let me show you a picture, then explain.


OK, a bit before Mile 11, when I got near the 405 freeway, I ran into a pedestrian detour. I thought I could outsmart it and pressed on, until it became abundantly clear that there was no way of getting around it. So I had to turn around and pass under Wilshire, using the Veteran’s Administration underpass. It doesn’t seem like much at first blush but when you’ve been walking as far as I had been at that point, it was no mean feat to hang with the detour and follow it around. I was basically in “zombie walk” mode, but I managed to make it all the way to the end of the route, Warrior Concerto by The Glitch Mob pounding in my headphones at the last few minutes as I went. I got my Personal Record and freaking SPIKED IT at the very end.

I started feeling a little gastric distress on the bus on my way back, but thought that maybe it was just a reaction to having walked a longer distance than I ever had — to that point — in my entire life. However, I noticed on Monday that food was “hitting bottom” in my stomach in a very distressing way. Then finally, last night, my entire GI tract let loose with the worst gastroenteritis I had experienced since a friend had to rescue my raggedy ass from Southern California Linux Expo a little over a year ago.

I wound up getting up several times last night/this morning…and now I’m tired and hungry but at least not running the slightly elevated temperature I was running earlier today. I’m eating…carefully…and drinking lots and lots of water, some even with electrolyte replacement powder in it. I want to be ready for Ciclavia on Sunday…if I walk the entire course, I will have achieved another Personal Record. And I will be doing it in honor of the fallen and the injured at the Boston Marathon. Gotta wear blue and yellow this time.

One last thing before I wrap this entry up…a little inspiration. Another Less Fat Chick, getting real.

A year’s worth of progress — no foolin’.

From time to time, particularly when I hit a scale weight plateau but other times when maybe I’m sick or maybe I’m down on myself, I forget where I was a year ago at this time.

Now that I am getting close to the first anniversary of this very gradual and very cautious fitness journey, I can look back on a whole year and see incredible progress.

A Year Of Work: Medians

In April, 2012, my median walk was less than a mile. In March, 2013, my median walk is now almost 2.6 miles.

A Year Of Work: Monthly mileage

In April, 2012, my total mileage for the month was less than 30 miles. In March, 2013, my total mileage for the month was a hair shy of 90 miles. In April, 2012, I was over 200 pounds. In March 2013, I am sneaking up on 189 pounds, and losing. I have a belt I bought in May of last year that I had to use on the first notch. Now I need to use the 5th and last notch to buckle the belt, and pretty soon I am gong to have to make more holes. I have one pair of “skinny pants” that I can’t fit into yet: those were given to me by a neighbor who had gained and could not wear anymore. She thought they might fit me. Soon, I hope. The rest of my pants are fat pants I have to belt up to prevent a “wardrobe malfunction.”

Most importantly, I feel the strongest and healthiest I have ever felt in my life. This includes my childhood and young adulthood. It’s awesome.

Walk Of the Day for Sunday, 3/10/2013

WOD 3/10

Here’s my plan for today. Start by lunch at Tops in Canoga Park, a really good and healthy place. Then walk from there to Balboa Blvd, walk into Beilenson Park, do once around Lake Balboa, and end the walk at the Balboa Orange Line Station. Sounds good. Probably a little more than 8.5 miles, which is cool considering that 9.1 is my Personal Record.


A step after a step after a step is power.

The Power of Walking
This is an incredibly good essay, and points out how, when we make a decision to lead a healthier life, that this decision affects the world around us as well as ourselves.

I’m not going to say that just walking will do it: a certain amount of activism is required. If your neighborhood is not walkable, demand what wonks call “complete streets” that have amenities for pedestrians. In some of these places where pedestrians don’t have the right of way, and there are a lot of them, actually, the law must be changed.

The more walk-friendly a neighborhood is, the better they are for quality of life. Everyone who follows this blog…I want you to feel your strength. I want you to be a part of a movement for improved fitness of neighborhoods, not just improved physical fitness. We can do this one step at a time.

And the other charity walk I’m doing this year…

Friends Of Richie Walk to Defeat Multiple Myeloma.

It’s hard to think of doing something like this when I am right now dealing with my usual winter cold, but I am committed.

If people want to walk along with me, they can go right ahead. If people want to donate to the International Myeloma Foundation, also go right ahead. If it’s just me walking, I’m cool with that too.