Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Carol: Week 13--Walk like an Egyptian

(Article first published as Week 13--Walk like an Egyptian on Technorati. This is Week 13 chronicling my training for the 3-day for the Cure.)

Training went fairly well this past week considering I spent a few days visiting my sister in the beautiful town of Castle Rock, Colorado.

My sister, who is a nurse, was a tad bit worried about me continuing my training for the 3-day for the Cure, especially after last week's stupidity that left me and my walking buddies near heat exhaustion. But after assuring my sister that (1) it was much cooler here than in Texas (2) I would bring water and a cell phone (3) I had my emergency money and (4) I was familiar with some tips on how to avoid high altitude sickness, I marched on my merry way.

I am happy to report that so far my training here has been uneventful. I had planned to design one of my training walks into town with a little side trip to Dream Pastries until a friend pointed out that the benefits of any training walk would quickly be negated by all that sugary goodness. I swear some people are just killjoys.

One highlight of my trip was going to the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit was not only stunning, but I learned a few things, too, while listening to Harrison Ford's soothing voice on the $5 audio tape relaying interesting tidbits of information about the exhibit.

One such miscellaneous tidbit said how the Egyptians had a pretty good knowledge of the body and its organs--all except the brain. Yep, apparently they didn't think much of Mr. Grey Matter and tossed Mr. Brain aside instead of storing it in one of those nifty canopic coffinettes--miniature coffins that housed internal organs.

Instead, the Egyptians viewed the heart as the most important organ. It was the heart that was weighed against the Feather of Truth to determine if a person's entrance was granted into the afterlife or sent to the Devourer of the Dead.

I guess I have to agree with the Egyptians about the importance of the heart. When people ask me why I'm willing to participate in this 60-mile walk to fight breast cancer, I can spout off statistics and tell you that more than 1.3 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer globally each year, more than 465,000 die from the disease each year and that a woman dies from breast cancer every 68 seconds.

But for me, it still remains a matter of the heart.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carol: Week 12 Kicking It Into Stupid Gear

(Article first published as Week 12: Kicking It Into Stupid Gear on Technorati.)

Sometimes I ignore warning signs, whether it's a simple telltale sigh from my spouse or something more "official" like those nasty little National Weather Service heat advisory bulletins.

Sometimes I'm a poster child for memory loss, like when I forget that the previous week of my training for the 3-day for the Cure was short on training and long on air conditioned conference rooms.

And then, sometimes, just sometimes, I'm just not the brightest crayon in the box.

Yep, Week 12 of my training found me kicking it in high gear on the stupid level.

It started on Monday when I, along with my two training buddies, decided it would be a brilliant idea to do an 8-mile walk... at 1:30 p.m. during a heat advisory. Despite slathering on sunscreen, packing lots of water, wearing light colored clothing and taking a few breaks here and there, by mile five things weren't looking so good. 

I, of course, knew the problem: heat exhaustion. I even ticked off all the symptoms to my walking buddies because, after all, I had previously written about those dangers in my Week 5 post.

Still, we remained undeterred, but things started getting ugly at the six and half mile marker when we collapsed on a bench located, fittingly, near a cemetery.

We almost called our husbands to come and rescue us, but the thought of them taking photographs and posting our failure on YouTube was enough to spur us on.

That and the sound of an ice cream truck (as if we needed a reason to celebrate National Ice Cream Month.)

Good thing I carry around an emergency five dollar bill.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Carol: 3-day for the Cure Update


(Article first published as Week 10 & 11: Shoes Provide Little Hope for Slackers on Technorati.)
Blame it on the week-long high school journalism workshop filled with 600-plus kiddos that I had to attend.
Or blame it on a lack of sleep resulting from chaperoning said workshop.
Or, let's just blame it on the rain. (OK, so you probably have to be pre-Generation Y to get that rain allusion.)
Perhaps all those factors combined to make it not only difficult to walk, but also impossible to find the time to dutifully report about my inactivity for my 3-day for the Cure training. I only managed to squeeze in four miles or so while attending the workshop. The previous week I kept to my walking schedule racking up two to three miles every day, but I'm such a slacker I neglected to report about it.
I didn't even get a chance to read the second part of the USA Today fitness challenge story.   
I did, however, read with interest another article  about those toning shoes that supposedly will give the wearer a more shapely behind, toned legs and tighter abs--all without having to set foot in a gym.
Oh, if I only had a pair of those shoes, I wouldn't have to obsess so much about my lack of training this past week.
 If life were only that simple. If it were, I'd be the first to slap down a hundred bucks or so (plus shipping and handling), and everything would shape up.
But my hopes for an easy out were snuffed by the seventh paragraph. The article quoted a professor from Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine in Baltimore who very succinctly said those claims were "utter nonsense."
Moreover, according to the article, doctors warned toning shoes can cause other problems with balance and can strain Achilles tendons.
Perhaps  I'm better off with a pair of those ruby red slippers and my regular walking shoes.