Archive for April, 2012

Four Years Walking

April 28, 2012 2 comments

Today marks the fourth year of walking with the virtual walk site. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do it. It’s a really good motivational tool to keep you moving. I look forward to entering my mileage for the day and seeing where I am along the route.

I did 4.1 miles today after not doing anything since Wednesday. I woke up in the middle of the night Wednesday/Thursday and the tendon in my upper left leg was really sore and tender. I have no idea what I did to it. It didn’t hurt at all during my workout that day, so I’m thinking I pulled something when I rolled over in my sleep. So, I took Thursday and Friday off to be safe.

It felt a bit better today. It’s still a little achy every now and then when I move in a certain way, but I wanted to move my body. So I did my 5K With A Twist dvd and then did a mile on the elliptical. Didn’t hurt one bit. Plus, seeing as this is my anniversary at the walk site, I had to something for it, right?

Here are the last several pictures from the site. And again, go check it out!

Mile 443.8 (Elliptical for 1)                                       Mile 447.8 (WATP for 3.1, Elliptical for 1)

443.8 Elliptial for 1                  447.8 Leslie for 3.1 Elliptical for 1


(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

Keep moving!!


Mileage Monday

Not a whole lot going on. Not a whole lot to say. So here are the pictures.

Mile 430 (watp for 3.1 Elliptical for 1)                     Mile 434 (watp for 3.1 Elliptical for 1

430 Leslie for 3.1 Elliptical for 1                  434 Leslie for 3.1 Elliptical for 1

Mile 434.6 (Elliptical for 1/2 mile)                            Mile 435.6 (Elliptical for 1)

434.6 Elliptical for .5                   435.6 Elliptical for 1

Mile 438.6 (watp for 3.1)                                         Mile 441.8 (watp for 3.1)

438.6                   441.8 Leslie for 3.1

Mile 442.8 (Elliptical for 1)

442.8 Elliptical for 1


(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

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Review: Leslie Sansone’s 5K With A Twist DVD

April 14, 2012 9 comments

5K With A Twist

It’s been about a week now since I received Leslie Sansone’s 5K With A Twist DVD. I’ve done it several times, and I feel as though I give it a review. I have just two of Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home DVDs, and I enjoy them both. The first one I got was her 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk. I enjoy that DVD, however it got to be a little redundant and old quick. Not the exercise part, her commentary and conversations. The problem with that DVD is during miles 2, 3, and 4 she has a group of people doing the workout with her. She chats back and forth with them, which is fine, but it did get old. On that same DVD, she is by herself for miles 1 and 5. I prefer those miles since she devotes all her attention towards you, the viewer. It’s still a great DVD, and I recommend it to anyone.

Now for the 5K With A Twist DVD. I love this DVD, and I’ll be using it pretty much every day I workout. It’s about 45 minutes long including the cool down. You can break it up, and do just one mile at a time. You don’t have to do the whole thing all at once. She’s by herself the entire time with no breaks in between the miles. So you can see that she’s actually working up a sweat herself. Which I love in exercise videos. You actually see that the instructors sweat too. Normally in exercise videos they take breaks and let everyone cool down before they start filming again.

The exercise routine is the same as in the 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk, and she uses some of the same music. I think all of her DVDs are like this, so I don’t know how many more I’ll get. She uses the same moves. Side steps, front kicks, knee lifts, kick backs, and tap outs, and of course walking in place between each movement. There’s also a two minute “boost” at the end of each mile where she goes into a “power walk” or a “gentle jog”. Gives the heart rate a boost for a better calorie burn. She does suggest that you stay low impact if there’s a reason you can’t or shouldn’t jog in place.

One of the main things I like about any of her DVDs is the fact you “can’t do it wrong”. If she’s kicking with her left foot, and you’re kicking with your right, it doesn’t matter. If she springs a move on you (which she does often, like the tap outs during the second mile), just start when you’re ready. The main thing is to keep moving. Don’t stop moving the feet. If you have to go slower than the beat of the music, that’s OK.

It’s a very casual workout, but it does make you sweat. So, it’s casual but powerful. I’ve read from a few advanced exercisers that her DVDs aren’t hard enough. Then again, these exercisers are runners and not walkers. They run half marathons and that sort of thing. I can imagine for anyone at the level that the DVDs wouldn’t be a challenge for them. But, if you’re just beginning to exercise, or you have any type of injury or you just want to move your body, they’re great.

I intend to keep doing both of the DVDs, but I think for the next foreseeable future I’ll strictly be using the 5K With A Twist. And jump on my elliptical after that for another mile.

I give a thumbs up for Leslie Sansone and her Walk At Home program.

March Vacation: Walking

April 12, 2012 1 comment

The third and final part of this vacation recap is a little late, and here’s why. When thinking about writing an entry on my walking performance, all I could do was focus on the negative. My walking on this trip was far from good. It wasn’t where I’d hoped it would be. Blah, blah, blah. Now I could focus on the negative, I could whine and complain, but I’m not going to do that. I whined and complained a lot growing up about various things, and I’ve gotten out of that habit (thank goodness). Now, I turn things around and look on the positive side.

While my walking on this trip was less than desirable, I got to where I wanted to go. No falls, and maybe just a few stumbles. It isn’t how you get to your destination that matters, it’s the fact that you get there. I can blame the knee twinge from walking in the snow for my tentative steps. I could blame a blister for not walking as fast as I’d like. I could blame bad confidence or self consciousness for poor walking form (I was pulling a lot to the side), but the point is, I was walking. Despite my issues, I kept going. I kept moving.

Sure, my legs were tired from walking up and down hills, but what’s the important thing? I walked up and down hills. Steep hills at that. Yes, I tweaked my knee in the snow. But I did not fall. I didn’t fall once the entire trip. That’s a nice accomplishment for me, especially on icy ground. I read a few blogs this morning that clicked with me. One was from the main SparkPeople daily blog site. The blog can be found here. Basically, Stephanie practices yoga six mornings a week. Rain, shine, good moods, or bad, she does her practices. She may have a practice that’s tough, and she’s physically worn out one day, but she gets up the next day and she does it again. Why? Because she’s committed herself to that particular path. She may not have a perfect practice every time, but she keeps going.

The other blog I read was from a SparkPeople member. I’m not going to link to it, because I didn’t ask him for permission. John said, 1: You deserve to be successful. Don’t listen to negative talk, be it from other people, or negative talk from yourself. Don’t listen to it. 2: You are worth the effort you put into yourself. Any little effort you put into yourself is worth it. You’re committed to improving yourself and that does take effort. And 3: You are who you hang around with. Whether it be a website such as SparkPeople, or any other self improvement site, the people there will help you. But you have to actively be a part of the community to receive that help and support. You can’t expect to sit back and wait for people to come to you to cheer you on. You need to share your experiences and cheer other people on to get that support.

These two blogs really helped me to keep a positive attitude. It doesn’t happen often, but I sometimes think about stopping my workouts, slowing down, or this, that or the other thing. I always get back on the horse so to speak on my own, but it’s blogs like these than help me along the way.

I could stop exercising. But where would that lead me? Unable to walk. Depressed, moody, and back to being overweight. That’s not what I want. I want to keep going and fight the good fight. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always going to be sunshine and roses, but those “perfect” days do happen, and I want to be around when they do.

As I said before, I do my best not to complain. I gave up on the complaining long ago, and when I don’t like something, I figure out a way to change it. Complaining and whining are unproductive. Think of ways to change what you don’t like. Think of ways to do something that you think you “can’t”. It may be hard, but anything is possible.

Get up and keep moving!

March Vacation Food

The second part of this vacation recap is all about food. The food on this trip was fabulous. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were all to die for. And of course, the coffee breaks at Starbucks weren’t so bad either.

Breakfast is on deck first. We ate at one restaurant for breakfast in Monterey every morning, and I enjoyed each dish I had. The restaurant is called First Awakenings, located inside a little mall. Very casual place, and lots of different food to choose from.

The first morning I decided to be “healthy” and try the Cornacopia. From the menu: “EggBeaters or egg whites and fresh vegetables scrambled together. Served with fresh fruit or sliced tomatoes and an English muffin” I chose the options of egg whites and fresh fruit. Very good meal. I would definitely order that again as a healthy option.

But we don’t always want to ear healthy on vacation right? We deserve to splurge a little. I felt OK about splurging since we did a ton of walking on this trip. Well not a ton, but it was difficult walking. So the second morning, I had the Raisin Bread French Toast. I would highly recommend this French toast to anyone. Their French toast (raisin bread and Texas toast) are “cooked in a batter made with vanilla, imported cinnamon, brown sugar, cream and eggs. Topped with creamy butter and cinnamon sugar.” (menu) The husband liked the Thick Sliced Texas Toast so much, he had it on two of the three mornings we ate there.

The third and final morning we ate at First Awakenings I chose the simple Two Egg Breakfast. This was just two eggs any way you want them (scrambled for me), their home-fried potatoes, bacon, and an English muffin. It was a hearty and filling breakfast.

Lunches were excellent also. When we first got into town, before my parents arrived, the husband and I ate a cute little place called the Black Bear Diner (website seems to be down). Very casual place, and again they had a ton of options to choose from. I should have taken a picture of their menu, because it was the most creative menu I’ve seen. It was in the style of an old newspaper. We actually thought the waitress forgot to give us menus, because we weren’t expecting that. We thought the “newspaper” was some sort of flier or newsletter. Turned out to be the menu. We did get a picture of the place mat though, which was also very unique.


I had the tuna salad sandwich with fries. The tuna salad sandwich had avocado on it, which I’m not used to. I’m not a huge fan of avocado, but it was really good in the sandwich. Unfortunately, I was too full for desert. They had several very tasty-looking cream pies that I saw right when we walked in. Oh well, just one more reason to go back up to Monterey.

On the day we drove the 17 mile drive, we had lunch at Pebble Beach. We ate at the Tap Room. Very nice place to eat. Nice, but still casual. I didn’t feel strange about wearing my Five Fingers there. I had the Giant Cheese Quesadilla with Chicken. Three of us actually had the same thing. Yes, the quesadilla was giant. Very large, and had a lot of cheese. I didn’t finish mine. Came close, but not quite. The chicken had a nice spicy kick to it that I liked also.

Our third lunch was eaten at Louie Linguini’s. You had your choice of pasta, pizza or seafood. I had the fried shrimp and fries. I ate the fried shrimp so fast because they were the “poppable” kind. Just pop them in your mouth and you’re good to go. We ate outside and were entertained by a seagull and a few crows. They were waiting for people to leave their tables before going after the leftovers.

For the final lunch meal of the trip we ate at the Fish Hopper. We didn’t eat very much, because we had just gotten coffee from Starbucks. I got a bowl of their Clam Chowder, and I would most definitely get another bowl if I go back. We again ate outside, and it was a bit windy and cool. But we were sitting under a heat lamp and when the wind wasn’t blowing, it was very nice. And the clam chowder made you warm on the inside.

Finally, dinner. We ate dinner in Monterey three times. And all three were outstanding. Our first dinner was at the Fish Hopper. Yes, the same place we had our last lunch in town. I actually had to look at their online menu because I couldn’t remember what I had that first night. I had the Cajun Mahi Mahi. The fish was served with seasonal veggies, tomato salsa, and rice. I love fish, and any chance I can order it, I do. It was cooked amazingly well, and I ate every bit of it. I also had a drink that night. I had their Berry Blast which is “Skyy Raspberry Vodka Shaken with Half a Lemon and Blackberries Topped with Sprite.” (drink menu) They actually had blackberries at the bottom of the glass, which I thought was cool. Oh, and I just remembered. I think this was where I had the strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was very “cakey”, but very good. I haven’t had strawberry shortcake in a long time, and it was a good call.

The second place we ate dinner was at a lovely little place called the Whaling Station: Prime Steaks and Seafood. I decided to go against having fish because this was really a steak place in my opinion. The waiter brought over a tray with several different cuts of meat and explained them all. I decided to go with the 8 oz filet mignon. That’s always been my favorite cut of meat, and the waiter said it “melts in your mouth”. That’s how I like my steak. And it did melt in your mouth. I also had a rum and Coke to drink, but the waiter missed the rum part. He didn’t hear me say it, so I ended up with a Pepsi, until I realized there wasn’t any rum in it. Got that straightened out, and he more than made up for the misunderstanding. It was a strong one.

The final night, we ate a wonderful place called the Sardine Factory. I felt sort of under-dressed, but not too bad. I was wearing my tennis shoes when I probably should have worn a dressier pair. I didn’t bring any dressy shoes for this trip, so sneakers it was. Started out with another rum and Coke (my go to drink), and ordered the Pan Roasted Halibut and Prawns. That dish was on the “special” menu of the night, so I don’t have the full description. The halibut and prawns were accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes (can’t remember if they were their garlic mashed potatoes or not), beets and carrots. Very nice meal to say the least. Again, the fish and shrimp were cooked perfectly. I did have desert that night. I had the chocolate mousse, which was so smooth and creamy. I haven’t had mousse in years, and this hit the spot.

So that concludes the food portion of the trip. We also had stops here and there for coffee at Starbucks like I said. Mochas are a good treat. Surprisingly, or maybe not considering all the walking that took place, I did not gain weight. I stayed right where I was when we left. So, no guilty feelings about the indulgent food that I ate. Now I want more of that mousse.

The last part of this vacation recap will be about my walking ability, or performance, or whatever you want to call it. It was odd to say the least.

Categories: Uncategorized

March Vacation Activities

At the end of March, my husband and I went on vacation for about five days. My parents came out from Florida, and we spent about three days in Monterey, CA with them. We left for the trip a day early, and drove up to the Sequoia National Park.

We left the Coachella Valley of CA Saturday morning around 5:30 AM and got to our hotel in Three Rivers around 11:30 AM. Not too bad. We couldn’t check into the hotel until 4:00 PM, so we went ahead and drove over to the redwoods. I’ve never seen the redwoods in person, so I didn’t really grasp how large they were until I actually saw them up close and personal. I’d seen pictures, but you can’t really get the scale until you go see them.

There was a lot of snow on the ground, about 18 inches I’d guess. It was packed down along the trails, but I kept sliding on it, so I made my own path and smooshed more snow down. I love the snow, but I’ve always said, I would never like to live in a place that got a lot of snow. Walking my own path didn’t really work well. As I was walking through it, I stepped wrong a few times, slid, and wrenched my left knee pretty good. It still aches, and it’s been about three weeks since I did it. Every time I packed snow down when I stepped, my feet would turn in (particularly my left) and put pressure on my knees weird. Give me flat ground any day, and I’m happy. Just a little snow is good.

This picture kind of gives you a perspective of how big the General Sherman tree is. It’s huge, and I can’t even guess as to how wide it is.

Sequoia Natl Park 059

(Ignore the date on the picture. Didn’t realize the clock was set correctly.)

The bummer of the Sequoia trip was that a few of the areas we wanted to check out were not open yet. The crystal caves are closed until early May, and the large tree you can drive through wasn’t open until sometime in the summer. That just means we’ll have to go back one day.

Sunday morning, it was time to move on and continue our journey. We drove over to Monterey and it only took about three hours. We drove around the area a little, and picked a spot called the Black Bear Diner for lunch. More on that in the next post. We wandered around some more, until my parents showed up later that night, and then checked into the hotel. Took it easy that night, with a good dinner and drinks.

Monday, we decided was a good day to experience the 17 mile drive. It starts out in Pacific Grove and ends at Pebble Beach. Lovely views along the way, with a lot of places to turn out and take some pictures. Or video. Here’s a video of some seals “barking”. Forgive the wind noise. We had lunch in the Tap Room at Pebble Beach, and then wandered around the golf pro shop.

Next up, we walked around the city of Carmel. Great little town, but my goodness, the hills killed me. I am so glad that I’ve been exercising as much as I have been, because if I hadn’t, there would be no way I would have survived that city. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any pictures of the city. But, trust me, those hills were steep.

Tuesday, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Since I’ve gotten into shape, I try my best to avoid wheel chairs. I did try at the aquarium, but for a few reasons I decided to grab a chair. One, the place was packed with tons of people. Two, my left foot was developing a “spot” that was hurting. Wasn’t sure what it was. And three, my walking hadn’t been the best so far. Slow walking with stops and starts are annoying for me, so I gave in a got the chair. Sort of bummed about it, but all it all, it was a good choice.

The aquarium was OK. To be honest though, it was a bit of a let down compared to the aquarium in Atlanta. It was still a great aquarium though, don’t get me wrong. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area. No Beluga whales, but they had sea dragons and penguins. And puffins!

Wednesday was the last day we were in town, and we all went over to the wharf and wandered around. We were planning on taking a tour boat out to see seals and otters, but the boat only ran on weekends. The whale watching tour was later in the morning, and lasted a few hours. It also wasn’t certain that tour would run because it was supposed to rain that day. So we just wandered around and looked at the boats and all the shops and restaurants.

Sadly, it was then time to start the drive back to the valley. We had originally planned to stop off and take a look at Hearst Castle. However, that “spot” I mentioned on my foot turned out to be a blister. That blister sort of ripped as we were walking around the wharf. So we decided to skip the castle this time around (another excuse for a second trip), and drive on back.

That was an experience by itself. We intended to drive down Highway 1 along the coast. Which we did, however just about 50 or 60 miles into the drive, 5 miles or so where we would have turned off for Hearst Castle, the road was closed. We think it may have been due to a rock slide, but we’re not sure. We had to turn around, and drive all the back to Monterey. There were no exits or off-shoots in between. So we drove about 100 miles extra that we needed. We at least got some good pictures of some of the Pacific Coast Highway.


Ended up getting back to the house at 12:30 AM, and falling into bed. And that’s the first entry for this vacation recap. Next up…food.

Mileage Monday

Another mileage Monday coming your way. Still racking up those mile on the Virtual Walk site. I’ve passed through a couple of towns in VA since my last mileage post. I’ve gone through Max Meadows, VA which is in Wythe county, and I just made my way through Wytheville, VA which is also in Wythe county. Next stop is Rural Retreat, VA, and I’m currently still in Wythe county.

Today I did my normal strength training routine and also the 5K With A Twist DVD. I am really enjoying that DVD. I’ll write something about it on Friday, but I can already say I highly recommend it. Here’s the last few pictures from the site.

Mile 418.6 (watp for 3.1 miles)                           Mile 422.8 (watp for 3.1, elliptical for 1)

418.6 Leslie 5k with a twist for 3.1                422.8

Mile 425.8 (watp for 3.1)



(photo credit – Copyright 2006 Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

Keep moving!!