My walking buddy Krista asked how to stretch to relieve pain in her piriformis muscle -- a stabbing pain in her buttocks. This is a common problem.
Unfortunately, it's one of those stretches you need to do before or after the walk, because the best piriformis stretches can't be done while walking on a country road -- they need a chair or a clean surface to lie down on.
For stretches you can do on your walk after a warm-up: Warm-up Stretching Routine for Walkers
Photo © Wendy Bumgardner
If each American walked for a half hour a day (the recommended minimum for good health) instead of driving, we would save the planet 64 million tons of carbon dioxide, 6.5 million gallons of gas, and incidentally the walkers could lose 13 pounds a year. That's the conclusion of calculations by Paul Higgins in a 2005 paper.
Not too shabby. I'm all for the global warming diet! There are tremendous benefits from becoming more active, especially if in doing so you can leave the car behind once in awhile.
10 Ways to Use Walking to Help the Planet
How to Walk Off Weight
Cotton vs. Technical Polyester Fabric for Walking Clothing
I've always promoted wearing tech shirts, socks, and pants made of polyester high tech fabrics that wick away sweat. Wouldn't cotton be a more environmentally-friendly choice, even if it holds the sweat and makes you uncomfortable?
More: Don't Wear Cotton Socks
"A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Cotton vs. Polyester Textiles," a Senior Capstone Project study by Olivia McGuigan at James Madison University assessed the environmental and occupational health impacts associated with producing cotton versus polyester textiles. Overall, both cotton and polyester have significant health, water, energy, and climate impacts throughout their life cycles.
That's good news/bad news. The good news is that the polyester performance fabrics aren't hurting the environment worse than cotton. The bad news is that growing, harvesting, and producing fabric from cotton has its own detrimental effects on the environment. Both processes can be improved to reduce their effects.
After all, we can't just walk barefoot and naked, can we? Not without its own set of consequences! Let's look instead about using greener walking gear and clothing.
18th Annual Senior Capstone Project Presentation Symposium, April, 2014.
Higgins, P.A.T. "Exercise based transportation reduces obesity, oil dependence, and carbon emissions." Environmental Conservation. 32(3):197-202. 2005.
Photo © Syda_Productions(Lev Dolgachov)
Today is Boston Marathon Day, and I had a Facebook event invite for Wear a Race Shirt Day for Boston. Last year we did this in the immediate aftermath of the bombing to show solidarity - runners, walkers, volunteers, families. This year I don't see much out there officially, but I like any excuse to wear my race shirt to work. I have a new one from my half marathon on Saturday and I was planning to wear it anyway.
What etiquette do you follow for wearing your race shirts? One runners' group had a whole set of rules about when it was cool or gauche to wear their race shirts.
- Don't wear the race shirt for the current race during the actual race -- it's considered bad luck. Plus, you are violating the "nothing new on race day" rule and may discover it isn't the best racing gear.
- Do wear a race shirt from a past year of the race, both while traveling to the race and during the race. You will draw conversation and support from others on the way to the race. During the race everyone will know you have what it takes to finish.
- Do wear your race shirt to work the next workday after the race. I didn't one year as I was going to a training conference, and when I entered the room one of the other attendees (who outranked me at work) was wearing HER finisher shirt for the same marathon. It just isn't the same to say, "me, too."
- Don't wear shirts for events you didn't personally race, unless you are the long-suffering spouse, partner or progeny of the finisher. It's awesome to have little Jill say, "My grandma earned this marathon shirt!"
- Do wear a race shirt you earned as volunteer. All volunteers are heroes, too. Some suffer more standing out in the rain or heat than the actual racers!
- Do wear your race shirt when traveling, to take awesome selfies in front of exotic destinations and send to the race organizers to post on their web sites and social media.
But what about ugly race shirts? And what do you do when it's time to recycle them?
Rogue's Gallery of Ugly Race Shirts
What Do You Do With Old Race T-Shirts?
Photo © Wendy Bumgardner
Something was nagging me as I drove to the local Hop Hop Half Marathon. I felt pretty good about preparing all of my gear the night before and being ready for race day. I was excited to wear all of my bright, bold and sparkly race gear for this fun Easter-themed half marathon. Last year it was a very sunny (but cold) day on the bike path alongside the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. This year the weather was a little warmer but overcast, with rain coming by afternoon.
As it turned out, I remembered the sunglasses but forgot to put on sunscreen. In fact, I forgot to put on my usual moisturizer that has SPF 25. I resorted to a tube in my car that outdated a year ago. Lesson learned - put fresh sunscreen in my car!
More: How to Train for a Half Marathon Walk
Everyone wears fun clothes and gear for this race, so here I am from head to toe, linked to my reviews.:
- Bunny ears - I got these at the same race last year and they actually stay on my head and don't give me a headache. Maybe I'm more hare than tortoise?
- RunPhones earband headphones.
- My favorite discontinued cold-weather earwarming hat.
- Marmot ultra lightweight waterproof jacket.
- Not shown - cheap plastic rain poncho, which came into use when we had sideways rain after the first two hours on the course.
- Urban Running Girl running shrug (since my shirt was short-sleeved)
- Short-sleeved tech shirt from last year's Hop Hop Half Marathon
- hipS-sister to carry my camera, snack, etc. Mine has 13.1 on it in rhinestones.
- Sparkle Athletic pull-on sequined skirt
- B-Skinz leggings (review sample provided by manufacturer)
- Balega socks
- Brooks Glycerin neutral cushioned shoes
- Nike+ FuelBand SE
- Fitbit One (review sample provided by manufacturer)
- Milestone Pod (review sample provided by manufacturer)
Results - the leggings worked well even in the rainstorm, so I'm very pleased with that. I posted a good half marathon time, my first complete half marathon at race pace for 2014. I'm happy with all of my bling gear! And I burned off some of the Easter basket treats.
Easter Calorie Calculator: See how far you will need to walk to walk them off!
Photo © Wendy Bumgardner