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Monday, January 31, 2011

Two For One Monday

A place to see some rising stars.
Due to the busy weekend and stuff I am doing the duel blog of Monday and Saturday. Saturday Cheryl and I walked up north to the Apple store and a little bit north of that to the historic Stephenwolf Theater. It is a place where many of a fine dramatic actor has honed their craft. This walk we did was more then seven miles. And later one we went to the movies so all together we walked thirteen miles. That was by far the longest walk I have done since I began. But with the cold the walk doesn't seem to bother me near as much as it does when it is hot.

At the Apple store we were going to get the pedometer sensor that didn't come with her iPod touch and when we did we were told by the Apple rep that you have to have the sensor in an Nike shoe for it to work right. And that it had to have significant impact on the sensor in order for it to count your steps. So between the additional requirement of a Nike brand shoe which costs around $160 a pair their was no way to use this feature provided at the Apple store. While we were walking back we passed a shoe store and went in and talked to a girl there and she showed us some “pockets” we could use to hold the sensor on Cheryl's existing shoes.

Looks like Dorothy needs a coat.
The walk was long and we did stop a few times but Cheryl was getting a bit walked out so I told her she could rest and I would make some lunch for us. Later on we went to the movies and walked there so that is what gave us such a long total for the day.

Sunday I didn't do any particular walking but we went out to Barrington to visit some friends of Cheryl’s and with the walk from the and to the train station and several other things we got more then four miles in.

Today I walked down State street with is the east west divider street in Chicago. In St. Louis we use the Mississippi to divide east from west. So anyway I walked south ion State to IIT and crossed Interstate 90 at 31st street. And could see the downtown skyline really good. The bridge covers the red line CTA and I-90 was merging into I-55.

Now that I know that area of town is “Chinatown” I understand why I see so many Asian looking people there. The circuit Today was about 8 miles. It wasn't so cold but the wind was bad. Well it was cold it was 22ºF. But I have walked in much colder. It is the wind that really gets me going.

Looking north from I-90 at downtown Chicago.
The best news is my weight is at 264.5 pounds which is 25 pounds lost since I began all this mess. I don't even miss it. This is also the end of my “second” month. Remember I started in the last few days of December. It is also going to be my last walk in Chicago for a while. It has been really fun getting to see and learn about the place. Maybe I will show it to Cheryl someday.

I already have a new path set up for when I get back to St. Louis and on Grant's Trail. I have reached 233 miles and 13.36 percent of my 1750 mile goal. That equals more then 10 pounds of walking at an average of 1100 kcal per day. This also means I am walking nearly 8 miles per day too. And the best part is the health part of my blood pressure coming more in line with medical recommendations.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First Month of Walking Done

Water Under the Bridge

Commuters make their way to work this morning walking over the River.

Today marks the first full calender month of walking that I have done continuously. This also marks some additional milestones. I walked more than 200 miles now. And my blood pressure continues to stay in the normal range and I am still averaging more than 1000kcal used per day. Plus my weight continues the downward trek.

A rare beautiful winter morning in downtown Chicago.
This morning I walked through downtown Chicago and went north on Wells Ave. I took this into the Lincoln Park neighborhood to where Wells ends at near Clark St. and the Zoo. Then I walked west a bit and then headed back south. I went past Clybourne then made my way over to Orleans. Then back over the Chicago River and back to the apartment. All this took about two and a half hours and was almost seven miles. The sky was nice and clear Today so I took a picture of the river as I was crossing. I really like seeing the blue sky for a change. It wouldn't be a bad deal to see it more often for sure. Right, Mr. Blue Sky?

Mr. Blue Sky returns over the Merchandise Mart.
Also on my way out I took a picture of all the commuters walking to work from the Metra station on Madison. It is so interesting seeing the people rushing to get to their buildings and all dressed in black for the cold weather. I stand out as I am wearing a light gray sweatsuit. But I think everyone else looks funny. When I made my way over to Wells I was walking and listening to my iPod looking at the sidewalk just following the person in front of me and we headed out into the street and she stopped right in front of me. I almost ran her over. That would have been my first pedestrian accident. I wonder if you have to call the cops for one of those? Anyway I had to grab her arms to move use her to help me stop. I bet she thought I was some creepy guy. Well then why did she follow me for five blocks.The neighborhood seems rather pleasant. I wouldn’t mind living there. I wonder what the rent goes around there or if they are all condos or homes.

I did see a lot of dogs and a lot of dog traces in the snow. I hope it was from a dog at least. Plus I saw a few pet shops. The deal with most of them in that neighborhood is they are too small. But they certainly need a pet photographer in the area.

Losing Pressure

I am very pleased with my results thus far and very pleased with how my blood pressure is getting under control. Actually Today was the lowest the my diastolic pressure has been to date. So now the focus is on keeping on the journey and reach the goal. It will be really nice when am in the 250s again. That should happen sometime next month.

Don't forget to donate blood if you can. We always need blood donations. Click on the link on the top left side of my blog to find a Red Cross donation center or go on line to find a place to help. Remember that blood can only come from you and it can help up to three people every time you donate. Plus you get cookies and juice when you go. Plus it may be you or a family member or friend that needs your blood in an medical emergency. Plus you don't even need all that blood.

Stay on track


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shorter Walk, More Wind

Ever feel that you're in a meat market?
Today it was not as cold as it has been before but the wind was really blowing hard. Because of this I took my shortest walk in a long time. But even that was just under five miles. After I walked with Cheryl to her office I stopped by a couple of meat markets that are in the area and got some pork chops and a couple of steaks. The prices seemed rather good but I didn't have a comparison. But they could have been twice the regular price for all I know.

Where the Great Chicago Fire Started in 1871.
I walked past the University of Illinois at Chicago to Roosevelt and back to the apartment. On the way I walked past the Chicago Fire Academy where the 1871 Chicago fire started. I guess they wanted to make sure that the location would be a safe place to never burn down the city again in the future. They have a small museum there plus they have memorials to fallen firefighter in the line of duty.

Today marks the fifth consecutive day of my blood pressure being under the recommended levels. In addition to this the average for January is almost within proper levels. This is really good news. This is going to be a short blog since I had to make up for yesterday's blog.

Keep on track,


Soldier on into Outer Space

Inside the famous columns at Solider Field.
This is a rare time that I didn't write my blog on the day I walked. The reason for that could be several issues but needless to say yesterday was the longest single walk of my time up in Chicago. I started out by going with Cheryl to her work and then I began my walk to go to Soldier Field. On the way there I stopped by the Chicago Public Library to get a pass to one of the sights and I ended up with the Art Institute but I actually wanted the Adler Planetarium but they were out of them. SO off I went down the road. I walked past Roosevelt and Columbus streets and saw the statue of Christopher Columbus or Christabal Colón as he was called in Spanish.

Near the library I saw a little protest/parade going on. There were children and parents of charter schools parading around about the benefits of charter schools and that they didn't want to see them closed down. Or whatever the cause “de jour” was. There were about 100 people in the total group and they had a police escort and were walking on the sidewalks. Again I saw several live trucks near city hall.

Exercising their constitutional rights in the cold!
When I got to Soldier Field I was surprised to see that it was open. But they have the memorial around the stadium. I found out that the field is for the military members that have earned the Medal of Honor. I saw the names of the people and it only went to the Vietnam War. I am know that more have won the award since then. I am not sure what the classification is for them to be placed upon the memorial.

Bigger than I thought.
After that I walked down to the Adler Planetarium and since it was Wednesday there was not a charge. To think I almost walked on by because I didn't have the free pass from the library. I was glad I did however I have been to much better science museums in much smaller cities. I did find the replica of the Mars rovers very informative because I thought they were much smaller. The truth is they are about as tall as a person is where the camera structures are at. On display there were the fragments of rock that had been discovered from Mars that are claimed to have ancient microscopic life in them. There was also a flight simulator for flying over Mars. With the three video screens and as dark as it was it could really seem like you were piloting a craft over the Martian surface.

I nice shot of the Windy City on a cloudy day.
Since I took so much extra time on my walk I stopped by Arby's and got a Market Fresh Turkey and Swiss sandwich. I figure this would be a decent meal after all the walk and it was after 2:00pm by that time. It was very good but when I got home to look up the data for the sandwich the sandwich was 780 calories and 1880mg of sodium. On the Arby's website they let you remove items to see what the remaining calories are. I removed the bread and the bread alone was 380 calories and had 680mg of sodium. That is almost as much as their Bacon and Cheddar Roast burger. I couldn't believe it. It was almost all the walking I did was wiped out in one meal. I knew the fries would be high but I figured the sandwich would balance it out. Actually the fries were the small or of the two items I ate calorie-wise. If I ever eat at Arby's again I am going to not eat the bun because that adds anywhere from 200 to 400 calories and a lot more sodium to your meal.

Some of the issue I am dealing with now is the slow rate at weight loss. It is moving along but it is taking forever in my estimation. But it is at least moving in the right direction. It is just so sad that I have let myself get so fat without trying to lose weight more vigorously. But this is only the fist month now and this marks nearly 200 miles of the 1750 miles I am planning to do to reach my goal. It would be nice to have the results I am shooting for by the time I get there. But that is still about 10 to 13 months away.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back North on Clark Street

Two cool cats at the zoo.
This morning after I walked with Cheryl to work I went north and east from her office to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I didn't bother going to the zoo itself since it was so cold but I did at least walk in the park around it. There was also a memorial to the last survivor of the Boston Tea Party in the park too. I thought that was quite interesting. It said he dies in 1852 and lived to be 115 years old. That was pretty old for back then. This was 79 years after the actual event. Another plaque at the site stated that the man's age was in question but he still could have been at the site when it happened regardless. You can look up more about him on any search engine. His name was David Kennison.

A real Tea Party Patriot.
But before I made my way all the way up to Lincoln Park I was walking down Grand St. and passed a Telsa car dealership. The Telsa is an all electric sports car. There were several of them in the showroom but it was closed at the time so I just took a pictures from the window. They looked rather nice. I would have liked to been able to look at one close up. I understand that they drive pretty fast as well.
A fast and quiet car.

The temperature was good Today. I think it was at 24ºF. There wasn't that much wind this morning during the walk either. I did almost nine miles this morning and I still and three miles short of the ten percent of the goal mark. Of course that will be 175 miles.

The average for the days I walk in distance is more then six miles. Counting the Sundays also I am averaging about 10.5 miles per day. So at this current pace I have about 150 more days before I reach my goal. That would take me to sometime in June. Plenty of time to be ready for my next birthday.

I used to do this.
Also, while walking downtown I saw a line up of live trucks near city hall. I would guess that they were there due to the deal with Rahm Emanuel. I am sure he and his team are working hard to get the ruling overturned so he can get on the ballet. Personally I think he should be able to run. I had to deal with a similar situation when I came back from the Gulf War when I wanted to attend Kansas State University. I had to prove that I was a resident of Kansas. So while I can't vote on way or another but I can sympathize with his situation.

Hu is in Chinatown?
Around the corner from the Live trucks on the lamp posts were some of the banners that were hung up for the President of China. I stuck out to me because there was an American and China flag right next to each other. Not something that is seen so much. But the welcome sign was in English on one side and some Chinese language on the other side of the pole.I wonder in China if they have American towns like we do here?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sox it to Me.

At least one team here can win the World Series with in a century.

Today I did the White Sox journey to U.S. Cellular Field in south Chicago. So with this I have now reached all of the sports venues in Chicago. I may go back to Solider Field to actually walk around it soon. The temperature was a nice 20ºF so I wasn't too cold Today. The walk was really long though. I did finally pass over I-55 on my way south. I also passed by an Italian Social Club that was “members only.” Seems like a rather cozy set up if you ask me. But there were a lot of Chinese or Asian looking people down there too. I even saw a private school for the Asians. I thought that was odd. I guess anyone could use it but the ads were in a language that looked Chinese to me.

Pick a bed. South of Dominick's

I have some great news, my blood pressure is the lowest it has been since I started keeping track. It was 112/79 so that is awesome work in just about a month. When I first started doing this is was 160/98. which that is way to high. Even though the actual weight loss is slow going I am glad that I am keeping track so I can tell what the difference is in my goals. Today I walked almost 10 miles. Tomorrow I shall reach ten percent of my goal distance I think.

I have noticed that the unsightly way you gain weight is pretty much the same way you lose it. But that is all part of the fitness and weight loss journey. That is why I prefer to call this a journey instead of a plan. I want it to seem like something that I am on and learning from and enjoy to do.

Yesterday was Sunday so I didn't do any extra walking. But I did go to Libertyville to watch the Bears and Packers play at my Dad's home with Cheryl. Sadly it seemed that the interception by B. J. Raji was the play that dashed the hopes of the Bears fans. So it looks to be the Steelers and Packers in the Super Bowl. That should be a good match up. I hope it is the Rams and someone next year.

Members Only
My progress on my weight continues it slow and steady pace. I almost have the first month done and then I will give some updated totals. It will good to have some comparison data but that really will not come until March. The reason for that is because February is a short month and it will not be until March that I will have more then 60 days data to see the progress trends.

Keep on track,


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Taking Wrigley by Storm, of sorts.

Cubs stink, even in winter.
Today Cheryl joined me in an ambitious walk from Wrigley Field to to her apartment. We took the Red line to Wrigley Field and then walked around the park and headed back south on Clark Street. Outside Wrigley they had a skating rink set up. It said it was open for business but do to the snow flurries there were no people out there. On the Sheffield side we saw a bar and grill there with a Kansas State University Wildcat flag up so I had to get a shot of that. The distance from Wrigley to her apartment is about seven miles. Plus we walked a mile to reach the Red line so we did about eight miles Today.

A welcome site near Wrigley.
Along the way home we stopped at several stores as Cheryl needed to take a few rest stops. It was a harder walk for her. It was good to walk along Clark since it has so many shops and restaurants along the way. We also went by the famous Moody Church, which is a very large and architecturally interesting structure. Cheryl want to go inside but we couldn't find an open door. There were plenty of doors but none of them would let us in.

We were going to go the Humane Society and look at some of the dogs and were told that they open on noon on Saturday. I thought that was rather late in my experience for you to start having the dogs available to the public. I think most pet stores I have worked at start as early as they can and stay around as long as they can too. I mean isn't the idea to get people in so the dogs can find new homes?

Famous Moody Church
Along the walk we used the John Hancock Building as a guide to our distance. I was pretty good at judging the distance to it. From Wrigley Field we are about five miles from it and Cheryl's apartment is about two miles from that so my estimates were right on target.

I have walked a total of 155 miles and I am at 8.77 percent of my goal of 1750 miles. I am at 91.72 percent of my starting weight and I have used up 24,559kcal from my walking. My heart rate average for the month of January is 132/86.

Stay on track,


Friday, January 21, 2011

Why is Hell nicer than Chicago?

Why is Hell nicer than Chicago?
Yes that's right people. With the -1ºF temperature we had this morning being in Hell would be great. I checked the Norwegian weather bureau and it stated that the temperature in Hell Today was a balmy 37.6ºF compared to the -1ºF it was in downtown Chicago this morning. But even with that sort of temperature we still have to trudge on to do the things we got to do. I actually had to barrow a scarf from Cheryl Today. I guess Today was the perfect day to walk south since there isn't a lot to see until you get a bit further than I care to walk. I made it down to Canal St. and Archer Ave. I could have gone further but the cold was just getting to much.

What a funny draw bridge. Bridge goes up. Bridge goes down.
The scarf I borrowed from Cheryl this morning was frozen by the time I got back to the apartment. Also so was my hat. I didn't bother taking any pictures Today even though the view from the south side of downtown looked great. Except for the raising draw bridge that crosses the canal.

It is funny after being in Panama that they call that channel a canal. Try sending a ship through that canal and it wouldn't make it a mile. But it is still a canal, a man made river as such. Remember the palindrome; A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

When I was walking in the direct sunshine it was actually quite pleasant. But I was not able to do that for the whole walk. The main part that was getting cold were my knees and hands. I have a feeling it would get this cold many more times. Call it a hunch. Heck Saturday it is suppose to get up to 22ºF.

I heard that the Chinese Premier is suppose to be in town. If he is he should take a trip down Canal St. and see all the Chinese business there. At first I thought the signs were in Chinese for his trip then I realized they are like that all the time.

I wasn't that far at all from the White Sox ball park and I might make that my goal Tomorrow since it is Saturday. Maybe Cheryl will want to walk with me then too.

I did a total of 7.64 miles and I have had good results still with my blood pressure. The weight loss is moving along, thought it is moving like a snails pace in my view. But as long as it is moving downward instead of upward or even remaining the same I am pleased.

Cheryl has asked me to go to lunch Today, So I am going to meet her for lunch. It should be fun.

Stay on Track,


Thursday, January 20, 2011

To the United Center and Beyond.

Home of the Bulls and Blackhawks
Today was a bit cold but not too bad. I think Tomorrow will be much colder. I am not looking forward to that. But I will bundle up when I go. As long as I keep walking I stay warm enough. I walked down to the United Center Today and that was about 2 miles from the apartment. On the way I also passed the Bill Goat Grill and Tavern and the Mexican Consulate. The United Center is pretty much out all by itself. Nothing really that significant around it. I guess that is good so they can get people in and out. The bus goes right by it but the “L” is a few blocks away.
Heading north of the Border.

I walked by the Mexican Consulate Today because I saw yesterday that there was some new story on a shooting or something in Wisconsin and they showed a picture of the building so I thought since I was in the neighborhood I would take a look at it.

Cheryl was running late this morning so she didn't being make much of a lunch. She just got a package or Ramon noodles. Not the best thing to eat. They are loaded with sodium so they are not good for a person with high blood pressure. So I told her that I would bring her lunch Today. So after my walk I came back and baked some fish and broccoli and corn and took that with me in my backpack and made her a more healthy and filling lunch. I checked the calories on and it was around 400 calories including the gelatin dessert.
Still there this morning.

I am very please with my blood pressure. The systolic has been under the recommended level for the last four times I have checked and the diastolic has been under most of the time too. My average blood pressure for January is at 132.5/86. It is not where it needs to be yet but at least it is moving in the right direction. That brings me to 131 miles with an average of 12,509 steps per day I walk and 7.5 percent of my total of goal of 1750 miles.

This place really scrambles to keep eggs rolling.
Cheryl works in a food district where trucks are coming in and out on the street all day. The one that is outside the window where Cheryl's works is an egg wholesale distributor. Also, we pass under the “L” on the way to her work at Lake Street.

According to the fitness tracker I made I should have used enough calories to lose six pounds now. I hope that is true. Sadly there are 74 pounds still to go. It sure is a lot more fun gaining weight than losing it. But I need to get it done. {Make it so.} I am hoping by April I am having to buy some new clothes. And able to wear some of my old ones that I like but do not wear due to my size.

View toward downtown from Lake Street where the "L" passes overhead.
The sidewalks were pretty clean Today. I think there is suppose to be snow tonight. I am not sure. I know it it gets too cold it will not snow. I hope so. If it gets much colder I might have to do my walking on the "L" where it is warm.

That is the fun for Today; stay on track,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going Off the Deep End

Cheryl is wearing a sleeping bag with arms.
Today it was a bit colder starting out. For which I was glad about. It is better when it is really frozen to walk instead of the “warmer” 32ºF. When it is 20ºF, like it was Today, it makes for the ice to be much harder and less water means less slipping. Remember you cannot slip on ice. You only slip on the water that is on the ice. I found that out yesterday. Near Lake Street on the way to Cheryl's office I took a picture of here all dressed up in her sleeping bag with arms and her “muffins” and flat head hat. She was the first one in the office I think Today.

Transformed into the RAMS.
At the reception desk, the letter of the firm she works for are there it is called MRSA. So named after the man's initial that started the firm. But I “knoticed” that if the numbers were rearranged it could spell MARS. There is a store across the street from there with that same name. And she told me that sometimes people rearrange the letters. So, being from St. Louis, I spelled “RAMS” with them. I thought it looked nice.

Home of the famous gum maker.
So Today I went down Madison to LaSalle then over to Wacker. [Cheryl used to live on Wacker.] Then through my astute powers of navigation I made my way down past WGN and NBC to the AMC Theater and on down to the Navy Pier. Once on the pier I walked all the way down to the end and took a few pictures. It was nice to see the city from the position. While I was on the pier I saw several ships that were docked. I guess they do cruises when there are more people about or when it is warmer. One of the ships, I believe it is called the Odyssey, had different times for cruises. The longest one was a three hour dinner cruise. I was thinking, No No! Don't take the three hour cruise. Remember what happened to Gilligan. Heck the cruise was so bad for the Skipper that he lost his name. I would have to guess for the cruises that are shorter that they just push you off the boat.

Where does this thing go to?
There was a lot of things on the Navy Pier to see including a round elevator. It didn't seem to really go anywhere. Maybe they put people in that while they are waiting for the lines at the Shakespeare Theater. That would make sense. I believe it was at the Chicago Tribune that they had stones from several prominent places in history. I got a picture of one rock from Pearl Harbor. They had them from all sorts of places. I would like to find out more about this.

The people were out good Today. They seemed to need to get from place to place and were in a hurry to get there. My total distance walked was 8.94 miles. This now puts my total percent of goal at more than 7 percent. Only 93 percent to go to reach 1750 miles. So far only 112 miles under my belt. I guess that is why it seems like it is taking so long. But at least I am seeing the numbers move toward my goal daily. That good.

Diet or No Diet

Diet is as important as exercise.
Plus I am really trying to watch what I eat. I am not so much restricting any certain foods to help lose weight. I am however certainly restricting some for over all health. Things such as hydrogenated oils and salt and added sugar are on my restriction list. Another thing it to try to reduce the amount of refined flour I am consuming. Whole grains are fine but this is still a guideline. Having more things like fruit and vegetables is always a good thing.

Home of some very good fitness tools.
I was checking my baseline metabolic rate on line and it says for my height and weight I should be at 2336kcal per day. This is, of course, if you want to keep that weight. My goal is to reach 200 pounds. At least this goal is. I may work more after I reach the “big” one first. But when I get to 200 pounds my metabolic rate to maintain that weight is 1900kcal. So an average of those two would give me around 2118kcal per day. That is still higher then the levels specified on food labels. So my percentages can be very little higher. Like for dinner last night we had baked Italian chicken and some broccoli with cheese sauce and some stuffing and store turkey gravy. We had no calorie lemonade to drink and latter on for dessert I had some strawberries and cherries with low fat whipped cream. I think all together it was about 700 calories. But I do need to use a calories tracker. You can find one at It is very user friendly and helps you track the food you are eating plus the activity that you are doing for a overall view of what your fitness level is.

I think the better image of my activity and the progress I am trying to make the more likely I am to stick with it and be successful at it. After all isn't that the goal of any fitness program?

Keep on track,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Warmer Work Day and Windy Casualty

Chicago Skyline from Shedd Aquarium.
Today I had my iPod all charged up so I could actually go the distance and know how far I walked. I did go a bit further than I did yesterday but not by that much; only about a mile further I would say. So that means I should add about 4000 steps would be about right. My total steps Today was 17, 014. This is my greatest distance since I began walking again. That is, walking as a means of weight loss.

On an important call.
That reminds me, since I began doing the tracking last March I have walked more then 333 miles. 113 miles of that has been in the past three weeks so the previous amount is not that important. But to reach my goal of 1750 miles I have to walk more then 3.5 million steps. I have reached 6.51 percent of it Today. I guess that is right. It just seems the number is growing faster than I am “un-growing.” But that is 93.49 percent left of my goal. So I guess it isn't as much as it seems.

The first stop Today was at Cheryl's office. We went by Harpo Studios again. The building looks nice. I like the art deco style that is has. After that we went to Cheryl's office. On the way to her office there is a area where several food distributors are located so the street gets a bit filled with parked and moving vehicles. On the way out after Cheryl got to work the snow started to fall again. But it didn't last that long.

The lake wind took me down Today when I hit some ice.
I have my first injury. I was walking the path around the Shedd Aquarium and the wind off Lake Michigan was really coming in and I hit an icy spot and it blow me down. Right on my knee cap too. I have also notice that foot traffic greatly diminishes after you cross Michigan Ave. From there to Lake Michigan there are very few people out walking. I am getting a bit sick of these drivers that don't think they have to stop for pedestrians. I gave a couple of them the “number one” sign.

Hurt Knee
Also I find saying “excuse me” when walking doesn't seem to get anyone out of your way but a good bark does. Everyone wants to see a dog I guess. So they turn to look and it is me walking toward them and they move. Yesterday was not too bad walking since it was Martin L. King Jr day. I guess why so few people where out and about. However, people were out enough this morning enough to make up for the difference of the prior day.

Another bit of good news is the continued downward progression of my blood pressure. I am getting more and more readings that are “in range” of the normal blood pressure. This is the main goal of the entire process to get my blood pressure under control. So these results are quite encouraging. Also my pulse seems to continue in getting stronger, that is lower.

Near Soldier Field, Bear hope to beat the Packers to get to the Super Bowl.
On my walk Today I made it close to Soldier Field and went around the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. I was going to try to go all the way to the Alder Planetarium but I couldn't figure out how to walk there. I will look at a map and see how that path works out. From there it would be a good view of the city for a picture. Also Cheryl and I are planning on getting some tickets from the library so I can go for free.

Final thought is this; I am not so please with the warmer weather. I wish it was a bit colder so the ice was frozen solid. Less slipping that way.

Keep on track,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Storms, Power Failures and Walking with Cheryl

Snow on yet another of Grant's parks.
Today is my first day to walk somewhere else other than Grant's Trail. I walked with Cheryl to her work and then did some extra walking after that. It was nice really not too many people out. Of course I didn't count the people I saw on the trail but I may do that tomorrow. But there were a few out. It is odd walking in a new place because I haven't got the rhythm of the place yet. But I think I did good for my first Chicago walk.

After I got started there were a few snow flurries. Nothing bad but they did hit me in the eyes a few times. On the way to Cheryl's work we went by the basilica of Oprah where she has several buildings and her Harpo studios. Nothing really outstanding about them from the outside but I am sure they were a anchor to help revitalize the area around there. There is nothing wrong with that.

Stepping out in Chicago.
So we went to Cheryl's office and I got to see that. They have lots of natural lighting and space. Makes you feel like you are in a warehouse of sorts. But it was nice to see. I may try to take a picture Tomorrow when I go there. After all a picture is worth 100,000 words.

So after I left Cheryl's office I came back down and across downtown to the Lake Shore Trail. The trail itself was good and was relativity clear of snow. That is better then Grant's Trail in St. Louis County. Near Monroe Marina the water was frozen but as you went further out into the harbor the water was not and a bunch of flocking birds were sitting in the cold water. What can you say, they have bird brains.

On down the Lake Shore trail I made my way up near the Natural History Museum and close to Adler Planetarium. But that was about the time my iPod decided it didn't want to work without power so none of my steps from there to back to the apartment were counted. So what I have counted for my steps Today is 10106. That is when it decided to turn off. I was hoping that the pedometer would keep track even with the screen off but it didn't and there was no way I could have checked either. So when I walk Tomorrow and go the same path I will be able to update my steps for Today.

Not much water flow Today at the Buckingham Fountain.
I am able to weigh myself more accurately now. Coming off this walk I was 270.5 pounds. That is 6.72 percent of the 30 percent I want to lose. Also I went over my 100 mile mark. I must have done that about the time I reached the Lake Shore trail. I have also reached 6 percent of my distance goal of 1750 miles. Even though my records show my percent just under that I know that due to the power failure of my iPod that I passed that goal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warmest Day, Started Late

These are the first two people I saw Today.
Today was the warmest day of the year so far for me to walk. This morning the temperature was an unbelievably warm 36ºF. I saw more people on Grant's Trail than I have ever before but there could be several reasons for that. One, Today is Saturday and more people are off so they have the opportunity to walk in the morning. Two, being as warm as it is more people may have been willing to come out to brave the “cold” weather. I saw one woman, jogging with a man, she was wrapped up with more clothing on than I ever have been. Plus it looked like she had no clue as to what she was about to do.

The third reason may have been I started an hour later then I normally do so maybe I just miss all these people because I am already done with that section of the trail. I doubt it. The footprints in the snow from the past few days doesn't bear that out. So with all that said there were 29 people on the trail Today and five dogs.

Tomorrow I am going to Chicago and will be spending a few days there. I am not going to be doing any fitness running but I may have some to add to the fitness tracker since everyone walks everywhere downtown. Just to get outside the building is almost a half mile. I wonder how the construction is going. I will show a few pictures of that as well.

Walking on the trail may be a good way to pass the time.
Also while in Chicago I will complete a few mile stones. The first one will be my first 100 miles. That will also lead to completion of six percent of my goal. I will also reach more than 200.000 steps total. Actually I may even do that before I leave since I am so close.

Another thing is since I am riding on Amtrak that I may see how many steps I can take on the train walking back and forth. That way I can have a work out ready to go when I sync up on Sunday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

As the Trail Clears

The trail is starting to clear off in spots. Should be good by Monday.
Today was the warmest day all week. It was a balmy 28ºF when I started the walk. With the sun being out yesterday more of the trail got cleared off from the greenhouse effect. Plus the number of footprints on the trail now has really increased. I have a feeling that the trail will be clear by this weekend. We only had four people on the Grant's Trail Today.

I was glad to see the warmer temperature. I didn't have to wear as many layers Today. If the morning temperature ever gets up to the 40ºF I might actually just wear my shorts and t-shirt. What does the “t” in t-shirt mean anyway?


Not sure much grilling is done in Jan.
I got my first contact for a website review: This one is a new shopping website that I haven't heard of before so I was surprised how nice it looked. It seems to be well organized with the categories listed on the left. They wanted me to look at three items and the first one is here: The grills look nice but a bit out of my price range. Price range is dependent on features and range, [get it range], from $300 to over $2000 in price.

Also this site: If you have a thing for poka dotted dishes this is a good place to get your set.

I didn't find purple, so I made it.
And finally: This is a great place to find useful and unique cork stoppers and other items for the wine connoisseur. 

Fancy wine stoppers
Another good thing is that they have free shipping for most of these places. I like that. But it requires a minimum purchase to get it. But the shipping information is easy to find and the shopping is easy to do on line. I would assume you could have it ship to another address if you wanted to send it as a gift too. Take a lot. You might be pleasantly surprised like I was. 



Well back to fun, I did 11,904 steps Today. I thought I would be over 12,000 since I walked through the parking lot at Union and Reavis BRKS. But that did put me over. But just walking around the house will get that extra number of steps to total over 6 miles. Plus I have some errands to do Today So I should easily beat that.

Cheryl and I near Buckingham Fountain last July.
On my Nike + tracker I finished with Rio and I am starting Sydney, AUS. When I finished Rio it said that I was number 14 on their leader board for my time through the city. No too shabby I think. It would be funny if one of the cities that they have on here is St. Louis. I wonder what path they would do for it. Plus I am going to be in Chicago for a few days visiting Cheryl so I will have the Lake Shore Trail to walk on next week. I am sure I will be near the Buckingham Fountain several times too. I wonder if the water will be on at that time? I am anxious to see how well I do on that. I will be sure to take some pictures from there so you can see what I see too.

I am happy to say that my blood pressure is slowly moving lower not to where I want it yet but at least it is going the right direction. My pulse is staying strong and moving down too. Since my scale is broke I don't know what my weight is. But when I go up to Chicago and visit Cheryl she will let me use hers, so I should get a more accurate reading. [Darn it]

The big highlight for Today is reaching 91.6 miles and that brings me to 5.23% of my goal of 1750 miles. I also feel my muscle getting tighter around my arms and legs. This morning my left shin was hurting a little bit but by the time I am writing this it feels fine now. I think part of it is just having to keep warm.

Well thanks to everyone that is reading again, I appreciate your support.