Thursday, September 29, 2011

Searching For Durian


It was the time of the year to send my mom her birthday card and this took me to LBC (a courier service to the Philippines) in the city of Artesia on Wednesday morning. Next to it is an oriental store which I always thought was 99 Ranch but turned out to be Seafood City. It created an opportunity to find out if they sold durian fruit or jam. Ever since I wrote about Nangka-Nangka (, I’ve wondered where I could find durian around where I live. So after sending the birthday card and some money for Mama, I went to the store. You would have thought I was in the Philippines because the place was teeming with Flips who were either speaking in English, Pilipino, or other Philippine dialects. I was surprised to see one of my former co-workers from Bellflower Medical Center there and we talked for a few minutes to catch up. I hadn’t seen him in about 8 years since I left that hospital. I asked him about durian but he didn’t know if the store had it. That left me alone in my search which led me to the frozen food section, fruit spreads section, fruit and vegetable section, and finally another freezer where I found a whole bunch of fruits which I haven’t seen in years. They were the fruits of my childhood (
I found it! I immediately saw the unmistakable durian. After all, how could one miss such a spiny fruit? The surprising thing was that it came in that form, when I was only expecting frozen fruit in a plastic container. After examining that whole freezer section, I was so surprised to see more fruits that I used to eat a lot of while growing up in Jolo, that I had to take pictures of them. I didn’t even know that you could freeze some of those fruits because in Jolo, the fruits were harvested that day, taken to market, sold and eaten the same day (for the most part). Why, that’s even better than the farmer’s markets of today!
I ended up not buying any of it even though I really wanted to taste durian again after missing it for decades. Unfortunately it didn’t come in the form of jam or preserve. Even if I bought the whole fruit, I didn’t have access to a bolo knife (a Philippine machete) or any kind of cleaver to open up the fruit. God forbid, with my clumsiness, I would have pierced my skin on the spines of the fruit while trying to pry it open.This means that I will have to continue my search for the plastic container kind. This will take more delayed gratification on my part. Well, so be it.
Here are the rest of the frozen fruits I saw:







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Monday, September 26, 2011

Recent Good Movies Watched

The Whistleblower
Macbeth (PBS)
Jane Eyre
The Beaver
The Music Never Stopped
Oranges and Sunshine
The Tree of Life
These were movies that touched me emotionally. Some made me angry, others made me laugh, or drove me to the verge of tears. I mostly enjoyed the dialogue, other than Macbeth which was strange because it used Shakespeare’s language while set in World War 2. Incendies is a film set in the Middle East that had a twist at the end. Let me see if I can get this right because it's a little complicated. A mother's will asks the twin son and daughter to go to the country where the mother was born to find an older son she gave up for adoption. In the end, the older son turns out to be the father and the brother of the twins. Confusing? You will have to watch that great film yourself. You can of course look up reviews on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes.
By the way, why is it when actors throw up in the movie they always touch the rim of the toilet bowl? Even if it was the cleanest toilet by sight in the world, I wouldn’t touch it if I had to throw up. Another thing is nurses always seem to work round the clock – day, evening, night shifts without leaving the hospital or having a day off. Hospitals always have dark corridors. You go to a real hospital, it’s never dark in the hallways. And did you notice that car windows are never dirty? Too much artistic license, I say.
About The Tree of life – my coworker didn’t like it, but because of his impression and after reading a synopsis, I watched it and was able to understand what was going on. I don’t think my coworker made the connection between the father, the son, and what I think is the other son who supposedly died in the Vietnam war. It also shows the evolutionary process at the start.
I recommend all of the above other than Macbeth, but if you are into an alternative Shakespeare experience, you may enjoy that too. While watching a movie and I see an interesting scene, I sometimes feel like clicking the “Like” button ala Facebook, but there is none, of course.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pissed Off At Internet Rumors Being Passed Off As Fact

Are you one of these people? By that I mean people posting internet rumors as fact which really pisses me off. Last week, a couple of days after the Miss Universe beauty pageant, someone put it out there that Oprah Winfrey tweeted that Miss Philippines would have won if she was given enough time to answer the question presented to her. The contention being, the other finalists had extra time because they needed translator. For one thing, what Oprah was supposed to have tweeted to NBC was more than 160 characters and it would have taken several tweets, and something that would have come out on her Twitter page or NBC News’ page. Did someone even bother to check that? It turns out that Oprah never said anything of the sort. I mean, even the English being used in those supposed tweets didn’t appear to be what Oprah would have used. Hers would have been more polished even in internet shorthand.
 Another very recent issue, a rumor that went viral on September 24th saying that Facebook is going to start charging users. How many times has that rumor been passed around through the years? Well, this one started as an internet chain letter which people kept on posting and claiming as true because “it was in the news”. It was in the news alright, but not for the reason the chain letter stated. The real news said the rumor wasn’t true.
The problem is that people start copying and pasting without checking the facts first and with social media, it has gotten so easy to pass rumors along. I guess that is an age old problem. I can still remember longhand or typed chain letters sent by snail mail. Most of them said if you don’t pray so much Our Fathers and Hail Marys, plus if you don’t send a copy of the letter to 10 other people, some kind of misfortune will strike you. Nowadays, these electronic chain letters might include a clickable link which can hijack your account and maybe send all sorts of emails to people on your contact list. Look up what clickjacking means here: 
If ever you encounter these things in your email inbox, twitter feed, or Facebook wall, please do yourself a favor and check these websites first: or At least do a Google or Bing search and read what you find intently to make sure the source is legitimate news. Otherwise, if you believe in everything you read on the internet, then you are just perpetuating the problem and making it worst. Are you part of the problem, or are you part of the solution?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saturday’s 12.1 Mile Walk and Schedule SNAFU

Well folks, I did my last long walk last Saturday morning, three weeks before the Long Beach Marathon. I know three weeks is a long time to taper for just a half marathon but it may take that long for my ankle tendons to recover, not to mention  left leg shin splints. I was finally able to summon the energy to wake up early Saturday morning so I could join our AREC running club. The marathoners were doing their second 20 miler while the halfers were doing 10. I wasn’t sure if I was going to start earlier than 7 a.m. or start with the whole group on time. Fortunately I saw Deb and asked her if I could walk with her. She was planning on doing 6 miles. We started with the whole group and by the first quarter mile we were trailing everybody. I haven’t talked extensively with Deb since she got a new job a few months ago, so that’s what we chatted about mostly, and also about the eating disorder - anorexia nervosa because she knew somebody who was having that problem. Her partner was out of town and was doing her 20 miler on trail in Maryland. Other than the first year of AREC training, Deb and Kate have been training with the group for 6 years now. Deb had already done 8 miles in prior weeks so she decided to cover the same distance on this day. We separated ways upon reaching 6 miles, she on the way to the finish and me on the way to the 10 mile turnaround point. Oh, boy, was I ever appreciative of her company because the 6 miles with her didn’t feel that long. So I continued on, turning around at Ocean Boulevard and 60th Street. When I reached the finish, I decided to extend the walk one more mile out and a subsequent mile back with another 1/10th tacked on. That way if I ever make it to the starting line three weeks hence, I know I could do 12.1 miles, and all I had to do was one more mile to finish.
There is however one glitch to this plan. Even though I’m already signed up for the race, I didn’t realize till last week that I’m scheduled to work that weekend. Last year the event happened to be on my weekend off and I mistakenly thought it was the same this year. I’ve been asking coworkers to work for me but so far none have been available. My only recourse may be to call in sick on Saturday night so I can do the race on Sunday morning. That would mean that the nursing supervisor would have to put me in to work the following weekend.
Given how bad my ankles have become in the past year (they are aching as I type this), I had planned this race as my last hurrah because dealing with the pain after long walks isn’t worth it any more. I can’t even do a walking workout more than twice a week. That’s why I really need to be at that starting line in three weeks. I’m still hoping that someone can cover my shift otherwise it would be an expensive race t-shirt for me with no finisher’s medal if I don’t make it to the race.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Missed High School Reunion and Why?

I really wanted to go to my Notre Dame High School reunion but dearth of funds prevented me from doing so. In the two weeks prior to the event, I was quietly hoping to win the lottery and make a surprise appearance, but that dream never happened. Imagine me showing up unannounced at my mother’s doorstep. She probably wouldn’t have believed it was me. Let’s see, here is what it all boiled down to. It would have cost about  $1,200 for a round trip ticket to and from Los Angeles to Manila to Zamboanga. Add a couple more grand to that for expenses and money for mom, well, that just made it unaffordable based on my income. Even if I didn’t have to pay the mortgage, bills, and other living expenses, that amount would have taken three months of work to earn. If I was an RN, half a month would have been enough (saying that with envy). I should have chosen a better major in college if I was able to predict then where I would end up now. Well, that’s life. While I was contemplating this, I didn’t even know if my passport was current or already expired so I better dig it out and check (it doesn’t expire until February 2015). I’d better start saving a little bit here and there starting now so hopefully I would have adequate funds in a couple of years for the next reunion which would be our 40th anniversary. I’m not that old, am I?
 Some of you already know why I haven’t been able to save the last two years. I’ve been searching for an alternative aerobic exercise to running and had bought several equipment starting from a treadmill, an elliptical machine, a road bike, and a spinning bike. In anticipation of my worsening ankle tendons, I had to find a replacement activity the satisfy my daily exercise needs and the search for an endorphin high. But these machines cost a lot of money, ergo, no savings to speak of for two years. Add to that the dental surgery with sleep anesthesia the last couple of years and  partial dentures afterwards, I’m surprised I’m not in the red today.
So there you go my dear classmates. In the end it was all a dollars and cents issue or the lack thereof. Sorry to have missed joining you in the joyous occasion especially when the men were woefully underrepresented. You don’t know how envious I am of all of you who could make it there. I did enjoy looking at all the pictures you posted and the chats we had on Facebook regarding all the activities before and after the event. I don’t know how my social anxiety would have fared had I been there, but I’m sure it would have been manageable within a few minutes of seeing you all again after 38 years. I pray we shall meet again at our 40th anniversary. More power to the Notre Dame High School Class of 1973! Hail, Hail to Notre Dame!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Long Walks On Pavement

It was time to do another long walk, and last Thursday, it started with a trip to the grocery store which took me 20 minutes to get there and 20 minutes back. That only covered about 1/4th of my intended time. After depositing the groceries at home, I resumed the workout. There was no set target this time like when I went up Signal Hill the previous week. More like meandering around the neighborhood. Like before, it was four minutes with aggressive arm swings with a one minute recovery. I don’t know if it was just one of those days, having no target, or the hotter than usual day, but it felt like a boring workout. A couple of lines from Adele’s song “Chasing Pavements” came to mind:
Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
My concentration was not very good and the pace wavered, but I kept on until I finally reached my goal of 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was just relieved when it was through. The pace was slower than the 2 ½ hour walk the previous week but the extra 15 minutes brought me closer to my goal half marathon distance.
When my ankles still allowed me to run, I would always go overdistance when training for half marathons. I don’t feel that this is necessary since I’m only walking the Long Beach half marathon this time. I feel that I could walk another 25 minutes and finish the race. There’s one hitch though. When I checked my new work schedule for October, I saw that I was supposed to work on the weekend of the race. Now I have to find someone to cover my shift and I hope one of my coworkers could do it.
Even with the heat last Thursday, I didn’t get drenched with sweat. Perspiration seemed to evaporate as quickly as they came out of my pores. In spite of that, I lost 4 pounds of fluids. When I got home, I rehydrated, iced my ankles, then bound them in braces to control possible swelling. A walking workout nowadays takes 4 to 7 days of recovery for my aching ankles. Ho hum, life’s like that now. Anyway, I managed to cover 11.36 miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes. If you remember, I did a 3 hour easy walk on my birthday (June 2) and covered 11.35 miles.
Oh well, sorry for the dreary post. It’s hard to follow a topic like the Tamarungs of Nangka-Nangka.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Nangka-Nangka Questions Answered

galunggong or tamarung
After I posted the blog regarding Nangka-Nangka (a house of ill repute in our small town) in a closed Facebook group of my high school classmates, it was barraged with comments and answers. Within the first hour, there were already 88 comments.  So let me see if I can digest all this information in as little space as possible. Here are some information I gathered from my classmates in Facebook.
First, I was mistaken about the location. Famy said it was in the middle of Martirez St. in Upper San Raymundo district, and not past the Philippine Constabulary barracks which I thought. That immediately tells you how much I know or better still, don’t know about the place.
The second piece of information was that it was a house and in front of this house was a Nangka (jackfruit) tree, thus the name of the place.
Third, the women there were called Tamarungs, as Froebel reminded us. Well, Tamarung is a kind of cheap fish (galunggong in the Filipino language) which sometimes causes your tongue to itch. The correlation being, if you availed of the services of the women in Nangka-Nangka and you didn’t wear protection, you might develop an itch in your nether regions, or worse, a drip. Wait, maybe those two come hand in hand.
Here is a paraphrase of what Soraya told me. “I remember (in elementary school) when a group of 3 or 4 heavily made up girls with full red lipstick would walk in front of our house and the tricycle drivers would yell “tamarung!”. I asked my grandma why they were called tamarung and she said because they were bad girls from Nangka-Nangka. What is Nangka-Nangka and why is it called so? Because that place has a jackfruit tree on the pathway leading to the house.”
Fourth, per Famy, Nangka-Nangka has ceased to exist since the martial law days of the 70’s.
Several pieces of good information continued to come from Froebel who seems to be an expert on the subject, which brings us to number five. The tamarungs had competition in town! They were sea gypsies from the town of Pangutaran, who even preceded the tamarungs from the town of Jolo in that kind of business. Here is a direct quote from Froebel, “mostly boys back then went for the 'sea gypsies' rather than the girls in nangka-nangka. It’s because they are brunette..slim..young and they are very salty (sultry) :D” 
sea gypsies
Here’s more info from Soraya: the people of Jolo (called Tausugs), never bought tamarung fish because there were so many good variety of other fish to choose from the market, thus the tamarung were usually left to rot. Which I guess is what happened to your genital areas after you went to see the tamarung women.
And one last item from our prolific informant, Froebel. He says, “Back in the day (early 70's)...when I was in my teens, I hung out occasionally and sometimes on weekends at my uncle's house in Upper San Raymundo. Their house stood  right by the corner of the alley going to Nangka-Nangka and must have been 4 houses away from the nangka tree. There I listened to the legends, stories, gossips back in the day. According to the older people, when you visit Nangka-Nangka, you can negotiate with the tamarung about their prize range. With an older tamarung, you pay 10-15, sometimes 20 pesos. Younger ones will cost you double. But if you're short of cash, go there late at night (past 12 a.m.) and prizes can go down to 5 pesos guaranteed. Just like going to the movies (last full show), it’s cheap according to them. These tamarungs were local, pure-bred Tausug.” (*side note – at the time 4 pesos = 1 US dollar*)  Froebel adds, “When it gets slow in Nangka-Nangka, you can see the tamarungs heading West towards the docks. There they met with their no.1 rivals - the sea gypsies. Oh, talking about the sea gypsy girls, I remember a gypsy named Lily-Ann. she was a BO DEREK look-alike (from Bus-Bus district).If only she braided her hair like BO, it could have been her, only saltier!” 
(I wonder if there was some kind of Sharks and Jets feud between those two groups ala West Side Story…)
So there you go folks! Everything you’ve ever (or maybe never) wanted to know about Nangka-Nangka and its resident tamarungs.
Which brings us to the second part of this blog. We now know that Nangka-Nangka is defunct. My classmates and I were batting ideas around about restarting the business in our town. After all there was no competition to speak of. Prior to this, a couple of guys talked about hunting for buried Japanese treasure, but restarting Nangka-Nangka would be more feasible. This time we would plant a durian tree at the pathway and call the place, what else? Durian Durian of course! Please, you can look up durian on the internet yourself, can’t you? 
 Famy mentioned that this could be a very lucrative business because of the presence of U.S. Marines in the area (they are there to train local troops). Salma inquired as to who would like to volunteer to be the Mama San of the place, while Soraya said a feasibility study must be done first. I said we should name the place - Durian Durian: A Notre Dame Alumni Cooperative – brought to you by Batch ’73. It was suggested that Famy should have a large advertising banner placed in town. Business partners from our batch would have included nurses and health clinic workers (free condoms and AIDS tests!), doctors (free consultations and treatments for STD’s!), a banker, a dean of computer studies, a mental health worker (me!), and other venture capitalists.
Well everyone, it sounds like a plan so let’s get the ball rolling, get the show on the road, get it kickstarted, and get the men back on the Tamarung saddle!

*DISCLAIMER. Part two of this blogpost was not intended to be a serious discussion of starting a prostitution business. My classmates and I were only joking around with our posts on Facebook and we were all having fun with how the conversation went. Besides, if Mother Superior ever read what we talked about, she surely would have given each of us 10 slaps of the ruler on the palms of our hands if she didn’t get apoplexy first. Thanks for playing along.
I would never have been able to compile this information without the help of my partners in crime, whose expertise and knowledge of the subject matter, I’m eternally grateful for. Thanks to Froebel, Famy, Soraya, Ric, Jane, Leonie, the director, producer, screenwriter, makeup artist, waterboy, etc., etc., etc… But most of all, thanks to the Tamarungs of Nangka-Nangka for making this blogpost possible.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nangka-Nangka Questions

Frequent talks about the upcoming Notre Dame reunion reminded me of a place in my hometown that hardly anyone mentioned in polite company. Everyone in our small town has heard of a place called Nangka-Nangka, which name was derived from a sweet fleshy fruit called nangka, or langka, or jackfruit. It was supposed to be beyond the Philippine Constabulary barracks and it’s golf course and way past the DSXM radio station. There were also supposedly a lot of komodo dragons near that area. Nangka-Nangka  was talked about but never seen by us because we were very young  then. It was a place where you supposedly could partake of the sweet nectar of prostitutes, maybe not unlike the sweetness of the fruit the place is named after, except using a different organ . Here are my questions which I hope someone can supply the answers to:

Has anyone reading this have actually been there ?

What does the place look like?

Did it really exist and does it still exist?

If so, where would they do the sex act?

Were there houses or rooms that you can rent by the hour?

Was it like the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,  the Chicken Ranch in Las Vegas, or even the Red Light District of Amsterdam?

Were the women independent agents or did they have a pimp?

What did the women look like?

If anyone of you has been a customer, what was it like and how often did you go?

Can any of my townmates answer these questions based on experience or hearsay? Maybe my batchmates can have a roundtable discussion about it during the reunion.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tricks of the (Cable TV/Internet) Trade

The cable modem supplied by my Internet Service Provider (not Comcast)

I wonder who else has been, for lack of a better word, "victimized" by cable companies or other internet services with extra charges for leasing their equipment without letting the customer know about it ahead of time.
My first month’s bill from Charter Communications for internet service arrived last week and it was higher than what the door to door salesman signed me up for. The basic rate was still $19.99 plus 10.00 for installation. However they charged me an extra 10.00 to lease their cable modem/router combination. I specifically asked the salesman if this was already included in the 19.99 charge and he said yes. In fact there was an item in the work order that indicated the lease and the salesman left this blank. I called him right away to let him know about the extra charge but he didn’t get back to me. When I called him again, he said he already notified the office about it. I went on the company website and had a chat with one of their customer service representatives and he said that the lease was separate from the 19.99 a month contract. The last time I subscribed to cable TV was more than 20 years ago and I was aware of the lease they charged for cable boxes. I asked customer service if I could buy my own cable modem. He said yes and I can find them at Best Buy and Walmart. I checked Walmart’s website and saw a compatible cable modem for 60.00, so I went to the nearest Walmart and bought one. Leasing Charter’s cable modem for two years would have cost me 240.00. I didn’t have to buy a wireless router because I already had one. So I tried to set it up when I got home and plugged in the right connections, then followed the setup instructions on the cd disk, but I couldn’t connect to the internet. After trying a couple of different things, I surrendered and called technical support. It turns out I had to register the MAC address of the router with them. When that was done and I rebooted, I was able to connect to the internet. Next thing I had to do was connect the wireless router. Charter Communications said they may not be able to help me with that because I was now using my own equipment and not theirs. So I looked it up on the internet and got my wireless working. All that was needed was connecting the cables and turning the cable modem and router off and on in the correct order, then rebooting.
                Next, I did a download speedtest. Previously, while using Charter’s Netgear cable modem/router combination, I was getting between 8 to 10 megabits per second. With the new modem, the speed suddenly jumped up to 18 to 20 megabits per second! Hmm, interesting development. I hope they don’t charge me extra on my next bill for the extra speed. The upload speed remained consistent at 1.7 mbps as advertised. Downloads from my previous Internet Service Provider (at 1 mbps) which took about an hour and a half now takes about 15 minutes.
                The next day, I went to the Charter Communications office to return their modem. They’re supposed to prorate the charges based on the number of days I used the equipment, so my bill may be lesser next month. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Who knows what other shenanigans they have up their sleeves.
                I don’t know if not telling new customers about lease fees on cable boxes and cable modems is common practice in the industry and one of the a tricks of the trade to get more money. Like I said earlier, the salesman said it was included in my contract and it wasn’t marked on the work order. Checking their website, it was hard to find that charge and it’s probably buried in small print somewhere in their terms and conditions. At the very least they should make their customers aware that there is an option to buy your own compatible equipment for much lesser than leasing it from the company.

The new Motorola cable modem I bought from Walmart

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Friday, September 2, 2011

HD Radio Tryout

As I mentioned in my previous post about walking to Signal Hill and back, I listened to my recently acquired HD radio during the workout. Last week, after reading a newspaper article about HD radios, I began checking for prices on the internet because I was getting tired of listening to static on my mp3 player/radio combination. I guess it was too small and the radio receiver wasn’t strong enough to maintain a good signal. Besides I prefer listening to radio rather than just mp3 music because I also like hearing the DJ’s talk.
While shopping around for portable HD radios, the only one I can find was sold by Best Buy with a price of $49.99. It was the Insignia NS-HD01 HD Radio Portable Player. I called one of their stores for availability and to inquire whether the product would go on sale any time soon. The salesman said it had not been on sale since it came out in 2009. Hmm, it must not be a popular product. So I searched further and found one slightly used from Ebay. It was being sold for only 16.95 with free shipping and no sales tax! I ordered it right away and it arrived within days. Upon opening the box, the radio didn’t even look as if it had been used. The plastic film covering the face was still perfectly aligned and not a scratch or ding was in sight. I’ll have to give that seller a very good positive feedback on Ebay! So anyway, first things first. I charged the radio through a USB port on my computer. After about 3 hours it was fully charged and was ready to be tested. If you don’t know it already, HD radios receive digital sound and are supposed to be much clearer than regular FM or AM. You can also see the title of the song being played and the name of the artist. At first I was unimpressed by the sound because the bass wasn’t good enough and there were no adjustments available for it. But I could live with that. I also added 3 preset stations: pop, oldies, and urban contemporary. After all that preliminary testing, I set the radio aside and didn’t get a chance to listen to it more extensively until I did the 2 ½ hour walk on Tuesday.
                The HD radio did indeed deliver a crystal clear sound without any static interference. I tested the 3 preset stations and they were all received very well. So all in all, I got a good product for a very good price, and more positive feedback to the Ebay seller is forthcoming. I’m definitely sold on high definition radio.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

To Signal Hill and Back

A view of Long Beach stretching towards the ocean - from atop Signal Hill with oil derricks in the foreground.

Well it was time for catch up mileage for my half marathon training. The AREC training group did 10 miles the other Saturday and I was hoping to equal the distance on Tuesday morning. That wasn’t a definite plan. I intended to walk southward and see where one hour would take me. It was a route I had taken so many times before while running, but only once have I done it while walking, which happened last winter. At that time, one hour brought me to four miles so it was an 8 mile round trip. On Tuesday (8/29/11), my strategy was to walk for 4 minutes while swinging my arms aggressively, then recover for 1 minute with a regular quick stride. See, I walk faster when I swing my arms aggressively. So the workout was similar to the 4 minute run/ 1 minute walk that I do. This day was also the first time I was going to use my recently acquired HD radio, but that’s a different  topic I’ll write about in another blog post.

The weekend heat wave had broken by Tuesday morning so it was cool when I started at about 8:15 a.m. My internal compass was pointed towards Signal Hill. I didn’t know if I was actually going to reach it since my winter walk in that direction didn’t even get me to the base of the hill. When I hit one hour on Tuesday, I was already at the base of Skyline Drive on Cherry Avenue. Instead of turning around for the hour walk back home, I proceeded up the hill instead. When I reached the peak, I stopped briefly to take some pictures with my cell phone. I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out because I took them blindly since I couldn’t see the screen due to the glare. Then I continued the walk around the other side of the hilltop, then headed back down on the way home. Let me tell you, it’s rougher on my ankles to walk downhill than up, specially when the angle is very steep. I had to bend my knees more on the way down to lessen the shock on my ankles. I was on target to get home at 2 hours and 20 minutes so I had to do some dipsy doos on a few streets so I could reach 2 ½ hours. When I reached that time and clicked my GPS watch off, I merely a few steps from my door and had traveled 10.53 miles at a pace of 14 minutes and 15 seconds per mile. All this catch up mileage has given me shinsplints, but it doesn’t seem to affect my stride too much as compared to having them while running. Other than taking too much time, it was a pretty good walking workout. By the way, at the Track and Field World Championships yesterday, the winner of the women’s 20 kilometer (12.4 miles) walk was clocked at 1 hour, 29 minutes and 42 seconds.
An additional note here regarding weight and fluid loss: I woke up and started the walk at 116.2 pounds. Like I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t hot day. In fact it was a little cool at the start and it didn’t feel like I was sweating very much. I didn’t even feel thirsty. However I was surprised at my fluid loss when I weighed in after the workout. It was down to 112.8 pounds. Wow! I never thought I could lose that much fluids while walking.

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