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Tastes of the town

Written by on July 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Join us for a night of enjoying the tastes of the town! Tastefully Simple consultant Ellen Nolin will be providing a sampling of their full line of products, while wine specialist Eric Spitz will be pouring a variety of local wines for sampling. We will have a cash bar and a 50/50 raffle, as well as music for dancing and pleasure by SoundSmith Productions. Adults only. Tickets in advance or at the door are $7, which benefits team Walk With Wendy. For information contact Wendy and Michael Smith at whoney1120@verizon.net or at 508-399-5095.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

Three (more) days!

Written by on September 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I just realized that in three more days, we will be walking for three whole days. Coincidentally, my new favorite song is from Ray Lamontagne and guess what the title is? You got it — "Three More Days"! The song's lyrics are great. I was thinking, as we are crossing the starting line, that this song would be great to hear, either blasting over the loudspeakers or as my own personal soundtrack.

Another thing that keeps me moving is food, so I'm planning on bringing a couple of my own snacks. The rest stops provide awesome food, but the selection doesn't always vary among the different stops. It's all donated, so I'm not complaining, but something tailored to my tastes is nice to have, too. I like to put a mix of wasabi peas and almonds in a Ziploc bag to keep in my walking pack.  Over the next couple of days, think about what favorite snacks you'd like to have during the walk or at night!

Three more days! I'll be wearing the Kranny's Cruisin' Diva visor… please make sure that you say hello!

Caroline is getting ready to walk her fifth MS Challenge Walk. This is also the anniversary of when she was herself diagnosed with MS. Her walking team is Kranny's Cruisin' Divas. Caroline spoke at last year's last year's August Celebration and is a member of the walk's steering committee.

Fresh City in Woburn fundraiser

Written by on August 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Fresh City
345 Washington Street
Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801
781-932-1120

From 5 to 7 PM, 15% of all sales at Fresh City in Woburn (including catering orders) will benefit Megan Crawford Yuknis' fundraising for the MS Challenge Walk.

This is the events calendar, featuring official NMSS rallies and meetings as well as volunteer-sponsored fundraisers. Want to see your event listed here? Please submit the details, and we'll add it!

How DO you walk 50 miles?

Written by on July 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm

The first time I walked in the Challenge Walk was in 2003. I thought it was going to be easy, as in my head, I compared 50 miles in three days to my profession as a physical therapist. I'm on my feet all day every day: walking, lifting, climbing, walking moving, walking, turning, walking, and walking. I did attempt to train, but those efforts fell quite short. I'm almost ashamed to say, that even after five years, and 250 miles, I still need to work on my training.

Even though I'm not consistent or compliant with the training, I do strongly advocate it. As a PT, I know that it is important to train in the manner in which you will be performing, as training will help build up the tolerance of pounding the pavement in my feet and leg muscles. I've also learned that training will give me valuable information about my body, such as where my "hot spots" are on my feet, how my shoes are, how my socks are, how my MS is in with each passing mile and in a variety of conditions.  My MS, however, is unpredictable. And as you've read on other blogs, so is the weather, and the temperature. There are a few things, in addition to training though, that can make you successful with however many miles you walk.

  1. Correct-fitting, well broken-in, comfortable shoes. This is so important! DO NOT wait until a few weeks before the walk to get new shoes! New shoes + many miles = lots of blisters and discomfort. In New Hampshire, we have a store called Runner's Alley, and they are very knowledgeable about feet and shoes and will help you to find an accurate fit, as any good shoe store should. They also will educate you on considering that your feet WILL SWELL on such a long walk, and how to plan for room for swelling. Bring a back up pair of sneakers, and they also should fit well and be well broken in.
  2. Good socks. I prefer the thick, wicking socks that help to pull the moisture away from my skin. You can also buy them with added heel and arch comfort/support. Others prefer the bi-layered socks which are designed to take the friction themselves, rather than your feet . Bring at least enough for 3 pairs per day.
  3. Change your socks and shoes at least at lunch time. Some walkers don't change their footwear at all, while others change their socks even more often than once a day. This is where training comes into play as well, and knowing your body.
  4. EAT! It is so important to eat little snacks that are provided along the way to keep refueling your body. Eating things like the oranges and bananas can help prevent muscle cramps. Granola bars and carbohydrates are good as well to keep your sugar and energy up. Proteins are good for longer lasting energy. Don't skip meals in the dining hall. Listen to your body; at meal times, it will tell you what it needs. My body cries out loud for milk for whatever reason. I'm not sure if it's from my feet pounding the pavement so hard, or from Sarge giving me a swift kick in the butt multiple times throughout the day.
  5. DRINK! You have to drink! The volunteers don't tell you to drink water and gatorade to add to their already raspy and horse voices! If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Drink water at the starting line, carry two water bottles with you, and for every 2-3 bottles of water you drink, drink a bottle of gatorade. Your body needs the sodium and electrolytes that are in things like Gatorade and Powerade. It can actually cause harm, such as a seizure, if your body doesn't have enough sodium. So mix it up, and DRINK! DRINK! DRINK! Regardless of the weather and the temperature, drink!
  6. Pee. Sounds funny, right? But if you're drinking enough, and you're hydrated well, you should be peeing at every rest stop to every other rest stop. And don't hold it even if the lines are long. If you're not peeing, or your pee is really dark, then you're not well hydrated. Drink more!
  7. Stretch. Whenever you stop to grab a snack, refill your water or gatorade, or pee, stretch. Your muscles can get tight or cramp from being used the same way for so long. Stretch the fronts and backs of your lower legs, the fronts and backs of your thighs, stretch your butt muscles, stretch your back, raise your arms and hands in the air so your fat sausage like fingers can drain. Stretch in the morning and stretch at night. Trust me, you'll feel better.

Along the 2007 route at a rest stop themed "Med-Rock", there was a sign that read something like "Eat. Drink. Stretch. Pee. Repeat". My oh my, how true it is. If you do these things, your journey will not only be more successful, but also more comfortable. In my opinion, by doing these things, that is how you walk 50 miles and get to the end and SIGN UP TO DO IT AGAIN!

Heather lives in Hampton, NH, and completed her first 50 miles in 2003 in honor of her great-grandmother who had MS. Ironically, she began having symptoms in 2004, and was finally diagnosed with MS in 2006. This will be her 6th walk, and her first as team captain of "All Smiles for 50 Miles". Heather recruited 7 friends to walk, and her mom to volunteer on the Crew. Heather is a pediatric physical therapist in NH.