Oh. My. God.
I discovered sand walking this week. Talk about a killer workout.
Before sand walking, I was doing brisk-but-not-brutal walks along the boardwalk by the Pacific Ocean, five mornings a week.

I usually set off on my walk around six a.m. This is a time of day when only die-hard joggers, dog walkers and the occasional urban wastrel can be found along the beaches of my Southern California city.

Each morning, I set out from my house and head down the hill toward the sea. Ten minutes later I hit the Strand, a cement pathway that parallels the shore. I pump my arms, striding vigorously. I feel virtuous. My forward-canted pace is bouncy with the belief that today, I will wrestle my demons-of-the-flesh to earth. Today, I will take control of my body.

But no matter how hard I push my heel-toe cadence, rocking along to my Jenny Craig walking tapes, I can’t seem to boost my heart rate into the fat burning zone.

And I can’t lose weight.

I’ve read that this is because your body “adjusts” to a workout. (I say, if your body “adjusts” to a workout, why can’t it “adjust” to overeating, and not put on pounds?)

So I’ve been looking for a way to shake up my routine. And then, last week, I looked west toward the Pacific Ocean. And saw: The Sand.

I’ll just walk on the sand, I thought. Maybe that will be different. I stepped into the Sand Zone.
And yes, sand walking was different. Sand walking was so different that five minutes later, I was beet-faced and gasping for breath. After only five minutes, I had to retreat back to the Strand, sucking in air like a stressed-out puffer fish.

Understand that I’m not talking about walking on the wet, hard-packed sand by the water, where you can dangle your flip-flops from your pinkie finger while you stroll along the surf, looking sexy.

I’m talking the killer white, uneven, fluffy stuff. Try looking sexy walking across that.

I did a little research and discovered that when you walk on sand, your caloric output increases by as much as fifty percent.

And my scales have noticed the difference. I lost two pounds this week, without changing what I eat. Hallelujah!

Now, if only I could write sand walking into my second mystery, A KILLER WORKOUT, which is coming out in 2008. But that story is set in the Great Smoky Mountains, which are short on beaches.

However, they do have cliffs, where you have to really watch your step.

Mountain climbing as aerobic activity. Hmm…I’ll have to try that and report back.

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Comment by Kathryn Lilley on August 20, 2007 at 8:55pm
Haven't gotten the solution, yet. I usually keep my running shoes on and then have to do a "sand dump" when I get home!
Comment by Tom Barclay on August 20, 2007 at 1:47pm
BTW, what are you using for shoes doing the sandwalking? Sand getting in, not getting out, has always bothered me.

When at Chuck's, eat a Weasel. It's required.
Comment by Kathryn Lilley on August 18, 2007 at 1:21pm
Can't wait to sample the hazards that Chuck's Locally World Famous offers. Though, maybe I should. LOL
Comment by Tom Barclay on August 18, 2007 at 7:20am
On my one and only trip to North Carolina, the Raleigh-Durham stop was followed by a trip to the shorefront home of the retired battleship USS North Carolina.

Yes, it was a bit of a drive from Durham. Just write in a research field trip.

I hope you get off the Strand - and the beach - before you get up to Belmont Shore. Chuck's Locally World Famous is as deadly as BR31 where I'm concerned.
Comment by Kathryn Lilley on July 1, 2007 at 2:05am
Hi Joan! Yes, the books are set in Raleigh-Durham. Durham is the self-proclaimed "Diet Capital of the World," lol. Nice to meet you, too!
Comment by Joan Conwell on July 1, 2007 at 12:43am
I love walking on the beach. Actually, I love walking just about anywhere. I see you're in CA but set your novel in Durham. I live in Cary, about 25 min from Durham (but the book I'm finishing is set in NYC and Russia). Nice to meet you, Kathryn.

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