Tuesday, May 03, 2016

It's too dark!!!!

The alarm went off at 5 AM.  I opened my eyes and groaned.   It was super dark outside!    Seriously, way dark!!!   I reset the alarm for 5:30.

I slept the thirty minutes.   The alarm went off at 5:30.     Dang....it was still way dark out there!  But I knew I had to do it.  I want change in my life.....and that means I need to enact the change!

    I drug myself out of bed......I put on my running clothes and shoes and I was out the door.  To be continued further on in this post......

So why in the world was I contemplating running at 5 o'crazy clock in the morning???? 

Jason and I have talked about running.   He has known that I run from almost the first day that we talked.   He had known I struggle with consistency in my runs.   He has from that very first day expressed interest in running.   He actually was dabbling in starting to run again after many years of not running.     We met...and obviously things went well....and well running took a back seat in his life and due to a sprained ankle and some blisters and some cold weather it took a back burner in my life as well.  

A month or so ago we discussed running and he actually challenged me to attempt the JFK 50 miler in a year or so (properly trained of course). I told him yeah sure....but let's get a half marathon and a full marathon under our belts before we head for some crazy 50 mile dealio.   We agreed but neither of us started to run.  Running came up in the conversation a few times but we still didn't start running.   


About two weeks ago one of us came up with the running challenge.   Basically right now the person that puts in the most miles each week is the winner.   Plain and simple!   There will be rewards...nothing big.  Hahaha. Simply things that we already give each other.  (Come on now...use your imagination!!)

The smack talk started almost immediately!  Oh yeah.. Big time smack talk!  

Last week we started....I planned to run my first run on Tuesday. (I actually did a run or two the week before to get myself limbered up for this challenge!!).  I wasn't worried though.  He hadn't run in years!!!   The first couple weeks should be a breeze for me!   (I also know as a guy he would soon be faster and able to run further and I would really struggle to hang with him in terms of miles and speed!). 

 On Monday mapmyfitness dinged to notify me of Jason's first run.   I eagerly looked at my phone and immediately dropped the phone in shock!   What????  He ran 2.46 miles on his first run??????   At a pace of 11:26?    The pace blew me away.  He was ALREADY faster than me! !!!!   And what was worse?  He was 2.46 miles ahead of me in this challenge!!!!A good sport, I told him how impressed I was! (Ok and maybe I encouraged him because I love the guy too!)

No worries I woke up on Tuesday and I ran.  I ran 4.17 miles.  Take that!!!!  Yeah baby!  I had this in the bag!!!!  No way was 'the newbie' gonna steal my glory on this first week!!!!   

And then on Wednesday I figured out exactly how competitive he really is.  (I only had an inkling before!).  That boy ran 5.22 miles at average pace of 11:02!   My jaw dropped!  

Now in case you can't do the math...that put him up....way up on me!!  3.51 miles up!    

Yup....on Thursday I knocked out a 6.19 miler!   And yes...that was enough for the win.   He had to take a wee little break because he came on too much too soon!   I collected my prize and I didn't gloat too much, he was sore ya know!!!   Plus, I know he is gonna wipe the floor with me SOON!!

So the new week started.   He has backed off his miles a bit for his health and safety.   So yesterday he knocked out 2.02 miles (average pace of 10:51).....

And that brings me to 5:30 this morning. I had to leave the house by 7 to go to work....(Monday through Wednesday of this week) and I have things going on in the evening.....when does a person run????    5 apparently is a bit too dark.   5:45 works!   (I had my clothes for work laid or and my lunch packed so that I would be able to push the run as late as possible!). 

It wasn't bad.....my running path was empty!    There were less cars.  If I can drag myself out of bed his may work!

2.29 miles on my legs by 6:15!   Weeee!
It was a rough slow run for me....I ran faster last week....hmmmmmmm

Probably Not enough for the win this week (since it's so early). but at least I'm hanging and not falling horribly behind!!!!    And right now I'm a quarter mile ahead!  Ahh yes, I will bask in that moment of being ahead for just a few minutes, hours, or days until he knocks me back off my pedestal!

So competitive running....might help with the consistency!!!

Even with the running we are still hiking and walking.   We still went out and got a three mile walk in on the canal last night!!!   And if the weather holds we will probably knock off a few miles tonight also!!!   (I'm very lucky in that many of our dates and hours together involve physical activity in the form of hikes and walks and hopefully soon bike riding also!!!). 

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Well then

So I was active!   That counts for something right?????  Ok with a start like that there has to be a 'but' in there somewhere and there certainly is!!!   My weight wa sup last week when I did my official weigh in.  My weight was up on Friday morning when I checked the situation...and since I was just downright hungry today And the weather was rainy and overcast this weekend prohibiting long mountainous hikes I don't expect it to be any better tomorrow.

But like I said...I WAS active this last week!   

Monday after work we walked on the canal...

Dam 5 lock house

Charles Mill

On Tuesday I ran 4.17 miles

On Wednesday we walked on the canal (different area)

McMahons Mill

On Thursday I ran 6.19 miles!

On Friday we walked at the City Park

The weather was icky this weekend but I managed a 2 mile run on Saturday morning.    

Sunday...yucky weather so we walked the mall at Tysons Corner....

So I wasn't a sluggard.....(the walks were all 3-4 miles in length at the bare minimum).  It was totally my food choices that just blew my efforts out of the water! I forgot my motivation....the reason for my efforts!  I have been reminded and I'm refocusing!!!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Welcome Monday

Happy Monday!   Back to the salt mines! I am going to put it out there right now that I don't think that my weigh I this week will be complimentary.   

I was active.....that's not the problem! (Ok not as active as the mad miles previous week..but still active!).

On Wednesday I walked at Cowans Gap...about 6 miles.  
I took Thursday off and did absolutely no exercise!   It was the right choice!  My legs needed the day of rest.

Friday I woke up and ran 3.52 miles....in the evening  Jason and I walked about 2 miles!   (For some reason we did a speed walk pace too....probably because we are goofballs!)

Saturday we ended up in Front Royal, VA.    We didn't have a whole bunch of time so we walked on a path in a park.  (Yeah....there were a bunch of geocaches along the path which may have helped us decide to go to this park...ok it may have helped ME decide to go there!!)

On Sunday we headed to Sky Meadows State Park.   We walked around and inspected the historic area and buildings.  

And then we headed off on the trails....up up up we went.  We inspected the ruins high on the mountain (ok actually this was only about one mile up...we still had another mile or so of climbing after this.  

The overlooks were not as awe inspiring as some others we have visited but the valley was still pretty!  The trails were key well...and it was another pretty hike.  

So two miles of steady climbing.....two miles of walking along the ridge line (part in the A.T.) one mile of gradual downhill and then one mile of a steep descent.  My legs were jelly!!!    We were sunburnt (again.....and this time it's rather stupid as I had sunscreen in the daypack)!!!   We were happy!!!   We slowly made our way home...stopping in quaint towns, driving through ritzy areas with huge horse farms, picked up one or two geocaches, stopped at some old cemetaries and just had a delightful time.

So why do I not expect the scales to show me the love?  There was some stress eating on Wednesday and Thursday.  And that's ok.  I recognize it and I can move on from it.   

Upward and onward!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

30 Miles Equals

After the fabulous weekend I decided to keep the activity rolling.

On Monday I was at work and slipped on my tennis shoes and out I went on my lunch break!

That wasn't enough so I planned to head out for a walk at after work.  Jason heard my plans and decided to join me!!!   We met at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal  That's a double win for me!!!
This tree caught my eye for some reason
Love our shadows! Even though our hands look like they are twisted and warped. 
And of course the setting sun over the river!
We walked roughly two and a half miles in one direction and then went back to the car where we grabbed more water.  Then we headed out and went roughly one and a half miles in the other direction....for just about 8 miles on the legs.   My legs were SHOT!

I had vowed to run in the morning on Tuesday.  I had worn a new pair of tennis shoes for half or my miles on Monday and I had picked up a blister.  OUCH!  My legs were still feeling the effects of soooooo many miles in the preceeding 4 days. (Three days of hiking and one day of lots of walking).    But, I had told Jason....and I knew he was going to ask. (We are working on a challenge.....more on that in a future blog post)  So I covered my blister with a gauze pad and some duct tape and laced up my running shoes.   I planned a two mile run since it had been so long since I've run.   I completed 2.21 miles ALL running (no walking break).  It wasn't fast but I did it!
My legs were REALLY shot by this point.  I went to work and sitting caused my muscles to stiffen up.  It took EVERYTHING in me to get myself up and walking on my lunch break.  But I did it!!!!!!

So what in the world does the title of this blog mean?  Thirty Miles Equals?     It could equal so many things!

*  30 miles = one gallon of gas (for my car at least....)
*  30 miles =distance to the next town
*  30 miles =  48.28032 kilometers
*  30 miles =  if I add per hour it could mean a speeding ticket in a 15 MPH zone
*  30 miles = 158,400 feet

But those things, while absolutely true are not what I am talking about.  I am talking about what in the world does 30 miles of walking, running and hiking in a six day period equal.  It actually means a few things to me!

*  30 miles = sore legs (deliciously sore...but sore none the less)
*  30 miles = extreme satisfaction in my accomplishment
*  30 miles = happiness....many of those miles were spent with Jason
*  30 miles = 3.4 pounds

Yes, I lost 3.4 pounds this week!   YIPPEE!!!!!   Can you say happy???

It wasn't just walking the caused the weight loss.  All but one day I simply ate reasonably. Although I will admit that  on that one off day that the  BLizzard (yeah, I've now caved twice recently) and the king size package  of Reece's Cups tasted SO good!  Sadly, the bad eating day was NOT a day where I even walked much!  That blizzard made me feel bloated and icky though, and that is what sparked me to walk at work on Thursday...the day that started my crazy streak of activity.     On the steady and in line food intake days, I didn't starve myself.  I didn't go crazy over my calories though.  I just ate reasonably.  (Pizza for 6 meals is reasonable right?   Yes 6...three dinners  and three leftover breakfasts!)

I have long said that I would rather exercise a whole bunch to give myself the freedom to eat what I want (within reason) and to not have to be overly anal about my food intake.  Well last week has proven that it works!!!  Lots of walking pus food not crazy but definitely not perfect (pizza for six meals!) and I lost 3.4 pounds!   That's what I'm talking about!

So it's Wednesday and time for my weekly check in for my year goals!

1.  Setting a PR in running.  I started running....just need to do it consistently!   And I am totally working on a plan for consistency and accountability!

2.  Be at weight goal!   Oh yeah, a loss of 3.4 is definitely working on that goal

3. .  Exercise at lest 3x a week.  Every day except last Wednesday!

4.  Track food   I tracked every bite...and all but that one day stayed pretty close to budget (that one day I was between 2000-2100 calories so still not as bad as it COULD have been....but definitely NOT a win!

This was a successful week!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunburnt Smiles

Here it is Monday....another weekend in the books!   And oh what a weekend!  (Wait...don't I say all my weekends are good now that I spend them primarily with Jason??)

Let's start with the eating for the last week.    I was pretty good with the exception of one day.....

That is calories alone....And here is calories with exercise added in.  (The net result!)

   So what happened Thursday with my eating?   I was planned out (as far as I could be) and then hey mentioned A Dairy Queen run.   I didn't indulge in the greasy fast food lunch from Dairy Queen. I DID resist that and stick with my packed lunch.   However a Blizzard called my name.   Waaaaay to many calories and honestly...they are quite expensive!    I ate my blizzard and enjoyed every drop, and then sat there feeling bloated and icky!   That is NOT a good feeling!   So I carted myself off my chair, utilized my 30 minute inch break and I went for a walk around town.  

Spring was evident in the gorgeous blooms on this tree.   The weather was perfect!   I grabbed a geocache that I've been putting off for while. But the best thing?   That stuffed bloated feeling disappeared!!!

Did I learn my lesson?   Nope....that evening I bought a king size package of Reece's cups.   

Friday was a new day!   I was a few hundred calories over my low end goal...but when I added in the walking/hiking we did in Front Royal...I was just fine!!!  

We walked on a path called the William E. Carson trail.  I found this trail because I was going after some geocaches.   It was a nice path...and there were some smaller billy-goat trails that veered off the gravel path that we explored.  

The path has gorgeous views

Neat sights

And interesting flora and fauna

All in all we got about 3.5 miles on our legs on Friday.  

Saturday dawned gorgeous!   We got a slow start but we were pleasantly surprised to arrive at the gates of the SkyLine Drive (Shenandoah National Park) and found that it was the free week for national parks!  Woohoo!   I had been prepared to pay not just the $20 entry fee (7 day access) but up it to $40 for the annual pass.  I happily put my money away and utilized the free pass!  

   We hit up a nice path and explored some in the northern district.   We chose The Fox Hollow Trail as our main trail.   It wasn't too long...but tacked on with the exploring around other areas, I managed about 4 mountainous miles.

Yeah, mushrooms and fungus growth has been catching my eye this year!

This small graveyard was on the side of the mountain and had family of the people that farmed this area back at the turn of the century (early 1900's).   

We enjoyed the Fox Hollow Trail greatly. It was full of history as we saw remnants of a farm and the inhabitants.  

We both got a little pink from the sun...but nothing that was too bothersome.

Sunday the weather was even more gorgeous!!!!   We headed back into the park and found a different trail, also in the northern district.  We hit up the Snead Farm Trail Loop.   This is a 3.5 mile loop. (With our other exploring I got just shy of 7 miles on my legs).   This trail also took us to an old farm stead.   Once again it was really neat to see the history.

This homestead site has the only remaining original farmstead buildings still standing.   The barn is still standing.

(I fear the longevity of the barn as I could see that it's being maintained...just barely).

The root cellar is also still standing and in pretty good shape.

The house is gone...but the front steps and front yard and wall are still standing firm and solid.

I did a cursory look on the Internet when I got home...but this far I haven't found any pictures of this farm when it was in operation.  There should be some out there as this farm was privately owned and in operation through the 1950's  (I will keep looking)

We inspected the spring...and watched the frogs enjoying the water...

We figured out their water system...the spring fed a cistern through that was a few feet down the hill......

And the cistern fed the water trough (that's what we assumed it was) through more underground pipes.  (We could see the pipes as this spring was mostly dry (or rather was no longer feeding into the man made pool.

We didn't take the out and back option for this hike (which would have been a round trip of about 1.3 miles).  We headed for the big loop.   2 miles of steady uphill.   Yup.  I burnt off my breakfast and worked up quite a deficit for my dinner!!!!

This is where we got burnt.  Yes we were walking in the forest.   But in the mountains....in early spring where the leaves are still none existent.  

We had plans to walk another trail...our legs were fine....but the sun beat us into submission.

So we drove in the skyline drive.  We explored picnic grounds, overlooks, visitor centers and all sorts of fun places.

I will make it quite clear....we hiked 40 miles away from where some careless (dumb) person accidentally set fire to the forest!  I was innocent and I would like to think a whole lot more responsible than that!!!   We did drive down that way on Sunday in our travels...probably within 15miles of the fire.   And from what we have read, the fire is in a location that they are letting it burn....fire ecology zone they call it.    

This picture is still probably 30 miles or more away from the fire.  

We drive home....and let me tell you.   We arrived home exhausted!!!!

I took a quick peek at the scales this morning....it's looking nice.   :-).   This hiking stuff really does burn calories!

And once again, Jason and I ran into an older couple...easily in their 60's.   They were heading out with backpacks and camping gear.  It is really making us cognizant of the fact that our behavior right  now is building us and creating a health that will lead us to be active into our 60's.  And we want to be active...and not 'old'.   (Jason said when we hit 80 we can stop camping and buy an RV.)


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's amazing how things work sometimes!

First and foremost, let me say that I lost 9/10ths of a pound this last week!     I'll take it!!!!!   Especially since if I want to be brutally honest I admit that the end of last week was rough and I was showing up on the scales!    Weeee!   A loss!  

On Monday afternoon/evening after work I ran an errand or two before heading to meet Jason.   I was driving toward where we were hooking up.  I had to go to the bathroom and I was HUNGRY and I had a half hour or so to kill before meeting him!   I decided to stop at Burger King to attend to all of these issues.  Yeah I was meeting Jason but it was early and I knew we wouldn't grab dinner for a few hours.   This was a good plan, in my mind at least.   I would take the edge off my hunger so that I wouldn't eat like a starving child in some third world country when dinner time came!   See...good plan right?   Ok, so maybe Burger King Onion Rings weren't the best choice!  But that was my plan!

I trucked into the fast food joint and headed to the bathroom.  I pushed open the door.  My first thought was, 'wow that's odd...there is only one stall'.  And that when I noticed it.....a urinal!   Oops I entered the men's bathroom!  I backed out quickly and made my way to the proper rest room with a mixture of embarrassment and laughter filling my thoughts.    

Yeah...when I was done with my business, I looked at the workers and  the embarrassment won out.  I slunk out of the joint and back to my car!   I spent the spare time grabbing a geocache!

Saved by the urinal!   Besides, Jason hates onions....why ruin his end of any possible kisses that 'may' have happened when we saw each other!  

I have been caffeine free for a week now. It would have been a week but last Wednesday I had a wee little glass of diet soda.  No headaches this time around...I hadn't let the caffeine totally overtake my life again!    And in fairness, it's not the caffeine that I wanted to get rid of...but rather the diet soda and those nasty chemicals!   (No, I don't drink tea and I don't drink coffee so there really aren't any good viable substitutes that make sense...so caffeine free it is!).

Exercise is still pretty spotty.  We hiked last Wednesday...and walked a bit this weekend.  But other than that...nada.   I need to kick back into running!!!!  

Tracking?   Every bite!!!!   And my food is starting to line up with where I want my caloric intake to be!   I've beefed up the fruit and veggie consumption!!   Ethel was quite interested in my salad!!!

Water consumption???   I do at least 60 ounces a day!  

I'm steadily moving forward toward success!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do I smell Spring???

Well another weekend is in the books and it's back to work for me!!!   

I am still really working to get my food consumption under control.   I have not been eating exactly on target.   It got better after my vow to clean it up after my South Carolina trip....but I still need to clean it up!!!

'Calorie in' looks like this...

Net, including activity (which has also been sorely lacking...other than a nice long hike on Wednesday its been lame at best!). 

Ok with the earned it doesn't look quite as bad!!!  But I know it hasn't been fabulous and I knew where I need to clean it up!!!

Exercise....I need to get back to running....ASAP!   At least I am walking and hiking at least once or twice a week!!!! (Sometimes more!)

It was not a good weekend for hiking...it was cold and windy!   Ok that's an excuse but we are out there for enjoyment and being cold and uncomfortable is NOT enjoyable!  We did manage to walk a little bit on Sunday...outside even as we did the explored the Cedar Creek Battlefield and the Belle Grove Plantation...
And grounds (including the space grave yard)
And of course some signs of spring....

We also saw some old graveyards on back roads were wee driving and explored....

Someone was very proud of  in the confederacy....big in history with placing the metal/iron market years ago....but with the 'more recent placement of the small flags on many graves of soldiers in that area (two different graveyards).   And no...it's part of history....it doesn't offend me at all!  What does offend me is that the flag that we know generally call the Confederate flag is actually not the Confederate States of America flag....I believe it is actually a naval flag of the CSA....hmmmmm
There were quite a few confederate soldiers at this one graveyard....this last stone actually said 'fell at Manassas' 

And of course we stopped at an overlook!

A panorama shot does not do this view justice!!!!!!

It was a good weekend....now we are looking forward to the next one!  And the best news about the upcoming weekend????  I can smell spring weather!!!  Ok maybe not smell it, but I see that next weekend's forecast is looking spectacular! It is forecasted to be in the upper  60's and lower 70's...perfect for hiking!   We have already tentatively made plans to spend the weekend down in Front Royal.   There are tons of local, regional and state parks and trails and of course Front Royal is the northern most entrance to the Skyline drive....which is in the Shenandoah National Park...and that gives us tons more hiking trails!!!  Yay!!!!   Sniff sniff sniff....I can definitely smell spring now!!!!