Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday madness

Bullet point style post just because.....

** I wrote my Friday blog post but for some reason it didn't go live...so it went live today....and is much more than this lazy post!!

** It's Monday and I feel blah!!!!!

** The nerve on the top of my foot had been hurting bad lately!!!  It started about a week or two ago.   Walking any length of time is rough!!!

** Rain rain rain.....I'm ready for the rain to be over so I can get out and run and walk and be outside more!!

**We had a low key weekend.  Saturday was rainy...so we hit up some antique stores....and of course tried on hats.

 
 

And on Sunday we walked along the canal for a few hours....still looking for the elusive morel mushrooms!!!


** My eating was not good this weekend!!!!

Mud mask

Well then.....for some reason this post never went live....and I just found it....  this is from Friday!!!

My weight continues to fluctuate up and down.  I'm not stressing about it.   It is what it is.   I am happy that I'm weighing daily so that I can see the fluctuations and realize that while my weigh in day was high, I am seeing lower days.  So good things are happening!!!!

On Wednesday Jason and I were out walking.  We are still on the hunt for morel mushrooms.    We haven't found any yet.  We have found other interesting things though...
 
It is still early in the mushroom season so we are still hopeful!!!

On Thursday the skies cleared so we hopped onto our bikes and took a ride on the canal.  It was a bit warm and muggy but we enjoyed ourselves.   And then on the reverse trip back to the car the skies opened....and we hit a wee patch of rain.

Somehow even though we were riding at the same speed....on the same path....in the same rain; I got covered in mud!!!!  My braid was caked with mud!
 
 Jason had a bit of mud but no where near as bad as I!!!
 

Different bikes and different size and type tires make the difference I guess!

Hahaha. Years ago my brother and I rode bikes together and it rained.  He told me that if you ride in the rain you are bad ass.....well I rode in the rain AND mud!!!  I must be extra bad ass!!!!

As for my 2017 in 2017 and in particular the April goal of at least 25 miles above and beyond what I needed for April.  I am happy to say I have less than 10 miles to go to reach that goal an


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Two steps forward two steps.....

This weight thing for me seems to be two steps forward then two steps back.     For the month of march I stayed pretty close to 238.4 for my official weigh ins.  I would show progress during the week but then on my official weigh in I would go right back to the 238.4....I referred to this as my boomerang weight  I was frustrated but still pushed forward. Then for my official weigh in on April 5th I had a break through and I was down to 237!   Woohoo!   But on April 12th I was back up and even higher...I was up to 239!    Let me tell you, utterly frustrating!!!!   

I made a vow last week to make some changes.   I have been trying to and I even did good at the beach this past weekend.  I was happy to see the numbers on scale on Monday ( 236.4) and Tuesday.  (236).    I was thinking great things for today's weigh in.  

I woke up thirsty and knew it wasn't going to be all that great even though my eating was pretty good yesterday.    I was right.   237.0 

Soooo.....take we will take this weigh in however the mood strikes ...but here are the options...

*** Up a pound from yesterday
*** Down two pounds from last week 
*** Maintain from two weeks ago

I ran yesterday morning.  And it went well.  It still isn't fabulous but I'm enjoying it a whole lot more than a few weeks ago.   It's amazing what a little soul searching does!!!!

I'm having problems with pain on the  top of my foot.  A doctor once told me it was a nerve issue.   It has come and gone for a few years.   Late last week it came.    I meant to tape my foot (KT tape has helped some in the past....) on Saturday because I knew we would be out and walking all day. (We ended up putting more than 11 miles on our feet that day!). But I forgot.  And I paid the price.  By the end of the day the pain was really kicking!!!   Believe me, I remembered to tape it on Sunday!!!  The foot still twinges on Sunday but it was a whole lot more bearable!!! (And we didn't walk quite as much since we had to factor in the 4 hour drive home.).    I forgot to tape it on my run on Tuesday...and it bothered me.    Gotta get more tape....gotta keep it taped for a few days....because I want this pain GONE!  It can come back another day never!!!

Just as a side note...I have hit my 10k steps goal 9 out of the last 10 days!    I'm making some great progress toward my mileage goal.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday blues

I've got the Monday blues....bad!!!!  We went to the ocean again this past weekend.   It was sooooooo difficult to come home!!!!!   I have some pictures but most  are on my good camera and I do not have access at the moment so this will not be heavy photo post.

We decided to not take our bikes this weekend.   We absolutely loved riding on the boardwalk and in the beach last month...
 
....but  decided that we wanted to explore on foot and also not have to worry about the bikes this visit.

We left early afternoon on Friday when I got off of work and arrived around 5 or 6 (it's a four hour drive).   We checked into our hotel and headed out on foot.   We walked for a while and checked out a few things before heading back to our hotel to enjoy the beauty of the beach (and the happenings on the boardwalk) from our balcony.  (Yes we were ocean front and our hotel was right on the boardwalk.). A perfect night.  And a perfect moon!!!!!  The picture on my phone doesn't do it justice!! It looked like the moonlight was shining straight up to us!
 

Saturday we walked....and walked ...and walked some more!  I actually had my largest step day (since I got my Fitbit at least!!).   We walked on the beach.  We walked on the roads. We walked the length of the boardwalk...a couple times.    We also spent some time on the balcony in the morning, and evening watching the kite board guy flipping around out on the waves, looking for dolphins and just enjoying the peaceful sounds of the crashing waves!

We also checked out the haunted house ride... cheesy but fun.
 
  Sunday was more walking!!!!   We also managed to play a few rounds of mini golf.  (Two different locations...because why not?)

I had made up my mind late last week that I had knock my calories down further than I have been.  Something had to change.  I also knew that I was going to be at the beach and that at least one of our meals would include Thrasher's fries (boardwalk style...handcut fries)....and who knows what else!!!   I decided to roll with it and not worry about cutting the calories until the weekend was behind me. 

Furthermore while I was there I decided to not even count my calories over the weekend!!!!  

But this morning I had second thoughts and entered in my food into my fitness pal, And wow....I'm shocked!!!   

Friday....1581
Saturday.....1715
Sunday....1259

And we walked over 20 miles!  (11 on Saturday....the other days were 5....which isn't bad since we were also in the car 4 hours on those days!!)

I did splurge.  We got cinnamon buns....I ate half.   I downsized my ice cream also!!!

On Sunday I chose a salad for my lunch.   I ordered it mainly because it was a seafood oriented dining establishment and the options for a non seafood water was more limited.  After I ordered it I noticed a special in the menu and lamented about the loss of the chicken cordon blue and French fry special.   But you know what?  The salad was good.   I walked away and said 'well that gives me room for a boardwalk treat...something like a fried Twinkie or a fried Reece's cup'.  But I didn't partake in anything fried.   I actually bought some chocolate covered strawberries!!!!  And they were delicious!!!!!

And my weight this morning reflected my better choices....and the walking!!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Readjustment

After the last week of soul searching that I wrote about in my last post, I attacked running with a different attitude.   I went out expecting the worst. I had no expectations other than that it was going to hurt.  Sure, I hoped that I wouldn't lose my pants (true story), I prayed that the mean squirrels would not be look at me with that menacing look that  they have.  (True story....at least in my mind while I run) and  I hoped that I wouldn't look like I peed my pants from wardrobe malfunction. (Yes...true story)    But I didn't expect greatness.  I knew it would hurt and that I would have to interval walk/run and I knew that I would be slow....but I had no expectations. 

And amazingly enough with no expectations of greatness I smashed the run on Wednesday.  I did walk once or twice and I was slow. But I felt victorious!   Thursday I went out again and purposely told myself it was going to be horrible.  But it wasn't!   Ahhhh. It's so much better to meet and actually exceed expectations!!!!

 

Look I was even smiling during the one run!!! (I hope both actually.)

The runs were not without trauma.  The pants I wore on one day were too loose to be able to use my run buddy pouch.  If you don't know what that is....it is an awesome way to carry phones and gear!   I hate arm bands!!!!  The pouch is definitely the way to go. (Unless your pants are too loose then it doesn't work!) 

 

So I may have turned a corner...hopefully!  

So I have been doing some  soul searching and have come to a conclusion about my monthly goals.....

So let me do a check in and while I talk about where I am at will all become clear.

1.  2017 miles in 2017.  My monthly goal was set at 191 miles.  I am happy to say that as of Thursday the 13th I have reached 130 miles for the month.  

2.  Run twenty miles in April.   I am at 7.69 miles for the month.   So a little behind but in good shape still!

3.  Lose weight.  Oh heck here is where it gets ugly. Once again I'm not losing...I'm back at the 238-239 weight.   It's disgusting.  It's heart wrenching.  It's annoying.  It makes me want to cry, wail, gnash my teeth.  Most importantly it makes me want to give up!!!!  

4  Track my food and stay under 1800 calories. (With one cheat day.  I've actually nailed this one.
 
And with exercise added in it looks even better!!!

 


So the lack of loss....something has to change.  Big time change.   I know when I was losing I was keeping my food intake at 1200 calories.  (Which equaled the roughly the same amount as my base WW points when I compared.). I didn't eat my exercise calories/points.  I didn't have such a large range.  I kept my food between 1200 and 1299 calories. Period. 

So that last goal of tracking and being under 1800 is changing.  My goal is under 1400.  (Baby steps I will get it back to the 1200!!)

I know that this weekend will be difficult to keep it there. We are going to be at the beach for the weekend....and I am sure that there will be boardwalk style French fries and who knows what else!    So very difficult to keep it under 1400...and part of me says I should just start on Monday.  But no...I'm starting now but accepting that the weekend will not be perfect....but if I can get one day down to 1400 it would be a victory!!!!!!  So I'm going to try this weekend....but hard core on Monday!!!!

So just a wee little 'Maryfran' snafu story to end this post...

I knew today was going to be a low step day for me due to circumstances beyond my control. So I was up early and doing some stuff around the house this morning and I was purposely taking extra steps and not being effieicent with my steps in order to wrack up those steps while I could. I was so proud of myself.....then after about 45 minutes I realized that my Fitbit was still on the charger!!!!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Contemplation

Let me start with the stats from my 2017 miles in the year 2017 challenge and more specifically the month of April.  I need 166 miles in April to not fall further behind....but my goal is to make up at least 25 miles making it a total of 191 miles needed for April.  Monday marked  1/3 mark of the month completed.   I am happy to say that at end of day Monday I was at 101.73 miles. (Thank you biking!). That makes me more than halfway to the goal for the month!

On Monday and Tuesday we rode on the canal in the afternoon. 
 
I love riding through the fields of bluebells!!!  We also have spent quite a bit of time traipsing around looking for mushrooms.  

This morning I got up and ran 3 miles.  (More on that later) and mowed the grass.  And I made it to work by 9:45 AM!

So in a post from last week, I wrote about the difficult run that I had on that day.  I received a comment from Shelley who blogs at MyJourneytofit   Shelley to me is the voice of  reason.  I've been reading her blog for long enough to watch her go through various stages of health, fitness and running....including some self analyzation as she figured out that long distance running doesn't make her happy...but the shorter distances do!   So yes....she knows and would totally recognize the chords of dissonance within me! 

In her comment she basically asked me if I REALLY wanted to run or if I just wanted to want to run.  WOW!!!  Good question Shelley!!!!

Thus began a crazy journey of thoughts and introspection as I really tried to find an answer to her question. Not so much for her, but for me!  

In her comment she had mentioned that I seem to love biking and hiking more, or at least seemed happier during those activities. So I chose that as my starting point.  I AM quite happy when I hike and bike.  I had no problem agreeing to that fact! But why???  I had definitely encountered hikes where I was in pain and hurting bad.  On February 6th  of this year we hiked Mary's Rock and I was NOT liking hiking.  Yet I was mysteriously happy!  The same thing goes for hiking.  On Saturday April 1rst I had a ride that was rough but on the 2nd I had a great bike ride!!!
Once again even on the 'bad day' I was happy. Go figure?  Was it the scenery of where we were at?
 
Ok yeah, it was pretty but that wasn't it!   Then I realized that I was happy and pushed through the bad run because of who I was with.  From there it wasn't long until I realized that when I am with Jason I also tend to trivialize my aches and pains because 'I'm tough' and still have a lot of fun!  Seriously, the first hike with him back in 2015 I was huffing and puffing like a steam train but tried to hide it....and then if course there was the recent bike ride where I flipped over the handlebars on the side of a mountain path....I was sore and my wrist hurt but I blithely rode on and had a fabulous time!!!

So I learned
1.  Having company on these excursions makes a difference!
2.  I push myself harder when with Jason and this have better results which means I have a larger sense of pride at my accomplishments.
3.  I simply am happy when I'm with him!!!
4.  Bad hikes/rides are counter balanced with good rides and hikes.

Hmmmmm that is interesting....but let's think about running now.

My first question to myself was 'why am I pushing myself to run?'  Is it because I want to call myself a runner or are there other reasons.

I had to dig deep for this and I went back to the beginning.  When I first started running I did it simply because it seemed  the thing to do.  I frequently commented that you don't often see fat runners...so I wanted to run because 'it's gotta be good'.  But that idea quickly disappears and went away. I continued running because I wanted to conquer that C25K. I wanted to be victorious.

But along the way I found out a few things about myself and running.

1.  I found utter exhilaration from a fabulous run!
2. I discovered a body that responded, became strong and did amazing things. I was proud of what my body could do!
3. I found utter clarity in my thoughts while I run.
4.  Running brought me energy and happiness.  There is nothing better than that energetic feeling of being alive when I finish a run.  (Ok there may be a few other better things....like a kiss from Jason....but you know what I mean!)
5.  Is it wrong to say that I found that I like the feeling of the hot sweat on my body telling me that I did something good for myself?

Yes, I guess I actually do like running....or at least the feelings and by-products of running.

So what is the problem?  Why is running right now giving me NONE of these pleasures?

Well obviously the current weather keeps me from getting all hot and sweaty...but that's coming soon.  But what else....for that I went back to the reasons that hiking and biking are pleasurable.   And one thing was glaring....

I haven't had a fabulous run in months....oh you know the runs I'm talking about....(or any workout for that matter)...these are the ones where your body feels like it could go on forever, everything feels good and rights. The angels are singing because it's so perfect!  Yeah....I can faintly remember that...in the far far distant past. How long? Probably as far back as late summer 2015.   Shortly after that might run I got sick ...like two days later!  And then began a slow recovery.   I was finally on my feet and vacations were over and starting to run and I sprained my ankle    And it just continued.  Lack of running and inconsistent running and the bad runs just piled up....one on top of the other!!!   Oh and then my weight crept upwards and that just compounded the bad runs!!!  All bad runs with no fabulous ones to counter-act the bad.  Well no wonder!!

So I guess what it boils down to right now is that yes, I only want to run and I don't currently love running.  But that is only because I am not reaping the benefits.  But I keep trying because I crave the benefits.

So to reap the benefits that I crave I must run and push myself through these bad runs.  In doing this I will rebuild my body and bring about the heavenly runs!!!  And that means consistently running!

Ironically enough I took a stack of magazines to work one day this week to catch up on my reading.  The May 2017 issue of Runners World was one of them.  As I flipped through the magazine I saw a section entitled 'Refresh your Running Life'. They had a mutitude of suggestions.  Some were...
- switch from the roads to trails
-focus on distance instead of speed (or vice versus)
-add extra reps
- go from sporadic to consistent. 

On page 22 it said "If your not running for at least 30 minutes every other day your body will struggle to adapt to the stresses on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.  Consistency helps pass the point  at which every run feels hard."

Ok then, I had already decided that I needed consistency in order to fix this problem and then I just happened to open this magazine and read this article?  Maybe this is a sign from heaven!!!!

So my run this morning.....I decided to go outside with no expectations at all.   Or rather I decided to go out with very low expectations.  I also got my headphones to sync/pair so I ran without wires!  Woohooo!!!    So the run?  I was expecting horror.  It wasn't bad!!!!   The run was not  fabulous but it was definitely much better than recent runs.    

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When I started casting around for a title for this post the only thing that seemed to fit was The good, the bad and the ugly.   I am horrible with titles, I know it!  If it wouldn't have made it too long I would have titled it "The good, the bad, the ugly, the summary, the plan".  And that is the order that his blog will be written in....

The Good

It's Monday, what else would the good be other than a fabulous weekend!  I worked on Saturday morning so we got a later start.  Saturday was low key for us...we hit up some stores in the afternoon and then relaxed in the evening.

Sunday we explored a big, old graveyard....on bikes.   We did not ride on the graves, when something caught our eye we would hop off and walk to investigate!!!
 
We stopped at an outdoor flea market and an indoor flea market.  On the way to the next stop an overhanging tree bumped into our bikes which were on the top of the car.   We stopped to check the bikes.  Jason got to check out an VW bus....can you see the lust  in his eyes??  He would buy one in a heartbeat if he found one and had the money!
 

Then it was on to the Hilltop.  The Hilltop Hotel is an old motel that was once probably quite grand.  It sat atop a hill with a fabulous view.....

 

The main building of the hotel has disintegrated into a terrible state of disrepair....I'm not sure it is salvageable at this point.   We are drawn to it....and stop to gawk look whenever we are in the area.   
 

 
Don't let these pictures fool you....the rest is literally crumbling.

I didn't take any pictures of the decay.  Today I couldn't find any pictures on the internet showing the current level of decay. So here is an older picture that gives an idea.

 
The really bad area has extended leftward and the whole side is exposed, you can see straight into rooms and the floors on that open section are now sagging quite a bit.   

From there we headed to the canal where we rode our bikes. We got off once or twice and looked for mushrooms.
 

On the way home we even had time to stop for a geocache!

 

It was another fabulous weekend!  Full of relaxation and yes, even though we were feeling lazy we were still pretty active!!!

The Bad

Yesterday somehow the subject of snoring came up between Jason and I.  I laughed and said 'I'm sure I snore'.  He laughed and agreed and then dropped a bomb on me. He asked if I had ever done a sleep study test.  I just looked at him in shock and said no.   Apparently the first time or two that he heard me he absolutely panicked.  He said that at times it sounds like I am gasping for air and it sounds just like his father did before he started using a sleep machine for sleep apenea!    To say I was blown away is an understatement.  He asked if my ex ever mentioned it.  'Uhhh no, well he did tell me that I snored but never that it sounded scary.....but then is that shocking my ex only cared about himself and wasn't at all concerned about my well being!'     Jason says it is a consistent problem and the worst right after I fall asleep.  He also says he will try to record it so that I can hear what it sounds like.  I know this doesn't mean I have a problem...and I'm not going to panic or say I have any issues. This is just an observation from a non medical person.  However it is someone that cares and someone that wants me to live a long time!  So not panicked but I am going to say that I'm concerned!  

The Ugly

And bear with me...this sounds whiny...but has to be said to get to the point I'm trying to make!!!

A few years ago (10 years or more) I left a job that paid pretty decently and took a much lower paying job.  I had hopes that it would help my failing marriage.  I did it to get away from working second shift and to be closer to home.  It worked for us in that  my paycheck was not our  only income and the insurance was pretty decent. ($150 deductible and then a 90/20 plan).     In the ensuing years things  changed.   The insurance deductible is now $3000.  And  while I always had good reviews and was given more responsibilities the pay never increased.  "No raises this year" , "there is a hiring freeze so even though we are moving you up to a higher level position you won't get the pay increase" and then "someone left and we aren't filling the position so we are divvying up the work....so we are adding this responsibility to you".  So my pay stayed low....abysmally low!   When my marriage ended I had to move in with my parents because, well it's not exactly easy/possible to survive on a job that is only a tick above minimum wage.   Yes, I look for work and apply.  Yes I have a college degree.  No, teaching is a closed door for me.  This isn't the post for why...but I have written about it on this blog.....  

So all of that to say that I work a full time job where extra money is something that is scraped from the leftover pennies.   The two major car repair bills in December and January crippled me financially.  Buying a pair of tennis shoes is a hardship....buying bras is a hardship (seriously good bras are so expensive...why??? I lucked out and found three on a sale rack a few months ago....not exactly what I wanted but they were my size and with a good percentage  off and at $10 a piece I took them!!  But I so desperately needed bras that those three bras get a lot of use and I need more!).  

To say that finances stress me out is an understatement.   I wake up in a panic thinking about my car that has over 200k miles on it. I worry a LOT about it!

So with money being tight....it's no shock to realize that the health insurance with that super high deductible is a health insurance that I can't afford to use.  

I am however grateful to have a job....even though I am dissatisfied with the pay, the insurance and a multitude of other things pertaining to this job.

And that is the ugly.....because even if I wanted to have this snoring/gasping for air thing checked.  I can't afford it!!!

The Summary
I may or may not have a problem.  I'm not going to worry myself sick over that also.   I can't.  It would only be counter productive.

I started to think about blogs I've followed, stories I've read and situations I've heard of.  Weight can very well affect sleep in a negative way.  

Heck maybe it is the spring pollen and Jason was just tired when he said it happens consistently!

A visit to the doctor is not going to happen at the moment!

Weight loss seems to be my option for attacking this possible issue. 

Wow, did I just get a huge motivator thrown into my lap???  Wasn't I just saying the other week that I was searching for something to continually motivate me?   I was looking for an event like a concert or a trip....

The Plan

The plan is this and its simple.   Lose weight!!!

I know how to do it.   Calories ingested versus calories spent.  Simple in theory.

Now I just need to do it!!!!!



Friday, April 07, 2017

Boat anchors

On Wednesday I got off work at noon.   It was a gorgeous spring day!   What did I do?   Hop on my bike of course!!!!

15.5 miles completed on the C&O Canal towpath.

I was riding by and something caught my eye...was it....
 

I got off my bike and moved closer.....
 
Yes, someone placed a gnome in the tree.  How fun!!!

I also walked quit a bit that day too! 

I went running this morning.  The first quarter of a mile was brutal!   The wind was blowing....hard!    I could tell from which direction it was blowing and knew that if I could just reach the  roads  that I had planned to run that the narrow, garage lined alleys would buffet me from the wind.  I was right.  Thank heavens.   

That didn't make the run at better though.  My legs were heavy!  Like boat anchor heavy!!!!  At about a mile and a half I started to feel a hot spot in the side of my foot. I bailed at one of my bail out points.    I finished up my run at about 2.25 miles.  I'd had enough!  

It's frustrating.  I am running slower than I have ever run before!   I know it's lack of consistency and the higher weight!   Two things that I can fix to make it a bit better.

While I was running this morning I was thinking about running.  I would love someday to say I am a great runner and be able to run amazingly paced miles.  But in reality, I don't see it happening (anytime soon at least).   First of all my current weight would prohibit it.  But secondly and most importantly I don't have the time and energy to focus solely on running.   I like to ride my bike....and so last Saturday when I COULD have run (which may have helped negate today's horrible run) I chose instead to ride my bike!   And guess what?   This weekend I may not run.  I may not even ride my bike.   Why?  We might be hiking!!!    Variety is really what I enjoy!!!!

So jack of all trades master of none!!!! And loving every minute of it!!!

The first week of April is just about done so I figured it was time to check in and see how I am doing on my monthly goals.

1. April mileage goal I have completed 67.16 miles.  (Bare minimum for the month is 166.5 but I am aiming for 191.5). In crushing this goal thus far!

2. Running goal.  I have only run 2.32 miles of the 20 I am aiming for.   I should have at least 5 by now.  But plenty of time left!

3. Lose weight.    I weighed myself in April first and then again on my official weigh in day.   It was exactly the same. So no change.

4.  I tracked every bite!   My cheat day was really high though!   Other than that I was within my goal range.

 
And with my exercise calories factored into my totals it looks even better.
 

So I'm still working it....tracking, running, biking, hiking and whatever else my heart desires!!!!