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!!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

April showers bring.....

April showers bring......a cancelled run!

I woke up on Tuesday determined and ready for my run.  I looked out the window...rain!  Yucky rain!  (Ok I don't mind rain....I just don't like a cold rain when I'm wanting to run!!).    So I didn't run.  Ironically enough, it rained literally until the moment I got out of my car at work and then the skies opened and it was gorgeous!!!!

We did get out and walk both Monday and Tuesday nights.  So my step count /mileage wasn't totally in the gutter!  (But at 3 -4 miles I ate into the surplus I had after the first two days of the month !).  While we were out we saw some more sure signs of spring.
 
Why yes that goose is sitting on a nest of eggs!!!

And if that doesn't convince anyone.....
 
 

Aren't they adorable????  

Luckily for me today (Wednesday) is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous and I get off work at noon!   The plan?  I'm heading onto the canal on my bike!

So what did I do yesterday instead of run?????

I saw this post by Pink.   
 

Just another reason to like Pink!

I also read about the Barkley Marathon!   I watched a documentary about this intense race a few months back.  The movie is called "The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats its Young".    Yes it's that brutal to be worthy of the name!!!   The race was conceived in 1977 when there was an escape from a prison in the area where the race is held.  The prisoner made it 8 miles in 58 hours. (The terrain is that rugged!) an eccentric man made the comment that 'I could do 100 in that time frame....and the idea for a 100 mile race (give or take) up and down the mountains of TN was born.  The entry requirements are a bit sketchy....but it involves a registration fee of $1.60 and a written essay.  If accepted you receive a letter of condolence!   First year participants must then arrive with a license plate from their state.  If you have already attempted this race and are trying again you must arrive with something else that is designated by this eccentric race organizer.  (Socks, shirts, etc).  If you are a prior year winner rumor has it that your required item is a pack of Camel ciggarettes.    The course is a 20-25 mile loop and is totally unmarked!!!   There are two water stations set up (but I've read reports that on some years the water is frozen solid) and nothing else other than the runners own personal car/tent and crew parked at the beginning of the loop.    (There is a plan in place to insure that the runners actually complete the whole loop).

 The race is capped at 40 participants each year.  In the history of the race the full course has only been completed in the 60 hours  18 times ...by 15 different competitors (one guy won three years).   Isn't that nuts????

So anyway, last weekend was the 2017 Barkley Marathons. And we added a new winner to the books.  A man from D.C.  It was his third attempt.  There was another finisher...kinda....a man got lost and came in 12 seconds past the cut off!  I cried for him when I watched the video...can you imagine having a DNF because you were 12 seconds beyond he cut off after 60 hours of brutal conditions while running!!

I'm blown away by the fortitude and resilience of these runners.   Imagine the pain, the extreme fatigue and motivation to run pretty much 60 hours straight...getting lost in the woods....(yes happens a LOT apparently) through goodness knows what weather.  Apparently this year they encountered bitter cold, hail and snow!   The winner resorted to picking up trash, someone's discarded hat and a Walmart bag to wrap around himself to try to stay warm.   Wow...just wow!!!

So writing this I'm actually ashamed that I didn't run yesterday morning...in 40° temps....on paved surfaces....in the daylight....just because it was raining.  Our bodies can handle so much more than we demand from them.  And the Barkley Marathons prove that!!!

Maybe it's time to push myself a little harder!

Oh yeah....almost forgot...weigh in day. I FINALLY had a weigh in day that wasn't the boomerang weight  f 238.4!!!   I don't really know how because I haven't eaten well the last few days!   But today was 237!   I'll take it and I'm motivated to stay away from that
boomerang weight!!!

Monday, April 03, 2017

It's here!!!!

Spring is here!  I'm pretty sure!   Yes I've been saying it for weeks that I want spring to be here but this time I'm pretty sure it is here!  

Why do I say that????  Well let me talk about my weekend first and it will all be clear within time!

We knew it was to be gorgeous so we decided to take our bikes out!   On Saturday we rode our bikes on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal  near the Monocacy Aqueduct   
 

The weather was a bit cool but perfect for biking!   The canal was not busy too which made it extra nice.  For some reason this ride just did in my legs.  They were tired!!!   We turned earlier than we had planned (thank heavens) because Jason was also struggling but we knew why...his fancy-dancy shocks needed air and he said it was riding on a puffy marshmallow....so every rotation of his pedal he lost at lelast 50% of his effort into the bounce.  Hahaha. 

We explored a bit at the aqueduct after we got back and then called it a day.   While we were out we did see a few blue bells but we actually had a nice conversation about can't wait to see the turtles and the vibrant colors of flowers and such.  Basically we longed for all of the things that would scream to us telling us that spring was here!

On Sunday we awoke and had a leasurly morning and then an early lunch before heading back to the canal.  This time we headed just east of Great Falls .   We pulled our bikes off the car and prepared ourselves to ride.  

 
Once we were ready we hopped onto our bikes and headed eastward toward Georgetown/Washington D.C.     

Almost immediately I threw on the brakes and skidded to a halt!   Why?   I saw spring!!!!!    

 

Turtles everywhere!   They had come out from under where they were burrowed for the winter and they were enjoying the sun!   Hip hip hurray!!!!  

And bugs...they came out too!

We also saw a few kinds of flowers dotting edge of the path. What a treat!!!!

The ride was interesting.  The canal is always a neat place to ride!!!
 
 This trip however seemed full of fun and interesting features!   We passed a handful of locks and canal structures.  
 

We looked longingly at the numerous little trials off the towpath.  We explored a few but plan on coming back as they look like good beginner trails for me to go off road, thus maybe we can avoid another tumble !!  We checked out the pumping station, the dam and the rapidly moving river.
 

We noticed that one of the old houses along the canal was open so we went and checked it out.  

It was the Abner Cloud House.  Which is apparently one of the oldest houses in the area (they said only one other house is older).  It pre-dates the Chesapeake and Ohio canal and was there when George Washingtons Canal was in operation.  

 

So many things to see.... even an old marker for miles left to D.C. Or should I say 'miles to Washington's City'?

 

And when we got to Georgetown (the eastern end of the canal) we got off our bikes and explored a bit.  Ok, most of our time there was spent watching the hubbub going on around the Four Seasons Hotel....secret service agents were everywhere!!!

It was an awesome ride!!!!!

Eventually we got back to the car and we headed home.  We stopped to wash the bikes (and my car).  They needed it as we hadn't washed off the salt from last weeks beach trip! !  We still had a bit of time before it got dark so we went to the park and while we went to walk, we ended up sitting on a park bench and enjoying the evening, and the site of a sunken tugboat!

So the best part???? I ended the first two days of April with 33.12 miles!!!!!   I'm well on my way to my April mileage goal!!!

Food for the weekend....not so good.  But I can clean it up!  And I WILL!!!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Going out like a.....

March is almost over!   Where is time going??  The older I get the faster time seems to fly by!!!!  In some ways it's good but in some ways....wowzers!!!!

Since the month isn't over yet I really can't close out the month.....can I????  You know what...most of the numbers for the month won't change throughout the day so I'm going to roll with it.  

In march I set some goals for myself.  Going through them one at a time......

1.  I wanted to get every mile I needed for march.  I wasn't aiming to get ahead on my 2017 miles but I didn't want to fall further behind in March.   In numbers, that meant I needed 172 miles.

 I am happy to say that as of right now...I have 175.91 miles for the month of March.  I don't anticipate a high mileage day for today but that doesn't matter, I nailed this goal!!  

2.  I set a goal of 20 miles of running for the month. 

I did not make this goal. I was close....kinda.  I did better than January.  I did better than February.   I managed to complete 15.5 miles of running.  Goal not achieved but a victory none the less!!

3.  The third goal was to be below 230 pounds. 

I did not even come close to this goal!  I am hovering between 236 and 238. Total failure.   

That said, I'm going to say that I didn't gain....so that is a victory!!!

4.  Last but not least I made a hallenge to myself to keep my food intake within a certain caloric range.  The range was between 1200 and 1800 calories.  

I missed the mark on just a few days.  We are talking only 4 days for the whole month that I totally blew my calories!!!!   Not exactly hitting my goal but not exactly a failure either!!!


So for March I see progress...some successes but progress for sure.

So what are the goals for April??

If at first you don't succeed...try try again. So that tells you that am going to stick pretty close to the same goals from March.

Almost exactly the same with just a few minor changes.

1.  I want to complete the miles for April so that I do not fall behind, but I would like to cover at least 25 miles extra to start cutting into the deficit if mikes that I wracked up in January and February.   In March we rode 4 times and that was the factor that bumped me over the edge.   So honestly I just need to add two more bike rides!   It is very important to start working on that deficit because while it may be easier in the summer to meet my miles, I know that when it gets cold in November and December it will be difficult.  I want to roll into the fall months with a nice surplus of miles sitting in the hopper!!!

2.  I want to complete 20 miles of running!   My work schedule for the month of April gives me 9 good options for mornings to run.  So even without finagling different running times into my schedule I can manage to hit 20 miles by continuing to run my short loop that gives me about 2.15 miles.

3.  Lose weight!!  Of course I want to lose and I'm reinstating that below 230 goal.  I can do it!!!!!!!   At the very least I want to be away from the boomerang weight of 238.

4.  My plan is to continue to track everything and stay within the 1200-1800 calorie range.  Ideally I would like to be lower but I also know that more hiking , biking and running the more hungry I will be.  The caveat???   I am allowing myself one day a week to not worry...a cheat day per day!!!! Not planning on using it much...but I'm ok with it!  Because life happens!!!   So four days over 1800 allowed!!  

So pretty much the same!!!!!   The only difference?  I'm going to rock all of the goals in April!!!



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Weigh in day

We thoroughly enjoyed our last day at the ocean.  I went back on my last post and added in a sunrise picture...but we enjoyed the sunrise and the sound of the waves crashing below our balcony and we slowly and lazily got moving to start our last day.

 


It was a joy so good food day.  We had Thrasher's fries and I picked up a ham and cheese sandwich.   We walked on the boardwalk and pier and we indulged in some deep fried Twinkies.  And of course rough home Fishers Popcorn.


We left there and headed to Assateague Island.  We grabbed the bikes off the car and pedaled over to the Rackcliffe Plantation.  It was closed so we couldn't go in...but we peered in the windows. 

 

  After that it was up and over the bridge and onto the island.   We explored the closed state park and campground first.   When we got to the far back section of the campground we pushed our bikes over the dunes and down to the beach. 


I couldn't resist a picture of our bikes at the ocean.

 


Then we decided to ride out bikes down the beach to the next crossover location on the dunes.  I knew that would put us into the national park portion of Assateague.  


 

It was crazy fun to ride on the edge of the surf....and a crazy good workout!!! 

 


After a mile or two we headed back over the dunes and into the national park (no fear...walkers and riders are free anyway so we weren't cheating the government by going in the 'backdoor' without paying).  We rode around and checked out several places in that park and then headed back to the car. And saw lots of wild horses.  We got back to the car at around 4....and after loading the bikes on the car we headed for home.


All in all with my weekend miles of walking and riding I managed to get all but 4.15 of my march miles completed!!!  4.15 shouldn't be any problem considering I still had 4 days left in march when I got back from the ocean!!


Tuesday morning I pushed myself to go for my run.  I was sore from the 'mad miles we put in over the weekend'. It was a sloooow and achy 2 miles but I'm satisfied that I did them. 


So I've been running with google music lately.  I have up until the last month always had a playlist on my phone and used that.  Google music is working for me.  I sometimes hit a song or a list that I don't particularly like but it's been good.   I hear new stuff and stuff I haven't heard for years while I'm running.   I just have to stop hitting the music icon to pull up my playlists when I start running (I currently have no playlists on my phone!).    


So the big question...how did this all affect my weight.  Yesterday I popped onto the scales and I was tickled to see that I was at 236.8.   That was where I was two weeks ago so I was happy. This morning I stepped onto the scales and I was back at that boomerang weight of 238.4.   In fairness it could be the deep fried Twinkie catching up....or the salty popcorn that I ate last night!!!!  


Monday, March 27, 2017

Just maybe

The other day I wrote that I had something like 56 miles to put on my body in order to cover the march miles I needed for my yearly goal and to meet my monthly goal of not adding to the deficit of miles..  I was worried about it for sure.....56 miles inn something like 7 days was a tough act!   But something happened and while I don't have the actual figures yet....I may be in good shape to make this month's miles.

What happened?   A wee itty bitty trip to the beach. 

 

Yes I'm actually still at the beach....and that is why I don't have my exact figures.

We brought our bikes to the beach and on the first day we rode for 2.5 a 3 hours......probably about 15 miles (I have to estimate because we didn't clock it....so I'm estimating low since we did stop to look at one or two things in that time!).   On top of that we walked about 5-6 miles too!   So around 20 miles on Saturday!    

 

It was overcast but we still got nice pink faces /sunburns in Saturday!  The weather was fabulous....teeshirt weather!!!! (Wish occasional bouts of needing a sweatshirt!)

Sunday temperatures were the polar opposite of Saturday....barely 40° degrees...windchill in the mid 30°'s ....windy...drizzly....not conducive to riding.  We were wearing winter coats.   We walked on the boardwalk(the original plan was to walk the length of the boardwalk) but quickly decided to give it up because it was so cold.  So we hit up the Lifesaving Museum....neither of us had ever been there.  It is in an old life saving station building that was beautifully restored and maintained and it has historic lifesaving artifacts and pieces of the history of the boardwalk.  I couldn't resist taking my picture with the creepy laughing lady that used to be in Jeater's funhouse in the early 1900's!
 
 
We were in North Ocean City for lunch so we drove by the Fenwick Lighthouse....closed for the season but apparently you can't go up in it anyway so we saw it and are markings it off of our 'been there together' list. 
 
We also drive over to Berlin, MD and hit up some antique stores. And walked through the visitor center at Assateague Island. We drove a bit on Assateague Island but only to the pay/entrance gates.   Of course we saw some of the wild horses.
 
 
We didn't pay to go in because it was getting late...it was cold....and most importantly we plan on going back today, our last day at the beach.

So I woke up this morning to a sunrise...the picture doesn't do it justice.
 
The plan is to hit the boardwalk once again for one or two little things (yeah,junk food...Thrasher's French fries (a boardwalk style fry) and some Fishers Popcorn.  And then we are heading back to Assateague with our bikes.  We will park at the visitor center (which is before you enter the island) and hop on hr bikes.  We plan on exploring the island on our bikes.  One because it's a fun way to explore but secondly because bicycle and foot traffic supposedly enter for free versus paying $20!   Why should we drive past the gate, pay $20 hop on our bikes and ride around in the park AND ride the trail  to the visitor center and back when we can park outside of the park, ride the visitor center trail in, explore and then ride it back.   Change the order of exploration and we save twenty bucks!!!    We have bike locks so we can spend some time on the beach...or we will simply take our bikes with us (we are planning on washing the bikes on the way home anyway to rid them of all the salt that probably accumulated due to the salty air!)

So all of this to say that I've probably knocked close to 25 miles off of the 50-some needed and I'm sure to get 10-20 more today!!!  By golly I'm gonna do it!!!

Oh...eating hasn't been horrid but it's not been stellar!   I haven't entered my food intake into MyFitnessPal...I'll catch up tomorrow when I'm home and back in my normal routine.  

Oh and tomorrow is a run day!   There are some more miles too!!!!

And when I finished the post the sunrise was gorgeous!!!