Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fifty for the year I turn 50

In my last post, I talked about a draft of my 50 things to do in the year I turn 50. I am now finalizing the list. Because of the schedule for some events is not yet out and there are few commitments I have regarding traveling for work, I am also establishing some alternatives that will take the place of any item I cannot complete for reasons such as money, time, schedule, weather, etc. I hope to blog a lot as I complete these events. If you have any ideas for alternatives, please comment!

My 50 Epic and Not so Epic Things to do during the year I turn 50
1. Commitment day 5k -- signed up and ready to go
2. Volunteer at a soup kitchen -- likely do this in spring/summer
3. Learn to play the banjo -- I have taken lessons and know how to play some notes but now I am going to get serious about it.
4. Two minute plank -- I have done a 100 seconds in the past but can comfortably do one minute...going to build up to 120 seconds
5. Republic Plaza Stair Climb -- event in February, signed up and money raised
6. Climb a 14er -- Attempted last year and got to 13,600 feet before being freaked out by the rock field. I am going to get to the top this year.
7. Take a cooking class
8. Photo a day for a year -- I will be happy with an average of five photos a week as a photo each day could be a bit stressful but I am going to shoot for a photo a day.
9. Steel Challenge
10. September 11th Stair Climb
11. Deadlift 200 pounds -- I can currently deadlift about 135-145 from the floor (multiple reps, not sure what my one rep max is); more from the rack
12. Hike in Moab
13. Tattoo of periwinkle to honor my sister's memory -- I already have the design, just need to find the artist.
14. Manitou Incline to the top four times.... I want to be 15 minutes faster than in the past -- I have to look up my times
15. Make soap
16. Volunteer at a no kill shelter or rescue
17. Paddle board
18. White water rafting -- This one scares me a lot.
19. Read Moby Dick
20. Write and share poetry
21. Triple Dog Dare -- Tried to do it this year but the weather did not cooperate for the trip.
22. Spend the day at the Metropolitan Museum and go through wings I never would in the past
23. 100 days sugar/caffeine free -- Going to start with a 21 day detox (with real food) in January. Indulged in a bit of gluten, dairy and sugar this holiday season as well as too much sugar. I need to get back to what I know makes me feel the best.
24. 5,000,000 steps -- I should get even more but this is more than 13,000 steps a day.
25. Ride a mechanical bull -- Tim wants me to send out save the date cards and another friend said I should use it as a fund raised for the 3 day walk in November. We will see.
26. Body wrap/mud bath -- This may not seem like a big deal but as someone that really does not like to be touch, it is WAY outside my comfort zone.
27. Pay for someone's lunch/Starbucks unexpectedly
28. Learn to make gluten free pasta from scratch
29. Do a pull up -- This is a pretty aggressive goal but I am working on it already.
30. Go fishing
31. Snowshoe -- Hopefully this will be the Romp to Stomp on March 1st
32. Mud run/obstacle run -- Maybe the Diva Dash again....or Dirty Girl.
33. Make sauerkraut -- Fermenting food scares me but I am going to try.
34. Volunteer at a local charity race
35. New River Gorge Bridge Walk in West Virginia -- Here is another one that really scares me. I am not a fan of heights.
36. Three day walk for Breast Cancer -- The fund raising part of this frightens me and definitely will make me step outside of the comfort box.
37. 25 burpees without rest (good form) -- Right now I can do about 8 to 10 in okay form. Need to get to work on them.
38. Run/walk half marathon -- I did a half in 2012. It was horrible. I almost quit. This time I want to be smarter about it. I will either do one in West Virginia or one in Wisconsin/Michigan with my brother.
39. Do Olympic distance triathlon -- I will likely do this as a non-event. That is, on my own at the gym. I am not sure I am ready for an actual event like this.
40. Visit Arkansas -- The next four kind of go together. If I visit these four states, I will have been to every state.
41. Visit Alabama
42. Visit North Dakota
43. Visit Hawaii
44. Eat raw oysters
45. Tent camp -- I miss camping.
46. See the sunrise at the ocean
47. Box jump (small box) -- TERRIFIED of this....totally a mental block when it comes to box jumps.
48. Koko Head trail hike in Hawaii or alternatively some sort of rock/cliff jump into the ocean, depending on where I stay.

49. Wear smaller jeans by December 31st -- I stopped setting weight loss goals a few years ago because of what they do to me mentally but I can definitely shoot to be wearing a smaller size in a year. I did it the past two years without issue.
50.Share a very expensive bottle of champagne -- I will be looking for volunteers for this item!

Alternate list

Take a Finnish Language class

Whale watch trip in zodiac boat 
Day out with a five year old, doing the things they want to do
Paint pottery
Climb the rock wall at the gym
Participate in a flash mob

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Machu Picchu will have to wait...

I toyed with the idea of making a big trip this coming year. After watching "A Football Life" episode about Steve Gleason (a New Orleans Saints player who is now living with ALS), I wanted to go to Machu Picchu to hike. It seemed like the right thing to do in 2014 and would be a challenge that I never thought I would take on. But I have been thinking more and more about 2014 and have decided that Machu Picchu will have to wait.

You see, in November of 2014, I turn 50 years old. For me, age has never been a big deal. I always think of all my friends and acquaintances being of the same age. I turned 30 with glee. A big surprise party was fun on my 40th. But I already feel like this new decade is going to be an issue. I guess in many ways, I thought I would have been doing epic things by the time I was 50. That I would be in a position that goals were being met. Now, don't get me wrong. I have done some things that, if I think about where I was a few years ago, amaze me but there is so much more I want to be able to do.

A friend at the gym asked me to participate in the Susan G. Komen Three Day Walk in San Diego. The walk is November 21st through the 23rd. I have long wanted to participate in an event like this but the funding raising aspect has always terrified me. I spoke with some friends and thought a lot about it. I signed up. I am committing to the fund raising and feel good about it. I also think that this will give me an opportunity to celebrate my sister's life. Even though it was not breast cancer that she was diagnosed with, I truly believe that if we can make progress with any type of cancer, it will go a long way in helping understand all types of cancer. More than anything, I want to honor my sister's memory.

This commitment then grew into a list of 50 things I want to do in the year I turn 50. I think this will help me ease myself into this new decade. Here is the current draft of my list. I do think some things will change over the next few days. There may also be some changes throughout the year (my list, my rules). If I can accomplish these things on this list, it will be an enormously fulfilling year. Some of these items I would do anyway but they are still things that I would never have considered doing a few years ago. Some of the items terrify me....but that's a good thing, right?

So, here is the draft of the list right now:

My 50 Epic and Not so Epic Things to do during the year I turn 50

1. Commitment day 5k (likely walking it as my ankle has been bothering me)
2. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
3. Learn to play the banjo
4. Two minute plank
5. Republic Plaza Stair Climb
6. Climb a 14er
7. Take a cooking class
8. Photo a day for a year
9. Participate in a flash mob
10. September 11th Stair Climb
11. Dead lift 200 pounds
12. Hike in Moab
13. Tattoo of periwinkle to honor my sister's memory
14. Finish the Manitou Incline 15 minutes faster than in the past (I have to look up my times)
15. Make soap
16. Volunteer at a no kill shelter or rescue
17. Paddle board
18. White water rafting
19. Read Moby Dick
20. Write and share poetry
21. Triple Dog Dare
22. Spend the day at the Metropolitan Museum and go through wings I never would in the past
23. 100 days sugar/caffeine free
24. Steel Challenge
25. Take a Finnish Language class
26. Paint pottery with a five year old
27. Pay for someone's lunch/Starbucks unexpectedly
28. Learn to make gluten free pasta from scratch
29. Do a pull up
30. Go fishing
31. Snowshoe
32. Mud run/obstacle run
33. Climb the rock wall at the gym
34. Make sauerkraut
35. Volunteer at a local race
36. Stair climb in another state
37. Three day walk for Breast Cancer
38. 25 burpees without rest (good form)
39. Run/walk half maration
40. Do Olympic distance triathlon
41. Visit the four states I have not yet been in (Arkansas, Alabama, North Dakota, and Hawaii)
42. Eat raw oysters
43. Tent camp
44. See the sunrise at the ocean
45. 5,000,000 steps
46. Box jump (small box)
47. Koko Head trail hike in Hawaii
48. New River Gorge Bridge Walk in West Virginia
49. Whale watch trip in zodiac boat
50. Wear smaller jeans by December 31st

Again this is just the first draft. In the next few days, I will be reviewing this list with the calendar to see what all is possible.

Machu Picchu will have to wait until 2015....but 2014 will still be a great year. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

When do you learn to accept compliments????

I recently had a business trip to New Jersey/New York. I have not seen many of these people since a year ago. A lot of things have changed in a year. I have definitely lost weight but mostly I have lost lots of inches and changes in body composition.

Over and over again, I heard comments about "how good I looked." I was questioned about many "you're not sick are you?" (my company is actually filled with a lot of sincerely caring people). 

I would pretty much just wave off the comments and go on my merry way. I am learning to say thank you most of the time but really I still have a ways to go so it is hard to always view how much I have accomplished in the same eyes of others. I don't mean that I am not proud of how far I have come...because I am...but all I can think of is that I have long ways to go and how much I wish I was closer to whatever point I will think that I am close to "normal" size. 

When I got back from the trip, I was stopped at the gym by a client of my trainer who also said that she had wanted to tell me how much change she could see. Okay, now she is a total stranger and just someone at the gym....the one place I like to be the corner...not noticed...but I said thank you and moved on.

Some day I will know how to accept compliments and not feel so awkward.

In brighter news, I did the sprint tri distances at the gym this morning. I was painfully slow but I did it all. I even jogged most of the 5K at the end...with my fastest 1/4 mile at the end. This is the second time I have done the full distances. I do think I cut a bit of time off on the bike and the run....but the swim was so slow. I am not an efficient swimmer at all. I need to work on that. I am actually considering if I can do an olympic distance tri (for REAL) next year....maybe.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jumping jacks are so much easier these days

I had a realization tonight at boxing. I do jumping jacks now. A year ago when I first started boxing again, I would totally whimp out on the jumping jacks....and there's a lot of jumping jacks in a single class. Well, I don't any more. For the most part, I do full jumping jacks when they come up in a workout.

A small sign of progress but progress nonetheless.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A couple of things....

Thanks to all for the condolences on the loss of my sister. It was definitely one of the most difficult and saddest weeks of my life. There were, however, some things I would like to note.

First, it was a long road trip and I went solo because we were not sure what was actually happening or how long I would be gone. Before leaving, my husband kindly packed up a cooler for me with good foods (grass fed burgers, brussel sprouts, raw veggies, raw nuts, and coconut flakes) and lots of water. This cooler did me well as I was able to stick with healthy choices on the road as well as for several days while I was with family.

Second, I made plans to go to my brother's gym. These workouts were important as it was a stressful time and without the sweat time, I think it would have been even more stressful. On those days that it didn't make sense to go to the gym, I took long walks. These longs walks proved to be good for the soul as well. It gave me time to reflect on things.

Third, I was not perfect but I made the choice to eat things I would not eat around here because spending time with family was much more important than being "perfect." There were several meals out at local restaurants, where the choices are not always the most healthy. I did make adjustments whenever possible. There was also the luncheon after the funeral that the families of the church my sister attended sponsored. Let's just say that potluck type meals in small town America have not changed much since I was a kid, with lots of jello salads and desserts. I so appreciate the kindness of these families.

Fourth, you never know who you will meet when you are on the road. I had made the decision to drive to Lincoln, Nebraska the first day on my way home. It is approximately 2/3rd of the way. I made a lot of stops and did a short hike along the Mississippi, but I really wanted to sweat. I knew that a good choice for a hotel along the road would be a Holiday Inn Express as they would have a fitness room. I saw a billboard for a Holiday Inn Express in Lincoln and knew it was on the west side of the city so a good choice to miss traffic the next day. When I got to the exit, I considered going on as I thought I could do another hour or so if I really wanted to do so. BUT I had told my husband I would stop in Lincoln and he had already called to see if I was stopping.

So, I stopped. At the check-in desk, I asked about the fitness room. The woman there pointed to it and then proceeded to tell me how she had recently lost 232 pounds. With that, I shared with her the two versions of my driver's license that I have in my wallet to show her the weight I had lost. We shared a bit about what we are both doing to lose weight and how much more we were trying to lose. It was an uplifting moment that I desperately needed at the time. I went to the fitness room and ran/walk on the treadmill for about an hour. It was a good workout. It was also good for me to share like that as it is not something I am used to doing and I tend to need to get to know a person before I trust them with any part of my life.

All in all, I did take care of myself quite well, even though it was such a hard week.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A post I wish I didn't have to write....

On Wednesday, October 2nd, my sister lost her battle with cancer. I already miss her so much. I think of her every day as I have since her diagnosis in April. I think of so many things to tell her. I feel guilty because I lived so far away and didn't get to see her much lately. I did fortunately visit this summer. I did not quite make it home in her final days, although I was on my way.

I am emotionally drained right now but am relieved that she is out of her pain and suffering. I am continually struck by the fact that life is not always fair. My sister did not "deserve" cancer. She never did anything to hurt anyone. Sure, she was human and she had her faults but she was a good person with a kind heart. I know that no one deserves to be stricken with cancer and it sucks that so many good people like her are suffering from the disease.

I was speaking with someone at the gym today who shared this poem with me --

What Cancer Cannot Do Poem

It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot kill friendship. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot quench the spirit. It cannot silence courage. It cannot reduce eternal life.

This is such a great poem. I will tell you that we all had hope during her fight against this disease. I was looking forward to when she would be well enough to travel and I could take her to the Caribbean so she could finally relax on the beach. I know that she had so many people surrounding her that showed her love and care every day. I know that some very good people stepped up and this disease gave them the opportunity to grow friendships.

She was so courageous, fighting it as hard as she could and then when it was clear that the treatments just were not working, she had the courage to face it head on. She knew she was reaching the end but I understand she did not pity herself and did not want any crying in the room. She wanted no crying for her.

My family and I shared memories. We were surround by so many friends and family. My niece and I put together photo boards for the visitation time. I relived so many thing looking through the old photos. Spending time with my niece, I know that my sister did a great job in the one thing she felt was most important in that her daughter is a strong and wonderfully kindhearted young woman.

My sister may have lost the battle with cancer but we have not lost her. She will live on in our memories. We will carry on and do what we can honor her memory. I will miss her. I am sad that she is not with us anymore and I know I will have days that I will feel it more than others. She certainly did not get her final wish in that there have been many tears and there will be many more.

Lori, I wish I had told you what a beautiful woman you were. I know you know that I loved you. I know you know that I will miss you. I hope you also know that I will cherish so many memories of time spent with you.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

What I have learned over the past few years...

is the quick fixes do not work for me. I am finding that making lifestyle changes, sustainable changes is what I need to do.

I mean how many times are we bombarded by the claims of various products that "you can lose 10 pounds in 7 days" "lose 20 inches in 10 days" "lose 30 pounds in 30 days" "lose weight without exercising" "lose weight while eating your favorite foods"....

I have fallen for many of these claims in the past and many times actually lost weight but would always gain it back....and more. So, I ended up poorer and fatter. In 2007, when I finally hit my critical mass point, I knew that I couldn't just look for a quick fix. I needed to figure out how to change things in my lifestyle in order to first lose weight but more importantly be healthy and sustain my weight loss.

Now, it has not always been easy but I am definitely more focused on real food and trying to find the right combination of macro nutrients is right for me...of course, that is also something that seems to change over time as well. I am more focused on the impact of certain foods on my body. For example, eggs and soy are two things that had to be eliminated from my diet as they seem to be inflammatory to me. The one thing that has not changed over the years is that I am sticking with real foods and not looking for a quick fix.

This has meant that my losses have not been quick but my blood work has been great. My losses have not been quick but I am strong and getting stronger. My losses have not been quick but I have learned a lot about my body and my health. My losses have not been quick but I have been able to accomplish things that I never thought I would. My losses have not been quick but I am losing fat and gaining/maintain muscle.

It is not always easy and I do get frustrated but I am not giving up and not giving in no matter how tempting the claims may appear....even those that are "clinically proven"...I am in this for the long lifetime....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rambling thoughts on a Sunday evening....

So, things continue to go well. My attitude about life in general seems to be holding. I realized that climbing that mountain was a big thing for me and I definitely feel like I no longer am living with a chip on my shoulder. I no longer feel ashamed of how unhealthy I was at one point in my life. I will not be going back to that lifestyle because I really like my new lifestyle and feel good about things.

What have I been up to? Well, I hit 1,000,000 steps in two months on my fitbit. I started using the fitbit on July 28th and this was my achievement the morning of August 28th. When you consider that most of my cardio is done in the gym and gym cardio machines do not register well on the fitbit, I am really happy with the progress. In addition, I had a goal of 15,000 steps every day in August. I missed one day, which was the day after the climb up Mount Bierstadt. I am good with that.

I went back to the Manitou Incline on Labor Day. I climbed by myself. The last time I went, I only went to the bail out (about 2/3rds the way up) as I felt like I was so much slower than others and I didn't want them to wait for me. This time, I made it to the top. It was my second time at the top but this time it was HOT HOT HOT. I sweated so much but it was worth it.

The incline in background from the town of Manitou Springs

The starting point
At the false summit

What remains after the false summit

Sweaty and happy and at the top
I am still working out with my trainer and feel like I am seeing some results. It feels good to lift weights. I would like to lift heavier and will need to talk to him about that but overall it is a good workout. Oh, I also won this 8-week weight loss thing with my nutritionist. I think that my new attitude helped a lot as well as the fact that I loved the workout challenges she gave us. It was probably good that we sent in our food logs each week as well. It is kind of nice to accomplish something like this. I have joined other "contests" but always end up stressing myself out and never even though I officially "won", I feel like the weight loss and the fact that I stuck with it were prizes that cannot be equaled. Thanks, Fuel for Life, for the motivation and accountability you gave me over the past couple of months.

Triathlon training is something I am likely going to start doing. While I thought about trying to do one in Florida or California later this year, I am not sure I want to travel to my first triathlon so instead I am going to train and do my own at the gym as an indoor triathlon. It is kind of a crazy idea but it is something that I think will be motivating to me. I will then do an outdoor triathlon around here next summer.

I am also planning on a couple of half marathons next year but right now I am a little nervous about running outside. I am running on the treadmill at the gym but I worry about my ankle/foot outdoors. I will need to get over this soon and start training.

Today was the first Sunday of NFL games. It also made it easy to do food prep as I watched or listened to the games. I used a lot of things from my garden. I am ready for lunches this week.

Wednesday is the September 11th stair climb. It is an event I did last year and the same charity that I did the stair climb in Green Bay this summer. This climb is 10 times around the Red Rocks amphitheater and equals the steps of 110 floors. It is not a timed is a memorial. It is a time to show that we have not forgotten.

I guess that is enough rambling thoughts for one post. Hope everyone is well!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Climb up a Mountain

Well, the day finally came. This week a friend and I went to Mount Bierstadt to climb. It was the first time either one of us would attempt such a thing.  I was nervous to say the least. All kinds of crazy thoughts would run through my head but most of all I didn't want to fail. To me, at that time, failure meant not making it to the summit. I have struggled all year with injuries and failing to complete events. I did not want this to be another time I failed this year...especially going with a friend. It is one thing if you can't finish on your own but to have a friend turn back because of you, well, that would have been too much for me to handle....or so I thought.

The day started out bright and early...okay not too bright but definitely early.

We got to the trailhead just after 6:00 a.m. There were a few other cars in the parking lot already, which made us happy as we were not sure how isolated the trail would be on a midweek day in the late summer. We prepped and got on our way.

We climbed and climbed. The first portion was through some sage brush and really wasn't that bad with the exception of crossing a cold creek. As we were a little afraid of slipping on rocks, we actually removed our shoes and socks and waded through it. Not sure it was the smartest thing to do but definitely better than risking wet shoes by slipping off a rock.

The day warmed as the sun rose and we approached the barren landscape of the trail. It was a beautiful day and we definitely had more layers than necessary..but at least we were prepared.

I was happy how my ankle was doing. I felt it on some of the steeper portions of the path but all in all, it was doing well.

At just below 13,000 feet, we ran into the talus field (I learned this new word after the hike and reviewing what we did). It was a lot of loose falling rocks and gravel.

It was during this portion that we started to meet people who were descending. I became a bit more anxious as I watched people slip and slide through the rock and gravel. We had made it a bit more than halfway through the first portion of the rock field, when I finally spoke up and told my friend that it was not a smart option to continue and risk injuring my ankle again. Of course, I felt horrible about it.

Looking at my Garmin, we were at about 13,550 feet. We had made it quite a distance but here I was wanting to turn around and head back down. The long way down gave me lots of times to lament about "giving up" and "failing". I put many positive posts about it on FaceBook and in texts to friends but really I felt like a failure.

So, here is where the real "climb up a mountain" was for me. After we ate lunch at a great restaurant in Georgetown and got back home, I actually went to circuit class that night. I had previously thought I would be going to the gym with a great tale of accomplishment and victory. I found myself only telling a couple of people about the hike and the words "but I didn't make it to the summit" were how the story started. I did muster enough strength and energy to do the cardio circuit class but was careful about what my intensity was. The trainer was one of the people I told about the hike so he helped me with suggestions about slowing down and such.

That night, I had a restless night sleep, feeling I disappointed my friend and myself. It wasn't until I was driving to the gym at 5:30 the next morning that I was struck by the fact that I had done something that I should be proud of and that even by getting up and going to the gym, I was doing something that should make me proud.

Yes, it is true that I did not summit the mountain peak but I did take on the challenge. Not only did I have the desire to climb a mountain, I actually made the plans to do it. I made it to the trailhead and started the climb without reservation. I climbed to 13,550 feet, which is not something easy to do. I made a decision to turn back NOT because I didn't think I could finish but because I didn't want to reinjury my ankle and set my training back again. I know I will reach the mountain peak some day. It just wasn't going to be that day.

Compared to the unhealthy place I was just a few short years ago, I think this is pretty incredible. I am proud of the changes that I have made in my life. I also now realize that I do not have live in shame of where I was at one point in my life but I can be proud of what I am accomplishing now. Maybe I can now start living without this chip on my shoulder...the one that makes me feel like I have so much to prove to people who underestimate the guy in front of me in the weight circuit who lowers the weight on the squat machine after he is done to try to "help" me when I really squat heavier weights than he the smirks (real or imaginary) of others in the cardio portion of class when I just can't get to the intensity I need being handed a 18 pound kettlebell to push press by my trainer when I really want the 35 pound one...

I really do not have anything to prove. I am truly doing this all for me. I am okay with the fact that I went out to do a 14er and ended up only doing a 13.5er....I am more than okay. I am proud that I got as far as I did. I went out to climb a mountain....and conquered so much more.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It was only 20 what's the big deal?

This past weekend was the Step Up for Cancer at the local soccer stadium. I did this event last year as well. It is basically 1,765 steps or so up and down all around the stadium and raises money for various cancer organizations. 

Last year we did this event shortly after doing the Mile High stair climb and in the middle of my half marathon training. I felt like my cardio conditioning was much better last year than it was this year when I committed to the event.

This year I have struggled with injuries after the fall at Red Rocks and more recently the sprained ankle. Having been cleared from physical therapy and no longer needing to wear the brace, I was excited to do the event this weekend. I knew however that I had to take it easy so that my ankle would be okay. I certainly did not want to hurt it again or prolong the injury. 

So, I knew I would just take it slow and so I did. It was hot but not as hot as last year. It was loud. There were lots of inspiring people. I just started to do the steps. I knew I could have done it faster, especially the down portions, but I just wanted to keep to my plan so that I would come through the event without issue. I would like to say that I didn't care what my time would be but it would be a lie.

In the second half of the stadium, I knew I could push it a little more so I jogged on some of the flat areas but I still took care on the steps.

In the end, my time was 20 seconds FASTER than last year. With the care I took with the steps, I was quite pleased with that. I am still slow but I was faster than last year. I am learning to compare my current to my past and not to others. 

So to me, 20 seconds is a big deal. An even bigger deal is that I was more concerned how I did compared to how I did last year and not to how others did. The biggest deal is that I was able to do this walk in support and love for my one and only sister, who I hope will stay strong as she goes through the medical procedures that she has to go through. Cancer certainly does suck.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Catching up on things...

Let's see what to say. 

1. I have upped my step goal to 15,000. I am running again. On the treadmill for now. The ankle is feeling stronger but I keep being told to take it slow so I am trying.  Still loving my Fitbit. It is keeping me honest about my activity.

2. Yesterday I hit over 26,000 steps. I did this with a three mile walk with a pup in the morning and a long 6 mile walk in the heat of the afternoon. The walk was through the hills in the neighborhood behind us. It felt good...but hot. AND that was my rest day.

3. I went to Wisconsin in July and did a stair climb at Lambeau Field. It was HOT HOT HOT. I was still wearing my air cast so it was hard....esp. the down. So I really only did 80% of the climb but I am still glad I did it. 

4. I spent a lot of time talking to one of my older brothers about running and such when I was back in Wisconsin. It was interesting to have this change in our relationship.

5. My workouts are going well. Tomorrow I have my second personal training session. I can't wait to lift heavy things. I am hoping that it will lead to so good results over the next 90 days. I will be keeping up my cardio workouts. I am really into tabatas these days.

6. I have been eating a lot of kale of late....and my finger nails are so much healthier. It is quite amazing. They are smooth and strong. I think kale will need to stay as a big part of my diet.

7. I am caffeine free for almost two months. It is not as hard as it sounds. I found some good decaf coffees and love an iced decaf Americano every now and then.

8. A friend and I have taken her four year fishing a couple of times. I love how relaxing it is to just cast the little poles out into the pond. We are catching little fish and releasing them but it is fun. I consider it one of my peaceful mind exercises.

9. I am thinking of trying yoga or Pilates again. I just don't know when but it may be a good idea to try to cut down on stress in my life.

10. I can't believe that summer is almost over. Our garden isn't doing great but I made a batch of pesto this morning and it is amazing how much better it tastes with just pick basil.

11. So my friend (the same one mentioned in #8) and I are planning on doing a 14er in a couple of weeks. I am nervous about it but we will see how it goes. If we do, you can bet there will be a blog post about it!

12. I won't be doing a half marathon this year but I plan on being ready next spring. I would like to do the Cellcom Green Bay marathon in May.

13. Another stair climb this coming weekend for "Step up for Cancer." It has special meaning to me this year because of a recent diagnosis of a family member. I am ready for it.

14. The next stair climb will be on September 11th as a memorial for the firefighters lost on that fateful day. It is an important and moving event to attend.

15. Some blogs I have been reading lately:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Activity tracking

As I wrote in my last blog, I recently got a Fitbit to track my activity levels. The nice thing about it is that it is getting me to get movement in when I otherwise would not. I have been taking a mid day walk on the loop around the office. I have also been taking a nice walk at night. The one thing about the Fitbit is that it does not track my steps very well on the machines at the gym. Right now I am only cleared for the Precor AMT machine and the bike (sprained foot/ankle) so there is very little impact. I am on the Precor for over 5 miles at a shot and only get about 3,500 steps, which is not close to what it should be. BUT it is okay. The key to the use of the Fitbit is to track my activity outside of the gym.

I have my target at 10,000, which I have surpassed all but the first day of using the Fitbit. In fact, this long weekend I have been getting over 20,000 steps. It has included some very long walks with the dogs. 

Because of my ankle/foot issues, I have not been able to hike as I am sticking to even terrain and still a bit leery of traversing uneven terrain. Once I am cleared to not use the air cast, I hope to get some hiking in again.

The long weekend is coming to an end. Although we did not get away at all, it was still a good weekend. I travel this coming week and I am trying to figure out how I will keep active on the travel days but I will figure it out. I want to keep it up.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

10,000 steps and progress on attitude adjustment

So, I am on a mission to get at least 10,000 steps a day right now....which isn't too bad but a bit annoying with the air cast on. My first day I didn't quite make it, finishing with just over 9,800 steps. Saturday was a better day. I had over 13,000 steps (13,676 to be exact). Today I am over 12,500 (12,601 to be exact) and that was with having my fitbit off to charge while I got ready for the day. All in all, I am very happy about this. By the way, I bought a fitbit. It helps me track my steps and my sleep pattern. I am very happy with it so far.

As far as my attitude adjustment, that is going better too. I have been working out with the hand bike at the gym. Not that most exciting thing but it is what I need to do right now. I started physical therapy on my ankle. I hate every minute of the exercises but I am doing them anyway because I need to. I want my ankle and foot to be stronger and this will get me there.

One thing I did that I maybe should have thought about again before doing was a stair climb this weekend. BUT I needed to do it. I did not do the whole thing but I did well over 75% of it and I feel good about it. The stair climb was at Mile High football stadium and you walk the steps all around the lower bowl of the stadium. In one end of the stadium, climbers went to the top for a few aisles. I skipped that part. The down was the hardest part on my foot/ankle and I didn't think it would be wise to be up high and struggling to walk down. Plus I promised my husband I would take it easy. 

So, even though it was a bit embarrassing to ignore the instructions from the volunteers and just continue on the lower bowl, I got through it. It was still a good workout and I am satisfied that completed the event as best I could at the time. I allowed people to tell me that I did a good job. I avoided sinking into the depressed idea that I didn't do it all so I failed. Yep, I am working on that attitude!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

So done with feeling sorry for myself

Yep. Done. This week has been hard. This month has been hard. Hell, this year has been hard. But I am done with letting my emotions get the best of me.

After being all out of sorts watching the rest of the fitness class do a stellar work last night while I was on the hand bike, I realized something has to change. I just haven't been happy about my progress in the health and fitness realm since the beginning of the year.

So, what is going to change? First of all, my more weepy shit. No more whining.  I am going to swallow my pride and do what I can at the gym. I am going to listen to the physical therapist when I start to see her on Friday. If she approves, I am going to sign up for the RnR half.

I am going to confess that some of my eating patterns  have been for comfort and emotion. While I can tell myself that it's okay because It's gluten free, I know it isn't. No more gluten free crackers....hummus....starches after my pre workout snack. I am going to take my recommended supplements without attitude. I am going to have that late night protein shake as advised. I am staying off the scale.

I am not going to let my perceived attitude of others distract me from my goals. I am going to get my 10000 steps in a day. I am going to be as active as I can be within the parameters set by my trainer and the pt person.

All these things I resolve here and now. For I am stronger than my emotions....I have sisu and I can get through this.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

When stubbornness gets in the way....

I always feel like I have to prove myself...many times it is not a bad thing to try just a bit harder to prove that I can do things. I mean, if I didn't, I wouldn't have discovered running. I would never have gone to my first kettlebell class. I would never have joined a gym. AND I definitely never would have done a stair climb.

But there are times that the need to prove that I can do things is detrimental. That is where I am at today as I have spent the last 40 hours with crutches. Yes, crutches. You see, I had hurt myself on the treadmill over a week ago but I kept pushing it because I did not want to be the person that was always injured and thought that I could push through injury. That Saturday I could barely walk but I iced all day and it was better. I did the Color Run on Sunday but found I hard to walk most of it as it just hurt too much to run.

I was careful at the gym, not using the treadmill but the AMT machine to be less weight bearing. At Monday's circuit class, it was okay as I modified many of the things like lunges that really bothered my foot. Wednesday's treadmill workout was moved to the recumbent bike and another machine that was less impact than the treadmill. The trainer really wanted me to get my foot checked out but I did not think it was any big deal since I was getting better.

Then Friday came. It had been one week since my foot first started bothering me. We were doing a workout on the turf. I like turf workouts. I like pushing myself a bit. Ben (trainer) had me modifying some of the movements to protect my foot but honestly it made me feel like I was taking the easy way out. I mean, squats instead of burbees are definitely much easier. He did have a tractor tire out for one of the movements...foot taps, which I also could not do. BUT I love to flip tires. I have always loved to flip tires. I did it a couple of times but Ben warned me that it was not a good idea.

At the end of the workout, I still felt like I had underperformed others in the workout and I don't like that feeling. So, I wanted to flip the tire. In my stubborn mind, I figured it was just a squat movement, which I had been doing all class. Ben again warned me not to do it but if I was going to do it, do it right. So, I concentrated on it and squatted to lift the tire. It was just as I was lifting the tire that I heard and felt a pop in my foot. The pain was pretty bad. Of course, it got more embarrassing as they called 911 and all these people from the gym came in to check things out. 

So, the hospital is right across the street from the gym. I refused the ambulance ride over but was asked to take the wheelchair to my car. I drove to the ER and had images taken. Nothing broken but crutches for 48 hours was the prescription. I have a air cast and after tonight can start seeing how it feels with the cast and some weight. If it is okay, I only need the cast and can leave the crutches behind. I am really hoping it feels okay.

I have been icing as instructed. I am staying off it as instructed. I am taking Advil as instructed. Fortunately, only needed one Vicodin as it knocks me out. Getting around on crutches is not easy. The dogs do not know what to think. The 99 pound bulldog puppy is not sure if he should be scared of the crutches or attack them. 

I think I learned a lesson...yet another lesson that I thought I had already learned about listening to people and not needing to continually prove that I belong in the the life.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

When in Colorado....

do as Coloradans do....right? I am discovering hiking. I am not going crazy or extreme but I am starting to enjoy time in the outdoors...more than just walking the bike path. I am starting to enjoy a bit of hiking around the local area.

Last year I found the Manitou Incline and went there a couple of times.  I love the challenge of the climb. After being so frustrated and feeling the need to do something to prove my progress, I wanted to go to the incline this past weekend; however, so did everyone else in Colorado (or so it seemed). The one thing about the incline is that there really is not a large amount of parking. So, rather than spend time searching for parking or adding a long walk from the town of Manitou Springs, I decided to find another hike. 

On the way out of Colorado Springs, I realized that I have never been to the Garden of the Gods. So, I zipped over and easily found parking. Walking to the hiking trails, I saw that I could pretty much stay on one trail and get some mileage in and maybe some hill climbing too. So, I headed out. There were plenty of people around and I wasn't going to deep into the trails, so I felt it would be a good day....and it was. I ended up hiking down one trail and then needing to find a restroom. Funny thing is that the restrooms were back in the parking lot I had parked in so I had to circle back and start all over again about 30 minutes into my hike. 

I ended up doing 3.3 miles and having a great time just being alone with my thoughts. I went down some hills but nothing like the incline. It was also something that I really like about running...the solitude of it all. 

Here are some photos from the hike:

My Garmin report on the elevation changes of the hike:


My mood is improving. I had a good appointment with my nutritionist. I had done some blood work to confirm that there were no issues with my thyroid. There are not and I am thankful for that. We talked about continuing the work to resolve issues with my adrenals and cortisol levels. I am giving up caffeine for now...which sounded a lot easier when I decided to do it than it has been this weekend. I am tracking my food so she can review and see if there are any holes in what I am consuming. Just the action of tracking has been a good thing as I am concentrating on getting in the meals and snack she has been recommending. We will see if this helps.

I will blog as I start hiking through the summer.