Monday, April 25, 2016

Welcome Monday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upward and onward!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

30 Miles Equals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was a successful week!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunburnt Smiles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The path has gorgeous views

Neat sights

And interesting flora and fauna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's amazing how things work sometimes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm steadily moving forward toward success!!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do I smell Spring???

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

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

'Calorie in' looks like this...

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

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

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

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

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

Someone was very proud of  in the confederacy....big in history with placing the metal/iron market years ago....but with the 'more recent placement of the small flags on many graves of soldiers in that area (two different graveyards).   And's part of doesn't offend me at all!  What does offend me is that the flag that we know generally call the Confederate flag is actually not the Confederate States of America flag....I believe it is actually a naval flag of the CSA....hmmmmm
There were quite a few confederate soldiers at this one graveyard....this last stone actually said 'fell at Manassas' 

And of course we stopped at an overlook!

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

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

Thursday, April 07, 2016

The effects are starting to make themselves known

My weekly weigh in was fabulous!  It showed me down 3.1 pounds from last week!  Amazing.  I don't know how.  But I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!     That said my food has been somewhat more in line.....kinda.  I am still tracking and while I've been over I've not been fantastically and miserably over my caloric goal!  Except for today....I was WAY over today.  It was the Dairy Queen Blizzard that I was craving.   I wanted it while I was driving up the road from Charleston on Sunday and I didn't get it due to long lines......and I held it off all week.  But tonight I just knew I wanted it.  I knew that it was going to get to the point that I would eat everything else under the sun in attempt to satisfy that instead of doing that and then STILL end up eating what I really want...I just went and got the pesky blizzard.   LOTS of calories...but I don't regret it at all and I'm ready to move on to healthier options now!

I got a nice hike in yesterday..  Went up the Thurston Griggs trail to the Appalachian trail.  (I did this section about two weeks ago) and then this week we went north on the A.T.

  My legs were SORE when I got back to the car.   This morning I woke up quite stiff.  I walked it out but I could tell I worked it!

So my revelation of the last few days/weeks?    The absence of zumba in my life has made a HUGE difference to my overall level of fitness.    I can tell a difference!   Im NOT happy with this!  The organized class kept me on track.  On my own it's just very difficult to be consistent.  I could say go to the gym and take classes (and that's an option for sure) but it's not the same as 'MY CLASS'.  You see, my zumba peeps and the friendship with the instructor is what drove me to the class week after week....class after class...and even to some nights in the past where I did back to back classes!   Without that pull, I have floundered!

I have made the I just have to figure out how to fix it!

Monday, April 04, 2016


Wow......What a crazy week!!   Where to begin...with the fun?  The serious?   The Good?  The bad???

Ok, lets start with the fun...then we will get to the weight stuff......or maybe I will intersperse it all together kinda chronologically.....Yeah, that's the plan!

Last week I really struggled with my eating.  My weight was up on my weigh in day (mid week) and I just struggled to get my eating lined up!  I started to think about it and vowed that the weekend was my new start!

On Wednesday afternoon/early evening when I got off work (and the technical beginning of my mini vacation, I headed out and went hiking.  The locale?  Gambril State park near Frederick, MD.   I'll go of the trail was pretty and overlooks are always fun to visit!

I was off some days last week and headed to Charleston, SC for the Cooper River Bridge Run.  I did this last year with my friend Sue.   I ended up walking it last year and I vowed that I would return and conquer it!     My best laid intentions failed me this  I wasn't had been a weird downward spiral for the last six months with illnesses and injuries.  Excuses really...but I was NOT prepared.  Yet I packed my gear and headed south for my girls weekend.   I decided to wake up super early and drive six hours early so that I could eek out a full day of site seeing.  I pulled out at 3:50 AM and arrived at my first destination at 10AM.  

I had some deep thoughts while I drove.   LOTS of deep thoughts!   I won't go into it...but I had a total epiphany!  I had already thought about the need to lose weight....based on the fact that I want to be 70 years old and still able to hike up a mountain....or site see all day long.....or run a marathon....or ride a bike!  But as I drove, I was thinking about some things happening in my life and I discovered another HUGE motivator.  I'm TOTALLY motivated now!  This weight is coming off, there is no question about it!

Averasboro Battlefield (Tiny little battlefield....the graveyard and slave cabin intrigued me most)

Transportation Museum (evolution of transportation in the area)

Geocaching in Historic town

Museum of Cape Fear (shows the history of people in the area from native Americans to the Antebellum Age)

Poe House  (Built by Edgar Allen Poe...not the poet....beautifully preserved/restored and the artifacts that are directly tied to the house that they have are incredible examples of the Victorian era)

I headed a bit further south to where my hotel was.  I searched and found a little locally owned BBQ place to eat named Tommy's.  

As I was pulling out of the parking lot an older gentleman ran toward my car and motioned for me to wind my window down.  Turns out that it was Tommy...the owner.   He was an ex cop who opened this business in his retirement.  He wanted to make sure that I liked the food and that I was not leaving hungry!.   I assured him and talked to him a few minutes.  I didn't tell him that I saved room to head out to Cook Out for a milkshake for dessert!   Ha ha ha

I relaxed and slept well.  In the morning I headed to Charleston, SC

I hit up the Run Expo....then headed to the Fire Museum of Charleston. (More geared toward kids, but it was still cool)

A quick lunch at McAlister's Deli (Yeah, a chain, but not one I can get at home!)

and then I was off to Charles Towne Landing and zoo (museum about the first settlers of South Carolina)

By that time my friend was arriving so I went to meet her.....lots of talking, laughter all evening.

We started to talk about our weight and some goals.....We worked up a plan!  (more on that later)

Saturday morning....calling for thunderstorms, lightening and rain.    We totally wimped out.  (I didn't fight at all when she said she wasn't running!).  And lets be fair....if I had been trained and ready to run, nothing would have stopped me from going.  I would have told her "great", get your butt to the race course and take some pictures of me as I run by!  But I wasn't ready.    Instead we went site seeing and spent the day talking and catching up!

Drayton Hall (TOTALLY worth it!)  This is an old plantation.....that is being preserved NOT restored!   Quite neat actually!

Why yes, they are real alligators...

The Angel Oak Tree (really old tree)

Charleston Tea Plantation (apparently a tea farm/plantation in North America is rare...especially one that processes their own tea themselves!)

Some more geocaching..... 

Then Sullivan's Beach

And we ended our evening with a late evening Ghost tour in downtown Charleston.   

It was a full day!  

I drove home on Sunday.  I was sad to leave Charleston.   I was sad to say goodbye to my friend.   I was utterly excited and maybe even a bit giddy to get home to see Jason.  I am utterly motivated and ready to lose this weight!

So Sue and I sat down and created some goals for each of us.   We are already planning to go CONQUER the Cooper River Bridge Run next year!   My goals for the next year are as follows!  (she has her own goals)

My Goals

1.  Beat personal record for 10K which is 1:19  (all walk breaks)  
2.  Weight at or  below 180 pounds (51.6 pounds)
3.  Exercise consistently 3x's a week
4.  Track food each day
5.  Stay accountable all year long...checking in on Wednesdays
6.  get totally off diet sodas (again)
7.  take a picture of progress every 10 pounds
8.  large reward will be something fun (extra day, neat site seeing venture, something) at Charleston next year when we smash the 2017 Cooper River Bridge Run

I may not have run the 10K...but I did get a fair amount of walking/steps/miles in on my trip!   

March 30  7.34 miles
March 31  3.26 miles 
April 1   6.08 miles
April 2   8.16 miles
April 3   1.45 miles (not bad because the traffic was horrible and the 9 hours in the car ended up to be 12 hours in the car!)

The verdict on the scales from the weekend?  I'm down about 2 pounds from where I was last mid week weigh MAYBE this week will look nice when I do my official weigh in!  (and that would give me a REALLY nice start to my years goals as I based my numbers on my last official weigh in!!)