There’s Always Gonna be Another Mountain

I’m finally getting excited about this fitness thing, and I feel like I’m settling into a routine.  Yay me!

In preparation for a quick hiking trip at the end of this month, I’ve been hiking a local “mountain” after school.  It’s a quick up and back with an elevation gain of a little under 400 feet.  It’s a good workout, but it’s definitely no Mt. LeConte!  On May 31 we will be doing the Alum Cave Bluff Trail up to LeConte Lodge for lunch–an elevation gain of about 2700 feet.  I am SO excited, and this time, we are taking my hubby’s boys, Zach and Tucker, along with Zach’s gorgeous and super fun fiance.  This will be her first trip and I’m happy to get to be the one to take her.

When I arrived home, I did the bodyweight exercises I had planned for myself.  I did three rounds of 10 kettle bell swings, 15 squats, and 10 lunges per leg.  I thought about going for a run, but a shower sounded better.

I have about 27 days to get in shape for this trip.  I love setting goals for myself, planning an attack and executing that mother-lover!  I know I won’t be in the shape I was in when we went in October, but I know I’ll be 27 days fitter than I am today.

Here are some pics you’ve probably already seen from my October trip.

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Happy trails! 🙂


Hiking Healthy: Crushing the Smokies!

Hubby and I took a quick weekend trip to the Smoky Mountains.  We drove down Friday, hiked a gorgeous hike on Saturday, and drove back Sunday.  It was a lot of driving, but oh-so-worth it!

We Went to the Smokys last June with the whole family.  I was only a few months into my weight loss journey, and was probably sittin’ not-so-pretty at roughly 260.  I hiked once with the family–it was a short one–and it was rough.  I have always loved hiking, but it was so difficult.  This is me last summer.

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We hiked Andrew’s Bald that day and also went up Clingman’s Dome.  I was beat when we were done.

Here I am this year.  We hiked my absolute FAVORITE hike.  We started on Alum Cave Bluff trail at 6:20.  That was an hour and 24 BEFORE sunrise. 🙂

Arch Rock, 1.4 miles in.

Arch Rock, 1.4 miles in.

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After Arch Rock, we continued up to Alum Cave Bluff to watch the sunrise.  This was 2.3 miles in.

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We continued on our way. I was rocking my MO’ Cowbell half marathon shirt.  I even scored a compliment on it!  People love that SNL skit!  We finally arrived at the lodge which is 5 miles up from the trailhead.

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We were feeling better than ever, so we decided to head to Cliff Tops–another .3.

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Still feeling awesome, we ventured farther up the mountain than EVER before!  This was my 4th trip up and my hubby’s 5th.  We made it to the summit.

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There were no views at the summit, but we hiked a bit farther–.7 miles from Cliff Tops–to Myrtle Point which was absolutely gorgeous.

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After taking in these b-e-a-UUUUU-tiful views, we headed back to the lodge for a sack lunch that consisted of a bagel with cream cheese, summer sausage, oreos, a fruit roll-up, trail mix, and hot cocoa.  It was delicious.

Nom Nom...

Nom Nom…

The trip down was nice.  We saw a TON of people though.  On the way up we were virtually alone, but the trail was packed late that afternoon. Hubby twisted his ankle pretty badly, but we still got a ton of great pictures.

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I felt like I was flying.  I was so light on my feet. I was sure-footed.  I didn’t feel like I would keel over dead at any given second!

In years past, I would be dragging my exhausted body up to the lodge around 3-5 pm.  This year, I bounced up the trail and made it to the lodge at 10am!  In fact, when we made it back to the parking lot after the hike, I was sad to see it end, whereas with all my other hikes, I was dying to get in the car and get my boots off!  This was an amazing day made possible (or at least more enjoyable!) because of my weight loss.


Healthy living, folks! 🙂  Do it.

Unscheduled Rest and Random Fun

Unscheduled Rest

Yuck!  My hips hurt!  My legs are tired and achy, my back (kidneys?) hurts, and I just feel sluggish.  I have progressively been getting more and more worried that I’m going to injure myself in these last few weeks leading to my race, so I decided to take the evening off to rest my weary bones.  I walked a mile tonight with my husband, and I’ll get my five mile run in tomorrow.  I’m still planning a long run of 12 miles on Saturday, but I may push it to Sunday if I’m still tired.

Random Fun

We went to the prettiest outdoor wedding on Saturday.  My friend got married on her and her husband’s property, and the reception was in and around the barn.  It was simple, sweet, and oh-so-stunning.  Here’s a pic of the gorgeous bride:


At the wedding, I was able to catch up with some long-lost friends.  We had so much fun working together back in the day.  Miss these awesome ladies.


I had run 10.6 miles, so I didn’t even feel guilty about all the brewskies I drank…or the wedding cake I ate.  Don’t worry, I was still at a calorie deficit for the day.


We ended the evening fairly early and were in bed at a decent time.  We got up Sunday and went for a short hike with the fam.  It was a nice day.


I love being active with my family.  It’s fun, it’s good quality time, and it instills healthy habits in my kiddos.  I hope they never let themselves travel down the dark road I did for so long.  I’m much happier and healthier now than I was 140 pounds ago!

I’m having some coffee, and then hitting the hay.  I’m a tired lady.

Happy (hurt-free) running, friends!  Make the most of your days!

Trail Runs in MO State Parks!

I came across a news article today that was promoting the Missouri State Parks Racing Series.  I decided immediately that I would complete them all!

I already registered for the first one. It’s a kayak/trail run, but I opted for the run portion only.  Mostly because I’m chicken, and I’ve never been in a kayak before.  Canoe…yes.  Kayak…no.  Hubby and I have decided to camp that weekend, so we will make it a family affair.  I hope it’s not too hot!


In October, I’ll be running this one.  Since the date coincides with one of the options for my half marathon, I guess I will officially be running the Go! St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon instead of the Mo’ Cowbell.  It feels good to have a definite race date set for my half! 🙂

I’ll be doing this 15K in November!

And competing this 12K tunnel trot in December!

Looks like I have a busy fall ahead of me.  Can’t wait!

Hiking My Way to Healthy

Yesterday, I met my bestie for a picnic lunch at a state park, and we hiked for a while with the kiddos.  It was nice to get out of the house and talk to adult-type people!  Well, one adult-type person, anyway.

We paused for a few photo ops!


The bestie and me.

The bestie and me.

It was a nice day with perfect weather!  Oh! And I can traverse the dreaded monkey bars now!  How awesome is that!  I can only do four before dropping, but that’s more than I could do just a few weeks ago when all I could do was hang on them!  Here’s proof: same shirt, different day…lol.

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When I made it back home, I ran 2.5 miles outside, and came in and did a few miles on the stationary bike downstairs. My hips and ankle were screaming for me to chillax, so that’s what I did.

I squeezed in a quick shower and we all went to Open House at the kids’ school. I teach in a different district at the high school level, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw not one, but TWO of my students there.  They were so excited to see me. It made me feel good, and I am now finally getting (a little) excited about the start of the year.

Today, the hubs and I took the kiddos on a family hike.  It was only 3.1 miles, but it is a very difficult trail.  The suggested completion time is 2-3 hours. We did it in 1 hour, 35 minutes with the kids in tow!  We rock.  Well, we tripped over a lot of rocks, anyway.  On a side note, I kicked that trail’s a**!  I didn’t get tired. I wasn’t out of breath.  It was easy!  I’ve hiked that trail at least 10 times over the last few years, and it always kills me…probably because I always looked more like this:


Notice that this pic is NOT a full body pic.  Don't have many of those bad boys!

Notice that this pic is NOT a full body pic. Don’t have many of those bad boys!



Anyway the trail most certainly did not kill me. Not today.  I killed it!

I was feeling a little snacky after dinner, so I went for a quick 1.2 mile walk with the hubby to curb the “hunger”.  All in all, I’ve been pretty active the last few days.  Go me!

Tomorrow is another 4.5 miler.  It’s funny how I can crush a 7 mile run, but 4.5 kills me during the week.  Mental?  Tired from the long run?  Who can say for sure?  All I know is that I don’t have a long run this weekend–I have a short 3.1 mile race, and I’m so looking forward to it!  I’ll keep you posted.

Keep loving YOU.

Former fatty out!

Hiking, Hills, and Heat


A friend I haven’t seen all summer texted me last night and invited me to hike with her and another friend today.  I absolutely love hiking, so of course, I went!  We had a nice 3+ mile hike with all of our kiddos.




I had set my alarm to get up and get my 4 mile run in this morning, but I silenced that SOB with a quickness! One of the friends  I met up with today is training for the half marathon with me.  She’s been running for years and is kinda my hero. 🙂  Especially since she actually got up and did her run before the hike!


I met the girls, and we hiked and talked.  Their kids are so well-behaved, and better still: hilarious!  It was a nice morning/afternoon, and it was just what I needed.


They went for ice cream after, but we skipped it (much to the dismay of my children!).  I needed to get home to meet the U.P.S. man to sign for a package.  He tried to drop it off yesterday, but I missed him.  Okay, truth?  I was in my skivies, and I was pretty sure he saw me through the window.  24 hours is apparently the accepted amount of time needed to ease embarrassment and shame enough to answer the door for a complete stranger who has seen you partially clothed.


All I really wanted to do was get my 4 miles in, but I was stuck waiting.  By the time he arrived, it was almost time to take my daughter to piano lessons.  I decided to run at the park near her lesson.  I dropped her off early with her dad, who works there, and headed to the park.


By this time, I had lost my motivation, I was hungry, had a massive sinus headache, and it was hot.  I ran two very hilly miles on sheer will and determination, but I was absolutely miserable.  I kept pushing, though.  After two miles, I felt a sudden, sharp pain in my (previously broken, recently achy) left foot that caused me to limp.  I hobbled to a tree, stretched it out, and limped directly to my car.  It’s fine now, but I will be icing and wrapping it tonight and tomorrow just in case.  Tomorrow I crosstrain, so I will bike or swim, and that will be easy on the foot.  Saturday is a rest day, so hopefully I’ll be good to go by my Sunday 6 miler.  We shall see!

I am a little disappointed by having to cut my run 2 miles short.  I was bound and determined to finish all 4 miles and have a great run, but I also don’t want to risk really injuring myself.  So…for now…we play it sissy-girl-safe.

I’m going to enjoy lying around the house for the rest of the night and not feeling guilty about it.  Hope you guys find something you enjoy too! 🙂