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! 🙂

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(Not so) Fit-versary: Two Years (Before, During, After, and back to During Pics)

April 30th was my two year anniversary of the day I decided to get fit.  I had big plans for the month of April:

  • I was going to weigh 150lbs.
  • I was going to be in the best shape of my life.
  • I was going to run a marathon.

None of these things happened because little did I know, I was no longer going to have a mother.  Just four short days after my half-marathon on October 4th, my mother became ill.  She was already ill–heart disease, kidney failure, dialysis, but she became hospital-ill.  In January, she became gravely ill.  A month later, she passed away.  And it was awful.  All of it.

I am a binge eater.  A stress eater.  An emotional eater.  A drinker. Bad, bad combo.  From October-January, I ate a little extra.  When I came to visit my mother at least once a week, I would also visit my favorite restaurant and order a burger and booze.  On occasion.  Infrequently.  Once in a while.  I put on a few pounds, but no big deal.

In February, my world blew up.  I dealt with her death well.  I stayed composed when everyone else crumbled.  I made arrangements.  I printed pictures for the tribute table.  I made a video slide show.  I composed a beautiful obituary.  I contacted family members.  I lovingly chose the last outfit my mother would ever wear.  I sifted through jewelry, found her dentures, located her glasses.  I chose flowers, signed papers, wrote thank you cards, and closed bank accounts.

I barely got to say goodbye.

There was no still, quiet moment with a single streaming tear in a solemn room alone with the woman who gave me life.

There was just busyness followed by emptiness.

To ease the pain, I drank.  A lot.  And I ate.  A lot.  I binge-ate, binge-drank, and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy reruns. As a result, I don’t feel any better and I certainly don’t look any better.  I have gained about 40lbs (I’m TOTALLY guessing because I refuse to get on the scale).  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.  Running or hiking a local trail after school, body-weight strength training, and eating the proper amount of calories.

So far, it’s been hit or miss.  I’m on the wagon a few days or a few weeks, and then I tumble off that sucker for a week or so and go hog wild (emphasis on the “hog”).

I did take measurements about 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches, so that’s good.  That’s motivating.  Writing about this is also motivating, not to mention therapeutic.  Once I work up the nerve to get on the scale, I’m sure watching those numbers go down will be motivating as well.

I have set new goals for the summer and fall of 2015:

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 13.1
  • Run a marathon in October.

Goals are good.  Goals keep a person going.  Goals give me something to focus on.  School will be out soon, and I plan to spend my summer running and getting back into the best shape of my life! 🙂

Where I was two years ago:

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight...

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight…

I had gained from the 2012 pic, and then started losing again in Apr 2013.  This pic is probably about 245-250.

Approximately where I am now:

Weighing in at about 190 here on April 9, 2014.

Jay Sheets and Marie Pearl…and ME!

Where I want to be:

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Selfie-alert!

Selfie-alert!

A New Lesson

Just a quick update:

I’m still hitting bumps in the road, but I am not giving up.  I’m getting some decent runs in in the process.  Today I stayed after school–not to tutor–but to run with a student.  Things like this are part of what makes me a great teacher.  She’s a junior and wants to get into better shape the right way, so she came to me!  (Me!?  Really!?  It’s still hard to picture myself as a healthy person!)

In everything you do!

In everything you do!

We ran for 30 minutes after school, and she said she plans to run with me any day I am willing to stay.  We ran and talked (and walked in between!).  I helped her set some goals.  She wants to run a full mile (without stopping–no intervals) for her P.E. final in May.  I assured her that would be a piece of cake!  I convinced her to do a 5k with me in May as well.  That one, she’ll have to work for! 🙂

I’m excited, and so is she.  This may be the motivation I’ve been looking for–to BE someone’s motivation.

Did I Just Enjoy That Run? I Think I Did.

When I was training for my half marathon over the summer and into the fall, I was so excited.  Every run brought me closer to a really amazing goal I had set for myself, I enjoyed running in new territory (lengths) every week with my long runs, and I looked forward to lacing up and heading out.

This time around, I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been enjoying my runs.  They’ve been painful, exhausting, and seemingly endless–and I haven’t really had any actual LONG runs!  I chalk it up to the fact that it’s cold, and I let myself get out of shape.

Tonight, I had my first enjoyable run.  The hill leading out from my house was a little rough, but the rest of the run was awesome.  I felt freer than I have felt on any training run this far.  I was a little nostalgic too.  I envisioned my marathon.  I thought about the people in my life who can’t run and never will again.  I chanted their names in rhythm with my footsteps, and it was encouraging.  I imagined those people mid-course holding signs that say things like “my daughter runs for me” or “run while you can” as they sit, incapacitated, in their wheelchairs. I even picture my twin brother standing with our parents with a sign that reads “my sister’s a friggin’ show off”…lol!

I’m happy to have finally had a good run.  I wish I had had time to do another mile or so.  I didn’t want to stop!  I may just be getting my groove back, and that’s a good thing because I’ve been questioning whether or not I could actually complete a marathon since I started training 3 weeks ago.  The seed had been planted; I was just waiting for it to germinate.  It may finally be pushing its fragile self to the surface after all.  🙂

On a side note: my mom is still in the hospital. Nursing home, actually.  She is still working at being rehabilitated enough to go home.  I fear it may never happen.  She’s been in the hospital/rehab/now nursing home since Oct. 8.  She had a doctor’s appointment today and was informed that she will need to have stents put in her legs.  Her feet are not healing properly (diabetic/kidney failure=poor circulation=foot problems).  Hopefully, blood flow will be restored, and she will begin to heal.  Back in May, my dad had this problem, and it was never rectified.  He is now a double amputee.  Mom has a better shot, but we will have to wait and see.

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They are the reason I run.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again (and again, and again, and again).  I weighed almost 300 pounds, and I was going to die.  Not soon, but sooner than I should.  And painfully.  Watching my vibrant parents become bedridden made me change my ways.  1. I didn’t want to end up like them. 2. I wanted them to know that I wouldn’t end up like them.  They are so proud of the way I have turned my life around.  Especially my mom.  She has confided several times that if she had known how things would end up, she would have taken better care of herself and that she’s so happy that I AM doing just that.

I love those goofy people, and I wish I could have them around longer (and healthier), but it is what it is.  I’ll be spending as much of the holiday with them as I can.  Christmas break starts Friday at 12:30, but we are supposed to get some snow and ice tonight, so I may be off until January!

Keep running!  It’s so worth it! 🙂

Marathon Training: Week Two (And Confessions of a Fat Girl)

This week wasn’t too bad either.  I’m still playing catch up from all the couch sitting I did after my half marathon in October, but my endurance is coming back fairly quickly.

I ran 3 miles on Monday.  It wasn’t too bad.  I walked a few miles on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I rushed home because I wanted to get my long run (6 miles) in before my hectic weekend began.  I ran the whole 6 with a few short walk breaks up hills.  At first I was disappointed in having to walk, but now I remember how I had to take a few breaks in my first few weeks of half marathon training too.  I’m certain that as I progress in training, my endurance and stamina will catch up and I’ll be running non-stop like I did for all the later weeks of my half training.  No worries.  Well, maybe a few. 😉

I ran 2.5 last night before it got dark.  I was dressed in dark clothing, so I thought it might be best to get home.  Besides, I had a ton of cleaning and wrapping to do before the kiddos came home at 8.  Spoiler alert:  My house is kinda-not a disaster, and no gifts were wrapped.

This morning my piano is being tuned, so I’ve been able to do a little laundry and blogging.  I’d have liked to have gotten my last 3 mile run of the week in, but I guess I’ll save it for tomorrow.  I’m going out to dinner tonight with my hubby and our friends, so I’m going to make healthy choices, but I’m also going to eat as much as I want!  I’ve busted my butt all week running AND eating healthy, so I deserve a little calorie splurge.  My body is tired too, so…maybe I need the calories.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

Confession time!  After my half, I had planned to keep running and eating healthy, but I did allow myself 2 weeks off.  2 weeks morphed into 6…and I morphed into a fatty!  In 6 weeks, I went from 164 (half marathon weight–and +7 from my lowest) to 184!  In my defense, about 5 of that was water weight because as soon as I got back in the swing of things, I instantly dropped to 179.  The last 1.5-2 weeks, I’ve dropped another 5, so now I’m back down to 174.  I’m hoping the weight keeps dropping.  I’m sure that the reason I feel extra tired on runs is because of the extra pounds I’m packing.  It freaks me out a little that I gained 20 lbs almost instantly, but I did do a lot of eating.  And a lot of lounging.

Eat-All-The-Food-Meme

I fell, but I picked myself back up.  I’m sure I’ll be seeing the 160s soon, and I’m still hoping to hit my goal of the 140s by marathon day in April.  With all the running I’ll be doing, I’m thinking it’ll all come out in the wash. 🙂

Anyway, next week is a 3, 4, 3 and 7 miler.  We shall see how that goes.

Keep running.

First Long Run of Marathon Training

Welp, it’s done.  I just ran my first “long run” of marathon training.  I was planning to do 6, but it ended up being a 5 miler instead.  It wasn’t too bad, though.  I will say it wasn’t as enjoyable as some of my other long runs from previous training, but it was doable.  I cut it short because I think I just hadn’t eaten enough and my body was tired.  I’m also getting strange feelings in my legs and feet, so parts of the run were very uncomfortable.  The feeling is kind of an itchy/crawly/light buzz or tingle.  It doesn’t hurt, but it feels very strange.  As I type this, I notice the same feeling in my left hand.  Usually, if I feel in in my hands, it’s my right hand–not the left.  Weird.  Anyone have any ideas?

My hubby ran with me for a bit.  I did a 1.2 loop and then he met me when I came back by the driveway.  We ran down across the dam, which offers pretty views even in winter, and then looped back home.  Hubby ran so much faster than me, and it really ticked me off!  I’ve been serious about running for almost a year now, and he can out run me–at least with speed.  He lost his momentum when he hit almost 2 miles.  I kept going strong for 3.4, then I walked up a huge hill and ran the rest of the way home for a 5 mile run.

Along the way, I found a cell phone on the dam.  I called the last person they had talked to, and a neighbor from down the street answered.  She came by to pick up the phone and was very grateful.  When she called me back on the found phone to let me know she was on her way to my house, the ring tone was Me and Bobby McGee.  I told her it must have been fate for me to find it, since that is probably my all time favorite song…or at least top 5!  Too funny.  Anyway, I did my good deed for the day, so I hope karma was watching! 🙂

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I’ll be running three 3 milers and my 6 (that I was supposed to do today) next week.  Wish me luck on week two! 🙂

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.

#LiveLifeHappy

Healthy living, folks! 🙂  Do it.