Monday, December 31, 2012

A New View

In case you haven't noticed (and if you haven't, we've got bigger problems than I thought), I've done some sprucing up around here.  It isn't quite what I was going for....my original choice had skulls and all that....much more my speed.  But when I chose the skull template, it screwed up my blog royally, and I wasn't able to change the fonts.  I'd rather play around with the fonts and the sizes of the words than have skulls and a generally fucked up blog.  (Seriously.  It was a trainwreck.  It posted two headers, and the blog repeated itself at the bottom.  Made me look like an idiot.)  After some extensive googling and messing around in the html code, I fixed it.  Yay!

Anyways....enough about the joys turmoil of creating a blog that visually expresses the author and still is functional for readers.  On to bigger and better things.

Ha.  Bigger.  I am definitely bigger. 

Tomorrow is January 1st, 2013.  The start of a new year.  A clean slate.  I soooo need a clean slate.  2012 just wasn't my year.  I changed jobs......twice.  (In the end, it worked out.  But working at the prison.....really, really bad for me.  Mentally, it got to me, both inmate and co-worker wise.)  I injured myself, and then went through rest, PT, surgery, more PT, and finally recovery.  But the recovery isn't working out too well, b/c I have no plan.

I think that was one of my biggest problems in 2012.  I had no plan.  I was floating aimlessly through the days, with no direction.  

This new year MUST be different.  

Yesterday, after swimming at the gym, I had a kind of epiphany.  (Wow....did I really spell epiphany correctly on the first try?  No squiggly little red line under it?  Coolness.)  I was talking to Chris about how I want to incorporate more swimming and biking into my routine.  That I don't want to rely on running so much.  And he was like....you should definitely cross-train more.

Epiphany.

I don't want to cross-train more.  I don't want to call it cross-training.  I want to just.....have it be a part of my routine.  Running and biking shouldn't be something I do once every couple of weeks because I'm feeling burned out from running.  Swimming and biking should be things I do as equally as running.  

I don't know what kinds of effect this way of thinking will have on my running, but right now, I'm okay with that.  Once I'm full-swing back into pounding the pavement, I really want to avoid getting caught up in the whole  "I have to run a bajillion miles today because everyone else is" mentality.  

For now, I'm going to have an integrated plan that focuses on overall cardiovascular improvement.  

C25K
I'm going to re-start the Couch To 5k (C25K) plan (at week three), just so I can make progression up to a 5k without stopping to walk.  I will probably end up doubling the workout each day.  Most of the training plans are about 20 minutes, but I have regularly been spending about 40-45 min on the treadmill with my walk/run intervals.  I just want to use C25K as a plan.....you know, instead of floating around aimlessly.

I will be doing C25K 3 times a week, most likely on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.

My goal 5k is the Tortoise and Hare 5k on Memorial Day in Wind Gap.  After that, I will re-evaluate and train for the Hershey Half in October.

Biking
I will take spin class once a week, on Monday.

Once it gets warmer out, and the bike paths eventually clear up, and there is more light in the evenings, spin will be replaced with bike rides. I'll also be able to add in more bike rides after work, making this a more integrated part of my routine.  

Swimming
I also want to swim at least one time a week, preferably two...most likely on Sunday/Wednesday.

Misc.
Once a week, on Saturdays, I will do a leg routine that focuses mostly on the exercises taught to me in PT.  I will also continue with Death Gym on Monday/Thursday after work.  I will also do Death Steps (once the ice/snow melts), on Wednesdays after work.

Another plan I want to start is the 100 pushup challenge.  The goal of this plan is to be able to do 100 pushups in a row.  The whole doing a million pushups throughout the day, every day, wore me down.  This plan includes rest days so the muscles can grow. 

So....that is my plan for the beginning of 2013.  Now, I need a spiffy little calendar so I can write everything down.  I learned in the Month of Mayhem that I really enjoyed seeing everything written down.  (I usually track online, but don't have the option to see it all visually on a calendar.)  

In February I'll revisit and re-evaluate.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Month of Mayhem

Do you remember waaaay back to the end of November?  When I posted about the hubbs and I having a friendly little competition I was dubbing Month of Mayhem?  No?  You don't!?  How dare you not remember every little thing about me!

Hehehe....I don't really mean that!  ;)

Anyways, we decided to keep track of our workouts for a month, from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.  (Actually, the calendar I made only went until today.  But we're both planning on going to the gym tomorrow, so we'll probably count those minutes too.  Unless we decide not to.)

Here is my calendar.

Now, I have to say....after looking back on my calendar, I'm moderately impressed.  I tend to have people come up to me or send messages to me stating something like, "I wish I could do as much as you," or, "I wish I could be as active as you."  I usually brush the comment aside with something like, "Oh, I don't really do that much.  I think it just sounds like I do more than I really do."

Really?

Looking back at the calendar, I gotta say that on most days of the week I'm doing something.  It may not be super intense, or last for hours upon hours, but I'm doing something.  Most days....at least 30 minutes of something.  That's kinda impressive.  

I think part of the problem is that I hang out with crazies.  Yeah.  Serious crazies.  So what I do looks like a stroll around the block compared to what they do.  And then I start to think I'm not doing enough because (it seems like) everyone else is working a bajillion times harder than me.

I gotta own up and claim my own workouts.  They may not be terribly impressive, but when you slap them all on a calendar, well, damn.  It looks pretty good to me.

Total exercise minutes for the month: 1,555. (Unless we count tomorrow.)

Plus all those damn pushups.  I gotta be honest though.  I crapped out on them.  This week I got in 125 two days.  But then again, this week, I was in a total funk.  Tired all the freaking time.  Achy.  Sore.  And I got adjusted at the chiro on Friday, which made Friday and Saturday pretty cruddy.  But I feel more aligned than I have in a while, so I'll take it.

So.....tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  I'll be spending the afternoon/evening at my parent's house with the fam.  The food will be bad (picky type food, pizza, sweets....pretty casual).  The company better.  Following is Christmas Day.  We'll visit Chris' fam in the morning, and then Chris and I plan on going to the movies and out for Chinese for dinner.  Neither of our fams really do anything Christmas Day, so we decided we're finally going to start our own tradition.  Plus, we haven't been out for Chinese during the whole Month of Mayhem.

I'm not going to beat myself up over food choices.  'Tis the Season.  I'll use the days between Christmas and New Year's as "go with the flow" kinda days.  Come the New Year, I plan on upping the intesnity of my workouts, but also being more diligent on planning out rest days.  From looking at the calendar, I notice I started out strong, and then slowed down a lot towards the end.  Maybe if I planned better rest-wise in the beginning, I wouldn't have felt so sore and achy and needed all those rest days at the end?

Live and learn.  It is all about finding balance, right?

Merry Christmas all!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Blues

This past weekend was less than stellar.  We can't all be perfect.  Then again, maybe some of us can.  It sure seems like it.  But I'm not one of them.  I'm very far from perfect.

It started with Friday.  My back was achy.  My shoulders were achy.  My body was achy.  (Ummmm......maybe from doing 100 pushups every day?  Duh?)  I skipped the pushups and any other semblance of a workout.

Saturday was a new day.  Full of hope.  Until I got on my bike and realized the front tire was flat.  And not just a little flat.  Entirely flat.  So my bike ride turned into a brisk walk.  Granted, I got to catch up with Kimberly (we don't get to chat nearly as much as we used to since I can't partake in early morning runs with her....yet).  So it wasn't a total wash.  But walking just isn't the same as biking.

Afterwards, I thought about my pushups.  Really, I did.  But still.... I was sore.  And tired.  I actually napped for quite a bit Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening was my running group's Christmas party.  I had a blast, ate too much, and didn't really worry about it.  I was hitting the gym and doing my pushups Sunday.

Until Sunday rolled around.

I slept in till 8:30, which is almost unheard of from me since I've gone back to days at work.  I got up, ate some crappy food for breakfast, and then proceeded to take a nap.  I was soooo tired.  And achy.  (How the heck could I be achy for three whole days?)  I scrapped the gym once again, and lazed around.

Yeah, I know.....go me.  (Said with sarcasm.)  I've decided that the whole lack of sunlight and the impending cold weather is starting to wear on me.  I don't ever do well in the wintertime.....I think I'm going to look into one of those happy lights.

This morning the alarm went off at 4:45 am.  Yep, you read that right....4:45.  In the freaking morning.  I turned the stupid thing off and laid there.  I contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep.  I almost actually did go back to sleep.  But, well, I had a date.  I was meeting Kimberly and Melissa at spin class.

Turns out we were all secretly hoping the others would cancel so we could go back to sleep!  They say great minds think alike, don't they?

We all spun our little hearts out.  The class ended with 26 pushups.  Which meant I only had 99 to go for the day.  Yep.  99.  What the heck was I thinking adding 25 pushups to my daily total each week?  Was I on crack?  For those of you who can't do math (I know I suck at it), I'm up to 125 a day this week.  And I'm pretty sure I've reached the point where my body will not let me do them every day.  I got 125 in today, I'm skipping tomorrow, and I'm shooting for 125 Wednesday and Thursday.  After that, we'll see.

Ohhhh....and today was Death Gym.  Yep, Mondays are double workout days!  Go me.  (Gotta do something to help atone for my lazy weekend.)  I did some sledgehammer swings onto tires, but this time alternating which had held the axe on each swing.  Talk about coordination.  Usually I'll do however many swings on one side, then switch.  Nope, not today.  So in between sets of those, I did figure 8's with the heavy rope.  Next I did shoulder presses with the 30lb slosh bar (which are getting noticeably easier) followed by squatting rows with a weighted (no clue on the poundage) sled on the turf.  After that alternating overhead slams with the 18lb medicine ball coupled with evil pushups.  What made them evil?  One hand on the medicine ball, one on the ground.  Do a pushup.  Roll the ball to the other hand.  Do a pushup.  Roll back.  Yeah....you get the idea.  The first set I did 12 pushups, the last two sets I got in 14.  (In hindsight, I'm really wondering why I even mentioned this pushup challenge to trainer Frank in the first place.)  I finished off with a couple sets of random medicine ball stuff.

Oh yeah.  I then came home and finished off the rest of my pushups.

I blame Bobifer.

Tomorrow I'm shooting for  walk/jog intervals on the treadmill, and Wednesday I'm trying for a swim.  I'll get to sleep in a tiny bit since I have a Wellness Committee meeting, which isn't until 8:45 in the morning.  Yay sleep!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Feeling' the Love

Today the land of better living has me feeling the love!

First....I went to the gym this morning and got in 45 minutes of the whole walk/jog intervals.  Yes, they are getting boring.  But I keep telling myself it is a building phase.  I'm getting the joints and all the connective tissues used to running again.  I'm not pushing anything pace-wise, and I'm not pushing anything incline-wise, I'm just building.  Come spring, my legs and joints and all that goodness should be nice and ready to transition to pounding the pavement.

I just keep telling myself that.

Anyways, that's not the point.  The point is that at the gym there is this totally bad-ass-shit-brickhouse of a girl.  (No, hard to believe, but it isn't me I'm talking about, lol!)  I've admired her since I've been going.  She's very thin, but put together.  Seriously.  I'm pretty sure she could take on all the peacocks* at the gym.  And she runs mad fast.  I've even seen her at some of the events I've run in.

As I was putting on my sweatshirt and getting ready to leave the gym she asked, "You're in Breakfast Club Runners, right?"  Holy moly.  Awesome chick was talking to me.  Me!  And she noticed enough about me to remember that I am in BCR!  O.M.G.  (Please note, the sweatshirt I was putting on was not a BCR one.)  I chatted with her about it for a little, and she said she might come tomorrow.

Wow.

I'll tell you what.  The combination of losing weight, working to become healthier, striving to be in a good place emotionally at both work and home, certainly does wonders for the psyche.  I have become this totally outgoing, friendly being.  I remember when I was big, I was generally angry.  Just about every candid pic of me has a scowl of some sort.  I hated talking to people.  I was shy, to the point of appearing snobbish.  Now, I just chat away.  At work this week, I can't even count how many people have told me I'm so friendly, and great to work with, and helpful.....sheesh, my head is going to get big!  Not really.  I'm not like that.

That meeting set the tone for the rest of the day.  Around lunchtime, I checked out my Facebook page, and saw that an old high school friend posted on my page about how I (yes me!) inspired her to get fit and healthy!  Holy moly!  Like I've said before....I always have doubts about blogging.....is it interesting?  Do people really care?  Are people even reading it?  But....well, comments like that are why I blog.  Because five years ago I would have laughed in your face if you told me that at this point in my life I'd have run four half marathons, two Tough Mudders, two Warrior Dashes, a Ragnar Relay, some 10ks and 5ks and who knows what else.   And now, I do this stuff.  And if I can't do it, I miss it.  Crave it, even.  If I can do it....and learn to crave it, anyone can.  Seriously.

Then this evening, another high school friend posts on my wall, saying she finally got the chance to peruse my blog and that the pics on my blog don't look like me.  Which is sad, because it is true.  I look at them, and don't even recognize myself.  My wedding picture....I know it was me at that time, but I feel like it isn't ME.  I also feel like her and I are on a very similar journey.  She has a blog as well, and struggles with the same negative issues I do.  I'm working on improving the negative self-talk, but sheesh, it can be hard.  I do have to admit, finding a job in which I feel valued and respected helps things a lot.  Interesting how that works.

So blogging I will continue.

*I mentioned peacocks and put an asterisk by it way up there.  Peacocks, at the gym , are those dudes with the massive chests and shoulders that strut around like their shit don't stink.  I have to admit, after a good back/shoulder workout, I've been known to strut around like a peacock.  I'm just not douchey about it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Push. Push-Up.

Lol, I'm really bad at blogging as the week goes on.  Gotta work on that.

Anyways, today was the first time I went to spin class in AGES.  Seriously.  Ages.  Probably since before I was hobbled.  Heck, probably since before I started my old new job at the prison.

I took it easy.  I know that jacking up the tension, especially on climbs, can put a lot of pressure on the knees.  You know, something I would want to avoid.  (See, I'm getting good at this being smart stuff!)  So I would up the tension, just not a ton.  But I did well on the sprints, the attacks, and pretty much everything else.  And didn't have knee issues.

Oh, and guess what the spin instructor likes to end every class with?  Push-ups!  Fits in perfectly with the push-up challenge and the fact that I'm now up to 100 a day.  (Although starting last week, I did reserve the right to take a rest day if needed.  And trust me.  Last Friday it was needed.)

I ended up doing 11 pushups at the end of class.  She had us do 10, but I did an extra one before she started counting.

So carry on through work (my notary stuff came in!) and all that good stuff, and on to Death Gym.

I started out with sledgehammer swings and heavy rope wave madness.  And progressed to overhead presses with the slosh bar (30lb) and overhead ball slams (18lb).  And then body-weight dips and turkish sit-ups (25lb).  And alternating kettlebell swings for a billion reps (25lb).  I'm not as bad ass as all you doing those Turkish get-ups, but the sit-ups were lovely enough.  At that point, my shoulders are screaming.  I'm thinking in my head how I'm going to get home, go on Facebook, and paste on the You Know Who Reads Our Blog?  Your Mom. page that I fully invoke my right to not do 100 pushups on Death Gym days.

I knew my half hour was almost up, so in a completely smart ass voice, I ask trainer Frank, "Anything else?"

He responds with, "20 push-ups.  That way you'll be up to 31 for the day, and won't give up on doing 100."

Asshole.  How did he know I was going to do that?

I got the 20 in at Death Gym, then came home and carried on until I got all 100 pushups in.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Death Gym!


So, I'm making a change on here, and I'm going to get rid of the workout page.  Not because I don't want to list them, but because it is going to get long, unwieldy, and will generally piss me off.  Plus, I'm awful at updating it.  Instead, I'm just going to post my Death Gym workouts (what I remember of them) in the actual body of my blog.

Today was a fantabulous day at Death Gym.  I skipped the normal gym and intervals this morning, only  because my knee was really sore after this past weekend.  And I knew I wanted to give my all at Death Gym.  Here's what I did in my 30 minutes today:

16 core rows w/ 15lb dumbbells (8 each side, alternating)
4 full body weight dips
Repeat 3x

Overhead triceps slams into wall w/ 18lb medicine ball
Bent rows w/ 35lb heavy bag
Repeat 3x

15 overhead triceps extension w/ 30lb dumbbells
12 (each side) sledgehammer swings onto a tire
Repeat 3x

12 sled rows while squatting w/ 70lb on sled
12 overhead ball slams w/ 18lb medicine ball
Repeat 4x

30 seconds alternating rope swings (longest 30 seconds ever)
16 death pushups (Do a push-up.  Once you come back up, lift the right hand up like you're doing a core row, but be careful to not rotate your hips.  Put hand back on ground.  Repeat....8 each side)  The first set I actually managed a total of 20 pushups (10 each side), but I decided I wasn't getting low enough so I switched to 8 each side.
Repeat 3x

Die.

Actually, I didn't die.  Because I had to do 23 more pushups to reach my total of 75 for the day.  I did nice, normal ones at home. (Yeah, I joined a stupid pushup challenge.  Last week I did 50 a day.  This week will be 75.  Next week 100.  And so on, until the end of the year.)

And I'm fully aware the proper spelling for pushup is push-up.....I'm just too lazy to put that stupid hyphen in there each time I type.

What's on the slate for tomorrow?  Walk/jog intervals at the normal gym in the morning.  Annnnd.....the return of Death Steps after work!  Yay!  I fully intend on pretty much walking the steps, but I gotta start somewhere.  I'm not sure what I'll throw in between the steps....definitely push-ups, and maybe core rotations.

When I told my trainer I'd be doing steps tomorrow, his response was, "In moderation, right?"  Hmmmm....I must have a reputation for pushing myself or something!

Anyways......it feels flipping GREAT to be back in the game.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boastful or Motivational?


That is a picture of my "bling board."  It used to hang on the wall right next to my desk at work when I was in the courthouse.  Looking at it made me happy.  Plus, when attorneys or the public needed to sit at my desk, it gave us something to talk about while I was entering info in the computer.  So it served a purpose.  (Other than the self-serving purpose of making me happy.)

When I left that job for my short stint at the prison, the dismantled bling board stayed at home.  Trust me, when you work at a prison, you want NOTHING personal hanging around.  The less they know about you, the better.

The medals are now scattered in random places throughout the house, my Tough Mudder headbands are in my car, the pics and other fun things are probably in the same bag I put them in to bring them home from work.

Now, my dilemma is this: do I resurrect the bling board, or just hang up a plain old bulletin board?

There is a ton of blankness on the walls in my space at Gracedale.  I brought in just the bulletin board and need to hang it.  But I don't know what to put on it.

I was talking to one of my new co-workers, and telling her how I like to run, and lost a bunch of weight, and like to do crazy things and call them fun.  I told her how at my other job, I had my bling board and that it not only made me happy, but served a dual purpose.  I then told her I wasn't sure about hanging my bling board, with my medals, at my current job because it would appear boastful.

She looked at me like I was crazy and said she didn't think it would be boastful at all.  She thinks it is motivational.

What?

Really?

What do you all think?  I don't want to look like an asshole at my new job by hanging a bulletin board and putting my medals all over it.  I don't really have many people from the public at my desk, so the only purpose it would serve is to make me happy.

Does that make me boastful?  Or just someone who enjoys looking at what she's done?  I have to admit, I am proud of that stuff.  But would hanging that stuff at work make me an ass?

Opinions please!

(Ha.  Like how I almost force you to reply to this one?)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holy Back Craziness

I don't mean to keep going on about this, but I really need to share.

I am utterly amazed at how well my back held up this weekend.  Like I mentioned in my previous blog, I spent a decent amount of time hacking away at some trees with both an ax and a hand saw.  Most of the axing was done to branches that were overhead, and a bunch of the swinging motions were awkward, simply because of all the branches that were hanging everywhere.  During most of the hand sawing, I was hunched over, trying to figure out the best way to balance the logs I was cutting through.

Not the best situation for someone who randomly has crazy back problems that freeze up my neck and make it impossible to turn my head.

I thought for certain I was going to wake up this morning, laying face down, unable to move.  Seriously.  I thought I wouldn't even be able to lift an arm if I had to call out of work.  Remember, I'm the chick who took batting practice at softball about a year ago, and after ten swings, threw my back out and had to go to the chiro for an adjustment.

So, imagine my surprise when I got up this morning and had no problems.  None. At. All.  In fact, the sorest part of my body were my hands!  I have a weak grip, and apparently did a great deal to help strengthen it this weekend!

Obviously, my point in this blog is not to gloat.  (Okay, maybe it isn't obvious.  I just hope I don't sound like I'm gloating.)  My point is this.....if you would have asked me a year ago to go out and chop wood and swing an ax and use a hand saw for several hours, I would have laughed in your face.

Now, I feel strong.  I had no clue how much my back/shoulders/arms have been changing.  I know that since my hobbling I've been focusing much more on the upper body lifting-wise, but didn't realize what a difference all that lifting has done.  I have to admit, while I was swinging that ax, I was much more aware of my body....tightening my core, planting my feet, my shoulders helping control the swing.  With the hand saw, well, I could feel my lats and traps pushing and pulling to help with each swipe of the blade.  Plus, it helps that I'm semi-ambidextrous; I could switch which hand I used with both the ax and the hand saw so I got a fairly even workout.

Anyways....don't doubt yourself.  And don't ever give up.  I could have curled up in a ball, holed myself away, and done nothing since July.  And where would that have gotten me?  Certainly not chopping wood for a couple hours.  I may not have been able to kick as cardio-wise, and I definitely put on a bunch of poundage, but I've noticeably made gains elsewhere.  And now that I can slowly be more diligent about adding in the cardio and running, I can work on decreasing that poundage.

This isn't an all or nothing deal.  This is life, with ups and downs.  And although they past couple of months have definitely had their downs, I'm now realizing that some good have definitely come from being hobbled.

Oh, and by the way, I'm released from physical therapy!  I still have to take things slowly, and I won't be able to run outside for a while yet, but I'm making progress on all fronts.  Yay!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wood Chopping Fools

I probably should have done a Happy Thanksgiving blog.  Or a day-after-Thanksgiving blog.  Or something like that.  But I got lazy.

My fam comes to our house for Thanksgiving dinner, so things are stressful enough.  The hubbs is an awesome cook, and we had some very tasty food, including smoked turkey!  He got up bright and early to put the bird in the smoker, and a bunch of hours later we had tastiness.  The fam did their normal bickering, and I told them all that next year, they are either doing a shot  when they walk through the door or taking a Xanax, just to mellow out.

Aside from turkey day, I've had a couple of fairly active days, which is quite fabulous because it makes me feel like I'm getting back to my old self.  On Wednesday, right after physical therapy, I went on an hour long bike ride with a friend.  Friday, another bike ride.  Saturday was a bike ride to Death Gym, a Death Gym workout, another short ride, and then a couple hours worth of chopping/hand sawing (no chainsaws allowed!) wood.  Our local bike path has trees and branches and all kinds of crap blocking it.  And because of DD's crazy loopy run (ooops, I'll have to explain that one to some of you), a friend and I decided to hack away at some of the debris to help clear things up.

See what we had to contend with?  What a mess!  We left the big, huge logs, and trimmed away all the gnarly branches.  So now the path still isn't passable by bike, but DD's loopy run can happen!  (Yes, yes, I'll explain it!  Sheeesh, give me a second!)
Please note....there are NO CHAINSAWS in the above pic!

Gayle, hacking away at a log.

It seriously took me 40 minutes to hack away at this!  See the splintered hunk of wood in the upper left corner?  Yep, that's what the bad boy I'm holding was attached to.

This is just some of the wood we collected.  We also had two decent boxes of kindling, and ended up tossing a ton of logs to the sides of the path.

Today, I went to the gym and did 3.4 miles of walk/jog intervals on the treadmill, and then went back out and hacked away at more trees for another hour!  Surprisingly, my arms aren't nearly as sore as I anticipated.  I figured I wouldn't be able to move today.  I'll have to thank trainer Frank for all the lifting we've been doing back/shoulder-wise.  Which is something else....my back didn't get wacky at all during this venture.  Sweetness.

Now, back to DD's loopy run.  There is this bike path nearby that has a 4.3 mile "hilly loop."  Actually, the first two miles are flat, and the last 2+ miles are hilly.  Nothing deadly, but enough to keep it interesting.  Anyways, DD is a crazy fellow.  (Hello, he ran a 100 miler, and he's done the Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon crossing.  He's certifiable.)  He's going to have everyone start a lap of the hilly loop at 7 am on Saturday.  You have to finish within the hour, or you're disqualified.  Then at 8 am, they all do another lap.  And at 9, another.  And they'll keep going on until everyone drops and there is one person left.

Personally, I think it sounds like fun (don't let him know I said that), but because I'm just coming back from being hobbled, I'm going to hang out and heckle.  I'll bring my bike so I can get a ride in, and maybe I'll bring the hyena for a bit so we can walk the hilly loop, but I'm not participating in the race.  But it was nice to help clean things up and make it a little safer for everyone!

Ohhhhh.....and guess what???  Friday started my Month of Mayhem.  That's what the hubbs and I are dubbing Nov 23 - Dec 23....the time that we're tracking our fitness minutes.  So all this chopping wood helped me out in that aspect too.  ;)

On Tuesday I have an appointment with the ortho.  I'm pretty certain I won't have to go to PT any longer, so that will free up more time for me.  I just have to be diligent about keeping up with it at the gym.  (You hear that Chris and Kimberly and Melissa?  You all better get on my bum about keeping up with it!)

Back to work tomorrow.....boo.  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and that you're as optimistic about the upcoming week as I am!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Confession

I am an oaf.

Seriously.

I joke, and say the hyena is an oaf.  I am no better.  At least, as of this week.  I've been exhausted.  No clue why.  But when I'm exhausted, I want to sleep in.  And when I sleep in, I don't have time to work out.  And when I don't work out, I feel like a slug.....that wants to sleep in.

Stupid vicious cycle.

Plus, I think I've been taking my eating clues from Bobifer's diet this week.  I won't bore you with all the specific embarrassing details, but dinner today was a dessert apple.  No, not an apple with a cinnamon-sugar topping.  Not even a slice of apple pie.  A dessert apple.
Yep....that's just a fancy way of saying "candy apple."  But not just any candy apple.  One coated in caramel, and then chocolate, and then almond toffee, and drizzled with white chocolate.

At the farmers' market I bought a loaf of bread from my favorite bakery.  Chocolate cherry sourdough.  Yep.  At least I didn't eat the entire thing.  Yet.

The hubbs and I went out to dinner on Friday with Kimberly to celebrate her Birthday!  Dinner was fabulous, we had tons of fun, and I finished off with this...
Yeah.....this shit has got to stop.  I feel like I'm self-destructing.

At least I got a bike ride in today.  And I walked the hyena yesterday.  But that's still a far cry from the running I was doing before being hobbled.

I feel ginormous.  You would think a fear of going back to being fat would help keep things in check.  (In my defense, my clothes still do fit, although they are a tad more snug than they were a couple months ago.)

Anyways.  The hubbs and I have decided to play a little game between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Because we are both out of control.  And he wants to seriously make some changes and be healthier too.  Yay!

I'm going to make up a calendar, and starting on black Friday, we're going to track all our fitness minutes from then until the day before Christmas Eve.  Just a little competition to see who can rack up the most.  We toyed around with miles, but he likes to swim, and comparing swimming miles to biking miles just seems unfair.  Plus, this way we can count Death Gym and lifting too!  So we figured we'll just roll with minutes.

(We both decided we didn't want to focus on weight......weighing myself makes me nutso.  I think if I were to step on a scale now, I would probably have a nervous breakdown.  Seriously.  In my mind, I've convinced myself that I'm probably back over 200lbs.....but if I saw confirmation of that, well, I'd probably cry.  Seriously.  Just let me take solace in the fact that my clothes still fit *snugly* and that I need to do something about the snug part now.)

I would also like to come up with something that can help us stay focused food-wise, especially with the holiday parties coming up.  Any ideas?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Perspective

I tend to do most of my "deep" thinking while working out....whether it be walking, biking, running, whatever.  I have these meaningful and insightful thoughts while I'm out and about, and think, "Wow.  I should really blog about this."

Then I get home and completely forget what I wanted to say.

However, while Kimberly and I were exploring Riverview Park, we had a discussion about perspective.  Maybe actually talking to someone out loud about it made the topic stick in my head.  Who knows? 

Anyways.  You know how you go to the gym, and you check out the peeps around you?  Not just check them out how they look, but watch what they're doing?

Now I know I'm not the only one out there who is a people watcher.

I watch the meatheads grunting and lifting and slamming and throwing their weights around.  (Do they really have to slam them?  Every? Single? Time?)  The older ladies who stroll on the treadmills and chat away.  The crazies who sweat all over the stair steppers for hours at a time. 

You don't?  Oh.  Well, I do. 

My point is this.  I really need to stop comparing myself to them.  And I really have to stop thinking they're comparing me to them.  Confused?

Two weeks ago, when I was still allowed to do my walk/jog intervals, I wore my Tough Mudder shirt to the gym.  Now.....it is a bad ass shirt.  To earn one, you have to be pretty bad ass.  To wear it means you are a bad ass.

And there I am, on the treadmill, walking for two minutes, then jogging for two minutes, then walking for two minutes......

Not very bad ass.

I picture all the peeps around me thinking things like...
"Where the hell did she find that shirt, because you know she didn't run a Tough Mudder."
"She must be wearing her man's shirt."
"Look at her, she can't even run five minutes....she's not a Mudder."

While I'm thinking this, I get very self conscious.  So I have a pep talk with myself.
"Who cares what they think....they don't know your story.  They don't know you had your knee scoped less than two months ago.  They don't know that a week after your first Mudder (you know, the one where you fell from a cargo net and gave yourself whiplash...yeah, that one) you ran the Philly Half in less than 2:30.  That IS bad ass.  So fuck them.  They don't know YOU."

It helped to put things in perspective.

So remember this the next time you're out on the bike path and see someone walking while you're running.  Or when you're at the gym and notice someone doing crappy intervals while you're flying along.  You're not better than that person because they're not running....maybe they're injured.  Maybe the person doing intervals is just starting out at running, and you've been doing it for years.

Remember that we are all at different places in our lives.  We need to respect each other, no matter what stage we're at. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What a Weekend!

Before I get to the meat and potatoes of this blog (yum!), I have to share something with you......I have three followers!  How cool is that?  There are people out there who actually made the conscious effort and have enough interest in what I write to push that little button and follow me.  Yipee!

This weekend was honestly fantabulous.  And....it isn't over yet.  I'm off tomorrow for the Veterans' Day holiday.  Yay!

Yesterday started with a bike ride from my house to meet up with the best running group ever, the Breakfast Club Runners.  I was going towards all the runners on the bike path, so it was great to meet up with a group, slow down and chat, speed up to the next group, chat, and so on.

The only problem was.....I had no way to get to breakfast.  No...I was not about to ride my bike to Jersey, on highways and all that nonsense.  I suck on the bike.  I belong on a bike path, and only on small, back roads.  Nothing busy.

Luckily, Frank came to the rescue, and put my bike in his car.  Yay! 

After breakfast, I went to Bacon Fest at the Easton Farmers' Market.  I tried a cinnamon bun with bacon in it.  It was decent, but nothing I'd write home about.  I bought some spaghetti squash, some acorn squash, some pears and a loaf of bread from my favorite bakery, The Flour Shop.  They have the awesomest breads and pastries.  Seriously.  They know what they are doing. 

I had originally planned to ride back home from Bacon Fest, but my backpack was super-loaded, so Frank brought me (and my bike) home.  I know.....not terribly bad-ass, but since my back is about the only part of my body feeling good, I didn't want to mess that up.

Today, I got up bright and early, and went with Kimberly to the South Mountain 5k/10 Miler.  No sillies, I didn't run!  We volunteered!  (On a side note, this time last year, we were running in our first Tough Mudder!  Holy moly, where did this past year go???)


Here we are, under the pavilion, taking a break from handing out race shirts.  After we finished here, we manned a water stop at mile 3/7 of the 10 Miler.  I never realized how wet you can get working at a water stop....that stuff splashes everywhere when a runner is trying to take it out of your hand.

After our volunteering efforts, we headed to Riverview Park to check out the storm damage.  We started out at the halfway point of the hilly loop, and walked it in the opposite direction of what we normal go.  (You know, change of pace and all that.)

We ventured down a decent slope, went around a bend, and came upon this:







These trees were decently passable; we only had to climb around a little bit.

We carried on, and most of the path was fairly clear.  Even with the downed trees, there was still room on the sides to go around everything.


 (The picture below is of the same trees above, I just thought they looked so cool.)





We came across this super scary looking bug.  I have no clue what it is.  Chris said it is a cricket-spider, but I've never heard of such a thing.  I just hope I never see another one of these again.


Things were decent, until we went up the super big hill (usually the very last long downhill if you're doing the hilly loop in the normal fashion).

It didn't look too bad from a distance....


But upon closer inspection, things got more difficult.


Of course, we didn't let a few sticks stop us!



Towards the end of our jaunt, on the clear part of the hilly loop (which is actually on a road), we saw some deer.  If you look VERY closely, in the center of this pic, you can kind of see one of the deer.


Oh, and this weekend, I went on a minor cooking storm.  Things I have made the past two days:

Acorn Squash: Trim off stem and cut the squash in half.  Scoop out the grossness.  Spray with cooking spray, and liberally sprinkle seasoning salt on the cut side.  Place cut side down on baking sheet, and roast in oven (350 - 400) until it becomes soft.  You can either scoop out the yummy goodness and eat just that, or eat the skin as well.

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal: (This link will only work if you have a Taste of Home log in ID, so I'm also posting the recipe here.)  Please note that I sometimes use dried cranberries instead of raisins.  In either case, I do NOT soak them.  I also omit the salt, the butter and the walnuts, but that's just me.

Ingredients
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Places raisins in a small bowl.  Cover with boiling water; let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, pie spice and salt.  Stir in the milk, apple and butter.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Drain raisins; stir into oat mixture.

Transfer to an 8-in squaare baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with walnuts.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  6 Servings.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken

Spaghetti Squash: Nuke for a couple of minutes.  Scoop out the nastiness.  Place cut side down and roast in a shallow pan with water until soft.  Prob around a 350 degree oven.  Use a fork to scrape away the "spaghetti" strands.  Serve w/ Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken.

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Chicken Salad (with Greek yogurt instead of mayo....mayo makes me ill): No recipe, look below in comments for how I made it.  Next time, I'll probably mess around more with the yogurt, like add lemon juice or something.

This is all stuff I have made so I can pack my lunches and breakfasts ahead of time.  I do so much better when I can grab and go!

I just realized.....I guess I can't claim I don't cook.  ;)

Finally, a question for you all.  I had someone comment on my previous blog that they couldn't see my pics.  There was a link for them, but the link took them nowhere.  Does anyone else have this problem?  I've uploaded the pics differently in this blog, so hopefully, everything works!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Reason for Why I Blog

Like you even need a reason!  I'm entertaining, engaging, and interesting.  (Ummmm.....I hope.)

Honestly, there are tons of reasons why I blog.  But my biggest reason is just to reach out, let people know I'm a normal person, and through candid storytelling relaying of the events in my life, create something that others can relate to. 

Earlier today, I got a notification on SparkPeople that someone had commented on my blog.  (I post a link to this blog over there, that way the peeps there who are interested in my life can still keep up with me.)

This is part of what she said: I am recovering from a running injury too so I really look forward to reading your blogs. It is nice to know that you are not alone.

And you know what?  It IS nice to know you're not alone.  Don't they say that misery loves company?  Well, so does fighting with a purpose, overcoming challenges, and kicking ass.  That's why I share the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Because if I was perfect, I'd be boring...and couldn't call myself Moxie.   

On to some fun things.  Those of you who are my Facebook friends already saw this, but honestly, it isn't too often that I feel really pretty and have that captured in a picture.  And the awesome feeling lasted all day.  So you get to see me again:
IMAG0422.jpg
I don't know where the feeling came from....maybe because I'm trying to have a more positive outlook, maybe because I'm trying to eat better, maybe just because my hair and makeup looked good....but  I was rolling with the feeling. 

Another fun thing....after Death Gym (I updated my workout page....hope it isn't too confusing) the hubs and I stopped by Redners to return a Redbox movie.  I walked in the door and it smelled so good.  Why?  Because there was a huge display of this:
IMAG0428.jpg
But as soon as I saw that, I was like YUCK.  For some reason, working out makes me want to not eat junk.  So even though I'm once again not allowed to run, I have to stick with the bike riding and get back into swimming and keep up with the lifting.  Because the eating like crap MUST STOP.

Anyways.  Today was a fantabulous day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

And the Saga Continues

No more running.  For now at least.

Blah.

I tried the dreadmill before work this morning.  Five minute walk, jog for a minute and a half, walk for two and half minutes, repeat five or six times.  By the end, I was hurting.  Not death pain or anything like that, but yeah.  I then rode the bike for ten minutes, just to loosen things up a bit.  That kinda helped, but not enough.

I went to PT after work, explained to them last Thursday's fiasco, and my normal two PT's were so apologetic.  I told them it wasn't their fault, but they were so nice about it.  At least I got that going for me.

They did the little ultrasound thingy on my knee, I did some leg presses, some hamstring curls (they had me turn my foot in, which really helped with the issue in the back of my knee for this exercise), I did some assisted gait stuff, and then they wanted me to do step ups.  I started, and although they felt not so hot, I knew I'd be able to do them.....until they asked me how I felt.  I told them it hurt, but it wasn't death pain or anything like that. 

See....this is my problem.  I'm so used to pushing myself.  If I'm running and feeling an issue, I carry on, assess the issue, decide if it is something that will work itself out or if it is something that needs to be addressed immediately.  When I'm lifting, well, a certain amount of struggle and pushing is necessary.  So, if I'm doing step-ups, and feel a little "something," I tend to carry on.  Because it isn't debilitating. 

I really gotta get that out of my head.  Especially because I've had this set back.  The PT told me to stop, and that I was done for the day.  She didn't want me aggravating things worse than they were.  I can definitely understand that, and I gotta say.....now that I'm home, I'm glad she made me stop.  Because I'm kinda hurting!  So I continue icing up.

I can ride the bike tomorrow, but no running.  Seriously.  NO RUNNING.  They must have repeated that like ten times.  Oh boy....guess they really know me, don't they?

Enough about that. 

Yesterday, I volunteered for the D&L Heritage Marathon/Half Marathon.  Of course, there was press there, including WFMZ, our local news station.  The camera guy got all kinds of shots, and then he set up the camera behind me.  I tried to be nice and told him I would get out of his way.  He told me he wanted to get my sound.  Lol, guess I have a big mouth!  Here's the video, and I'm right around 28 seconds....wearing the huge read volunteer shirt with the big blue hood on my head, cheering on the runners. 

What else.....

Today, my hubs made some super tasty chicken.  (Yes, I'm very lucky.  My hubs is a completely AWESOME cook.  Be jealous.)  He tried out some new bread crumbs.
IMAG0420.jpg

(Holy moly, that picture is huge.....I hope it shrinks down once the blog is posted.)

He thought he would have to trick them up a bit, that they wouldn't be spicy enough.  But wow....we were impressed.  VERY tasty. 

So let me recap for you.  Workout....check.  Eating well....check.  A television appearance....check.

Aside from the ongoing knee issues, today was quite a fabulous day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stupid New PT Chick

I really didn't mean to fall off the face of the Earth for almost a whole week....I promise!  But after that bitch I wrote about (remember Sandy?) I didn't have power for a couple of days....I was finally back on the grid as of 3:45 am Friday morning.  (Or Thursday night, depending on how you look at it.) 

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining.  Chris, the hyena and I are much more fortunate than a ton of others out there.  Our house is still in one piece (minus a few slates from our roof), and we're doing well.  But I have to admit......it gets freaking COLD without electricity.  I actually, for the first time in five years, let the hyena sleep in the bed with me.  Just to keep me warm. 

Anyways.....so this week was pretty much a wash for working out.  And I ate like semi-crap.  The whole lacking in working out seems to go hand-in-hand with eating crap.  Big surprise, right?

Ohhh....I did end up with a minor snafu in whole knee recovery nonsense.  (Sheesh....see what happens when I can't blog in forever....everything is all jumbled up in my brain, and I have no organization in how I want to get everything out.  Blah.)

Anyway.

Thursday I had PT.  With a chick I only had once before.  I wasn't terribly impressed with her upon our first meeting, and this meeting was simply the icing on the cake.  First, let me start with Thursday morning.  I went to LA Fitness (which will forever be referred to in subsequent blogs as simply "LA") because they had power and I really wanted to shower with lights on.  So I did my walk/jog intervals on the treadmill.  I started off with 5 minutes of walking, then jogged for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, repeat for 20 minutes.  By the end of that, my knee was feeling it, and I knew pushing any further would be asking for trouble.  I hung out on the elliptical for a bit, then went about my business and on to the rest of my day.

See how I ramble?  I know.  Just deal with it.  :)   (I've learned that if you say anything with a smile, people are much more receptive.)

As the day went on at work, my knee felt better.  I headed off to PT, and explained to this new chick that I went to the gym in the morning, did the whole treaddy thing, and it felt sore at the end, but was decent now.  I went about my business, and after the squats on the Bosu ball, figured I was done.

Wrong.  She wanted me to get on the treadmill.

I questioned her.  The other PT's have told me that they don't really like people running on the treaddys there because they're super hard.  They're more for walking.  I explained this to her.  I asked her if she was sure she wanted me to run on it, especially since I was on the treadmill in the morning, and fully intended on going back to LA Friday morning.

Her response was to get on it and see what happens.

Fine.  We'll see what happens. 

Here's the thing.....I am already good at pushing myself and working past my limitations.  I don't need someone who doesn't know me, trying to push me to do more....because, quite frankly, I'll up the weights and all that on my own, because I know what I can do and what my body can handle.

I start off walking, jog for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, jog for another 2, and am DONE.  Seriously.  Toast.  I limped to my car, did some serious icing once I got home and was PISSED.  Friday things were really sore.  Saturday I had an impromptu Death Gym workout, and tried riding my bike there.  That actually worked out well, and once I got back home I made sure to ice up again.  Things are still kinda sore, but I'm going to try out the treadmill again tomorrow morning.  If it hurts too much, I'll go back to the elliptical, but I gotta try it out before I go back to PT tomorrow evening.

And trust me.....EVERYONE is going to hear about the misadventure with the crappy PT chick.   

(Wow, in hindsight, this blog is so not motivational.  It happens.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Some Questions For Y'all

So, I really need to do a little spiffin' up on my page.  I know I have that "home" button there, and I did a little "about me" section, but what else would you all like to see?  That navigation bar is looking awfully plain!

I was thinking about maybe linking up a page and listing my Death Gym workouts?  Would people be interested in that?  What about maybe my training plans when I finally get back to running?  Actually, that would probably be a really good idea....it will help keep me accountable.

But I don't want to make pages that will bore all of you.  And I don't want to make pages that come across as sounding braggy either.  And I can't post a page with a training plan until I start running.....and training.

So that leaves me with (possibly, if you're interested) Death Gym workouts.

Anything else?

*And just to note....I had most of this typed up before the whole power outage thing, so don't expect much else from me until I'm back on the grid.  Posting from my phone is kinda a pain.*

Sandy....

....She's a real bitch!

So, there was no gymming it this morning, kinda like I suspected.  I don't know if it was the crap I did this weekend, or the impending Armageddon, but my knee was super icky today.  More sore than it has been in a loooong time.  I even went as far as wearing my obnoxious purple sneakers to work, and not my nice black ones.  Oh well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. 

I guess it is a good thing the gym was closed on my way home from work....I probably would have went there and tried something stupid, like walk/jog intervals, simply out of guilt for eating like crap.  Oh, plus PT was cancelled today, and I have to call on Wednesday before I go, just to make sure they have power and that they're open.

Must be nice.  Working for the county, in a 24-hour building, means my offices will never close.  I worked the whole day today, and I'll try my darndest to get in there tomorrow morning.  Because if I don't go in, I don't get paid.  And trust me, I don't work b/c I enjoy it (okay, this job, I actually DO enjoy), I work b/c I need the money.

Anyways, unless you're living under a rock, you know about hurricane Sandy.  The winds are a-blowing.  I found this in the road after work today, literally right outside my house.


Unfortunately, for some reason, when a particularly awful storm strikes, the comfort food switch in my brain goes off.  So I had a fabulous breakfast, ate very well while at work, and then proceeded to come home and blow it.

Gah.  Can I hope the gym will be open tomorrow?  It is supposed to be Death Gym day.  Sadly, I have a feeling it will be closed.

Right now, the power keeps flickering, so I'm going to end this before I lose it somewhere in cyber land.

Stay safe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Food Overload, Hobbling Pain, & a Poll

Today, I ate my caramel apple.  And a shit ton of Chinese food.  Not necessarily in that order.

See, weekends tend to suck for me.  All during the week, I eat my breakfasts, pack my healthy lunches, have fruit for snacks, and come home to my healthy dinner.

Weekends, it all falls apart.  I don't know if it is because I'm not following a pre-determined time schedule, or if it is because weekends are when I used to get in my decent blocks of working out, or if it is just because I'm generally more relaxed.

But.....I gotta realize I haven't been working out like I have before my hobbling.  I'm still working out, just not as intensely, and not for nearly as long periods of time.  Which means I can't be eating like crazy on the weekends....I gotta reign it in.

Speaking of my hobbling, today sucked.  I'm sitting here, icing my knee, hoping it goes numb.  Seriously....I don't want to feel it.  I went to a party yesterday and was on my feet almost the entire evening.  (Stupid, I know.)

I'm paying for it today.  Especially with attempting to get ready for the hurricane Sandy nonsense.  Did you know that Giant is completely out of water?  Yep.  At Sam's Club we had to get a case of those little mini-bottles of water....I think they're like 8 oz each.  Ha.....that's like a shot glass to me!

So the sore knee, shopping, cleaning up the remnants of the party this morning (which means lifting ginormous coolers half-full of ice....I'll be damned if I look weak), picking up all the randomness in our backyard so it doesn't get swept away, laundry, and then prepping food for the week....well.....my knee was screaming!

So obviously, my plans of gymming it today didn't pan out, and I'm seriously doubting I'll be going tomorrow morning, considering how sore I am.  Which means I definitely cannot make a habit out of things like caramel apples and shit tons of Chinese food.

The good thing?  I made a double batch of baked oatmeal for Chris and I to eat throughout the week.  That stuff is my newest obsession!  It isn't super thick like oatmeal bars, but it isn't all goopy like normal oatmeal.  (Blech....the only oatmeal I can eat in conventional oatmeal form is steel cut oats, everything else looks like zombie brains.)  And just a heads up.....you might need a log-in if you want to check out the link for the baked oatmeal.  If you can't access it, let me know and I'll give you the recipe.

Now, completely off topic.......here's something I found interesting and wanted to share:

Yesterday's Women's Health daily poll asked the following question (not in these exact words b/c I don't remember it entirely):

Which sporting event would you most like to participate in?

My immediate answer, before seeing any of the ones I would be forced to choose from was this:  The Crossfit Games.  (Ha....are you surprised?)

These were my choices:
Boston Marathon
Summer Olympics
World Cup
Kentucky Derby
(One or two others that apparently weren't worth me remembering.)
This doesn't apply to me

I ended up choosing "this doesn't apply to me."  I was sad inside that I couldn't even write-in the Crossfit Games.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mazezilla

No...I'm not going to write about something deep like how life is one ginormous maze with twists and turns and different paths and that the direction you take is up to you.  (Although, that is a pretty good idea.  I may have to bookmark this!)  This blog is much simpler than that.  I'm going to write about a trip a bunch of us took to a local corn maze.

I had been looking forward to Mazezilla for a long time.  I had wanted to do it last year, but life got in the way.  This year, however, I had won four tickets to the place.  And admission is like $11 per person....so I wasn't about to let $44 worth of found money go to waste.  (Yep, with me, its all about money.  Why do you think I use my gym membership?  B/c if I didn't, I'd be out that money.  Well, that, and the fact that I actually like to work out.)

The hubbs and I and some friends headed out to the corn maze, but before we even get there, our friend ends up getting lost!  Sheesh.....how were we going to make it out of the corn maze if we couldn't even get to the place!  (In all fairness, the directions on the Mazezilla website suck, and try to take you someplace 40 mins away, when in reality, the corn maze is more like 20 min away.)

So we waited.  (Yes, I am completely aware this is a crappy picture.  But seriously, what do you expect in the middle of a dark field with a cell phone camera?)


While we waited, we wandered around the pumpkin/weird-looking gourd area.  We found a couple gems.  I though this one looked like a slug.  I probably should have brought it home....it could have been my mascot!


And I was truly enamored with the apple gourds.  I have a thing for apples.  But when they're ginormous and look like gourds, they're even better.  (Photo has been blurred to protect the innocent.  Not because of user error with the camera.  That's my story.)


Seriously, though.....how cool are these?


Anyways.  The rest of our group finally made it to Mazezilla in one piece!  We took a bumpity ride down to the actual maze, paid our money, got our hands stamped, were given little cards with a list of different things we were to find, and off we went.

Seriously?

At first, we were super frustrated.  Or, at least, I was.  There was no direction.  No hints about where to go.  No signs that said, "Hey loser, you suck.  You went the wrong way."  We wandered around aimlessly until we came across a sign with a picture of a barn on it.  There were hole punchers attached to it, which we then used to punch out the barn on our cards.

And then we wandered.  Some more.  And more.

(I don't really know what I expected, since I had never done a corn maze before, but for some reason I thought it would be more involved.  Anyone else ever go to a corn maze?  If so, how was it organized?)

Eventually, we got smart.  We wandered back to the beginning of the maze, took a pic of the map they had posted, and used that to orient ourselves.  After that, things went pretty smoothly, and we found all the objects and were out of the maze in no time!

Once we finished, we hung out a little bit, and I started to have Mudder flashbacks!
Yep, they had a maze made out of stacked bales of hay!  Throw in some mud and water, and we could have run a mini-mudder!

While the kiddos were having fun in the hay maze and jumping in pits full of dried corn, the hubbs decided to chill with my headlamp.  Maybe we'll make a runner out of him yet!


We took the bumpity ride back up to the pumpkin/gourd/parking area, where I got some tasty apple cider and this:

Yum!  I haven't eaten it yet, but I'm sooooo looking forward to it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And So It Starts

Oh boy.  Here we go.  Jump right in, or provide some intro?  I'm guessing maybe some intro would be good here.  I'm not even sure if I'm going to click that all-important share button to post this to the world, but I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I really should.

Here's the dilemma.  I try to remain fairly private.  Sure, I joke that my whole life is on Facebook.  (Really, it is.)  But, well, that's mostly the stuff I want to share.  Ok, that makes almost no sense.

Many of you know that my whole weight loss/exercise nut phase started with a little ole website by the name of SparkPeople. (Hey lookie there, I figured out how to create a link on blogger without actually just typing the web address....go me!)  Anyways, I've become kind of, oh, i don't know...a thing over there.  In a good way.  I'm not good at giving myself credit for stuff, but I guess I'm moderately popular.  Maybe it has to do with the whole weightloss story.  Maybe it has to do with my honesty in my blogs.  Maybe it has to do with my I'm gonna give it my all or die trying attitude.  Or maybe it simply has to do with the fact that I'm human, and I write about the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

But, well, I have people in my real life (not my online SparkLife) who like to know what I'm up to.  Who tell me I'm an inspiration and should share stuff.  For some reason though, I find it hard to share in real life.  I kind of compartmentalized my friends....the real life group and the SparkPeeps.  Online, on SparkPeople, when I first started there, I hadn't met any of them.  I was sharing, essentially, with strangers.  So it made it easy.  I didn't KNOW these people.  But somehow, along the way, my two lives became blurred.  My real life friends know more about my SparkPeeps.  And my SparkPeeps have entered my real life, especially since I've met a bunch of them.

Now, I find myself posting about something on Facebook, blogging about it on SparkPeople, and sometimes even guest blogging for a friend of mine.  It is getting to be a tad much.  Kind of time-consuming.  Plus, in this forum, I'll be able to reach out to more people.  So, I'm going to try things out here.  If I decide I hate it, or people don't like it, or I suck at it, so be it. But, if I trust in what others have said about me, maybe my honesty about what I experience will help others realize that trying to change your lifestyle is so completely doable.

Oh....as for the name.  (Duh, should have explained that earlier.)  That would be my handle on Spark.  Clever, right?  Took me a while to come up with that one.  Anyways, I find it easier to write stuff and post it under that name....think of it as a pen name.