Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Road

River Bridge

I have been walking the bike trail about half a mile from my house.  I like the trail because after a couple of weeks walking it I have worked out landmarks to know where I am on the trail and when the app on my phone will give me a five minute update. 

The River Bridge is the first bridge.  Once I am at the end of this bridge I have usually hit the ten minute mark and if I turn around I will put in a mile walk.  It is also my rejuvenation point for any walk.  I know when I see the bridge I will be home in ten minutes and if I already walked more than that, ten minutes won't be so bad.

On Monday it was so hot and humid I cut my planned three mile walk down to two.  I wanted to try and make three miles every day.  But by the one mile mark I was struggling.  My joints were aching and it was hard to get a good deep breath.  It was just killing me.  I finally saw the river bridge and almost called my husband for rescue.

But I made it home, collapsed just a little and sweated it out. 

Tuesday I got home and it was hotter.  I thought about walking for a mile and just couldn't.  But I have resolved to live without making excuses, so I decided to use the stationary bike.  I pedaled for half an hour while I watched an episode of "Friends".  It wasn't so bad.

I have found that if I set mini goals within my exercise I can keep going.  The five minute reminders are perfect for me.  I just tell myself I can make it five more minutes.

Today I have the day off and decided to see how far I could go.  I started at 9:30AM walking down to the bike trail.  In my past walks I have to go over three bridges.  Beyond those three bridges is a section that crosses the road.  I have been close, but the road is just shy of a two mile walk.

Today I decided to see if I could make the road. 

It was cooler, the heat didn't really come out until about noon.  I had my music going and just started walking.   I passed the big bridge.  Another quarter of a mile or so was a little bridge.  Then after another bit was the third bridge.  I hit the thirty minute mark in my walk. 

I kept going.  Finally I came around a bend and at the 35 minute mark, I crossed the road. 

I smiled like the Cheshire cat.


It feels silly that crossing a road has such an impact.  But I did it.  I walked another five minutes across the road and turned at 40 minutes.  The walk back is on a slight decline.  I didn't know this, but my app showed me.  It is hardly noticeable. Just enough to make the walk home easier.

I hit my all time high, 4 miles with my house in sight.  My legs felt like jelly.  I had sweat running like a river down my butt crack.  My hair was completely soaked under my ball cap.

I am 42 years old, almost 43 and I'm just realizing what I'm capable of.  I haven't found the limit yet. 

Today I made it to the road. 

I can't wait for tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking the Mall

It was raining yesterday.  My husband had to be at the local mall for work so I decided to embrace my inner old lady and be a mall walker.  I google the mall to see what the dimensions were, since my GPS tracking on my phone wouldn't work inside.  According to the mall website it was one mile for the entire perimeter of the mall.  That didn't seem too bad. 

So we got there.  I had some missions while in the mall.  I wanted to get a heart rate monitor/pedometer watch I could wear all the time.  I am curious about how much I walk other than my daily walk. 

So I started my first round.  I found a pedometer app on my phone and started going.  It didn't take long to walk the mall.  But when I got back to where I started it was only .78 of a mile. 


The mall lied!

Or I missed something.  I decided to to keep walking.  My pace was a little slower.  I was trying not to sweat too much.  But the mall was kind of hot.  I also couldn't get my speed up because shoppers are kind of rude.  They just stop. 

I would be walking a good pace and then some screaming kid is being dragged in front of me.  Although tempted, I do not kick the kids out of my way.  It would be rude.

After getting a mile and a half in, I decided to look for my monitor.  My mall has a Target attached and I love the Target.

I had a list of items, including new socks and a juicer.  Just a little juicer.  My husband has been making fresh lemonade for me when I get back from my walks.  Very tasty.

But first I wanted to find the monitor.  I went to electronics.  There were several young men there. 

"Do you have heart monitors?"

Two of the men turned to one man, the alpha obviously.

"What are you monitoring?"  he asked.

"For exercise."

He pointed me in a direction and I wandered for a few minutes trying to find them.  I passed a woman pushing merchandise to stock.  She smiled and asked if I was finding what I needed.

"I'm looking for heart monitors."

"Oh, they are by the pharmacy.   They have wrist ones and some with cuffs."  She turned to lead me.

"I want one for exercise."

"Oh."  She looked surprised.  "This way."

She led me to a wall of exercise electronics.

I picked out the one I wanted and she called for someone to come unlock it.  I got the Alpha boy from electronics.

He unlocked it for me and told me it would be waiting for me when I was done shopping. 

I started to walk away. 

I turned, wondering if I'd forgotten something. 

"Let me give you a tip.  When you legs start to ache, that isn't a sign you should stop.  It just means they need more oxygen.  Just slow down, take deep breaths and it will pass.  You'll be able to go longer.  That pain is called the wall.  You can break through it and go farther."

I thanked him.

"Cross country track."  He smiled in explanation.

I was a little surprised.  Here was a random stranger, young enough to be my kid giving me encouragement and advice. 

I tried today it today and it worked.  Thanks kid. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hot Day

My walks today and yesterday were shorter.  It was really hot and humid.  I just felt like I was dragging and I wasn't getting the satisfying thump of shoe to asphalt.  My feet felt heavier. 

Today the bike trail where I walk was busier than I've ever seen it.  I was passed several times.  There were a few bikers and a couple of runners.  But I was mostly passed by herds of teenage boys. 

They ran in packs.  The first in a group of eight or so.  Then three more went around.  Finally a lone runner brought up the rear.  He gave me a smile and a nod.  They are training for cross country track. 

I want to tell them to keep it up.  I want to tell them to remember the goals they are setting and keep doing it all their lives. 


Boys that age feel immortal.  They wouldn't listen to some fat lady who is old enough to be their mom.  They laugh and enjoy the exhilaration of being young. 

But I kept walking.  It is why I do my walk as soon as I get home.  I get up at 4 AM every morning, so sleep wins over exercise at that time.  But once I get home I change my clothes and go right out.  I know that if I let myself relax into that recliner the excuses are too easy. 

I can't waste time.  I have wasted enough.  Every mile I walk gains me hours, days, weeks, maybe even years.  Tomorrow will be cooler.  It may rain.  I will walk a little farther.  I can do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fat Bottomed Girls!

This song is on my walking play list. 

"Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin' world go round." 

By the way, be careful Googling this song title!

Gotta love Queen. 

Today, my friend in Utah posted her walking stats on Facebook today and mentioned again that I inspired her.  This is new to me.  And very humbling.

I have never felt like an inspiration.  I try to be a good person and a kind person.  When I started my plan for this year it was all about proving to myself that I could do it.  In the last ten days I have done something every day which is now about five days longer than any other exercise routine I have committed to.

My friend told me about an app for my phone that I really like called "Runkeeper".  I like that it tracks my route and gives me updates every five minutes.  This has given me an easy way to track.  I have started walking as far as I can for a set number of minutes and am working up to an hour walk, slowly.   Plus my husband loves looking at the GPS feature and seeing where I've been.

I am getting faster.  After only ten days I am seeing a difference in how I feel.  Now my friend has become an inspiration for me.  I see her daily posts, read her blog and know that I need to post too.  I need to keep pushing myself the way she is pushing herself. 

We need to inspire each other!  We need to start an exercise revolution.  

So I am starting one. 

The Fat Bottomed Girls!  Let's make this rockin' world go round.  If you are on RunKeeper join my street team.  I want to see how many people we can get moving.  One day at a time.

Thanks Michelle for your inspiration!  Even a time zone away you are getting me off my fat bottom!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fair Thoughts

Yesterday I went to the state fair.  It was the last day and since my husband had to work I figured I could enjoy the festivities (er, food) and get my walk in. 

So I grabbed my ticket  and set my pedometer.  I was anxious to see how much I would walk.  In the past I have been sure I walked miles and miles.  We walked in a slow and easy pace.  We wanted to get to the other side of the fairgrounds but we had a couple of hours to do it.  Our first stop was the deep fried cheese curds.

I know what you are thinking but this was a teeny, tiny, oh-so-very-small serving of cheese curds.  And I shared them with my husband.   Oh the cheesy, salty goodness.  Don't judge me!  I walked 11 miles in a week.  I have NEVER done that. 

We rested on the way and a lady walked by.  She stopped and complimented my red running shoes.

I smiled and said thank you.

I know now that I should not have engaged her.

"I like those shoes."  She repeated.

I smiled and nodded.

"I am allergic to elastic.  I had a pair of shoes and I wore them without socks.  I broke out in a horrible rash and I told my son what happened and he told me that I was allergic so now I can't wear anything with elastic in it because I break out and I can't even wear bras unless they are 100% cotton.  Do you know how hard it is to find all cotton bras?"

I was stunned.  She said it all in one breath.  I muttered something about how tough that had to be.

When she finally walked away I looked at my husband slightly stunned. 

This happens to me ALL the time.  I am just quietly minding my own business and then some stranger is sharing more than I really need to know.

We walked through the Varied Industries building and saw the Deloreon made out of cans.  It was cooler than my picture depicts.  I should have taken a side shot.

We rested again, sharing a Gizmo, which is an Italian sandwich.  It was pretty good. 

I like to see the butter cow.  Don't ask me why.  I don't know if it is the butter or the sculpting or just the cool building, but it is a must see for me.  My husband could care less.

Completely carved out of butter.  It is pretty cool.  This year they also had Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. 

I didn't get a picture of Snow White.  It was hard enough getting clear shots of everything else and Snow White was rotating.  It was never going to happen.

On the way across we talked about the things we wanted.  I love the state fair lemonade.  They make it fresh and shake it up.  They have flavored ones now, strawberry, raspberry and such.  I walked down and got two bringing one to my husband. 

We sipped them and people watched.  They were really good. 

Then I had a Sprite.

Then I had a Cresenti.  (This awesome Italian sandwich)

I tried to sneak the Cresenti, cause my husband knows how to make them, but I had the GPS feature on and he checked the map.   I was caught. 

I managed to walk a couple miles but it wasn't a good walk.  Plus I ate crap.

We got home late, well late for me, and I ate some fried food at home. 

I went to bed and soon had a headache and an upset stomach.  I took some Tylenol and antacids.  But sitting on the edge of my bed I just felt like all the crap I'd eaten.

Last year I didn't remember feeling like that.  I ate a lot more bad things.  I am sure I slipped in a funnel cake and some ice cream.  I know I ate cookies. 

Can a week of walking make that big of a difference?  I know that I don't want to feel that way again.  Ever.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Walking In The Woods

I have been making little goals for myself.  I need to push myself a little more each day and do a little more.  If I don't I will never make my big goal. 

I have discovered many things over the last week.  I was scared for the first couple of days.  I was walking funny, my ankles were incredibly sore and I didn't know if I could keep it up.  But after three days of steady walking I realized my ankles didn't ache.  I could go a little farther every day. 

I found out that I really need to fix my walking music shuffle so I don't play "Bad Medicine" over and over. 

But today when I was walking I discovered that I liked it.  It came to me as I walked down the bike path.  The song "Rolling In The Deep" by Adele came on and the wind was in my face and the sun was shining.   I heard a noise in the bushes and looked to see a doe running through the woods.  We both paused and looked at each other.

Not my deer.  She wouldn't pose.

She ran off her way and I continued on mine.  It felt like a sign.  I took a deep breath.  I picked up my pace and kept going. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So yesterday was my anniversary.  I got home and usually go on my walk right away to get it done (over with).  But we were going to dinner and I didn't want to get all sweaty or have to take a shower.  We went to Outback and had a steak.   It is crazy that it is cheaper to eat steak out then buy it and cook it at home.

So we go home and I kept going back and forth in my mind.  Would I walk?  Should I take a night off?  What should I do? 

We walked in the door and I said "I think I'll take the night off."  My husband said it was OK.  And I started to.  But then I couldn't.

I walked by an exercise thing we have in the living room.  It is like an exercise bike without the bike, just the peddles.  So you can sit in your chair and peddle.  It has been sitting there long enough to have gathered some dust.   So I dragged it to my chair and I started peddling.  I peddled enough to work up a sweat.

So I didn't walk, but I did exercise. It made me feel better.

Also, I have to thank my friend Michelle.  She told me that it was better after four days of walking and it was.  My ankles and feet don't hurt now.  Thanks!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hope Springs - 2012

I went to see "Hope Springs" today.  My husband was working.  We'd talked about seeing it together, based on the trailer, but I am glad he missed it.  While it had comic moments, it was a little more drama than he normally enjoys. 

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are a couple married for 31 years.  On their anniversary we see the rut they are in.  Every day is the same.  It doesn't seem to bother Jones' Arnold, but Streep's Kay looks increasingly tired. 

She finds a book that says what she wants to hear.  You can have the marriage you want.  She decides to book a week of intensive couples therapy for the two of them in hopes of finding that intimacy again. 

After telling Arnold that she is going and leaving his ticket on the counter, she takes off on the adventure.

He meets her on the plane with a classic married couple line, "I hope you're happy."

It was interesting to see Streep so tentative and Jones so vulnerable.  The counseling sessions felt authentic.  Steve Carell as the doctor didn't add or subtract.  It really could have been anyone in that role.  His job was to lob it to the masters and watch them work. 

I wish  there'd been a little more background.   I found myself wanting to know how these two got together and what made them drift apart.  There were a couple of stories, but not enough to really flesh out their history. 

But I could have watched more from this couple.  I wanted them to find their way and fall back in love with each other.  The acting was incredible. 

Being long married myself, 23 years on the 15th, I know all about the ebb and flow of a marriage.  Sometimes you can't believe that you are married to this person.  One day the things he does are adorable, other days it is so infuriating you have to stop yourself from hitting him. 

In the last year my husband has surprised me.  I had surgery and both before and after he took such good care of me.  That wasn't the surprising part.  He treated me as if I were delicate.  Even when I wasn't feeling like I was.  We go through times where we take things for granted.  I know that sometimes I just expect things to be a certain way and more often than not he accommodates that. 

Other times I want that surprise, the spontaneity and he is there.  He knows what I like and what I don't.  We compromise.  We fight over silly things but agree on the big things.  I think that is what makes a marriage work. 

This was a good movie.  Not the kind of movie my husband would like, but then I don't make him see movies he wouldn't like.  You learn this stuff after 23 years.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today is the 5K Day!

I am up early for a Saturday ready for my 5K.  I am nervous.  I have been joking all week that I feel like I might die, but when it is only a couple of hours away, those fears become more pungent.

I have my ruby red slippers on.

That is not the camera, my legs are that white.

I know that Glinda won't magically appear so I can click my heels.  I have to walk the distance.

I am also wearing my Shawshank t-shirt.

Boob shot is free (that should get some blog hits!)

This is symbolic too.  Like Andy Dufresne I am going to work slowly to tunnel out of the prison that is my weight.  I have never felt like I couldn't do anything I wanted to, but I know I could feel better and be healthier.  I have never felt like people judge me because of my weight, but maybe I am just naive.  It is time for change.  It is time for action.

Today is the day.  I am doing this.  Watch for updates. 

Andy Dufresne: [in letter to Red] Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

8:40 AM:
20 minutes to race.

It was a beautiful day to walk.  Some of my co-workers were there and encouraged me.  I was getting nervous about the walk.  What if I couldn't finish?  

They announced the start and asked those with strollers and slow walkers to stay in the back and runners in the front.  I stuck myself in the back. 

I started walking as fast as I could trying to keep a steady pace.  The group fanned out pretty quickly.  I was NEAR the back, but not the last.  A father and his daughter walked in front of me and he spent fifteen minutes talking about the difference between kilometers and miles. 

Then I passed a big red one taped to the trail.   I had made it ONE MILE!  It was the farthest I'd walked in, honestly I don't know how long.  High school?

The trail was set up to walk halfway and then turn around walk back.  This had been a question when I'd signed up.  I didn't want to walk 3.1 miles and then have to walk back.

About twenty minutes in I started seeing the lead runners making their way back.  I gave them a wave and a smile, but they were more focused than I was and didn't wave back.

I just kept going.  There was a water station but I'd brought my own so I didn't stop.  The father/daughter team stopped and I moved ahead.  I just focused on steps, moving forward. 

I started to worry because I didn't see the halfway point.  I started asking the runners coming the other way. 

"Halfway point coming up?"

Nod.  How would he know. 

"Do I get to turn around soon?"

Thumbs up.  Did you even hear me?

"Is that blue t-shirt up there the turn around?"


I made it halfway!!!!

The halfway lady took my picture.  She even got the halfway line in there as proof.

Now I had walked as far as I still needed to walk.  I was alone.  I just focused on each step, the feel of the asphalt beneath my feet, breathing in and out.  I had sweat rolling down my back.  I wished that I'd worn sunglasses and a hat.  I wished I'd left my purse in my car. 

I passed the ones behind me who praised my progress. 

I got to the water station and filled up my bottle.  I walked behind a group of tweens.  They were meandering.  I started to go around them while they debated on whether to run or not.

"Don't let the old lady pass you!"  I announced, coming around. 

They laughed and started to speed up.  There was another water station and they were entranced by the offer of Gatorade.  I kept walking.

After the passing a big red one taped to the trail telling me it was almost over, I called my husband. 

"I'm almost there."

"Great," he said, "you don't even sound out of breath."

I played some Elvis on my phone for a few songs until I made my way around a bend and saw the finish line.  It was there.  I had done it.

For the last fifteen feet I ran.  And strangers cheered.

I finished in one hour and four minutes.  I was hot.  I was sweaty.  My feet and ankles are killing me. But I did it. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Got A New Pair of Shoes

I got new shoes.  They are red and black.  Red shoes worked for Dorothy.  Of course I don't have a magic wand to make my training any easier.  Who am I kidding?   If good old Glinda floated in on her bubble I would go for a perfect body that can only be maintained by pizza and Oreos.  But alas, no witches, good or bad, are swooping in to grant me any favors. 

These are specifically running shoes.  I have bought some running shoes before, but other than an occasional panicked run to the bathroom they didn't wear out from over use. 

It is only four days until the 5K.  I am telling everyone about my plan so I can be held responsible for my goal, same as having it on the Internet for all to see.

Soon I will be walking.  I have to remember some sunscreen, find some shorts and maybe a hat in my closet.  I just want to finish.  Hope the shoes help me down that path.  It's no Yellow Brick Road, but it is the beginning of a journey to make my wishes come true.  Then I will keep walking until I am running.

Glinda knew it wasn't enough to just want it.    You've got to work for it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Plan For The Year To Come

I have spent a lot of this year in a recliner.  I even got a new one not too long ago.

But recliner time is not good for the body.  With my surgery being six months ago now, I have decided that it is time to get in better shape.  While round is a perfectly nice shape for some things, it is not the healthiest shape for humans.

So on August 11th I am participating in a 5K for charity.  Anyone that knows me even a little bit knows that I am built for comfort not for speed.   My current goal is to finish, hopefully not last and not to die doing it.

After that occasion, which I will live blog from the trail, I will start training for my next goal.  I will in August or September of 2013 run a 10K.  That's right, I will run it.  It will take a year of training and hard work, but I need to do this. 

There is so much I still want to do in my life. 

  • I want to dance at my son's wedding.  (As soon as he meets that special person. Get going kid!)
  • I want to hold and spoil my future grandchildren. (Hint, hint, Son!)
  • I want to visit every state in the USA. (I have a good start, but a way to go)
  • I want to tour the prison they filmed "Shawshank Redemption".
  • I want to publish a novel.
  • I want to see Europe. 
  • I want to grow old with my husband. 

So I will start my quest toward a longer life.  I will run there.  I know that I am going to get discouraged and my natural tendency is to be lazy.  But I am going to do it.  This blog showed me that I can commit to a project and see it through.  I will still blog about movies, but I'm going to blog about this too.

Here it goes!  Wish me luck.